Sunday, December 27, 2009

Palmerston North

It's raining at the moment in Palmerston North. I think it's easy to be negative about your home town. I don't dislike PN, I just can't imagine myself living here. And I think that a larger city has more opportunities, in general.
Here are some facts about Palmerston North:
-There are two bowling lanes. There is only one in Chch. This evening I went to Bowl-a-rama.
-English comedian John Cleese said some mean things about the city once. The residents hated him.
-Cafe Eminem recently opened. Amazing nomenclature.
-The city has been known as the Rose City, and also the Knowledge City. Presently, it's slogan is 'Young Heart, Easy Living.'
-Queen Victoria Esplanade is probably my favourite place in town. That and the Science Centre.
-My parents have lived in their house for about 24 years.
-A bylaw makes it illegal to drive three consecutive times around The Square. Apparently.
-The Cross on The Clock Tower in The Square had stood since the '50s, and had become mildly controversial in the '00s. Conincidentally (conspiratorially?), it 'fell off' a few years ago. No one was injured.
-I lived in Palmerston North for the first 22 and one third years of my life. If you'd like to know anything else about the city, feel free to ask.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


I'm back home in Palmerston North for about a week. Yesterday was Christmas - I hope you had a nice day. I spent it with my family; we sat on the lawn in the sunshine, talked about things that'd been happening, and ate really nice food. I made a pie - I'll post the recipe shortly.
I felt like I related to my family better than in the past. Talking to them was easy.
My family really liked the presents I made them. The poncho is still a work in progress, but it's looking good.
I got a book about New Zealand's biogeographical history, bicycle lights, and towels. What are your thoughts on the Oxford comma used in the previous sentence? I enjoy using them, perhaps more than I should.
It feels nice to be back in PN, though I'm not sure how much longer that feeling may last. PN strikes me as being a flat city, which is strange considering I've been in Christchurch for three years.
My bed feels so comfortable, it's hard to leave in the mornings.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Top 10 Gigs, Songs and Albums of 2009

It's been a pretty great year in music I think, and it's always fun (and a little tricky. Maybe even pointless) to make lists. These are my 'Top 10' lists, and are my favourites, rather than any sort of critical evaluation. This was on my Wednesday Drive radio show, and it was great fun. I wish I could 'podcast' this, but the recorder machine was not working!

I think gigs especially are really variable as to how much you enjoy them - who you're with, the crowd, the band, how you're feeling - all can change your perception of a show.
10 - Bonaparte @ Camp A Low Hum
9 - Tommy @ The Dux
8 - Teacups @ Camp A Low Hum
7 - So So Modern @ Goodbye Blue Monday
6 - Ruby Suns @ Playskool
5 - Mint Chicks @ any of three shows I saw
4 - Metronomy @ Bodega
3 - Neil Young @ Big Day Out
2 - Animal Collective @ Powerstation
1 - The Brunettes @ Als' Bar

This was a tricky list to whittle down. Quite a few good ones didn't make the cut, but these are my absolute favourites.
10 - St. Vincent - The Strangers
9 - Atlas Sound (w/Noah Lennox) - Walkabout
8 - Tourettes - Letting Go
7 - David Bryne & Dirty Projectors - Knotty Pine
6 - Here We Go Magic - Tunnelvision
5 - Moron Says What?! - Natalie
4 - EAR PWR - Future Eyes
3 - Camera Obscura - French Navy
2 - Los Campesinos! - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future
1 - Animal Collective - Summertime Clothes

There's been heaps of good albums out this year, and it was tough to pick just 10. Here are my favourites.
10 - Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
9 - Summer Cats - Songs for Tuesdays
8 - Haunted Love - Darkness in Diamond City
7 - Atlas Sound - Logos
6 - The Gladeyes - Psychosis of Love
5 - Woods - Songs of Shame
4 - Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport
3 - Mint Chicks - Screens
2 - Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion
1 - God Help The Girl - God Help The Girl

2009 In Review - Pt 3

  • The first semester of uni this year, I was studying physics and astronomy. As much as I like astro, I really hit the wall, and decided to change to biology. I remember very clearly wondering how wave equations would impact on my life. It's been a good change, and second semester results were far better than first.
  • I started working at Rialto Cinemas in July. It's a pretty swell job; I sell tickets, and make popcorn and coffees. Though I can go to the movies whenever I like, I've seen very few. My favourite movie this year was Mary & Max.
  • I became an underwear model in August. My friend Morgan owns Nudel, and he was on the lookout for 'slim models'. It seemed like a pretty awesome idea, and I had a good time. Check out the hot pics here and here.
  • RDU continued to be heaps of fun. I've been hosting my current show for more than a year, and it's awesome. It's nice when people say they like the show.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bountiful suburban streets

This happened quite a while ago, and I'm a bit surprised it's taken so long to post. A few months back, my flatmate Eamonn and I were walking to the chip shop on a Saturday afternoon. Around the corner from our place, on the side of the road, was this:

A beautiful Hammond Organ. It had a sign saying FREE, TAKE ME, I Work. It was a total 'OMG' moment. We had nothing else to do that day, so thought about how to get it back to ours. It was only about a 4min walk, but that thing is really heavy. After about 100m/10min, we stopped outside a house that had a ute. We talked about it, and decided it was worth a shot asking the owner for a lift. He was an engineer having his lunch, and while a bit bemused/a surly kiwi bloke, was an absolute legend, and took us around the corner.

The sign had not lied, and it works a treat. You should come around some time for an organ jam.

It's a crochet kinda christmas

So, because I love to crochet/have a lot of time on my hands/don't like buying things, I've been crocheting gifts for my mum and dad.

My dad used to brew beer, so I made him this

And I told my mum I'd make her a poncho. In like, 10 days. If someone ever says to you, "hey, we should crochet ponchos!", shake your head with a rueful smile, and say "no, thanks."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

2009 In Review - Pt 2

I've been reading my diary, which is at times amazingly indepth, and others, a broad overview.
  • I went to Camp A Low Hum with Rose, and had a great time. I think a bunch of those gigs will be in my favourites for the year list.
  • For the first few months of the year, I kind of realised that I'm the only person I can count on. I know I have amazing friends, but a few things happened that showed me you can only rely on yourself. I'm not sure how much I still feel like this.
  • I threw an amazing tantrum on February 3rd
  • This year I've become way more open and honest about how I feel about people, and usually tell them.
  • I've become much more crafty and discovered how much I like making things
  • April 30 - "It really feels like I'm just seeing beauty everywhere and now that I do, it almost feels self-reinforcing. Sometimes, parts of me feel cliched, but it just isn't a notion worth entertaining because I'm just too happy." For more on beauty and happiness, check here.
  • I built a time machine like in the Science of Sleep. It really works too!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

2009 In Review - Pt 1

Wow, what a year! This really has probably been one of the best for me - I hope it's been good for you too. Here are some things I've been up to this year.
  • New Year's Eve, I watched the Shocking Pinks play. It was a pretty quiet night, until Eamonn, who I didn't know very well (but who is now one of my best friends) showed up. At midnight, I had a group hug with Shea and Adelle. Beth showed up later and we walked around, then looked for a cab to take her home. I walked home, and had work at The Warehouse the next day.
  • I was working full time at The Warehouse over summer. It was actually pretty cool. The customers were okay, but got more demanding after Christmas. I was a 'checkout chick'.
  • I met Beth at The Warehouse. I saw her at a couple of shows. I asked her out on the last day I was working. We dated a few times, then she returned to Wellington to study. You can read the rest of the story here and here and here. Spoilers - we end up being great friends.
  • I went to the Big Day Out with Rose. It was pretty good - highlights were Mint Chicks, Neil Young, Hot Chip, and Black Kids.
  • Beth and I stared in a music video, in which we kissed for about 4 minutes. Here is a picutre; otherwise, the video is here

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I've sent a few letters to people. Their contents have been occasionally surreal. The offer still stands.

I'm attempting to crochet a poncho for my mother for christmas. I had a look at patterns, and decided that I could just figure it out myself. I spoke to her on the phone. She said I must be pretty fast with a crochet hook. It's going to be a challenge.

I'm also writing a review of my year. Part 1 will be up soon.
Next week on the radio, I will be listing my Top 10 Gigs, Songs, and Releases of the Year. What are your favourites?

Friday, December 11, 2009

A correspondence

Here is a picture of some of the cards I've been making

I know that you love receiving letters in the mail. If you would like a letter from me, send me an email with your address - - and I'll get writing. It will be handwritten, in a hand made envelope. Anywhere in the world. Also, if you'd like a card, let me know.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I've found that a Blog A Day is tricky, especially in nice weather, and when I'm busy doing things. Also, I would not like to force an 'inspired' post. Maybe there'll be 31 posts by the end of the month.

I went to Auckland this week to see Animal Collective play. I went with my friends Josie and Tim. It'd been a long time coming - we'd booked tickets in September or something, and I kept making plans for the days I'd be away. I got to finally meet Nick and Sarah from Einstein Music Journal, which was fantastic. I speak to them fortnightly on the radio, but we'd not met 'til now. I got hello hugs, which was great, and they are such lovely people - it was like hanging with old friends.

And so off to Animal Collective. We walked there, and arrived just before they started playing. I promptly lost the people I was with, and danced on my own. I had a really good time. They played In The Flowers first, which has so much meaning to me. I guess because it reminds me of Beth. She was there, but arrived late, and we didn't get to meet up until after the show. Still, it was so amazing to see her again. I just held her, both of us covered in sweat.

After the show, we walked around, half-looking for a party. I was just happy to adventure, and spend time with her. We lay down in the Domain, looking at stars. It was everything I could've hoped for. I think I probably enjoyed seeing Beth more than the concert. At the airport, we were on different flights, and she managed to sneak up on me. I gave her An Awesome Book, and will see her again in a few weeks. I feel fulfilled.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A slight sensation

A few days back, exam results were released. I was pretty pleased with the A's and B+'s I got, and it makes a nice change from studying physics - I really enjoy the material, and do well. Now to just sort out next years plans, which will be my last year. After that, maybe try to get in to post-grad, with an eye on lecturing and things like that?

I've also been making Christmas cards for friends - the only acceptable form of card to give. I'll put a few pictures up when I've got a bunch done. If you'd like to receive one, send me an email.

Today I'm going to the Christmas Parade. I'm expecting to see Star Wars and Nickelodeon characters, and would be really happy to see some minor local celebrities. Tonight there are some carols in a local park, which should be very sweet. How festive! I'm going to be going home to Palmerston North for Christmas, which is great, and all the family will be back together. Awwww.
Tomorrow I'm up to Auckland to see Animal Collective, which is pretty freakin' exciting.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Right Now

Right Now, what is your Favourite :
-Album - HEALTH - Get Colour
-Song - Julian Casablancas - 11th Dimension
-Food - Marmite and avocado on toast
-Television Show - Twin Peaks
-Smell - The shaving cream I use
-Item of Clothing - My peppermint polo shirt
-Website - Pretty Bird

What are your favourites, Right Now?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A summer of interesting things

This summer is shaping up to be a very exciting one - lots of gigs, spending time with friends, sitting in the sun, and work to pay for those things.
I'm going to :
Animal Collective in Auckland
Christmas with my family in Palmerston North
New Years with friends in Wellington
Ponytail and Telepathe in Wellington
Campus A Low Hum in Bulls
Laneways in Auckland
Adventures around Christchurch
Escapades around the South Island

What are your plans for summer?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The First Day of December

Recent Book Reviews, in the style.

Everything a Teenage Boy Should Know, by Dr John F. Knight
This was an interesting book, wasn't it? Indeed, a sort of conversation between a doctor and a teenage boy. Naturally, the doctor dispenses advice that a young man should know. A little outdated, don't you think? Yes, things have changed since 1980. Homosexuality is no longer seen as a disease of the mind for starters. Still an entertaining read though.

You Shall Know Our Velocity, by Dave Eggers
A story that starts on the title page, full on at you. Will and Hand try to rid themselves of a sum of money, by traveling to obscure, poor countries, and seeing the life, real, on the ground. Stories of interaction, anguish of loss, and the experience gained. This is modern American literature, to rock you like a hurricane.

Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw
Higgins: The Devil! I'd never have thought a play about phonetics so enjoyable.
Liza: Oo-er syr, dun yew tall lyke that!
Higgins: (easing) Oh girl, don't be so uppity. And please use your tongue in a more intelligible manner. Characters change in this story. Except me.
Liza: Stey as yew migh syr. A digh'nafyed tale

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