Saturday, March 26, 2011

My life as a Bogangsta

Somewhere between the topless mechanic students in the carpark, and my new classroom full of ex-builders, I realised that I wasn't the same as all the other Tech students. Partly because I was a female, but more than that... I was so... clean.

And so not bogan or gangsta. I was trapped inside this preppy body. It failed to look dirty or scruffy even when I needed it to. And I did need it to.

Have you ever felt like everybody can tell you're an ex-law-firm employee who is not 18 anymore and has a degree from university, and that you wish you were just wearing body-art instead of a cute clean sailor tshirt and immaculately perfect jeans?


But after a short panic on the first day, I began to see the light. No-one could make me feel unprofessional for trying to wear jandals in the office again. Those days were over. I could be....


Aside from having just coined possibly the world's coolest word from Bogan + Gangsta, I had also done something else: reminded myself of my deep love for everything cheap, grungey, and badass. I refined the Bogangsta Style over the next few days until I felt pretty comfy with it. Here are some tips for pulling off this look:

1. Whatever you do, don't mention to your friends that your mum irons your t-shirts. That is, if you have any friends yet. If not then you should probably ask her to stop ironing your t-shirts...

2. Try to exude 'Badittude' at all times. For a female, the easiest way is through excessive use of the "smokey eye" makeup look.

3. Bedhead is the only hairstyle you have ever heard of. Embrace it.

4. Now that you have worked hard to get the Bogangsta image, DO NOT spoil it by doing any of THESE:

- Talking to people whose hat is bigger than you are. It's just common knowledge on campus that the size of someone's hat it directly proportional to how cool they are.

- Making funny jokes around people who are holding their head and saying "omg I'm never doing that again" on a Thursday or Monday morning. You may regret it.

- Making friends with the opposite sex, in their toilets

If you stick to these tips, then you too can enter the mega-cool world of Bogangsta. Or maybe you can't. Maybe its my private world and I don't want to share it with you. Maybe you're not cool enough, or maybe you have a large hat.

I forget what the point of this was. Probably procrastination.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Axe Murderers and Other Disasters

In our flat of 4 childless and mostly-single girls, we had our Safety Priorities down pat.

Being organised and motivated to survive, we knew that no survival plan was complete without, well, a plan.

It was important to be realistic and to discuss safety procedures as a team. Possibly even to run a few drills. Like the earthquake drills we had all throughout school; except this wasn't about earthquakes - we were not naive schoolgirls anymore. We knew all about the big bad world of psycho killers and axe murderers; looking out your bedroom window and seeing a Mangled Face; being followed around your home by a posessed living doll... that sort of thing.

We assembled a few hallway-meetings and fine-tuned our surivival techniques.

Firstly, a plan of all our most likely pre-attack positions:

Then, the actions each person should take, utilising either safe-spots or escape-spots:

Spot 1. I will call this the "Safety Pod".
Because that makes it sound a lot better than what it actually is - the escape which isn't really an escape at all. Instead it's a tiny triangle cupboard with just enough space for the smallest of small people to squash in, if they can arrange their limbs with the flexibility of... a squid?

We figured this would be one of the smartest ways to avoid death. What kind of axe murderer would be tempted to open a tiny triangular linen cupboard?

I will controversially select Tasha for this "Safety Pod" as she was the smallest flatmate available at the time.

We decided that whoever gets this spot waits for the axe murderer to pass, then runs down the stairs to freedom. Which brings me to the remaining 3 escape routes.
They were actually much more straightforward...

I literally did tie a length of guy-rope to my balcony railing on the 4th floor.

It was a pity that it only reached to 4 metres above the hard concrete driveway, but I planned to brave the extreme rope-burn. When an axe murderer is in your house, the adrenalin will stop you feeling pain, right?

At least I would still feel more relief than Emmi, who didn't have a balcony outside her bedroom, also on the 4th floor. Luckily she had all the stealth of a Katy-Perry-Lookalike wild cat, and with a little coaching from Tasha (who is also a ninja) she would probably land on all fours just fine.

Also, she had been known to carry a gun, which is always useful when you are running for your life from someone who only has an axe.

Take a page out of our book and get yourself a disaster survival plan. Beating your local pyscho killer or the next zombie virus may depend on it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

If I were a Builder

I wish I was a builder

Why ever would you wish that? You may ask...

It's quite a simple philosophy actually: If you can't beat em, join em.

What I'm sayin is, if I were a builder, I would look like this:

Or potentially sexier, if that is even possible.

Those curling biceps and rugged khaki-coloured stubbies give me a 3 out of 5 chance that people like this...

... may actually respect me, a teensy, teensy, tiny bit.

I can hear you laughing from your safe little office desks now. Builders? Who wants the respect of builders? I'm pretty sure they are only half human...

Yes, there was a time when I too thought that builders were a ferrel blend of hyena and gorilla, kept locked up behind wire fences or maybe some scaffolding. Poking their heads through the grates only when they want some meat. Growling as innocent female prey pass by...

What has changed my mind?

Well, essentially nothing. But aside from the fact that my previous viewpoint was 100% discriminatory and about 85% exagerrated, it just happens that I get to spend the rest of my year monitoring a real life building site.
This is a Tech assignment which is supposed to give me an appreciation for the complex construction of timber-framed residential dwellings.

But this is not Bob the Builder people. This is my life and I am a little afraid.

I don't want to be the girl who accidentally shoots herself with a nail gun and doesn't realise until years later whilst getting a dental xray...

It could happen.

Most of my class are builders, or used to be builders, or are dating builders. I am just the girl who worked in an office until I couldn't take it any more and went travelling. Then had about 9 months of being a bum (or technically, a part-time chef) before deciding to become a student again.

If I was a builder, I could have a remote chance of actually understanding what I am talking about in class when I give the following presentation to an audience of 70 about how to wire your house and generate your own power:

That would be a bonus!

And when someone in my class said "NZS3640" I would be like "have you noticed there is a new updated section on bracing in the 2011 edition?" and everyone would grunt, (which is Builder for "yeah totally I know!") and we would talk about it and have something in common.


I wish I was a builder.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Survivor [Norfolk] Island

My painfully short time on planet earth was being whittled away in a soul-rotting office job. It was ugly.

The airconditioning had me like a feverish raisin - hot, cold, damp, chewy and all dried up.

I sat around amidst piles of paper and frightening phone calls, getting varicose veins, RSI, and rotting away my muscles in a wheely chair.

The wheely chair was alright.

And then, completely out of the blue, it happened.
I went to check my emails, a routine office task....

... when out of the darkness came a beacon of light in the form of a magical email from my flatmate 'Emmi'

This happened:

Within 2 days the flights were paid for, my annual leave was sorted, and everything was looking peachy for my vacation.

But one morning later that week, a puzzling thought entered my head:

The answers were fast flowing: it's a bird sanctuary between Auckland and Waiheke Island... it's a gameshow.... it's a week-long party on a rich person's yacht!

All of these could have been valid answers.

But they weren't.

Turned out Norfolk Island was a giant retirement village plopped into the middle of the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand. How were we to know?

I'm not going to go into huge detail about what we did there.

I'm just going to say that Old people are insane and they know how to party. Especially at a Fish-Fry. And they don't hold back on the port...

I felt embarrased by my apparent inability to stay up past 9pm, even with nana-naps in the afternoon...

Emmi discovered the joy that is: Prunes for breakfast.

And against all odds, they actually DID keep us awake at night with their Bridge Tournament.

And then, after a week in the slow mobility-scooter lane, we had a lovely flight back to Wellington in the party-cabin.

And that, my friends, is what you call a holiday.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dear Earth

This is you:

And this is me:

These guys are my friends. We don't normally look this pathetic except when being compared to you:

You can probably tell by the size of our googly little bug eyes that we are more than a little intimidated by some of your recent antics - like how you seem to be in a mad rush to form yourself back into some state of Gondwanaland.

This involves a lot of pushing and groaning on your part which reminds me of labour pains, and I don't really enjoy being forced to think about giving birth every time you throw a tanty. But it could be worse - I could be actually giving birth. Or I could actually be a victim of one if your hissy fits, which isn't seeming that unlikely these days...

Some of my friends (the ones who look like ants compared to you, but maybe even smaller) have started sleeping with their shoes on incase you get angry night terrors again.

Now, I don't know if you've seen my shoes but I'm guessing you know something about bugs and germs since they live and breath all up in your face 24/7.

Let's take a closer look...

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. They're loving it and getting a free ride all the way to a mattressy-bedbug-loogey heaven.

Totally aside from getting miscellaneous crap smeared across my bedsheets, you force me to consider the concept of public pajamal embarrassment. It's a whole new world of inappropriate when you may or may not end up sprinting onto the street in your PJs at 4am with all your neighbours for an indefinite period of time.

Also, you constantly remind me of how I don't have any reflexes.

It's not really a fair fight when you come knocking violently at 2am while I am still in zombie state and not registering that an earthquake is happening.

Other people are up running strategically into doorways, while I am still semi-dreaming about adopting African babies and saying "Why? Why?" in a wierd whispery voice.
The most I did 2 nights ago was slap the wall with floppy zombie hands because I couldn't remember where I was or find the light switch. And for some reason light was an important part of my attempt to beat an earthquake. I don't know why.

Anyway, what I'm saying is, while I have got off scott-free so far, some people haven't been so lucky, and we would really, really appreciate you going easy on us for a while. We are only humans. Pathetic little ant-sized humans.
Maybe go vent your frustration in the middle of the ocean or something.

Well, I'm about to go and have a shower and I would REALLY appreciate you not throwing me out onto my face, as that would be a second-worse-case-scenario for me right now.

(First-worst-case-scenario is a little embarrasing and may or may not involve dolls).

That's all for now.


p.s I do realise we have kind of screwed you up over the years. Bad.