My cat is a sexist pig

Word count 32,173

So, as I’ve posted before, I have a cat.  He’s a gorgeous wee tabby that I got from a rescue shelter about a year and a half ago.  I love him and could quite possibly talk about him all the time but he’s not really that interesting and  would get really boring really quickly.

As much as I love him it has come to my attention that he is in fact a sexist pig. I guess it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, his name is Fonzie and he was therefore named after someone who didn’t have the most enlightened view on women.

Fonzie doing his Puss in boots look - trying to get women (aka me) to get food for him

My flatmate and her cat moved in recently, and her cat is a gorgeous black female cat called Nala.  Now my Fonzie seemed very intent on laying down the law and making sure that Nala knew that HE was the head of the house and that she was quite clearly subservient, being a quiet and laid back sort of cat Nala was pretty happy to oblige.

This all seemed like normal feline behaviour of the resident cat asserting his authority – until yesterday.  Yesterday my flatmate was out the front of the house saying goodbye to a friend and both cats were out the front.  Nala was sitting quietly, minding her own business when Fonzie snuck up behind her and smacked her on the arse.  So it’s official – my cat is a sex pest.  I despair, I really do, I didn’t raise him to go around smacking bottoms like some sexist, lothario.

But then he is a Mamma’s boy and you have to watch them.

 

A dangerous rabbit hole for procrastinators

Word count: I’m working on it alright?

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I shouldn’t go onto youtube – ever.  Over an hour ago I started writing a blog post and I was going to insert a clip from youtube.  It should have taken 5 minutes – open youtube search for clip, clip on a few to find the right one, copy link into here and carry on writing the blog. Right? Wrong.

Youtube in it’s infinite wisdom said I might like to watch a special Doctor Who episode of The Weakest Link.  Well are you happy now youtube? You were right – I did want to watch it rather than write my blog and then go on and do some work on my book – you know what I’m actually supposed to be doing.

So if I never become a published writer or I am published and people say ‘well it was nearly good but it wasn’t’ I’ll blame youtube because of the invaluable time I spent being sucked into video after video of Doctor who related material – honestly the place is full of it – it’s like they’ve never heard of kittens!

Turns out I do have morals after all

Word count – not sure really need to combine a couple of documents and get a total. So basically, I don’t know.

Yesterday a job ad was posted on seek.co.nz which is pretty much the main job site in NZ.  It had pretty much had me written all over it – HR Advisor? Check! 6 month contract? Check! FMCG experience? Check!

Figuring that some poor sod was working on a public holiday (possibly from home) I decided I’d phone today when I had a spare moment.  So I phoned the recruitment agency (who I’ve dealt with before) and after the pleasantries and after she figured out who I was (turns out there’s another Naomi she deals with – what are the odds) we started talking about the role, she had to ask one question – would I be happy to work for a Tobacco company.

Fantastic, pretty much the only industry which I have a blanket ban on is Tobacco.  So I finally found my moral limit when it comes to work.  I’ve always been anti smoking, my granddad had emphysema and I would feel like a hypocrite and I wouldn’t want pushing cigarettes on my conscience – I have enough trouble sleeping without things like this weighing on my conscience.

The day did pick up from there though. In some ways today was the best kind of day – a day when I receive a book through the mail!  Amazon had sent me The Blogess’s  book which was a nice surprise to end the day (ok not a total surprise I did buy it but I didn’t know it would arrive today!) I’ve only read the chapter titles and coversand already I’ve laughed   lots – which is a very good start.

I’ve got one more book I’m waiting on in the mail – but more on that and it’s associated blog project later.

Lest we forget

So today is a public holiday in New Zealand and Australia as it’s ANZAC day.  ANZAC Day, besides being a public holiday is our memorial, it marks the day in 1915 when troops landed at Gallipoli in what was a disastrous campaign that lost many many lives and gained very little.  It is generally considered the place where New Zealand and Australia both became nations distinct from being an out post of England.  We remember all the fallen from all the wars New Zealand has fought in right up to the peace keeping and rebuild teams in places like Afghanistan.

Now there is nothing I can say about to day that hasn’t been said many times before by people far more eloquent than me, so instead I’m going to post something related to waste time reading – a procrastination tool.

Mental Floss are doing a series tracking the causes of WWI as the centenary of each event occurs leading up to the declaration of war in 1914.  The fact that this series started last year shows what a long slow complicated dance it was that lead to WWI.  I’ve often thought that the reason that there are far more movies about WWII than WWI is because the basics of WWII are easy – it’s a simple good vs evil, the Nazis were evil and needed to be stopped, where as WWI was the end point of a lot of political wrangling, disagreements and Germany’s plans for expansion.  As a History geek I find the series really interesting.

So though I spend the day sleeping in, faffing about with my blog, and watching Glee I’d still like to remember what the day is about.

 

My I’m not Deadaversary

Today is a very significant day for me, it’s the day I call my ‘I’m not deadaversary’.  Two years ago I hoped on a plane to start a five week trip around Europe and I felt great.  I was excited – of course – and tired because I hadn’t got a lot of sleep the night before but other than that just looking forward to leaving the country for the first time in 2 ½ years.

When we landed in Dubai (where I was staying for 3 days) I walked down the stairs, onto the tarmac and then blacked out – I had clots in my heart and lungs.  I didn’t actually realise how close I came until weeks later when I was safely back home in New Zealand.  At the time I was too busy down playing it and telling everyone I was fine, which I was doing right up to the point that they told me I had to have open heart surgery at which point I rethought my position.

So today I remember my luck, I’m lucky I didn’t die, I’m lucky I landed in a country with a really good health system, I’m lucky I had a surgeon who did one last test before he cut me open even though there was only a 5% chance I wouldn’t need surgery, I’m lucky I didn’t need open heart surgery. 

I’m not a deeply philosophical person, I’m not religious and I don’t generally look for deeper meanings in life – I’ve pretty much learnt to take things as they come.  But when faced with something that scares me, that’s outside my comfort zone, I always remember the alternative. 

Below is a piece I wrote about that day, it was an exercise in being more introspective and writing more about details and less about action.

She opened her eyes; she could feel the hard tarmac underneath her, hot in the Arabian sun.  As she gained focus she could see blood pooling by on the ground, like a scarlet oil slick bright against the black.

She struggled with her memory, as she struggled for breath. Hours and hours on a plane, it had been stuffy, and no matter what she tried she could not get comfortable, sleep was always just out of reach. There had been turbulence; despite all of the travel she’d done she had never had a flight with bad turbulence until now.  As she exited the plane she felt queasy and light headed, the heat and recycled air, she thought to herself, the turbulence and lack of sleep that’s why she felt so unwell.

There were people everywhere.  A woman in her beige airline uniform crouched down and spoke to her trying to find out what had happened.  Other passengers in the distance, some already on the bus that would whisk them onwards to the terminal and holidays, looking as one of their number lay sprawled on the ground, as the air hostess put a travel pillow under her head, as the airport’s medical unit were called.

The ground was hard but it was warm, she wanted to sleep but still she struggled to breathe.  She tried her breathing techniques that she’d learnt in singing lessons, the ones that helped so much when she had asthma but today nothing would work. 

Another of the cabin crew crouched down.  They asked her name, they asked where she was from, where she was going simple questions she could answer between strangled breaths.  She was staying for a few days, did she know the name of her hotel – a question her concussed mind could not answer.

At last the medics came.  On another day riding on the nifty little vehicle would have been a thrill, being treated like an injured All Black.  On this day she barely noticed, she was jostled and lifted onto the stretcher and phased in and out as the desert air tousled the parts of her hair not caked in blood.

Who knew that airports had medical centres, she thought, as the doctors and nurses bustled around, giving her oxygen, IV fluids bombarding her with questions.  Eventually they could do no more and sent her onwards to the hospital she focused not on what had happened but on details, what about her luggage? Could she still go to Europe?

The ambulance tore through the streets of Dubai, she had been there before but as she was lying down, strapped to a gurney she had no sense of direction no idea where in the city she was going.

They arrived at the hospital and she was wheeled into the bright florescent lighting and pastel walls that are uniform of hospitals everywhere.  There were more questions and tests she was wheeled through various parts of the hospital – why couldn’t they just let her sleep?

Eventually a doctor explained things to her, clots.  Her heart and her lungs were full of clots.  They jabbed her with a needle to make the clots go away, they told her she couldn’t leave the bed, not for anything.

And at last she was left alone.  By herself in a strange country, in a foreign hospital but all she could think about was sleep.

Now to lighten things up a bit here’s a photo a week after my close encounter with the tarmac 

Mondays, Muppets and Movies

Word Count – officially the same as it was before but I’ve been doing some side work on the sub plot which I don’t really have a total for yet. Ah Monday!  The day that comes with realisation that you have to drag yourself out of bed and through another working week.  Of course we have a sort of mini break as it’s a public holiday day on Wednesday, which means that Thursday will be an odd sort of day where it feels like Monday but it’s nearly the weekend – which will either make it awesome or terrible beyond belief. After today I think I should have a ‘Monday Muppet’ award though if this is the inaugural award I’ve got three contenders. Contender 1 for Monday Muppet: Not so much a person as a system.  The Auckland transportation system, after two weeks of transport bliss while the city’s school and university students were on holiday, today the Auckland transport system (in my area at least) ground to a halt.  This is after the bus company rolled out their supposedly new and improved time tables which had more buses.  Conclusion? Auckland’s public transport system only works when hardly anyone uses it.  I really shouldn’t use public transport – it turns me into a grumpy old lady who mutters things under her breath about ‘kids these days’ and I’m a good 40 years too young for that.

Contender 2 for Monday Muppet:  A young guy we were looking to hire.  As part of the recruitment process he had to undergo a medical, twice in the last few weeks he’s been booked, twice he failed to show.  So last week I put on my big growly teacher voice and phoned him and told him that he had one more chance and if he failed to show then no job for him.  Today was his appointment and you guessed it he was a no show.  Muppet, now he doesn’t have a job when he gets made redundant.

Contender 3 for Monday Muppet: Work and Income New Zealand or WINZ for short.  Three years ago I got made redundant and I applied for the unemployment benefit which I was duly payed.  Despite telling them of my every move, they somehow over paid me and given I was doing bits and pieces here and there I didn’t notice.  A year later they audited me and eventually said I owed them money.  At this point I had a rare moment of ‘sticking it to the man’ and decided that they could take it in small amounts out of my pay check.  Today I got a phone call (which I missed) and an email asking me to phone them.  I got back to them only to find out I still owed them money – a whole $5, of course I can’t pay over the phone so that required another email.  All up over half an hour of work done by a government agency to retrieve $5.

Given that Number 2 is the only individual I think he wins.

In more optimistic less grumpy old lady news, I’ve just got home from seeing The Hunger Games  with one of my friends. My friend had forced the book on me in a way that I knew that I needed to read it or I’d never hear the end of it (we’re very similar in this regard) and I devoured it in a weekend.  So when the movie came out we were both dying to see it. It’s taken a few weeks of schedule wrangling (especially with her husband who travels for work and in the end gave up on trying to see it) but we finally got to see it.  First off the casting was brilliant, I was a bit unsure of Woody Harrelson playing Haymitch going into the movie but he was fantastic, they did a fantastic job of showing the contrast between the struggle of life in the districts compared with the spectacle of the Capitol.  I could have done without the shaky ‘Blair Witch Project’ camera work – I found this made it hard to watch at time but apart from that I thought it was a really faithful adaptation.  I think it’ll be interesting to see how they do with the other two films,  I felt that the rest of the trilogy wasn’t as strong but often things are ironed out when they’re adapted to the screen.

Pimping my blog

Word count: 31,606

So again it’s been a wee while – a month this time but I have actually put that time to good use, I’m making really good progress with editing my novel and I’m well on track for the October deadline for the competition that I want to enter.

But I do have plans to make my blog better, faster, stronger – or even just prettier, more frequent and covering more topics.  I have plans to have sort of projects which may be part of the main blog or may be off shoot blogs.

This will either be the first step in world domination or more things for me to procrastinate about doing – it could go either way

But as a first step I’ll make my blog prettier:

This is Fonzie my very cute, very affectionate cat – I got Fonzie from a rescue shelter who had already named him, enough of my friends told me that they didn’t care what I called him they’d call him Fonzie so the name stuck.

He certainly makes the blog prettier!