Daily Acts of Badassery

Living Dangerously

I try to do something every day that scares me. Sometimes that thing is leaving it to the last possible second to leave the house before I miss the train (nothing gets the heart pounding faster in the mornings!)

(That’s a lie, probably running would make the heart pound faster, but I wear inappropriate shoes for running, so: Playing late for the train chicken.)  

Today however is a true risk taking activity. I am reaching new heights of badassery right here and now without moving from my desk.

I, ladies and gentlemen, am eating Spag Bol for lunch at work, In a light coloured dress. 

Hell yes I am! And like a true badass I’m doing it without a napkin, because my work laughs in the face of formal dining.

I don’t know about you guys, but for some reason at work I am utterly incapable of surviving lunchtime without spilling food down myself. Once I upended an entire plate of Lasagna onto my chest. I tried to pass it off as a new groundbreaking fashion statement, but I’m really not sure it worked. There was carrot in my cleavage for most of the day. 

Lunchtime is not made easy by the large open plan office without a lunch area. We’re all firm desk lunchers here, so when I spill baked beans on my pants everyone sees. And feels superior that they don’t have couscous all over themselves. 

So today I was all “Hm, I’m wearing my favorite dress, I should definitely NOT take that leftover spag bol to work.” then I was all “you know what? Screw it. Who wants boring Peanut butter sandwiches? Boring people, that’s who. I’m going to take spag bol, and I’m going to live life on the edge.” Then I saw the time and realized I was about to miss the train. Again. 

Such a badass. You may all go ahead and idolize me. I won’t judge.

 

Oil Fire Is My Middle Name

I love a good weekend. This weekend was awesome because I finished digging out my front gardens and started planning the vege patch relocation. (Which basically means I just squinted at the awful flax bushes I want to get rid of for a really long time.)

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I also picked up another load of river rock and drove it home over the rimutakas at 10 kms an hour… The 1999 Holden Barina, more versitile than you’d think!

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Dad came and stayed for a night and put up a whole bunch of fire alarms, and security lights… then this morning I verified that the alarms all work, by leaving a tea towel on a hot element (thankfully just turned OFF rather than just turned on) and then burning the pastry I had in the oven. Because thats how I roll: hazardous in the kitchen.  (Nobody tell my insurer.)

My neighbours must love me – for starters I keep forgetting that I’m not in the country anymore, and leaving the curtains open when I change, and now I’m setting off fire alarms at 9am on a Sunday. Its either better or worse than living next to one of those churches that rings bells every Sunday,  because my neighbours get a side of nudity with their wake-up call.

So yeah. Thanks Dad the alarms work!

And finally this weekend I visited Archer and he totally recognised me. We ran towards each other in slow motion and everything.

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The other pups are freaking adorable, but I think you’ll all agree with me here, Arch is clearly the best. For starters, look at those ears. Those ears are a work of art. My dog could get a modeling contract based on those ears alone. In the photo above he was in the middle of being shooed up off someones lap, and is actually totally asleep. While standing. I squeed. I’m not even embarrassed to admit it.

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I actually cannot wait for him to come home. Im not picking him up for another 20 whole days though because I want him to have lots of time in a litter before he comes home… and it gives me more time to figure out how to puppy proof my house. Being puppy piled today and having various parts of my outfit knawed on, I’m thinking next weekend will be about moving everything chewable up high. My shoe rack right now is a total puppy buffet.

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Hello World… I’m back again.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m totally winning on my five-year plan. I brought a house! Then scheduled travel to Thailand! And cancelled that travel immediately after buying a puppy!

The house is a solid little 1930’s number based in Featherston (in the Wairarapa, and about an hour 15 from Wellington), with two bedrooms, and WAY too much lawn for someone not in possession of a lawnmower. (I’ll hire someone. Eventually. When I get around to it.)

84 Revans St

When buying the property (not once, but twice!) I loved the fact that it had so many projects. I see this place with feature gardens, and feature walls, and feature lighting, and a feature deck with a feature waterfall. In fact I saw a lot of DIY in my future the idea of which I very enthusiastically embraced.

Now that I live here though? I have done two DIY projects. Install a cat door (the D stood for ‘Dad? Could you maybe… Thanks!’) and re-seal the back door to stop it rattling in the wind. I can no longer lock the back door.

Pft, but fixing the thing at the top of my fireplace, and installing a new front door, and dropping in new french doors into my lounge will be easy. Mark my words. Ea-sy. In related news I’m looking for a boyfriend in one of the trades. Ideally electrician, but I’m not picky, a registered plumber will do just as well.

 

First on my garden agenda a couple of weekends ago was digging out a garden in the front lawn, which will stretch around and back down the side of the house, where I’ll have a series of paved courtyards. For now though it’s just a patch of nearly bare earth, with a weeping cherry blossom tree.

In one of my favorite childhood homes (we liked it so much my parents brought it TWICE) the front yard had this amazing tree with awesome blossoms and I always thought I wanted one just like it as an adult… Hey it’s still there! Google Maps is awesome.  Trust me that looks a lot more majestic in spring. Mine will too when it’s no longer a collection of bare twigs

Alongside the cherry blossom, the new garden has rosemary, and tiny lavender seedlings. Both of which are on my garden MUST list because both make me feel Zen and much like I’m living on a regal country estate, baking organic lavender shortbread every tuesday, and harvesting my own apples. I do neither of those things currently. I DO have an Elderflower Tree (I think!) that I’m going to try making elderflower wine with. :D Probably it will even be organic.

Archer Pup

The other new addition (nearly) will be Archer, he’s a wee 7 week old German Short Haired Pointer, and has the market officially cornered on cute. He doesn’t come home for another three-ish weeks because I wanted to give him lots of time in a litter and with his Mum. Also I needed enough time to perform key activities like dog proofing the house and making Archer Free Zones for Batz (who is So Frigging Excited to be getting a playmate!) (*Snigger*)

I’m pretty excited about owning a house (with, like an edge of terror that appears every time I get a rates bill, or something looks like it might be expensive to fix) but I’m EXCITED to be getting a puppy. Like, If someone giftwrapped a dragon, rolled it in glitter, and dropped it off at my house wearing a leash, I wouldn’t be as excited as I am to get this puppy.

This puppy is going to be the coolest puppy ever. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be the worlds most badass dog. He was literally SECONDS away from being called Chuck Norris. That’s how badass he is. I had the email written to the lady for his papers and everything. At the last second I changed my mind to Archer, because it’s unfair to be giving such a Zen puppy a reputation like that to live up to.

I’ll have to admit, I did think long and hard about getting a kennel dog from the SPCA. Or rehoming an older dog, because in theory I am all for giving animals a second chance home.  After a whole lot of thought, I decided on a puppy from a one off breeder. You would not believe how hard that decision was!

 

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go spend another three hours reading everything the Dog Whisperer has ever written, because Batz and I need to learn how to become Pack Leaders

 

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(He’s technically he’s not all that in the know about this whole puppy business. It’s going to be a surprise.)

Like Dressing a Cat in an Anxiety Shirt.

FRIEND: Though of Batz when I saw this:

Douchy shirt

SHAN: OMG. Can you imagine trying to put him in it?! Also does it come in sparkely pink with hearts? Because if it does, I’m so buying it for the little poobag.

FRIEND: Lol only grey sorry :) and they must be good because they cost $70!!!

SHAN: Ah well… Looks like I’m going to have to take up sewing. Some people think it’s weird going to these lengths to annoy a cat, but those people don’t own the world’s most manipulative douchecat.

FRIEND: Lol he’s very cute though :)

SHAN: That’s what he WANTS you to think…

Batty Cat

About a mllion tangents… As per usual! Mostly it’s about the stealth movie theatre though.

The other day I was lamenting how much moolah I spend on petrol, when I discovered an awesome site the government runs that matches people up with carpoolers. I signed up, and it was all BAM and MAGIC, and all of a sudden I had a map with a bunch of people who live near me and want carpool buddies.

I picked a guy who looks less like a serial killer than your average carpooler, and lives just down the road, and one or two times a week we catch a lift in with each other.

This post isn’t about the fact that I’m an awesome hippy environmentalist though (does carpooling twice a week qualify me to be an environmentalist? I say yes.) (I also make my own compost.) It’s about the fact that this guy is BLOWING MY MIND with his area knowledge. For instance: did you know there’s a group of ladies in the area that go out to dinner once a month? I didn’t.

So We were driving along the other day, and I was telling him how silly I felt when I realised there was a dairy in Pauatahanui – which is about a 10-15 minute drive, rather than a half hour one back to the Hutt, where I used to go every time I ran out of milk.

Carpool buddy laughs, and says “Oh, so you must have found the movie theatre then!”

And I’m all “Haha, good joke… You are kidding, right?”

He wasn’t. There’s an honest to god boutique two screen movie theatre 10 minutes down the road from the remote farm I live on. And? A bar. Also? a restaurant/ cafe with a world-famous caramel slice. They’re literally JUST around the corner from the little dairy that took me 9 months to find.

So while I’m still reeling from the discovery of a whole bloody movie theatre down the road that I managed to miss seeing for a year and a half, you should go watch a cool* TED talk I saw, about the link between climate change, and the war on terror. I read about this at Uni, and it seemed pretty far-fetched at the time, but this video makes it WAY more accessible!

 *It’s quite possible my definition of cool is different from most peoples though… Considering I had to do 3 months of required reading, and a 2500 word essay on this subject. Imagine all the time I could have saved if I’d just spent more time on you tube.

Mosquitos, Motivation, and My Bro the Entrepreneur

Mosquito

Woho! Monday! Look how pleased I am about it being Monday. It’s almost like I like Mondays or something (I don’t.)

Anyway, somehow I managed to get dressed this morning with a mosquito in my top, or something, and now I have itchy bites on my back on chest. I can tell they’re mosquito bites, because I have crazy reactions to them. Also I keep accidentally making inappropriate eye contact with people while I have my hand down my bra scratching. Hello Manager I rarely talk to; watch as I make a career limiting move.

In other news I finally told my landlord about the fact that I accidentally dyed the carpet in front of the bathroom Crimson Kiss due to a tragic hair-dye related incident. Here’s the awesome bit: They laughed. Then they told me they were upgrading my gas water heater. Also would I like under-floor insulation? Because they’re happy to do it for me if I’d like.

I don’t know about you guys, but usually I don’t get rewarded for causing property damage. I’m thinking maybe next time I set the kitchen on fire (because, lets face it, there will be a next time) I might drop a few hints about wanting new lino in the bathroom. And a new glass encased shower. With a claw-foot bath.

(I’m kidding. Obviously I’d have to do something major, like knock down a wall to get them to install a bath for me.)

So I guess, aside from the sneak attack from the evil mosquito, Monday actually hasn’t been too bad. My new water heater will be in place when I get home from work tonight, And while it’s not quite a claw-foot bath, having a hot shower is just as good because over the last week or so it’s been mostly luke-warm showers, interspersed with polar blasts.

Also, I’ve been listening to TED talks at work today. There was an interesting one about why your 30’s are not the new 20’s (because in your 20s you set yourself up for massive important phases of life) and one about why most people don’t have a great career, or even just a good one, because we talk ourselves out of doing amazing things, because we’ll probably fail. I also revisited one by Amanda Palmer (who is one of my favorite people) about the importance of asking for help. TED Talks are awesome.

My brother Ryan actually introduced me to TED, being the young pioneering entrepreneur that he is. He’s got a bunch of projects on the go at the moment, the coolest of which, is a business he’s just started up with a friend selling Wifi Lights. There’s nothing like looking up and realising that your little brother (who you always see as an annoying 9 year old in your head) is grown up enough to be running a business, and talking about distributors and growth plans.

The lights themselves are super long-lasting power saver bulbs, that you can control over Wifi. Handy, I think, if you’re in a old house like mine without handy-dandy dimmer switches, and ceilings higher than most ladders will reach. Changing the bulbs in my house requires a three day planning period, and hiring specialist equipment. The longer I can get away with not ever doing that again, the better… Plus they come in colours, so if, say, I wanted to freak out my landlords by tinting all the lights red like it’s been invaded by escaped demons, and cursed dead people who crawl out of TV sets… Well then I could. I’d never sleep again, but I could totally do it.

Anyway. You should check out Ryan’s site, and give him some feedback (he loves feedback) he’s at www.wifilights.co.nz Or maybe you can just go talk annoying short-hand hipster at him for me (he hates that. Totes.)

#notadildo

So, a couple of weekends ago there was this massive storm, and I had the best post ever about it. I was going to draw pictures and everything, maybe even break out the watercolours. Except nothing I drew could quite encompass the dramatics involved in breaking down* in the worst storm in Wellington in the past 20 years, and nothing could encompass just how menacing power lines down across the road are.

DRAMATIC SCENE

I think I had issues with drawing and writing this up because the drama mostly happened in my head, and in the car, and I’m not really great at drawing cars. I tried a version where I drew the car as the gherkin, but that came out looking unintentionally pornographic, like I rode a giant lumpy green dildo through a massive storm, and had to limbo it under a fallen tree in order to get somewhere warmer than my house to avoid hypothermia.

DILDOCAR

Just to clear any confusion up: I do not own a dildo with wheels. I own a Gherkin, which is a metaphor for a car, which is old, and green, and well-preserved. Like a pickle. #NOTADILDO.

So basically, two weeks ago there was a storm which was excellent blog material, because it was windy enough that there was probably a woman on a bicycle spinning around cackling about getting me, and my little dog too. I promptly lost my blog mojo, and crumpled under the incredible weight of reporting on the fact I survived four days without power, and cooked on a BBQ in the middle of winter, and then wimped out in the face of FREEZING COLD WEATHER, and drove to my dads place where I took a three-hour long hot bath, and cooked a pot of chicken soup big enough to feed a rugby team because: I do not like being cold. AT ALL.

Also I brought a new hat, because I could see my breath inside. It’s kind of a fashion statement, in that I can never wear it in public. So, like a BAD statement. That you never tell anyone about, and hope that there’s no photographic proof.

Dork Hat

Other things I did during the crazy storm:

  • Lit candles and crossed all my fingers and toes I wouldn’t have to break the news about the hairdye on the carpet to my landlords along with an “Oh, and I accidentally burnt down the living room, because it’s dark in there when there’s no power.”
  • Avoided the mirror for three days because my shower needs a water pump to work so my hair was like WHOA, and I have this irrational fear of looking in the mirror in the dark, and seeing someone else looking back at me. And when I say irrational fear, I mean totally justified, because DUDES IT CAN TOTALLY HAPPEN. I’ve heard stories. And they end with words like “and then everyone died.”
  • Upgraded to a metal torch, which works as both a source of light, bright enough to illuminate a suspicious sheep on the next ridgeline, and a weapon in the case of a zombie apocalypse. And it was on sale! 20% off Bitches!
  • Spent multiple hours in the car charging my phone enough to post a quick “I’m alive” to facebook and text people who wanted to double-check I wasn’t trapped down a cliff, or under a fallen tree.

*When I say break down? I mean ran out of petrol, because I was playing chicken with my fuel light, and the fuel light won. Cocky know-it-all bastard.

** Don’t judge the spelling on my awesome post-it note drawings. I don’t do well without spell check. Also, you’re lucky I drew anything because I’ve been failing at the storm pictures for real.