KBlogger test

Ok, so I managed to crash KBlogger... I was just saying that it looked better than Drivel, but we'll see. Mental note for future, do not use the refresh button under "other categories".

Yayyyyy it rebooted and didn't crash! I am so happy. For now. Haha.
I could just cry sometimes. This is about install 10 of Ubuntu on my netbook. I seem to have finally worked out how to stabilise it, but I'm about to reboot. I hope like hell it reboots. If it doesn't, I might have to be taken out of here in a straight jacket.

There is a light… and it’s not an oncoming train

Had a much better sleep last night, despite yesterday being the worst day of my cold. Between Tuesday evening and Wednesday evening, I used a box and a half of tissues. That’s about 120 tissues. Gah. Then, last night when I lay on the couch, I only used a couple. Once I slept, I woke up only to roll over and I didn’t need to use any tissues at all during the night. Yay.

So, despite flatmates doing their morning routines (and one needing to turn the lights on in the living room so he could iron is shirt), I slept until about 10.30am. I feel somewhat caught up on the sleep I didn’t get the night before now.

Now that I’m up and about, though, my nose is runny and my chest is sore. Still, I feel a million times better than I did yesterday.

When I get back from my meeting I might even do something about the house. It’s been neglected and it’s messy.

Restless night

Didn’t sleep too well last night. I’ve been fighting off a cold since Thursday last week. On Monday my throat was so sore I could barely breathe, but it was better by the evening and I went dancing. I even slept better than I had on Sunday night. Yesterday I spent the day at the library working, had the sniffles and a tickly cough, but nothing too bad. Thought I might be getting better.

Foolish, foolish me.

Last night I was feeling worse again. Took some medication, but decided to sleep out on the couch. That way I feel better because I can toss and turn to my heart’s content and I know I’m not disturbing anyone, and my husband gets an undisturbed night of sleep. Except that I hardly slept. I kept having to blow my nose, cough, blow my nose… And I was also fending off the cat, who seemed determined to sleep on my feet. At one point I woke up and I’d obviously propped my legs up on the end of the couch to give the cat room. Unfortunately, this meant that I was sleeping this way for who knows how long (the first bout of sleep that night!) and my knees felt the strain of the position (ankles suspended while lying on back). I kicked the cat off (again) and slept on my side, knees drawn up to try and alleviate the pain. Left knee still hurts. Stupid cat.

So now I’m sitting at home in my sleeping bag, cat curled at my side, waiting for the plumber who is supposed to turn up this morning. It’s nearly quarter past 11. If he doesn’t turn up before noon I’m going out. I need tissues. I need honey. I need more cold and flu meds.

Stupid plumber.

Stupid cat.

Stupid cold.


I’m reading an article right now by Stephen Downes called “How to be successful”. I got to it while looking up things at the NZ Curriculum website. Anyway, it caught my attention. There are a lot of things in there that get me thinking.

I like this idea, though, perhaps to use in a classroom one day. Saying affirmations. I know it seems pretty lame at first, but I think by saying affirmations with a class every morning, it could help boost the confidence and self-worth of some of the more reserved students.

So I’m looking for ideas of what could go into these affirmations. Here is my start…

I am cool. I am smart. I am strong. I am good. I am worthy.

Gah, I did have more ideas, but the LJ page took so long to load, and then this silly program took so long to load, that the ideas have slipped out of my mind again.


To be honest, I totally forgot about my Dreamwidth account. Until right now, when I received an email saying I’d been given two Dreamwidth codes. So, if anyone wants some Dreamwidth codes so you can sign up and see what it’s about, just leave a message here. First in best dressed.

Dry patch

I seem to be going through a little photography dry patch, which is sad since it's photography month. Oh, damn, I knew there was something I wanted to do on Tuesday night! *grumbles* I spent all Tuesday night thinking I needed to be somewhere... there was a gallery tour! Grrrr.

Anyhow, back on track. It's photography month, and I'm going to participate a little. I'm going to dust off my poor neglected Olympus and enter a competition. My problem is the early rising. The competition runs on Saturday, midnight to midnight. I'm leaving for Whangarei first thing Saturday morning, so I'm going to rise up early, drive to Northcote Point and snap off some shots of pre-dawn and the sun rising. It's just so beautiful there. Then I'm going to drive north.

What this means is that there might be some photos coming your way!

On another side note: it's so damn bloody cold here right now. And I don't have nearly enough work. I got all excited when I got a call this morning, thinking that someone needed me to come in and do some relief teaching, but alas no. Just my agency checking what days I'd be available next week. It was not the nicest way to get out of bed, though. We don't get very good cellphone reception down in our valley, but I have one of the house landline phones right by my side of the bed. Instead of calling the landline (and thus enabling me to stay in bed while talking), they called my cellphone (thus making me leap out of bed, run upstairs, and OUT THE FRONT DOOR to answer it). While this impressed my breakfasting flatmates with my dedication, it only served to make me cold and annoyed.

Learning languages

Stuart posted a link to this website, Livemocha.com, on the MoodleSchool site we’re working on. I thought it sounded fun and followed the link. I have to say, I really enjoy this way of learning a new language. I get to hear it, see it, and interact with it. I get quick feedback from native speakers of the language. It’s awesome. If you’ve ever wanted to learn another language, go look! It’s free, too!

I brought my car in first thing this morning to get its WOF done. I then spent the day bussing from one place to another. Visited Katja and Bruno, they made me lunch (yum), then my sister picked me up to go to her place. Got there at 3pm, looked up on Maxx to see when I needed to catch a bus to get back to Beach Haven by 5pm and discovered I had to leave at 3.15pm. Damn. So a few minutes later I left my sister’s place and ended up getting all the way to Beach Haven by 4.15, picked up my car and got home by 4.30. Maxx is usually good, but they majorly sucked for planning my route today. I could have stayed at my sister’s place a little longer, even if only another 15 or 20 minutes.

Got work tomorrow, hoorah! I hope the teacher has left me something, but if they haven’t then I’m going armed with some stuff for the kids to do. It’s always hard going to a new school because you don’t know anything – bell times, routines, planning format etc. I’ll make sure I get there in plenty of time tomorrow.

Tomorrow evening I’m babysitting (or child-sitting, as he prefers it called) my nephew for a few hours. I have to try and get some work done during that time, but I’m not sure if I can get on the Internet at their place. Might get Geoff to set up the wireless on my computer when he gets home so that next time I’m around there I can work. Will be child-sitting every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday until further notice.

Bridge walk

I did the bridge walk with my nephew today. We turned up at Pt Erin and the organiser said specifically, “We are not going to force our way onto the bridge. We will abide by the decisions of the LTSA and the police.”

The LTSA said no. We were making our way back to the footpath when a cheer went up. We were told to go to the motorway onramp. I thought they’d changed their minds. Then I see that there are some cyclists on the motorway. I assumed (correctly) that they’d forced their way on. We continued moving and saw the big traffic truck moving off, more cheering etc.

The news report said, “Auckland motorway traffic was severely delayed today as thousands of protestors stormed the Harbour Bridge.” It was hardly like that. A few broke through (stupid people, in my opinion – they could have caused major accidents! The traffic is going a considerable speed along there), the police decided to save the situation and make it safe for the rest, and we then went onto the bridge in a calm and ordered fashion.

By the time I wanted to get home at about 11.30am, traffic was flowing freely again along the motorway, certainly from Fanshawe Street onward. Perhaps it backed up a little longer further south, I don’t know.

So, considering there were no injuries or accidents, I think “stormed” is perhaps too strong a word.

Tired. I can has sleep now?

Should be going to bed but am writing a journal entry instead. Naturally.

Been at Rosmini this week and it’s been good. I do enjoy working with computers but still teaching people. I do think this might be the perfect job for me.

I haven’t done much with regards to my fitness, though. I’ve been very slack. My problem, as I’ve outlined before on here, is self-motivation. Like right now. I know that I probably should be doing some crunches before bed, but will I? No. What’s my motivation? Who am I competing against? No one. Damnit. I really do think I need to compete against someone. When Brendon was living here I was trying to keep up with him, and he kept doing more crunches than me, but I was working towards catching up. I almost had abs!

Damelza! Do you think we could do some sort of long-distance competition between us for fitness? Do you think that could work? You want to get fit for your next test thing, and I just want to get fit to lose the belly that’s starting to develop. What do you say?

Winter. It’s cold. That is all I have to say about the weather.

We have blower things going 24 hours right now to dry out under the carpet. The constant sound is getting to me. If it goes on too much longer I might be responsible for dehumidifier destruction.

Am writing and reading lots.

Sleep. Now. ‘Night!


This is a song that we used to sing at primary school. I came across my attempt at remembering the words in a writing diary and thought I’d Google the song. It took a few tries, and there are a lot of people out there looking for the words for this song (though different versions, by the sounds of it), but I was happy to finally find some lyrics that closely resembled those I learned years ago.

From the Volga was he riding
On his horse so quickly striding
When he saw, in ambush, hiding
Who but pretty Minka

Minka, Minka go not from me
Do not in the forest hide thee
Come and tell me if you love me
Pretty little Minka

Shy thou art and very bashful
Tho’ my heart is ever faithful
Yet to thee I’d be more grateful
If you’d love me, Minka

Minka, Minka go not from me
Do not in the forest hide thee
Come and tell me if you love me
Pretty little Minka

Thou art playful as a kitten
Knowing when a heart you’ve smitten
I have been by you sore bitten
Wicked little Minka!

Minka, Minka go not from me
Do not in the forest hide thee
Come and tell me if you love me
Pretty little Minka

Wolves are through the forest swarming
See! They come in packs alarming
I will save thee from all harming
If you’ll come, my Minka

Minka, Minka now I’ve got thee
Why did you so much provoke me?
Wolves won’t come, but I’d devour thee
Pretty little Minka


I’m heading down to Wellington on  day trip on Tuesday 19th May. I arrive early morning, am busy all morning and possibly partly into the afternoon, but after that I’m free to meet up with people. My plane leaves at 6.30pm, Mum’s plane leaves a little earlier. Would love to catch up with long lost friends who have moved down that way.

So who’s keen?

But wait, there’s more!

I also have to eat my Magnum with a spoon, because it’s so broken that the stick fell right out of it.


Go Hell. You’ve done really well by me tonight! </ sarcasm>

Cheesy Hell


Despite telling the guy on the phone what must have been THREE times that I wanted the regular cheese removed from the pizza toppings, my pizza arrived drowned in cheese. I put feta, cream cheese and camembert on it, so it really doesn’t need the regular cheese. When he repeated the ingredients at me, he said “cheese” and not “cream cheese” and I said “No, I don’t want regular cheese on it, I want cream cheese.” He said “Yes, I know” in an impatient tone, so I took it as understood.


So now I’m eating a very cheesy pizza, which I don’t particularly like but I’m damn hungry.

My little slice of Hell

So I called Hell Pizza just then to place an order, because their website wouldn’t process my credit card. Again.

Hell: So that’ll be $30.50.
Me: What? I’m looking at my website order right now, and it comes to $23.50.
Hell: There’s a $7 surcharge on delivery. If you were to come in and pick it up…
Me: No, that’s not right. On Tuesdays if the order is over $20 it’s free delivery.
Hell: That’s for website orders only.
Me: But I explained at the start that I tried ordering via the website but it wouldn’t process my payment.
Hell: Sorry. It’s $30.50.
Me: So because your website is broken I have to pay an extra $7?
Hell: It’s not an extra $7, it’s the delivery fee.
Me: Yes, but if your website weren’t broken I wouldn’t have to pay it, so it’s extra for me.
Hell: Hang on, I’ll just ask my manager.

So the manager agreed to give me the $7 “discount”. Then the guy who I’d been talking to was just saying bye and your order will be with you soon when I interrupted to remind him that I was trying to pay by credit card, so could I please do that? I don’t have cash on me.

He processed my credit card and, surprise surprise, it went through. It’s so not my credit card that’s the problem. It’s their website. Stupid Hell. If they didn’t do kick-ass pizza, I’d call elsewhere.


In the interests of using up the money on my Loaded card, I bought myself some fire poi. This is my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. I will hopefully get them on Sunday, at the next FireNight in Mission Bay.
So damn excited.
Oh, and I cancelled my gym membership today.


Ok, so I’m leaving the gym I’m a member of. I’m not going very often (mainly because it’s boring going on your own *sigh*) and it’s costing me $66 a month. That’s $66 I can’t really afford to be without right now. So I have a new exercise plan.

Poi. Lots of poi. Upper arm and wrist workout.

Staff. Shoulder and wrist workout.

Dancing. When I can be bothered. It’d be nice if I could find something that is new and interesting for me but doesn’t cost the world. Leg workout.

Rock climbing. If I do this with Claire it is a shitload cheaper, so I’m going to see if I can do this once a week. Arm, tummy, leg workout.

Pilates. I have a DVD and big ball thing that I bought ages ago. I WILL use this. I will. Whole body workout.

Aerial silks. Claire and I are trying to figure out where we can learn this, and hope that it doesn’t cost too much money. If it does, oh well, but if not, then yay. Definitely tummy workout.

Things that are ruled out due to cost:

Modern dance (*pout*)

Ice skating (*sniffle*)

Snowboarding / skiing (*cry*)


I’ve got a podcast space up and running again. Wasn’t happy with mypodcast.com just because it was throwing a spaz and wouldn’t upload my mp3 file. Silly thing. But the one I’ve got now would accept my mp3 file and LOOKS better, too. That’s just a bonus.


So there you go. I’m going to see about uploading the videos from last night’s FireNight to there, as apparently it’s possible. If not, then they’ll just go on YouTube.

Weddings and stuff

I went up to Whangarei in the weekend for my little sister’s wedding. It went really well, she looked gorgeous, and the weather miraculously cleared up. It was meant to be cyclone weather, starting from 9am and building up during the day. Well, the Friday night was pretty bad, really stormy, and then when we woke up on Saturday morning it wasn’t raining. The clouds looked ominous still, but we were still feeling positive. The weather only got better during the day, and even managed some sunshine in the late afternoon / early evening. Janey reckons it’s her dad. She always said her dad wouldn’t let it rain for her wedding day. I think it’s a sweet thought, even though I don’t believe in any of that stuff.

She was a very beautiful bride. I will have to put up some photos here at some point. Oh, and Ryan scrubbed up ok, too. Haha. Such a lovely couple. Chloe (their daughter) was gorgeously well-behaved during the whole day (minor tantrum when it came to putting her dress on) and put up with over an hour of photos after the wedding.

Duncan and I went to Mission Bay last night. It was the Jazz Festival. The What’s On In Auckland site isn’t that comprehensive, as they didn’t even list the Jazz Festival or have any hint of it what-so-ever. This isn’t a small event. They close down a whole section of Tamaki Drive and turn it into footpath. This year they even charged for entry (which was an unwelcome surprise as we turned up). *grumble* It used to be free!

Needless to say, with the combination of huge crowds, little space, and a $10 fee to get in, the fire crowd wasn’t there. But there was some good music, a great atmosphere, and we had a good time wandering around.

This morning I’ve been up to Albany and picked up some time sheets, did a little shopping (finally caved and got Thin Lizzy – and you know, it’s pretty good), drove to Fox Outlet in Northcote, got my timesheet signed, came home, faxed timesheet, and now I’m catching up on email and stuff. Stuart is coming to pick me up in about 20 minutes to talk about this contract, but it’s all looking very good for that. The school is going to call me sometime early this week to set up a meeting to discuss and sign the contract, and to finalise my role and goals. Woot! Again, more info once contract is actually signed.

Fire! More poi!

Ok, my friend Jase came along to the Renegade FireNight tonight, so I had someone to man the camera for me. This means that yes, I have videos of me playing with fire poi now! They’re not my poi, they belong to a lovely person called Kat.

Me with poi

Video as promised. I’m doing a very poor 5 Beat Weave in this video, too.

5 Things

That 5 Things meme that’s been going around. You leave a comment on this post, and I reply with five things that I think remind me of you.

Thanks el_mcgruffle

1. Chocolate cake
Ok, so I may be just a little addicted to chocolate. I blame my family. Every Christmas, Easter and birthday we get sent a care package from the grandparents in Germany. These care packages are usually quite a substantial size, and usually 90% chocolate. German chocolate. Swiss chocolate. Hmmmm. (Craving chocolate now, and all I have is milk chocolate cooking buttons. They’re not nice.) I even had a t-shirt made that says “Just hand over the damn chocolate and no one gets hurt.” Two layers of my wedding cake were chocolate mud cake.

2. Poi. And the kinkier aspects
There are no kinky aspects, thanks Iain, so get your mind out of the gutter. We were shown how to use poi when we were in primary school but the fascination never lasted. I encountered them again at teacher’s college. I tried my friend Claire’s glow poi sometime last year (or the year before) and was quickly frustrated with them as they wouldn’t do what I wanted them to. So no, it wasn’t love at first sight for me. Then at my work’s Christmas do last December we were at a fellow teacher’s place, and she does fire poi. She also had some glow poi and took them out to demonstrate. She showed us a few basic moves and then some other people took over and gave it a go, and I also gave it a go. It was a fun environment, we were all as bad as each other, so we all had a good laugh. That’s the point that I got hooked. I commented to Duncan that night that I would love to get some glow poi. Christmas rolled around and I got some glow poi from Duncan. I spent the whole day, and the next (and a few after that), practising. They came with a video. I quickly mastered all the moves on the video (barring one – thread the needle, and oooooh that frustrated me! I can do it now, though). It’s been a downhill slide since then. I’ve decided that poi are a great hobby to have because unlike ice skating, skiing and snowboarding, after the initial cost there are no more costs. It is free to do. And the initial costs is considerably cheaper than all of those other sports I just mentioned. Perfect for someone who isn’t earning much at the moment.

3. Art
I’ve always been artistic, I guess. When I was at primary school I was known as someone who could draw well. When I got to high school, we had to do art for about the first year or so, then it became an optional subject. I dropped it like a hot rock. I couldn’t stand having to draw another bowl of fruit or self-portrait. So I’m basically self-taught, and not doing too badly for that. I sketched and painted like a fiend at uni, but since being in the workforce haven’t really had much inclination. I was meeting with a friend of mine on a regular basis to do some painting, and managed to finish one (which is now hanging at Duncan’s work) and start many others. A big canvas, painted black, is staring accusingly at me from the corner of the lounge. I got myself a drawing tablet for my computer a few years back and went through a phase of digital painting. I’d like to get back to that, but the inspiration is gone.

4. Roleplaying
Hah, this was my life through a lot of university, and a little afterwards. Pern roleplaying, play by email. How I lived for it. Member of many Weyrs, but the main one being North Ranges Weyr. I also ran one called Southern Boll Weyr, which later became a sister to NRW. Both have since died a painful death through lack of desire to roleplay.

5. Teaching
For the past five years that’s what I’ve been, and I know that a lot of my journal entries have been rants and raves about teaching related stuff. I was working as a primary school teacher. I love teaching, I love working with children, but the stress, the workload expectations, the long hours, the harassment, the paper (always more paper!), the politics, it all got to me. I won’t go into details, but it’ll be a long time before I go back to teaching, and a cold day in hell before I go back to the school I was at. I love the other teachers, I love the children. I’m still doing relief work there, and that I can take. I wish it could have been different, but perhaps I’m not cut out for it like I thought I was. We’ll see. I’m still working on building up the self-confidence that was all but destroyed last year. But despite what this sounds like, I haven’t given up on teaching entirely – I’m hoping to bag a contract that will allow me to continue teaching, just not children. Working with teachers. Don’t want to jinx it too much, so more details when the contract is signed.

I can do it!

5 Beat Weave – I can do it! Will keep practising and take a video tomorrow. Hopefully I can still do it tomorrow!


This is just a sample video of what I’m talking about.

5 Beat Weave

It’s slightly more difficult than the 3 Beat Weave but I’m getting it. I’ve only been trying it for under an hour, but I’ve successfully managed it a few times for a couple of sides, and I’ve managed it once for about four sides. Having a break to drink my Milo. I didn’t think I’d pick it up this quickly. I’ll work on it tonight and tomorrow, and once I have it down pat I’ll take a video. I thought the 3 Beat Weave looked cool – the 5 Beat Weave looks even better! Once I have that, I’ll try 7 Beat… Muwahaha.

Can’t wait till I can get my hands on some fire poi again.

Burn Baby Burn

I went to the FireNight in Mission Bay last night and had a great time practising my poi moves and helping Fay learn the three beat weave. Once Fay had left and I was left on my own, Kat came and told me that I should do fire. I was very reluctant! She was very persuasive, along with another guy who got in on the persuasion. Between the two of them I was holding a set of fire poi and wearing some random person’s beanie before I knew it. Kat took me over to dunk the poi and show me how to spin off the excess liquid, then light them up.

I can tell you, it was both a scary and very awesome experience. The whoosing sound they make as they go past is fabulous. I did some very basic stuff at first, then moved on to the more complicated moves I know. I didn’t do thread the needle, as I’d only learned how to do that earlier that day and it still sometimes ends in the poi crashing. But I did do the three beat weave along with turns. I worked up to spinning around while doing the three beat weave, which was fun. I also did over the head butterfly and various other things.

By the time the fire ran out I was having a really good time, but my knees and hands were shaking something chronic. I was quite happy to give the poi and beanie back. But the first thing I did when I got home was look up the price of a pair of fire poi. Haha. I’ll have to save up.

Black out

Miriam is blacked out: Stand up against "Guilt Upon Accusation" for New Zealand http://creativefreedom.org.nz/blackout.html

New Zealand's new Copyright Law presumes 'Guilt Upon Accusation' and will Cut Off Internet Connections without a trial. Join the black out protest against it!

Great weekend

I was so happy last night. We were at the Starlight Symphony in the Domain and the music was good, the rain held off, and the weather was warm enough to be comfortable and windy enough to keep the mozzies at bay. To cap it off, when I got home I had that happy buzzy feeling you get when you know that you can sleep in tomorrow! Bliss.

Today in my email I got sent a link to a really neat video on YouTube. It’s a Scottish Country Dance video on a massive scale. 960 dancers performing at the same time. The shots of the Eightsome Reel from the top look cool.


Keeping busy

Busy with work this week, which is good because work = pay. Today I had off, which is fine as there are a few other things I also need to do. I need to get food for the birds in the aviary and to do that I need to go all the way over to west city. I’m annoyed that there aren’t any good bird food stores on the Shore. I have to go all the way to the Bird Barn where I can get a reasonable size sack of feed for not too much money. If I buy bird food from Animates (formerly Jansens), the largest pet store on the Shore, it costs about twice as much for half as much food, and it’s often stale seed. So, even though the petrol probably balances out the cost, the seed I get from the Bird Barn is by far better.

Monday I was relieving at NPS and got to work in three different classes, which was fun. Tomorrow and Thursday I’m working retail (oh joy) at a store that sells underwear. Jockey Hole Proof. Yep. Then Friday it’s back to doing some relieving.

This weekend just been was my little sister’s hen’s night. We had an absolute blast, even though part of the entertainment never arrived. No, not a stripper. There was, booked and paid for, a person who was meant to come and entertain us by throwing a sex toy party. Sounds like it would have been a lot of fun, but they never showed, and no one could get a hold of them. The party almost died, as people were wandering around not sure what they were supposed to do with themselves, but revived again once the DJ at the pub started and we got dancing. The theme was Angels and Demons, and Janey was dressed in a fantastic sort of cross between the two. White silk bodice, white tutu skirt, red corset, fishnet stockings, black heels, white lace gloves, devil horns, black veil… she looked amazing. I went as an angel and us angels were very outnumbered by the demons in the group!

Sunday was recovery day, as well as having to drive back to Auckland.

And now I’m here, sitting on the ground because my laptop is plugged into the network. Wireless is spitting the dummy again.

Legend of the Seeker

I’ve been home and unable to continue with my work so I was browsing DeviantART. On my watchlist was a deviation about the Sword of Truth series. I followed it, had a look, and saw in the comments section some people discussing the mini-series. WTF? I thought.

Sure enough, there is a TV series based on Wizards First Rule (very loosely in some places). I spent all day yesterday (the hottest day recorded in a long time) watching the episodes on my computer, and watched the last two or three this morning. I’m now up to date with them. They’re cool, so long as you don’t mind if they butcher the books too much.

I won’t go into the travesty that is the Denna episode.

Damelza – you must watch these!

Income & Taxes

I have been doing some math this morning to do with my income, expenditure and taxes. I’ve looked at the IRD site and found out what I need to put aside for taxes on the income I earn doing contract work. That’s fine (better than I expected, actually). Then I added up what goes out of my account on a fortnightly basis.

Rent. Loan repayment. Gym membership (actually a very minor expense). Car & contents insurance. Health insurance.

I’m hoping for a reasonably stable contract starting in March. This alone wouldn’t cover all my payments, though, as it’s only part time.

BUT… if I can get that contract, AND do relief teaching for at least one day a week, I can just scrape by.

If I can get that contract, get at least two or three days of work per week doing other stuff (relieving, admin work, data entry…), then I can live quite comfortably.

Right now, though, I haven’t had any relief teaching, I haven’t been paid for any contract work, and I haven’t had anything else from my admin recruitment people. I’ve just dug into my savings to pay the bills. On the plus side, I’m getting paid for some work in the very near future (next few days), which means I can replace the savings money and still have enough to put aside for tax and food and stuff.

I think it’s going to be a hand-to-mouth existence for a little while, at least until I get some more steady work coming through. Talk with Stuart is sounding promising for some work in the future, so fingers crossed.

I did open up a new account called TAX that I can siphon all my tax from contract work into, and then I don’t have to go finding it when it’s due.

I may be addicted…

… to poi.

I have just spent a good section of the late afternoon making various poi. I’ve used socks, stockings, scarves, tennis balls, balloons, ropes, rice…

black-scarf-rice pink-scarf-rice

red-scarf-rice rainbow-sock-tennis

black-stocking-rubber black-stocking-tennis

And my two favourites…

blue-scarf-tennis red-black-white-scarf-tenni

And probably the most elaborate, because it also has finger loops…


I should probably stop now, eh? All together I have 13 sets of poi now. Perhaps I should sell them? Though that’s pretty cheeky, since most are made from two materials that anyone can put together.

FireNight at Mission Bay

I attended my first FireNight at Mission Bay this evening. I very shyly walked up to the group with poi, unicycles, staffs and various other things out and said I was here to join the FireNight. They made me feel very welcome and it was reassuring to see someone else there who was being shown the very basics. I met some awesome people. Three of my six poi broke during the night (I let others use them, but I broke one myself), but they’re all fixed and improved now. Good to put them through their paces. I suspect they’ll come apart reasonably often, especially during FireNights.

Joined the group on Facebook that will tell me where the Tuesday one is, and apparently there’s one on Thursdays up in Albany. I could seriously keep busy with poi stuff! And the best thing is, it’s free!

Must sleep now. Have work to do tomorrow!


Hoorah! I have done the forward 3-beat weave! Took me a whole afternoon, in between working, but I can do it. Well, with my sock poi. I have yet to try it out with my glow poi, which are slightly heavier.


Yes, that’s me. Video is very low quality, as I don’t have a video recorder, just my little crappy Olympus on video mode. I might try taking a video with my camera phone, it might turn out better!

The above video is me using the long poi.

Below is a video of me doing the 3-beat weave using the short poi.

Wireless issues

My wireless has spat the dummy. I use Intel PROSet/Wireless to run my wireless network adapter, but it’s gotten itself in a tangle with the Windows wireless network adapter, which doesn’t appear to have been properly disabled. Intel is meant to disable it so it’s the only program trying to use it. Slowly, over the last couple of days, the two have been getting more and more tangled until now my wireless isn’t working at all. I’m hooked to the Internet using a cable right now, but that’s dodgy, too, because the little clip at the top of the plug has broken off, so it works itself loose if you move the laptop too much.

Sometimes I hate my Dell. Mostly I love it, but sometimes I don’t. Oh, and Duncan had deleted my iPod from having access to the wireless, because when he connected it for me he forgot to write down the wireless address in his little booklet. He cleaned up, getting rid of any that weren’t written down… which included my iPod. Gah.

Today is not my day.

On the plus side – I’ve made myself some more poi, ones that I can practise with. They’re slightly softer when they hit you, but still approximately the same weight as my glow poi. Also I made some short ones so I can practise some short poi moves. I was doing that with my glow poi, but wrapping the string around my fingers proved painful. I made the poi from a pair of blue footless tights, bright pink stockings, balloons, cous cous and ribbon. Instructions will go up on my Moodle on Dragonslair at some point.

Well, I suppose now that I have Internet, I’d better get back to doing some work.

Wedding Anniversary

Well, it’s our 2 year wedding anniversary today. Funny thing was, I looked in my diary last night because I had this feeling I had something on today. There was nothing written in my diary, and I didn’t bother to look at the date, just at the day (Wednesday). I woke up today just as Duncan was leaving, groggily said goodbye to him, and it wasn’t until a package arrived from his parents that it clicked. Today was the 4th Feb! Suppose I’d better go get something to give Duncan.


Meme – baaaaaa

Being a memesheep. Or lemming.

Miriam Laidlaw

2. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother and fathers middle names)
Ingrid Robert (My mum doesn’t have a middle name, so first name will have to do)

3. NASCAR NAME: (first name of your mother's dad, father's dad)
? Werner (I am ashamed to say I don’t know mum’s dad’s name)

4. STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name)

5. DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Red Cockatiel

6. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, town where you were born)
Ingmar Reinbek

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd fav color, fav drink, add "THE" to the beginning)
The Yellow Baileys (?? Doesn’t sound like a superhero to me)

8.FLY NAME: (first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name)

9. STREET NAME: (fav ice cream flavor, fav cookie)
Chocolate Tim Tam

10. PORN NAME: (1st pet's name, street you grew up on)
Minka Owhiwa (pronounced “oh-fee-wah”)

11. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first 3 letters of last name plus izzle)

13. YOUR IRAQI.. NAME: (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, first two letters of your middle name, last two letters of your first name then last three letters of your last name):

14. YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one of your pets)
Black Stratus

15. STRIPPER NAME: (name of your fav perfume/cologne, fav candy)
Strawberry Bueno

Hmmm some of those names are very odd. I think I like my porn name best. I couldn’t decide whether it would be Minka or Mitsy, I don’t recall which came first. Minka was a cat, Mitsy a rabbit. I suspect Minka was first.

The Pinnacles

This weekend just been we went to the Pinnacles in the Coromandel, as well as visiting Cathedral Cove (where part of Narnia: Prince Caspian was filmed – the bit where they first arrive into Narnia again).


We went hiking through the lovely bush, across streams, and in general just UP really steeply. Photo from left to right (or front to back): Rachel, Elizabeth, Jason, Duncan.


“I think there are wetas in here.” Rachel and Jason check out the hollow log for wetas before sitting in it. If you’re really keen you can crawl right through. None of us were that keen.


We scrambled all the way to the top…


… where the view was stunning. Apparently we were at an altitude of 773m (2,536.1ft). Elizabeth, Rachel, Jason and I even climbed up to the very highest point.



It was a little uncomfortable up there, but fun.


On the way down, I hung over the edge of a cliff. Because I could.


And because I suspect I’m not completely sane. It’s more fun this way.


The others decided just sticking their noses over was sufficient. Probably safer, too. Left to right: Duncan, Jason, Elizabeth, Rachel.

We came down the Billy Goat Track, which adds an extra hour onto the trip, and got to have a swim in some rock pools that were a little off to the side of the track. Yay for Jason, who knows where these things are. Cooled down and rested, we carried on. By the time we got to the bottom, I think we were all at the point where we weren’t crawling just because pride stopped us. We left the car park at 8.40am, and arrived back at 7.15pm.

On Sunday we went to Cathedral Cove. This involved another 30 minute walk down to the cove and 30 minute walk back, but we spent two hours playing around in the water and on the beach, so that was ok. There was this rock you could swim out to and jump off, and so we amused ourselves by doing that for a good section of the afternoon.

Dragonslair Shop

Matai Bay

Here’s the update!

On Friday 2nd January Jason, Katja and I headed up to Matai Bay, Karikari Peninsula. We headed first to Matai Bay Camping Ground, but they were full up. So we went and found another one the next bay over, which was bloody expensive and, really, not that nice. Oh, they had hot showers and fancy facilities, but it was like sardines in a can.


We went back to Matai Bay first thing the next morning to see if we could secure ourselves a site. We were a bit dubious at first, as it seemed as if we were being sent up into the hills away from the beach, but when we got to the ‘upper’ campsite, we found it was right on the beach after all. Got a nice site and set up camp.


The beach there was lovely and we had a great time playing around.

MB3   MB4 


We went kayaking one day. We started off enthusiastic and optimistic. Just a short kayak around to the other side, where we’d left the other car. Katja and I in the double, Jason and Jane in their singles.


After a few hours, we stopped at a beach, exhausted. We weren’t entirely sure where the end was, but we were happy to be on solid land. We got out our snacks, shared them around and had a relaxing lunch.


We then soldiered on and found the end only about another hour away. When we looked up on a map later what we’d done, we were stunned. And impressed. We’d kayaked around the WHOLE of Karikari Peninsula. Yeah, baby.

On another day we did a day trip up to Cape Reinga. We stopped off at 90 Mile Beach on the way, which was beautiful. Hung around at Cape Reinga a while before heading back. Somewhere near Waitiki Landing our two car groups separated. Jason and I went to Te Hapua to do some kayaking, while Jane and Katja headed back to Matai Bay and camp. We did our kayaking and made it back through the gates at spot on 10pm, when they supposedly lock them. Found out after we got back that they weren’t locking them that night. Oh well, we had an exhilarating and very fast ride back!

TeamKarikari  Team Karikari at 90 Mile Beach

icecream  Mega huge ice cream at Karatia (I think)

TeamatCape Team Karikari at Cape Reinga

On the way home again on the 9th we stopped by my mum and dad’s place and had some lunch. Then we went to Goat Island and did some snorkelling. All in all it was a great trip. I have so much more I could have said about it, but really, I won’t bore you with all the little details.

Thanks team! We need to do it again sometime.


No time for photos

Well, I’m in Whangarei at the moment at mum and dad’s place. I’ve been working hard, though, and haven’t really had time to take any photos. This is a shame because they have such a beautiful place here with a stunning outlook. The advantage to living on the side of a mountain, I guess. Been helping mum to spray weeds, take down the Christmas tree and decorations, showing her how to use the phone…

Last night I redesigned Dragonslair’s logo. It was in desperate need of an update, since it was still in hand-drawn form. I’ll see if I can work out how to put a picture in using Windows Live Writer, which is what I’m using to update my journal right now. LJ is slow at the best of times, I don’t want to think how long it would take me to do an update on mum’s dial-up Internet connection.


Ok, that seemed to work! Seems it didn’t like trying to insert the picture if file extensions were set to be hidden. Silly computer.

Yes, the update of our trip up to Matai Bay is still coming… With pictures!

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