Saturday, 27 September 2014

kicking the habit - take 2547

every now and then, i make a partial resolution to give up coffee. for a variety of reasons. new year's resolutions, giving up something for lent, bargaining with the big guy for xyz to happen, and sometimes just because.

this time round, i'm hoping giving up coffee will, not only improve my health, but also improve my savings. i spend far too much money, for someone on my income, on coffee. and i drink far, far too much of the stuff than what's probably healthy (we're talking between 5-8 coffees per day here).

so this time, i've changed things up. i've given myself a financial incentive to quit. for every dollar i spend on coffee, i have to donate that same amount of money to charity. every cup and bag of coffee i buy, now costs double. last week, i spent $8 on takeaway coffee. this amount has been donated to my charity of choice for this endeavour - the twitter aunties, food for women's refuge give a little cause.

now, $8 may not seem like a lot. but, for me, that's two days worth of lunches. and, considering i like to reward myself with coffee every monday and friday morning, that's $8 a week going towards the women's refuge give a little fund until i'm able to kick my coffee habit. so when i do slip up, and go coffee crazy, some fantastic people doing wonderful things in my community are benefiting, and helping to feed some of the people who need it most.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

blog hiatus over

does it count as a hiatus if you didn't intend to take a break?

i originally started this blog because it felt like a safer way to discuss the things i'm passionate about without any restrictions on word count and without worrying about friends/family/work acquaintances casting their judgey eyes over what i wrote.

and then life happened, i guess.

i've written four posts in three years and i guess that's going to change.

probably. maybe. hopefully. we'll see.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

what to be, or what not to be?

That is the question.

I've been asking myself this question for, oh I don't know, the last 10 years.
30 has, literally, just come around the corner, and I still don't have the answer.

When I was in high school, I thought I knew.
I was going to be an accountant - I know, WTF?
I was pretty good at Accounting and Economics (there's a trophy at my old high school that says so) so it kinda made sense.
I was going to Auckland Uni to get my Bachelor of Commerce degree.  I was going to Major in Financial Accounting or Taxation, maybe a double major with Commercial Law.
I would become Nellie Lesa, Chartered Accountant extraordinaire.

Into my third year, accounting and numbers were the last things I wanted to do with the rest of my lifeWhen I did eventually graduate, I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.
But I knew this: I didn't want to be an accountant.

I've tried thinking of what my passions are today...and how they could translate into a bill-paying career.

I love music. Let me rephrase that, I love listening to music. I have no musical talent whatsoever. I like to think I can sing. I sound amazing when I sing along to my ipod. In my room.  With the door closed.  And nobody's home.  And then I did what everyone does...I recorded it.  Big mistake.  Dreams of superstardom were shattered.  Sadly, a music career is not in the cards. But there must be something, some way this could be my career...right? I have no idea.

I like sci-fi/fantasy type tv shows/movies/books/THINGS...and I might possibly have a small collection of said THINGS. I even go to conventions. How that can translate into a job that pays actual money? I have no idea. 

I have a ridiculous obsession for rugby league. I run my own and join multiple tipping comps and fantasy leagues. I post on the message boards and forums - yes, I am one of those people - and I even post comments on newspaper articles.  How can this translate into a viable career? I have no idea.

That pretty much sums up my life plan: I have no idea.

There was a time when I thought becoming a librarian was what I wanted, no needed, to be.  They have BOOKS; they have a music collection; and sci-fi books/movies/tv shows/EVERYTHING!  They even have rugby league books/dvds!  Becoming a librarian would solve all my problems.

Did you know you need a degree to become a proper, registered librarian?  Did you know that librarians have to be registered?
I didn't either!

Going back to Uni as a 30 y.o isn't appealing in the slightest.  And what if I got the degree, and discovered this isn't what I want to do with the rest of my life?  I'd have another degree to add to the degree I already have and don't use.
And yet, working in a library, being surrounded by books all day, sounds so appealing *sigh*

I'll admit, I may have romanticised what being a librarian is.  I have friends who are librarians, and I follow the library blogs, twitter feed and facebook page...and the people seem so cool...exactly like the kind of people anyone would want to work with.  You get to hang out and have access to all the books in the library.  You get to work with other people who love books too.  Who wouldn't want to do that for the rest of their working lives?

What I failed to take into account was that this would be my job and there are people who use the library. And that being a librarian isn't (sadly) sitting around reading books all day *sadface*
And that you are in a customer service based role.
I don't like customers. I deal with customers in the job I have now, and I can barely stand talking to them on the phone and replying to their e-mails.  Librarians deal with customers face to face! The horror!
I am not cut out to be a librarian. Woe is me.

So it's back to square one...again.
I'm 30 years old. I have an accounting degree that I have no intention of using. And I still have no idea what to do with my life.

For now, I'm happy to work in a job that, while it doesn't fulfill any of my passions, it pays the bills on the time, and helps me to indulge my passions.
Sure, I'm not earning mega bucks - more like teeny, tiny bucks - but money isn't everything right?

If it was I'd be an accountant.

Sunday, 15 July 2012


My birthday is July 7th.
I've always considered 7 to be my lucky number.
It felt a teeny bit kismet that we were going for 7 in a row and I was going to be there.

But I didn't get off to the greatest start.  I forgot things. Lots of things.  A brush. Another shirt.  A jacket - yes, in this freezing cold weather, I forgot my jacket.
A ride home the next day - in my super over-excitement, I forgot to arrange for someone to pick me up from the airport when I land on Thursday night. At 11:59pm. Yes, my flight home was scheduled to arrive at one minute to midnight. And yes, I was working on Friday. A last minute plea to one of my sister's to please, please, please pick me up at midnight (which ended up being 1am Friday morning, thank you Auckland fog), and I was all set.

There's nothing I like more than procrastination. So Wednesday was a bit of a mad rush to get organised.
  • 4.30am Wake up
  • 5.00am Shower
  • 5.30am Last minute panic packing
  • 6.00am Leave for airport
  • 6.20am Arrive at airport
  • 6.30am Self check-in
  • 7:10am Met an awesome Queenslander working at the Currency Exchange.
  • 7:15am Embarrass myself going through airport security

It's been about 1200 years since I last travelled overseas.  It's been never since I travelled overseas by myself.  To say I'm rusty about the departure process is an understatement.  I'm a teeny, tiny bit of a spazzy, klutzy, loser.
Last week, I tripped over my pyjamas walking to the bathroom.  Pyjamas. Not pyjamas lying on the floor (although that's entirely possible considering the state of my room). Pyjamas I was wearing.
If there's a way to fall over and humiliate myself in front of a group of strangers, I will find it.  If there's a way to not fall over and humiliate myself in front of a group of strangers, I'll find that too.  Luckily, the security guard took pity on me, and put me out of my misery.
Welcome to my life.
I don't know if it was from lack of sleep, dehydration, or what, but I felt like shit when I landed in Brisbane.  It was Game day, just checked into the hotel, was heading out to lunch and shopping with my old buddy Ange, and all I wanted to do was turn the lights off and go to sleep.  The absolute proof that I was feeling a tad sickly? I couldn't finish my steak at lunch.  My free lunch (thanks Ange).  You should understand that me and steak are like...two things that really go together.  I love steak. Steak and chips are in my top five meals of all time.  And Wednesday,for the first time in the history of the world, that I didn't finish a piece of steak :(  It was a sad day indeed. Next thing you know I'll be leaving half-drunk cups of coffee lying around, with half-eaten pieces of cake (if there's anything I love more than steak, it's coffee and cake).

I was a tad distraught.  This was not how I envisaged this trip going.  But I was going to soldier on because it's Origin.  And I had less than two days in Brisbane, I couldn't waste it being sick.  We didn't go back to the hotel and sleep. We grabbed some nurofen and shopped till I felt human again.  More importantly, I learnt a valuable lesson: shopping and drugs will work wonders for a person.

Onto the game.

Caxton Street.
It lives up to the legend.
People are INSANE.
Going past the Caxton Hotel, and having every.single.person. singing along to "What about me?! It isn't fair, I've had enough now I want my share..."
This is how memories are made.

I was fully prepared to go to the game solo. Clearly, I had lost my mind. Origin would not have been the same if I didn't have my buddy Ange there to scream and cheer and swear right along with me.  Suncorp Stadium is  magnificent.  Great views no matter where you're sitting. This might be the rose coloured glasses talking, but even the stadium food seemed to taste better.
I discovered that I know all the words to the Australian National Anthem.  I didn't sing along.  I wanted to, but I didn't.  So I sung along in my head cos I felt like too much of a traitor to sing out loud.
I impulse bought a new camera.  As a self-confessed techno-spaz, I should've known better.  But I had a responsibility to my fellow Queenslanders to take photos at the game, and my old camera just wasn't going to cut it.  I took photos on Game Day. I hate taking and being in photos.  But I tried. For the sake of my fellow Queenslanders who couldn't join me at the game, I tried.  To my horror, mid-way through the second half, this error message kept popping up when I tried to take another photo.  Please format your SD card. I say no. It says if I want to take a photo I have to.  So I say yes. It says picking yes will erase all other photos I have taken. WTF?! So, I could either get my photo with Locky's statue like I promised a certain sister who shall remain nameless, I would; or I could leave without it.

I didn't leave without it..:'(
It's rare for any game, let alone a State of Origin decider to live up to the hype.  But this one delivered, in spades.  There was a jovial, celebratory atmosphere before the game. But as time went on, you could feel the change in the air. It became intensely tense.  You could feel it in the crowd after Carney kicked that goal.
Then it happened. I have never loved Cooper Cronk more than when that field goal went over. And I love Cooper Cronk a lot. There were hugs, celebratory high fives, and lots of jumping up and down like we'd just won lotto. And then you turned and saw everyone else in the crowd doing the exact same thing.  It felt good to be a Queenslander.

Dodgy call on the Hodges try?  With both of my eyes open, I still say try.
Scott was too slow and Carney made a bad read. The End.
Maybe if they spent more time trying to make a tackle instead of trying to milk a penalty someone coulda/shoulda/woulda made the tackle.
Coulda. Shoulda. Woulda. The three words that haunt sports fans the world over.

Does justice get any more poetic than the biggest diver in the game getting a real injury?

Maybe the biggest sook in the history of the world, dropping it cold while trying to milk a penalty, and handing us the game.

My favourite moment?
Seeing Gallen lying flat on his back crying after the game.
I kid! Of course I kid...that was favourite moment number two ;-)
Cam goes up to make his winner's speech.  And all you can hear is the crowd chanting, Queenslander! Queenslander! Queenslander!
I know this is a moment I'm never going to forget.

But still, that wasn't my favourite moment.
My favourite moment was seeing Petero get up on that stage and get his chance to bid farewell to the fans. 
Lockyer's Origin farewell last year was something special.
Petero deserved nothing less.

There is one absolute truth that I learnt from Origin 3:

Winners are grinners.
Losers blame the video ref.


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

for the love of the game

The Game, of course, is Rugby League. 

The Greatest of them all.

Manly, Queensland and the Kiwis.

2008, the greatest year of this league fan's life.

I've been a Manly supporter since I was kid.
I've been there through the highs - having one of the best teams of the early to mid 90s, premierships, Menzies; and the lows - the Northern Eagles, need I say more?
When the Warriors came along I wasn't filled with excitement at the prospect of having a "local" team. No one could take the place of my beloved Manly.
Matthew Ridge's defection made the Warriors #1 on the list of teams I hate.
In 4th form I did an assignment for English on "Why the Warriors should be kicked out of the NRL" (It was some of my best work, my only regret is that I don't have a copy of that paper to reflect on today).
The "eve" of breve711 is for Steve Menzies. The  "11" also represents Menzies, my all time favourite league player.
I've stayed loyal to Manly all these years, and even now, when WF's confront me with the "local" team argument, I stay true to the Maroon and White.

And yet, despite all of this, for three days of the year, every year, I'm not a Manly fan.
I'm a Queenslander.
It hurts me a little bit to cheer against my Manly boys, but that is what Origin does to you. It takes your club loyalty and blows it to pieces (it does if you're like me and your club breeds the enemy).
In my case, I despise the Stewart brothers, cross my fingers Watmough won't overcome his latest injury, hope Buhrer has the worst Origin debut since the disaster that was Hodges' in 2002, and hope my favourite Tongan (till the end of 2012, then he's dead to me) doesn't last 5mins from his lack of match fitness.
That's the wonder of State of Origin.

I get asked by my non-league loving friends (and some of the league lovers too) why do you care so much about State of Origin? Isn't that for Aussies?
It's a complicated answer, but to cut a long and rambly story short, I just do.  There is no rhyme or reason, it just is.  How can you be a Rugby League fan and not love Origin?

After watching Game 2 last week, I made the spur of the moment decision that I was making it to Game 3 no matter what.  I am not a spur of the moment type of person.  I like to plan.  In advance.  Months in advance.  Despite the game being sold out for months (Queenslanders sell out an origin game like football fans sell out the Super Bowl) I tried to get a ticket.  I googled and googled and googled some more.  Nothing. Nada.  Zip.  There were no tickets to be had anywhere. No package deals available either. Depression ensued.
Then came my desperate plea to my facebook friends.  One day and a trillion suggestions later, I had signed up to E-bay Australia - did I mention I was desperate? Still no tickets. Where were all the ticket scalpers in my time of need?

Then came a teeny, tiny miracle.

My sister hooks me up with Tabitha from Harvey World Travel Mount Isa.  MT ISA.  A tiny mining town in Hicksville, Australia has tickets? They do! I do the dance of joy - metaphorically speaking, I'm still at work after all.

Of course that joy quickly turned to despair when I remembered my passport had expired.  I wasn't going anywhere without it. So, a quick trip to the mall after work to get some quickie passport photos done, and two of the ugliest passport photos in the history of the world later, I was halfway done renewing my passport.
As my luck would have it, the Department of Internal Affairs wasn't open in the weekend. I would have to wait till Monday to complete the process.
Monday morning, I arrive bright and early. Application checked, passport photos checked, $306.60 ready and waiting to be paid, and what do I discover? My flatmate can't be my witness because we live together.  Despair. A desperate look through my phone contacts - that I hadn't updated since I lost my phone over a year ago - and I discover everyone I have in there is either at work, without access to their passports, aren't NZ citizens, or are related to me.  I'm not ashamed to admit it, tears were beginning to pool. As the tears threatened to spill over, I discover a friend who is not only a NZ citizen, but who will be at home because she is on maternity leave. Triumph. She is going to Australia herself in two weeks, so has a valid NZ passport. I can sense victory is nigh. And she is at home so she can get me her passport details. Celebrations and promises of all the brownies she can eat ensue. My passport renewal is complete and the nervous three day wait for my urgent passport renewal begins.

I get to work later that day.  I nervously hand in my application for leave. I'm only asking for three days, and it's more than two weeks in advance. Still, I'm nervous with so much on the line.
For a little background, I am in the process of transitioning into my new job and out of my old one.  My first official day in my new role is Monday July the 2nd.  I requested leave for the 4th to 6th of July - Wednesday to Friday. It is not great timing. It is, in fact, horrible timing.
The 6th of July is the day before my birthday. The 6th of July is the first day of my new colleague's leave. That she applied for weeks ago. Before Me. The 6th of July is also the day we are being audited. 

You know that look on someone's face when they're about to tell you no? That was look on my boss' face.  This is what led me to volunteer to talk to my travel agent and see if I can get a flight back to NZ on Thursday, and be back in time for work on Friday.  I even go so far as to play the sympathy card, and casually mention that July 7th is actually my birthday (I know, pathetic, but it's Origin). Being the awesome employee that I am, in my first week on the job, I am not only trying to go on  holiday, but I'm sacrificing one day of that holiday to cover for someone else, on my birthday week.

Leave approved. The finish line is in sight.
The only thing left on the checklist is finding a place to stay that isn't already sold out. What did we do before Google? Google is my new BFF...well, maybe my second BFF (if google could accompany me to Armageddon, you'd have some serious competition Newz ).
There are so many to choose from. Do I go for cheapest? Or closest distance to Suncorp? I'm in Australia for less than two days, I don't have time to waste commuting. So I go for the hotel that is close to Suncorp, the malls, everything.

What would normally take months of planning (and if I'm honest, it wouldn't be me doing the planning) I've managed to do in less than five days.

I leave for Australia on Wednesday morning.
I come back to NZ on Thursday night.
I am officially going on holiday for 32 hours.

$300 to renew my passport.
$1600 for ticket to game + flights
$600 for hotel.

Being there for Petero's Origin farewell, and witnessing history in the making?

Happy 30th to me.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

supernatural is taking over my life

I'm 29 years, 10 months and 13 days old and I've never learnt how to drive.
Whenever friends or family have asked me about this, my go to response has always been "I'll learn before I turn 30". And now I'm almost 30. And I still haven't learnt how to drive o.O

Part way through last year I set myself 3 goals for when I turn the big 3.0.
 1) Learn Japanese
 2) Get abs
 3) Learn how to drive

I have zero hope of accomplishing 1 and 2, so have laid all my eggs in 3's basket.
The plan was to have my learner's by the end of April.
This would give me 2 months to actually learn how to drive.
It's now May 20 and  still don't have my learners *eek*

Desperate measures in desperate times I made a bet with my flatmates to get me that learners. If I don't have my learners by the end of May I have to do the sky jump off the sky tower. I have an incredibly ridiculous fear of heights made even more ridiculous by the fact that I love theme park rides. The higher the better. So long as I am sitting down and strapped in. I cannot do strapped in and jumping off a building. I cannot. And yet here I am, 10 days away from my deadline and I still don't have my learners.

I went into AA yesterday morning to book my test. After I was all booked in, eye test done, photo taken, the woman behind the counter asked me what I had planned for the rest of my weekend.
I told her my weekend was going to be filled with practise tests, practise tests and yet more practise tests.
I sit here on Sunday at 10.56pm having not done one.single.practise.test.
I've gone shopping online, bought concert tickets, applied for a job, and still not one.single.practise.test.
I sit here writing my first ever blog post, updating the tipping competition points, watching Supernatural dvds - as I've done since I got home from AA yesterday - and doing everything but practise tests.

My test isn't till Sunday. I still have one week to do those practise tests. I also have 3 more seasons of Supernatural to watch.