Thursday, June 21, 2012

Everything. Again.

It's been a week since my birthday eve. Where does the time go? Age.

Those are some biscuits I made to take to work on my birthday. There's a weird semi-tradition at my current workplace in which people bring baking on their birthday. Which doesn't really make sense, but it meant I got to eat Nigella's extreme chocolate chip biscuits with the five minute quiz, so I wasn't complaining.

I had a really great birthday that included being taken out three times for cups of tea, gifts of novelty socks, necklaces (including a necklace with a tiny working harmonica and a necklace that looks like bunting), and home made fruit leather, pizza with lots of cool people, wine, and me getting angrily adamant about how long someone has to have their full license for before they can teach a learner driver. Turns out I was wrong. It is only two years. Fine.

Alex gave me these tulips which have been the gift that just keeps on giving. They started out all closed and lovely and over the past week, encouraged by the gentle humming of the fridge no doubt, they have opened up and become even lovelier.

On Saturday the weather was yuck but that was more than okay because a collection of people came to my house and played boardgames. Then I proof-read a whole lot of short essays for a non-fiction book my old manager is publishing. I learned a lot about early New Zealand tourism ephemera (namely posters).

Then on Sunday we had classic movie Sunday and I got to choose because it was my birthday and I chose Annie because I didn't think I'd ever seen it before and if I had I couldn't remember any of it and it's very important that I see a seminal redheaded child movie.

Oh Annie, you hilarious but too long musical movie. Daddy Warbucks is both creepy and the best billionaire adoptive father ever. Miss Hannigan is probably me in 20 years time, bathing in gin. There are some strange characters like Punjab, and I was pretty surprised by the sometimes quite intense sexual innuendo in a children's movie.

Monday night saw my flatmate Emma and I tucked up in her bed watching the season finale of Girls. I don't know if I've mentioned Girls on here before, but the season finale was amazing and I now love Girls unequivocally. I really wasn't sure for a while, I liked the first episode, I wasn't that thrilled by some other episodes, I was disappointed we didn't see more of my favourite character (Shoshana), I have read a lot of the criticisms (and the hype) of the show and I agree with some of them, but overall I think it's pretty impressive and I am looking forward to season two.

Tuesday night I saw All My Sons at Circa and was pleasantly surprised. I had low expectations, but the cast was impressive and the script was very good (when considered in terms of the tradition that it comes from). I got a fright at the end which was probably very naive of me, and it made me think about the wider effects of war - beyond soldiers dying and the effect that has on their families.

Last night I went to Flight of the Conchords at the Michael Fowler Centre. The songs were great, they played lots of classics and a few new ones. There were some excellent surprised (especially during 'Bowie's In Space'), and Arj Barker's opening comedy set was pretty funny. I did feel, though, like Bret wasn't that enthused about being there. He seemed to want to just get it over and done with. Someone at work went last night as well and she said, 'Oh I didn't think that, I thought that was just him, or his schtick.' But I saw them a few years ago in Masterton and I definitely think they were more generous with their between-song banter and general attitude. I'm glad I went though, it was so good hearing some old favourites, especially  'A Hilarious Misunderstanding' which isn't on either of the albums but is very good.

And now I'm going to Christchurch for the weekend. I want to take my knitting but I only have carry-on and I'm scared they'll take it off me and it'll be gone forever. It's a hard knock life, for me.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Birthday eve

I got home to a great surprise tonight - fairy bread, freshly baked biscuits, and balloons scattered around the room. This bodes well for good birthday tomorrow.

I spent last weekend in the Wairarapa. My little brother and I saw The Avengers (a film I had no desire to see, but I can't say no to Hunter, so off we went and it wasn't actually as bad as I thought, it was pretty funny and I especially loved The Incredible Hulk) and on Sunday it was my cousin Maggie's fifth birthday. I helped ice cupcakes, make a treasure hunt, and eat a lot of coconut ice. Maggie wore a Snow White outfit and was very cute. I'm not sure whether she was that impressed by my present of two Milly-Molly-Mandy books, but too bad. I used to like MMM when I was little. And MMM and Maggie basically have matching dark haired bob cuts. What's not to like?

On Tuesday night we had the second Baby Knitters Club at which, once again, I knitted and everyone else played boardgames. Until I was required to stop knitting to make an even number for Cranium. But at least bootie number two is started. I feel like I'm making the same mistake I made last time when I had to rip it out and start again, but I can't remember what that mistake was. Also Kate laid out a spread to rival all knitting spreads - bread, lamingtons, chippies, all these different teas. If anyone wants to go play shops with her, I think she'd be up for it.

Last night it was the V48 Hours Wellington finals. Our film made it into the finals and it was fun watching the other 11 films and seeing ours again after a few weeks. The Wellington winner definitely deserved to win. It was a horror about a zombie family during a human attack. It managed to be about zombies and be funny, clever, and touching all at the same time. The make-up was pretty impressive too.

I would also just like to note that in the past two years I have learned to use chopsticks pretty proficiently, learned to parallel park excellently, flown to the other side of the world and back all by myself, changed who I work for twice, moved house three times, brought another play into the world with two of the best comedy collaborators around, been to many, many excellent shows and gigs (and quite a few not as great ones), been to two music festivals and had the greatest time, finished knitting a pair of pretty great socks that I'm now too proud of to wear, and lots of other stuff I can't think of right now.

In some ways, two years has felt like a long time. But probably not as long as learning to read feels like. I will end with the words of Maggie, after her first school visit:

'Mum, when will I wake up and know how to read?'

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Baby Knitters Club is BACK (and other less interesting stuff)

My number one comedy partner and psychic twin is currently incubating a foetus. Which sounds disgusting but is actually really exciting. This bootie was begun way back in July last year and abandoned due to PARIS. That seems like a very long time ago now. By the time I got back from my month-long holiday, the baby I was knitting it for seemed like old news and I lost interest in finishing it, let alone knitting its mate.

But now, I am going to knit so many baby things and force Alex to dress her baby in them. It's going to be great.

I had trouble with this first bootie, I ripped the first version out, so hopefully I can remember how I got it right so I can knit a matching one.

Last weekend was Queen's birthday weekend. Alex and I had a marathon classic movie Sunday -

Pulp Fiction: FINALLY. Pulp Fiction was one of the reasons classic movie Sunday started, but Ed watched the copy I bought him for his birthday without me so it fell by the wayside. Alex has seen Pulp Fiction numerous times, the first time she was aged nine, which I cannot comprehend. I couldn't cope with parts of it and I am almost 25. I really enjoyed it though, I can see why it's such a modern classic - the sequencing of the storytelling, the humorous, everyday dialogue combined with some very heavy action and events. I particularly loved John Travolta and I learned a lot about hard drugs.

The Big Lebowski: This was not a planned classic movie, we just couldn't be bothered leaving the house to go across the road to Aro Video. It is strange and funny.

Raising Arizona: I meant to go home, but this got put on and I ended up watching the whole thing (I really extended my knowledge of the Coen brothers back catalogue on this particular Sunday). Holly Hunter is so watchable. Fact: this movie was released the year I was born.

Then, on Monday, I went to the City Gallery to catch Obstinate Object before it finished. It was very cool, a pretty eclectic mix of sculptures that, it could be argued, show that anything is art.

I loved Philip Beesley's Hylozoic Series: Vesica. You went into a small-ish black room and hanging from the ceiling were all these vine, leaf, and flower-like things. It was like being in a surreal forest. And when you touched a wire hanging down from some of the flower-like things, they would light up and move, with a little engine-type thing whirring and sending a vibration down the wire. It was so fun.

Then, Kelly and I went to a Devonshire tea screening of The Queen at the Roxy. I wore my pearls and my royal blue cardigan (although, I essentially just looked like a National voter). I hadn't seen The Queen before, I found it pretty interesting - once you got past the weird casting of Prince Charles and the Queen Mum. I got a bit emotional watching all the real footage from the time of Diana's death - people crying in the streets, all the flowers. You can never really know how accurate something like The Queen is in terms of conversations members of the royal family have and how they relate to each other behind closed doors, but it would be a strange way to live. It made me think about the less endearing side of Diana and just how much the Queen has lived through.

So many movies. I don't know why I feel the need to document them all. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Place of Abode

I love houses. I especially love old houses. And I especially love my new old house. 

It has all sorts of random treasure everywhere.

And a lot of lamps. 

The house of famous children's author, Mary Waters, in Tea for Toot was called Waters' Edge. I imagine Waters' Edge as similar to this house but twice as big (and this is a pretty big house). I think mostly because of the dark wood panelling in the entranceway and the stairs - and the typewriter.

When I was little I used to wish we lived in a house that had stairs. I've since lived in about five houses that have stairs in them, and sometimes I still think of them as a novelty. I can't remember why I thought having stairs would be cool, maybe because it would mean you lived in a two-storey house. I think a lot of it had to do with one of my friends living in a two-storey house and us bumping down the stairs on our bums. Unfortunately, I haven't done a lot of that in any of my houses with stairs.

Lily lives here. She is a giant. We are currently on wary but increasingly friendly terms.

I have hardly been into the shed-turned-study except to show it off to people and/or admire it. Maybe if I went in there more I'd be struck by inspiration. That would be nice.