“I’ll be Frodo and you’ll be Sam.”
“What? Why am I Sam? Is it because I’m fat?”
“Yes, it’s because you’re fatter than me.”
My mattress can be described with many words, but clean is not one of them. I bought it from the Salvation Army in 2004 and even then it was dirty. Seven years later it was time for a new mattress, and Anouk offered me hers. So I took it.
Today I presented at WDCNZ 2011 in Wellington. The details of my presentation are below! I had a great time and if you were there I hope you enjoyed the day.
“CSS sucks! Can we please go back to intuitive tables?” – Anonymous developer
“Why does CSS make me want to kill myself? How do I make it OBEY me?” – Anonymous aspiring dictator
“I’m having a bad day. CSS ate my brains.” – Anonymous zombie
CSS may seem unreliable, but actually it’s just a bit dumb. We’ll take a look at the dumbest bits of CSS, and we’ll check out CSS’s optional, shiny new brain, SASS and Compass.
I feel young, even though the odometer of my life clocks a big number this week. Is turning 30 an achievement? I know for my parents it’s a nightmare, as my age makes them feel old.
I may be a year older this week, but I still look young. If you want to stay youthful, here are my suggestions:
November! It’s the month that allows the sun to burn the clouds away from the sky. Flowers, seeing the sunshine, blossom. Birds sing. As my dear Anouk would say, horny weather is here.
Did I blink? I can see the windblown hair of September and the ghoulish ass of last month riding a tandem bike in the distance. When did they pass me? What have I been doing?
I’m still slowly gaining weight. I eat more than I breathe. Meals are like tug boats tugging shipments of fat to my body. The process is slow and sometimes when the fat is offloaded it slips past the guards and takes the big plunge into the porcelain bowl. I currently weigh between 62 and 63 kilos, which is around 137 pounds.
When I go to the gym, I imagine myself as a loaf of bread. My trainer is the baker and the dumb and bar bells are the yeast. The trainer, like any baker, is a sadist. Yes, bakers are sadists. The pain from lifting weights is unlike anything I’ve experienced. This has been a new month of experiences for me, even this late in my life.
The hunger after the gym is also unlike anything I’ve experienced. As weeks pass, my body rises and puffs, not with air but with rice. I am a white rice ball.
Now it’s true that what goes up, must come down, but surely you must also realize that what goes in, must come out? If Newton knew that he would have patented toilet seat warmers. But as my friend, the glutard, says, “You are what you don’t excrete. In your case, beer and salt water taffy.”
I’m also learning how to swim, again. I’ve been learning to swim for a few years. I’ve yet to drown, so up to this point I think it’s fair to say I’m a moderately successful swimmer. Last year I failed because the pool was too far, and I was far too lazy. But this year, the pool is across the street.
When I look out my window and I see togs and goggles, my bucket is filled with guilt. I should know how to swim. But even in a controlled environment, I panic. Swimming would be easier if I could breathe underwater. In a past life I was not a fish. I was probably a kitten than some farmer placed in a bag. Plop.
I want to blog more often, but content is as elusive as a remote control. Even when you find the clicker, deciding what to watch is a chore. Next month, I’ll let someone else choose the channel for me.
There’s a meme in New Zealand called 30 days of me. Each day you post a blog. This is something I’ve never done before, so naturally I’m scared.
When I look ahead and see December in the distance, on a bike, I’ll wave him down and make him stop. Next month will be riddled with posts that are useless, possibly humorous, most likely ridiculous, but inevitably me.
In my bedroom I have a bed, but that’s it. No dressers, drawers, tall boys, low boys, bedside cabinets, wardrobes or scotch chests. I only have one laundry basket that I use as a bucket for my socks. My closet is full and my clothes are disorganized, a mess, they compete with my feet for floor space.
I’m almost thirty so I should buy furniture, be mature, poop poop. Shopping annoys me and I’m a designer, so I’m picky and I like expensive things. For two weeks I’ve looked through magazines and stores to no avail. I complain to friends.
“I’m trying to find bedroom furniture. It’s so hard,” I whine.
“Anything. I’m not sure. The more I read the more I’m confused.”
“Confused? Confused about what?”
“Wood and joints.”
Did I just say wood and joints in the same sentence? Yes Jeffrey, yes I did.
I told a friend about my purchase. “I finally bought a scotch chest for my room. I found a great deal,” I said.
“That’s good to hear,” he said.
“I should have it in a week. It’s being shipped from Christchurch.”
“What? Will it be smashed with free bricks in the drawers?”
At a birthday party I saw a guy drinking my favorite beer, a Sassy Red. I pointed and gave him an encouraging and approving nod of the head, and he said, “I know, right? It’s a great beer.”
“It’s one of my favorites,” I said.
“I know, right? Can you believe a girl saw it tonight and called it a sissy red?”
“She did? Why’d she do that?”
“Because she’s a bitch.”
I met an American from Chicago this week, and we talked about the city and the experiences of moving to New Zealand. She said, “After telling someone I’m from Chicago, I hate when they say ‘from one windy city to another’ or something else about the wind.”
20 minutes later we were standing in a circle, with strangers. Someone asks her, “So where in the states are you from?”
“Chicago,” she said.
“From one windy city to another, eh?”
If you’re moving to Wellington from Chicago, expect a lot of wind talk. Whether you like it or not, it’s where our cultures try to connect.
Next Friday I’m flying to Chicago for a seven week holiday. If any of my kiwi friends want something from America, let me know. I have a large suitcase.
I’ve been busy with work and other bits, but here are highlights from the past two months.
- I saw the Wellington Phoenix win a few games
- I ran seven kilometers in the Wellington Round the Bays and finished in 34:32, which is about 8 minutes per mile
- I attended Webstock with my colleagues. It was inspiring and my favorite speakers were Shelley Bernstein and John Resig
- Last week I weighed 60.1 kilograms, or 132 pounds. I’m close to my fat goal. Soon I will be in a permanent fattened state
- I’m consistently winning cash in poker tournaments. I’ve placed second, third and fourth in 180 player tourneys
- I had my first bloody nose. It was scary
- Xero Personal was released this week. I love it, you should check it out
Last weekend Louie was in Wellington on a holiday. Our worlds are so different.
“They have 2 pound cocktails in London,” she says.
I look at her in disbelief. How do they measure that? Can someone drink two pounds of alcohol? How many liters is that? Alcoholics.
I say, “Are you serious? That’s almost a kilogram.”
She looks at me like I’m an idiot. “Two British pounds. They’re cheap, not heavy.”
This month I moved into a new house with a blue roof. The beach is across the street and the Catholic Church Monastery of St. Gerard is above my home.
I have one complaint about my new abode. During our first morning together it tried to kill me.
It was a normal start to a normal day. I woke up late, as usual. I hit walls while walking to the bathroom and I fiddled with the temperature of the shower. I noticed the tub was unusually curved. When I groggily turned to grab the shampoo and sing like Ferris Bueller my feet lost their grip and, as usual, gravity was pitiless.
I fell in the tub. I was embarrassed, even though I was alone. I carefully stood up, dressed myself and went to the doctor. I thought I fractured a rib.
After giving me a series of hugs to assess the damage to my rib cage the doctor said, “You probably have a small fracture. Don’t be a pussy and go to work.”
Apparently I like to start a new year by breaking bones. One year ago I broke my toe. January is a dangerous month.
When I told a colleague at work I slipped in the tub, she said when her mother fell in the bath she broke her nose. When I told Richard about my accident, he said his grandfather died from slipping in the tub.
Be careful, reader. Tubs are dangerous.
Last week Amber and I grabbed a weekend deal with Air New Zealand. For $190 they provided flights to Christchurch, accommodation and tickets to a polo match, which included lunch and wine.
Besides watching the polo, I:
- “bid” in my first charity auction, which raised money for the Ronald McDonald House
- played roulette in the Christchurch Casino, and walked away a winner
- drove along the Summit Road by Lyttelton
- walked through the Christchurch Art Gallery and smelled the roses in the botanic gardens
The polo started before noon and I was nervous. What was the etiquette? Was the match like the scene from Pretty Woman? Are we expected to stomp divots with hookers? Should we bring extra change to give to the poor, as if we were tossing stale bread to pigeons? Polo has that air about it.
When we arrived I snuck inside the marquee for reconnaissance. I registered our names and we were allocated seats for lunch, which was served after the second chukka.
Watching the game was fun because I’m scared of horses. When the polo “ponies” galloped past me, my heart skipped a beat. Horses are big.
During the fourth chukka a player was hit by a polo mallet. After he dismounted, his hands tried to catch the blood falling from his nose, without touching his nose. So I guess it was broken. He forgot his harden up pills at home so he was replaced with another player.
Last night was the New Zealand premiere of The Lovely Bones. We found a good spot along the red carpet outside the Embassy and waited for Peter Jackson and Susan Sarandon. It was my first movie premiere.
Sometimes living in New Zealand is exciting.
Thanks to Tom and Amber I gamble. I am addicted to poker.
As gambling is legal in New Zealand, I play and lose tournaments at the Lanes, a local ten pin bowling club. I’d like to think my skill is improving, but it’s hard to say. My goal is to win a tournament in the next six months.
Although the game can be frustrating, the poker community is great. Not only are its members diverse, they share a unique vocabulary. For example have you heard of the flop, the turn, the river, a Dolly Parton1, an Anna Kournikova2, a bad beat, a boat and a nut flush?
That’s only a few. During the night you can someone say, “I had pocket nines and flopped a boat. He was on a flush draw.” I love the language.
Besides poker I play ping-pong every week with Andy. Again I don’t win, and when we play I focus on how to lose gracefully. I refuse to spit the dummy!3
Through two months of gaming I now realize I have an addictive personality. First poker, then ping-pong. What’s next? How do I become addicted to something productive?
1. This is when your two starting cards are nine and five, live the movie
2. This is when your two starting cards are ace and king. This is named after her because it looks good but rarely wins
3. A dummy is a pacifier. To spit the dummy means to throw a tantrum
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