Friday, March 27, 2015

Well...For Goodness Sake

I didn't write anything last night because for the last two weeks, my page views have gone down from the 100's to almost nothing and I got the pip. Yes, this is me being vindictive. So then I get to work and find that 40 people have viewed me before 8am. I mean I know I had to get up at 5am for stupid boot camp but what's your excuse, person from Guadeloupe? And where is that?

So now I'm feeling guilty and have to scramble to write something. Does everyone agree that the paragraph above is sufficient? Good, then let's move on.  A little more consistency, please people.  And donations.  Which almost sounds like donuts.  Which I will also take.

On another note, I had an interesting phone conversation with someone at work that I've never spoken to before.  We had a phone meeting scheduled and as soon as I started to talk, I could tell that my accent had thrown them for a loop.  Or it's possible they weren't understanding what I was saying about technology.  I mean I Googled it but I was bit shaky on the details and legitimacy of my points.  Pressed on anyway, say anything with conviction and a foreign accent and people will buy it.

Them: Are you from Australia?
Me: No, the other one
Them: Oh, South Africa.
Me: No, the other other one.
Them: Ahh, got it.  England.
Me: No, the other other other one that is apparently a big secret and yet to be discovered.
Them: You don't sound Irish to me, is it Wales?
Me: Yes.  Sigh...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Where Did Everyone Go?

I think the majority of my readers must be between 21 and 27 and they are all on Spring Break in Cancun and Cabo. That would explain my low number of page views. There can be no other reason. And really it's not a very good excuse, Mexico has the internet. And I think they'll find that I am equally as exciting as hot girls taking off their tops and alcohol. I can't tell you how many times I've had someone tell me that. Almost one at last count.

We didn't have the Spring Break ritual of going to some exotic location and behaving badly in New Zealand. When we were at University, we just behaved badly all the time. It's a lot cheaper. And we didn't have the internet* so nothing was immortalized forever on YouTube or Instagram.  Also, you can go across New Zealand or up and down New Zealand to get away but that's about it.  We are in the middle of the ocean, miles from anywhere...exotic meant Taihape, the Gumboot Capital of the World

For the record, these are some things that may or may not have happened on the "New Zealand Year Long Spring Break for Four Years"
  • Getting fined for peeing outside the dorms.  I know - as I write this, I wonder why it seemed like a good idea when we were so close to the inside toilet....
  • Setting off fire alarms - this still seems like a good idea.  What with firemen and all...
  • Throwing pickles at the windows on hamburger night in the cafeteria - first pickle to slide down to the floor wins!
  • Throwing mashed potatoes...that didn't work as well.  That was a bad idea.
  • Tufataring!  Can find no record of this on the internet so suspect the practice was stopped or there is some other way of spelling it.  Basically, get drunk, stand in a circle with your girlfriends, chant "tu fa ta, tu fa ta, tu fa tata" and take your top off.  It's the New Zealand version of Girls Gone Wild. Pretty sure I got as far as my singlet one time.  Important to always keep your chest warm with a nice woolen singlet.  Drives the men not at all wild.
  • Practice your vomiting styles - the helicopter, the pelican - with the ultimate goal of being awarded the Chunder King/Queen title.  A very esteemed honor...
See?  All good wholesome fun and no need for a tropical location with pool and people getting all fancy with their looks.

*Well I did because I am very young, but my friends didn't, because they are old.

Monday, March 23, 2015

What I Saw On My Walk Today...

I have a habit of taking a walk on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I walk for about 6 miles around my neighborhood and yesterday I decided to walk to my storage unit- a round trip of 7.6 miles - and get some of my cushions to change up my place a bit. I walked through my neighborhood which is very Jewish, into the bottom part of Koreatown and ended up in a Peruvian/Ecuadorian community where I discovered that my cushions had been stolen from my storage unit. Luckily, I found them under my bed when I got home. Clearly the thieves changed their minds and decided to return them.  All in all a very culturally diverse trek.

Along the way, I saw a lot of interesting things - a lot of last night's dinner on the sidewalk in Koreatown. I didn't take pictures. I also had a carful of boy racers do a u-turn so they could pull up alongside and all blow me kisses. So that was nice. Scary but nice.

Toda House - where you go for all kinds of barbeque meats...
An unfortunate signage error at Toda House.  Unless they are also now barbequing Toads.
You cannot buy cocaine or heroin here.  Only ethical drugs.

Baby Shower and Birthday Party at the park.  I stopped in for a bit. 
I'm at a loss as to what this is.  Is it an alternative way to spell "Sticks"?  Even if it is, what are Mural Sticks?  And are they clever or are they smart as in somewhat dapper looking?  Please, someone enlighten me.  I gotta get some Mural Stix for my house.
In order to make it blend in with the wall decor, the barbed wire has also been spray painted a cheery sunshiney yellow.
Just gonna drag this couch home.  4 miles to go...

#Datenightcouch.  "Hey Baby - wanna get a pizza tonight and cuddle on the couch?"
Urban cow.  Spied him wandering about the yard...

Delicious round balls of something.
Toilet planter.  Next to the car planter.  S*&% is growing wild.  See how I made a clever toilet humor pun?

Pretty sure this is Santa and the plants have eaten him...Christmas is cancelled.
99 cents?  I'll have 50.
Mural depicting life in Los Angeles.  Seems very accurate.  Back in a minute, just going to park my donkey.
Mural depicting...umm.

Pigeon Repository
Pigeon Depository

Lone pine cone just waiting for his friends to fall off the tree.
Illicit photo of the Wilshire Country Club Golf Course.  Have not yet been invited to be a member, possibly they don't know how famous I am and how financially successful my blog is...

Very artistic photo of banana palm flower and baby bananas.  These people are growing them in their yard.  I'll come harvest them when they get a bit bigger.  Probably at night time...
And back home again.  With my turtles.  Albert loves turtles
Thinking of making my Sunday walks a regular Monday morning feature.  Except for the times when I just walk to the bottom of my street.  Which takes two minutes.  Those posts  might be a bit shorter...

Friday, March 20, 2015

Last Person On Earth

Some of you may have seen the new show "Last Man On Earth"? Basically after a disease wipes out all humans (and apparently animals since I haven't seen any on the show), only one man is left.  It's a pretty interesting concept and started me thinking about all the things I would do and then all the limitations I would face due to the fact that while I am a master survivalist in a Zombie Apocalypse, I have no clue what to do without water and electricity.  I would:
  1. Eat all the sugar* in the world because it wouldn't matter what I looked like nor would there be any doctors to treat me of all my terrible sugary ailments
  2. Go to all the department stores and shop up a storm.  Ball gowns, cocktail dresses, designer shoes, you name it - I'm getting it and loading it in one of my fleet of fancy cars.  On second thoughts, better move this to the top of the list, after I make a sugar baby in my belly, I'm not going be able to fit anything.
  3. Find the most ridiculously amazing house in Los Angeles and move in.  Since there won't be a pool boy, I'm going to need to maximize my pool usage because pretty soon, it won't be pretty and moving houses is not going to solve the problem.
  4. Never vacuum, dust or mop again.
  5. Never do laundry again
  6. Visit all the famous attractions in America - no more standing in lines for me.  Disneyland might be a bit tame if I can't turn the rides on...
  7. Probably walk around naked to see what it's like.
  8. Wander in and out of people's houses, "borrowing" stuff I like.
  9. Stockpile food - possibly should have thought of this first.  Maybe even start a veggie garden.  Yes, I think we all know it's going to die. I am where plants go to die.
  10. Drive all over the roads in any direction I feel like.  Sort of how Californian's drive now.
And then there are the issues:
  1. Pretty sure I will need a generator since no one will be maintaining the electrical plants.  Pretty sure I don't know what a generator looks like.  
  2. Pretty sure I will need to stockpile water and not just for drinking - flushing the toilet is going to be a thing of the past since no one is manning the sanitation or water plants either.  I will build some sort of rain catching device, most likely called a bucket.  If things get really bad with the LA drought, I may have to move to Seattle or Portland for the Winter.
  3. There will be no vacations unless I learn how to fly or man a cruise ship.  Only road trips.  
  4. I am going to have to join a library.  And hope that there are books on how to make electricity, sanitize water, fly a plane, steer a boat and treat myself for diabetes.
  5. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are going to be boring.  I'll have to create a bunch of different profiles to keep myself amused.  On second thoughts, would the internet disappear?  Back to the library...
 *In case anyone is tracking, today I celebrate 66 days sugar-free which was my goal based on a report that said it takes 66 days to break a habit. For the record, Science is wrong. I think it's going to take 666 years for this to take root...if you want to congratulate me, feel free to send a gift basket of sugary treats.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

St Paddy's Day - Yesterday

Now that I am being time efficient* and not writing on Tuesdays, I missed out on writing the exciting post I had for you all on St Patrick's Day. It was going to be pretty awesome. But I guess you'll never know. So instead I'm doing the poor man's St Patrick Day and since everyone but me is hung over and won't read this anyway, I'm pretty sure I just dodged a bullet.

Here's a brilliant** Irish Limerick to commemorate the occasion:

"I can't have any sugar and all I want is a green cupcake.This no-sugar thing is bullshit"

Can you feel the rhyming cadence just lilting from one sentence to the next?  Sign of a successful limerick. I would finish the second and third verses but I'm too weak from lack of sugar and they're not very celebratory. They are however full of piss and vinegar which apparently came from a John Steinbeck novel and he was American. So, safe to say with the exception of the word "green", there is nothing Irish about this post. 

Operation St Paddy's Day: Level Plobaireacht***

**Composed in the shower this morning so you know it's genius. Nothing bad comes out of the shower.
***When you’re crying and trying to speak at the same time but can’t make yourself clear, that’s plobaireacht. Probably because you couldn't have a cupcake

Monday, March 16, 2015

All I Have Ever Wanted... to be on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Well, also I wanted a new car, a lot of fancy jewellery, a never-ending Nordstrom gift card and magical powers. Never a pony though. All those books and girls and their horses - a lot of use of the phrase "mucking out the stables" put me off. I'm not really a "mucking out" kind of a girl. I don't like strong smells. Or hard work. I'm the kid whose mother paid her to go along to the tip but on the condition that I not have to get out, could wear a scarf over my nose and make vomity sounds until we left...

And I don't really want to be on Ellen, well I do but I want a stunt double. I'm not big on people looking at me. You know those businesses have silent partners (probably drug dealers but I don't like to judge. Much). I would like to be a silent celebrity.  I'm not sure what I will do that will make Ellen want me to be on her show.  I've watched a lot of episodes and I've never seen anyone on there who hasn't done something extraordinary either due to their entertainment talent or for saving lives.  I mean there was that time I drove through the pouring rain to get Albert and his falling out eye to the cat eye doctor.  And then paid for it.  I think it's going to have to be something more though.  It's possible that my mathematical ability would do the trick and maybe she ask me to do fractions in the blink of an eye.  I hope she demonstrates with cake - not sure I can do fractions without cutting halves of cakes and eating them.  Anyway, it's not important right now, the important thing is that if anyone out there has any connections to the Ellen Show, if you help me get on, I promise that I would drive you across LA in rush hour traffic to the special person eye doctor if your eye ever fell out.  And you don't get an offer like that every day.

I'm pretty sure me on Ellen would go a lot like this.  First of all, I will do the interview from behind a curtain*, I really think I'll be a lot more comfortable with no one looking at me.

Me to Ellen: I can't believe I'm on the Ellen Show.   Can you?  Well, yes you probably can since you invited me here.  Well maybe not you exactly but the person that finds the people to come on and then the person that contacts them and then maybe the producer and probably the person who I drove across LA in rush hour traffic to the special person eye doctor when their eye fell out.  You may not know the story but I drove whilst holding their eye and singing along on the radio to distract them from the fact that their eye had fallen out and was in my hand.  I sang Eye of The Tiger** which in retrospect was probably a little insensitive.  That would have been a good one for Albert too - although he's more like "Eye of the Panther".

We would probably have some general chit chat about the amazing things/talents etc that I have and have done which is why I'm on the talk show rounds.  I just extended this to Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon.  I'll keep it small, I don't want to outstay my welcome with my 15 minutes of silent celebrity.

Then I'd get up and dance with her, you know Ellen likes to dance.  Michelle Obama just danced with her.  Everyone who's anyone dances with Ellen.  Except me, because I've just remembered I'll be behind my curtain.  Maybe I could do one of those sexy silhouette dances with just the outline of my body showing people how it's done.***

And we'll wrap it up with one of those free giveaway things.  I don't know if Ellen does the old Oprah trick of "everyone look under your chair!" but she will on my segment and everyone will get a surprise fancy paper goodie bag filled with two 100lb kettle bells (fitness is important), a Dyson vacuum cleaner (I really want one to see if they're as good as they say), a whole cake, a wig with your choice of hair color, some cheese and crackers and these super cool things that I just saw on As Seen On TV so you know they work.

Protect yourself from deadly farts with “the same fabric used by the military to protect against chemical weapons.”
 And a little something for the ladies to take home to their golfing husbands...
Just unscrew the cap of the fake golf club, clip the privacy towel on (this is key) and let 'er rip.  Then go on with the game as if nothing had happened being sure not to use the wrong club for your next shot...
And as a surprise bonus - one lucky person is just going to find one thing in their super fancy paper goodie giveaway bag.  That's right - Albert.

This is going to be great.

*Hopefully with sequins.  I mean I want my curtain to look good and make a nice impression.
**Which is probably about a one eyed Tiger since it's not called Eyes of the Tiger.
***I think we all know this is not going to happen.  It will be the first time the dancing segment is eliminated from the Ellen DeGeneres Show.  And then next week she will have me back again to talk about that. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Best Camping Trip. Ever.

Hot on the heels of my last post, I remember one of the best camping trips ever. Even better than that time when we thought it was a good idea to take a keg camping with us. It was a good idea. But unfortunately we under-estimated how much was in a keg and had to drive back into civilization for more beer the next night. Next time, we'll take two...

Back when I was young and reckless. Yesterday. I went camping with two of my friends. I was driving home last night and the radio was having a tribute to Pearl Jam and it reminded me of our camping trip. I feel like I need to apologize because I said I hated Pearl Jam at the beginning and my friend (who we will call Schmook) was only allowed to play the CD once a day. Pretty sure I said that without even listening to it - which quite honestly doesn't sound like me, I would never be that contrary, maybe I am thinking of my other friend who we'll call, Schmiv. Schmiv, you should probably apologize.

Some of the highlights - the most awful damper* ever cooked on sticks that were too flimsy to work. But I admire our thought process: find sticks, use pocket knife to strip off bark, end up with twig instead of stick. Wrap damper around stick, hold over fire, watch stick bend precariously with the weight of the damper. Pick up damper out of the fire. Repeat. Pretty sure our recipe involved flour and water so to make it a little more palatable, we dipped it in hippie chocolate bought at the hippie store in a place called Colville which is where the road ended. Not that we let that bother us.  

Totally recommend taking a tiny Daihatsu off-roading
I know I'm in the middle of the highlights but I do think it's an appropriate time to call out Schmook for her Girl Guide skills or lack thereof (possibly she was only ever a Brownie and never graduated to Girl Guide?) Or was it your Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) certification that was supposed to make us feel comfortable about heading into the wilderness with you? Either way, we could have been eaten by bears that aren't even found in New Zealand and all you would have done is wave your damper twig (minus the damper since that fell into the fire long ago) in an effort to frighten him away.  I would have made a run for the Daihatsu personally and put on some Pearl Jam...think that pretty much qualifies me as a DofE.  Probably time for an apology, Schmook? 

But back to the highlights.  Nothing like just the three of you being in a one man tent while a thunder and lightning storm rages around you, taking turns sleeping on the ground since the air mattress didn't fit three.  Not sure that it fitted two either but we all held our stomachs in, didn't breathe or move and made it work.  Kiwi spirit right there.  We even invented a thing called "hang the torch (flashlight) from the roof of the tent".  Basically it involved hanging the torch from the roof of the tent.  It distracted us from the surrounding flooding and loss of the rain fly which quite frankly wasn't really doing its job.
Memory gets bit vague here possibly because this is the part where we ended up in a dodgy pub?  Feel certain that we made friends with all the locals, danced on tables, sheared some sheep - you know, the usual.

Those were the days - Schmook, driving us off into the bush in her Daihatsu, to be potentially killed by freak camping accident, arm out the window, ciggie in hand.  Schmiz stuck in the back seat, stuffed under the camping equipment.  Me looking cool.  Singing along to Jeremy.  Badly.

*Look, I'm including a recipe of Damper like all those successful cooking/Lifestyle blogs. I'm just like them but without the cooking and success. Lots of lifestyle though. Not good lifestyle but lots of it and you know what they say - quantity over quality. Or something similar.

450 grams (3 cups) flour, self-raising
¼ teaspoon salt
180ml (6 fl oz) milk - if the mixture is too dry, add a little more milk
1 teaspoon sugar, caster (sugar, granulated)
80 grams (1/3 cup) butter, chilled
extra flour as needed

Mix the flour, salt and sugar together into a bowl.
Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
Add milk slowly and mix to form a soft dough.
Knead lightly on a floured board until smooth. Shape into a round loaf, brush with milk and cut a cross in the top surface of the dough.

. . . For campfire cooking
Grease the camp oven (Dutch oven) and dust with flour. Add bread dough and cover.
Place in your campfire, cover with hot ashes and coals and bake for about 30 minutes.

Note: this is not how we did it. I blame the others for (a) not having a Dutch oven and (b) not bringing the Dutch oven that we didn't have with us. We used more of a Kiwi's a little less sophisticated.

This is what successful damper looks like.  They probably cheated and cooked it in an oven.  Fake campers...