Entries Tagged 'Random thoughts' ↓

If someone ate your cookies?!

Saw this posted on Twitter recently and thought it was quite a funny story. Pokes at the English a bit too! (Looks like this is posted on some discussion site somewhere, not sure where or why, the person who posted it on Twitter posted just this image.) You can click to make it bigger if the text is too small …


3 amazing things about yourself

Saw this on Twitter. If someone asked you to do this, could you?

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My friends, what are your 3 amazing things … about yourself?

We can easily find amazing things about other people we know and love but not so easy when it comes to ourselves. I couldn’t do it!

Excuse the swearing but life IS too short to worry about some stuff

An interesting take on resolutions! I like the idea of finding stuff to just stop worrying about!! Half the time it’s all stuff that makes you fit into society – but as long as you’re not hurting anybody, you should live life how you want to.

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Breaking up with the hairdresser

You might already find it sickly sweet that The Mister and I live together and work together. It so happens that in San Francisco we went to the same place for haircuts and the face lady. We’d been going there about 18 months before they realized we were married – “Oh Craig is your husband? He’s tall dark and slender?” Hell yes!

So I told my face lady about the move to New York on our second to last appointment – it was news since I saw her last so a natural topic of conversation. She asked if The Mister’s hair lady knew … I said I doubted it. Well, that caused some ructions – on his next visit his hair lady was standing with eyebrows raised at her chair waiting for him to sit down, staring at him in the mirror … mouth held firmly in a line: “So, any news??”

He didn’t want to say anything until the last appointment it seems. His hand was forced. Which made me think I don’t want to be on the receiving end of breaking up with him – seems while I’m willing to discuss it, months in advance and make it a sad but exciting and understandable event, he wants to wait to the last minute, rip the bandaid off by breaking the news, never to return!!

(On the other hand, I haven’t told my hair man and I’ve already left town. Mind you’d I’d only seen him twice, months and months apart, whereas The Mister is a regular in his hair lady’s life.)

Summer in New York

We’re in the middle of our first summer in New York. Some observations:

  • I’ve worn jandals everyday for as long as I can remember. Undoubtedly really bad for my feet, they seem to have spread and I’m worried about putting closed shoes on a gain, but for now they’re comfortable. Tried to be a lady and wear sandals one day but omg the swelling left lashing marks and made the cankels look worse. Old lady feet.
  • People eat outside. Everyone’s going on about roof-top bars and how they got entry to some hotel pool.
  • Subway stations are even hotter, buses and trains are really cold inside.
  • It’s hot. So frickin hot. Like I cannot describe hot. When you first step outside of an air-conditioned building there’s that little tingly thrill of warmth, like feeling the sun in winter, but by the time you’ve walked half a block your skin has taken on a sticky sheen. Breathing is difficult. And if the sun comes out it’s blistering. not blistering burning like NZ but it’s like the air is hot. If you’re outside there’s no way to get away from it. We’ve picked a route for the part of our journey to work that we have to walk that is a little longer outside but goes under scaffolding and down streets where the buildings shelter from the sun. When we wait to cross the road we stand in a line trying to keep as much of our bodies in the shadow a lamp post as possible. People who’ve not lived here for a decent amount of time look wretched and uncomfortable, local still walk with purpose.
  • Dresses, meh, tried to wear one to keep cool and be like all the other girls but what they don’t tell you is that you get clammy and sweaty under your butt cheeks and where your legs rub together – it’s more uncomfortable than wearing jeans and hard to walk in a ladylike manner!
  • Electricity bill will be monstrous. You worry about the air-conditioning going on the blink.
  • People drink iced coffee. I think we’re still the only ones getting cappuccinos.
  • Air-conditions drip from above.


Finding the right checkbox for me

Tsk tsk KEA NZ … I’m all for supporting my home country of New Zealand in finding out where those of us living overseas are and what we’re doing with our lives after our great start in New Zealand so will happily fill out an online census-type survey like the one from KEA (Kiwi Expats Abroad) that landed in my inbox a couple days ago. But I think there’s a very relevant check box missing on this form …

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… I don’t really consider myself young any more, however the only ‘older couple’ check box assumes you have kids. I know I don’t like being put in society’s boxes but I’m so proud of us being a country that supports gay marriage, how about being one that supports ‘older couple no kids’. It’s not a taboo subject – there’s not always something wrong that we can’t discuss – sometimes it’s a choice.

Blog thoughts

My blog has basically been on hiatus for 4 months. Obvious. I had a major catch-up on work over the quiet Christmas/New Year holiday period which meant that my head cleared a little and my mind wandered to think about things I normally push aside, usually when I’m ass-up scrubbing out the bath and can’t write it down, but never-the-less, I’m thinking! During that time I thought about this blog. What it’s for, what did I want it to be for, what it could be for, or is it time to let it go? There are millions of blogs out there, something for everyone, so if I’m not getting what I want out of mine then maybe there needs to be some changes. I’m not sure I like it how it is so stopped writing until I figured a few things out. Some points in no particular order.

  • I’ve been blogging for almost 9 years.
  • I already had orangethings.com as a site dedicated to photos of orange things, I wanted to write about orange things to go with the photos. In fact my first 2 posts were about something orange I saw.
  • Twitter didn’t exist back then so for my own amusement it was a place to put little things that popped into my head … like the time I saw potatoes in the gutter on the way to work, or invented a new phrase ‘scone horrors’ after getting that post-scone dry mouth feeling on Sunday after Sunday after Sunday at Nikau or received good or bad service somewhere.
  • I never wanted anyone to see my blog when I first started it. I definitely started it for ME. A place to keep an almost-journal, nothing particularly private but somewhere to write anything I wanted that I wouldn’t be judged for. I was really nervous when it first went live and I got The Mister to hide it. It stayed that way, undiscovered by search engines and no comments allowed for 3 years.
  • I had a terrible time at work around the time I started blogging – hard to describe but in the simplest terms it was a period of being bullied by someone in authority – to the point I was sick to my stomach, a nervous wreck, paranoid about everything, not eating much … the doctor gave me pills and a ticket to see a shrink and it’s one of the few times I’ve let my guard down and let my parents see in. I couldn’t blog about that although I so desperately needed an outlet. I wrote it somewhere else and that’s since been destroyed, perhaps out of embarrassment or perhaps some ridiculous need to protect the people involved. Looking back I wish I’d kept it, published it, if others are in the same situation they need to see they’re not a freak and don’t need to feel trapped.
  • When we lived in New York briefly a couple years back I started writing coffee reviews – as an anchor for exploring the city I was on a mission to find coffee like the great stuff we had in Wellington. Armed with a list of independent roasters and cafes we explored many and I really enjoyed writing about them. Then I got a buzz out of people recommending me as someone who knew about coffee in New York, then other places, and I often get tweets from people I don’t know asking where to get good coffee.
  • I still want my blog for me. But I’m conflicted. I want to write whatever I observe or feel like ranting about, and often fantasize about my observations being commented on or tweeted. But too many people I know read my blog. I’m worried about being judged, being naiive, or sharing too much personal information. How can I be noticed and private at the same time?
  • I realized (again) that I don’t really have any interests or hobbies. I never know whether I’m sad about this or don’t care. People ask me what I do for fun, or outside of work. Hmmm, nothing worth writing about. But wait, I do. Coffee, knitting, travel. I can hear in my head voices telling me it’s not good to just be about work. That I should make more friends and get a hobby.
  • I never have time to blog, I have a very VERY full -time job. I think I’m a good writer when I put my mind to it but lately it’s slipped into a perfunctory travel diary to keep the family updated. I don’t want it to be a diary (although I do like reading back, to remember what we were doing at certain points in time).
  • My job is very public and the connection between my public profile and my personal profile has been made. Not on the levels of those with fame but certainly blogging as an outlet for work purposes is off the table and even airing personal stuff is probably inappropriate.
  • Thinking about the blogs I like to read, they’re real accounts of people’s lives and what they’re doing in their jobs but often a glimpse of a life that’s fairytale-ish – perhaps they’re really successful or leading in something and have the kind of life that I think I’d love to have.
  • I went to a blogging workshop in Portland recently which was a nice escape and a chance to hear from 3 women who’ve been blogging for a while and meet a whole lot of others who blog. There was nothing earth-shattering that I didn’t already know. It was interesting to get comments about my blog from the professionals – that it’s not very personal, it’s factual and accurate (SO interesting, seems I am hiding who I am from strangers because I feel like it is all about me!). The message is to write as an outlet, think about what you want your blog to be, what you want it to be about and write.

There’s something somewhere I read about there being millions of voices and millions of blogs out there, lots of them about the same thing, but that your own blog is the only one in your own voice. So maybe that’s it, doesn’t matter what you write about whether light-hearted, personal, factual, recipes, reviews, rants or dreams, stop worrying about it being unique or offending readers, just write from you.

New holiday traditions

Having a couple of Christmases away from my home country of New Zealand has meant a break from tradition and doing our own thing. I was talking to someone from New Zealand recently, trying to answer the ‘how’s it going in San Francisco?’ question and he was surprised when I said we weren’t homesick. I know we’ve left parents, family, friends and colleagues behind in New Zealand but we don’t have heartache and pining for anything – that’s not supposed to sound cruel or selfish, it’s just the way it is. Perhaps I’m at the exact right point in my life to have a break from everything ‘normal’ and everything society expects of me and what I expect of myself that this is somewhat of a fresh start and I’m trying not to constantly compare it to what I’ve always done.

Mother emailed me recently and reported that the Orange Niece had said that Christmas just wasn’t the same without us, and I looked at the family photos of Christmas and summer activities that are so familiar to me. I didn’t feel sad that we weren’t there. I actually really liked the traditions that The Mister and I have started for our own family. Christmas cannot easily be escaped in the States; shops, streets, TV, homes, work places are full of decorations, holiday flavors (oh yeah the Staryucks peppermint candy sprinkle magic mocha holiday ‘coffee’), holiday activities, work parties, cards, trees, music, cooking, holiday orders, gifts – it’s on steroids and we love to bask in all of that but it’s a kind of surreal winter wonderland (even though there’s no snow here) rather than something that makes us homesick for sand and sun burn in the bed on summer nights.

It’s not the time of year here where the office shuts down and everyone goes on holiday but for me, especially this year, it was a liberating time to catch up on some work I was way behind which in turn helped with the sleepless nights and allowed me enjoy some guilt-free couch time and time wandering around in the Christmas wonderland with no strings attached. We had 2 3-day weekends in a row and it was heaven! I don’t know yet if we have a new tradition set in stone and just because it’s just the 2 of us cooking on Christmas Eve and dining with champagne, and going to the movies and having a coffee afternoon tea party and a heat-up dinner on the couch on Christmas Day and just basking in just-the-two of us doesn’t mean it’s any less of a tradition than dinner sets and extended family and too many gifts for the sake of it and church and games and turkey comas and drunken New Year’s Eve parties in tiny dresses.

I did feel a pang of sadness when I realized I didn’t feel in the mood to do Christmas baking, for years and years I’ve made my own Christmas cake or fruit mince for pies because I love having Christmas baking in the house when people come over … then I realized it had actually been years since anyone actually came over … and right on time a box with a lump of Mother’s 2012 Christmas cake arrived, perhaps that can join the tradition. It was a great holiday season and I’m happy to just let Christmas be whatever it is.

Tax return

After the unexpected shock of having to pay tax on our income to the Tax Controller of California this year … even though we only earned here for 6 months the tax we’re supposed to have paid takes into account our worldwide income for the year so that’s tax on what we earned last year in New Zealand before moving here … I got a refund check in the mail. $1.52. Huh? Accompanying the check was all this parephenalia about reducing paper – so why send a check for $1.52? The preparation, postage and time taken to organize the check (mind you it looked automated) then the banking and processing of it at this end, let alone the bank reconciliation the State will have to do on the checks they’ve issued, will cost way more than $1.52. Perhaps there should be some initiative to allow a donation to a State charity for amounts owed or owing under a couple of dollars. I’m sure there are staunch people who need back every cent the damn Government has taken from them as a matter of principle, but perhaps a choice where the amount is miniscule and probably due to a number transcription on the 45 page tax return is a good option!

Why I wear t-shirts

Everyone knows I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. Why? Because they’re practical. Sure, I don’t have kids or pets or a crazy physical job, spend a lot of time outdoors or rush anywhere. But I have a life, albeit ordinary, that doesn’t have room for accommodating clothes that get in the way. In my t-shirt I can go about my life and do normal things like unpack the dishwasher, make coffee, load and unload the washer, swiffer the floor, clean my teeth, lug a shoulder bag with a laptop in it, button my jacket, carry shopping, fossick around in the storage box under my desk looking for batteries for my wireless mouse without worrying about buttons catching or coming undone, billowy sleeves catching on door handles, necklaces, frills, folds, drapes, ties or flounces getting dripped on or dragged across an unfriendly surface, catching on zippers or blowing into my face, or one hand being unavailable because it’s busy holding something shut or down or out of the road, or drycleaning!

Do fashion designers think about women’s lives when they’re designing clothes? I know it’s an art form and I don’t know enough about fashion to truly appreciate the skill or reason something looks or falls or drapes or the message it sends and some non-t-shirt things do look awfully pretty but not many of us stand still like the ladies in magazines or walk sedately down an indoor catwalk. Whoever designs and makes this stuff needs to try the clothes on and do a few normal girl things in them.

Take this new shirt, not a t-shirt that I got recently. Pretty huh?

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But I don’t stand there like that, pouting. And it seems that is was what was intended for this shirt. The damn buttons pop open the minute you try to do anything with your arms! This shirt, worn by a woman on an ordinary day, one with a fairly sedate life should be able to stand up to her moving her arms to open a door, do something with her hair, bend up and down to deal with a bag or go to the loo or put on a jacket without the buttons popping open! Seriously! Even my generous chest is not putting the buttons under any undue strain so that’s not it. And it’s not that the shirt is unfit for the purpose intended. I didn’t buy it at a store called ‘Catwalk Dreams’ or ‘For Standing In Only’, I bought it at Banana Republic, surely an everyday woman’s store if ever there was one? This shirt was obviously designed to be worn by a board that stands there! Good grief – let’s actually TRY out our products people!

Don’t get me started on shoes.