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Recently my most-of-the-time favourite (*) website The Spinoff (who I have written things for) announced a residency contest for a writer. Wait, there were only seven of us cos my father was in Korea or somewhere for work. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? We wandered up to Havana, but it was full so we strolled to Hawthorn Lounge instead, relishing our amazing fucking privilege of being able to be two women walking hand in hand down the street, pashing freely whenever we damn well felt like it. But then I didn’t really keep reading much after that. I got myself a Spotify subscription but I don’t know if i discovered anything new – more I revisited old friends. Hopefully this will make them think twice before saying such horrible things again, and if not, at least it has established a precedence that will make it easier for the next complainant.
I’ve started the piece already, though it’s not finished yet, and I’ve put the first draft below. The first thing about getting to the Surrey Hotel is that it’s in Auckland and I live in Wellington. An amazing relationship, chandeliers in my house, a tropical holiday, #BESTGIRLS reunion, two new jobs. We conducted some Serious Science Business for the state of the nation and discovered you can’t actually discern what flavour someone has been eating just by kissing them. No but my levels of loathing for white cis straight men’s opinions has grown and grown and grown. And please let Dylan know just what a great job he did. I like that when I take off my lanyard at night, I don’t have to think about work anymore so much.But the idea of a whole week to myself in which I can write, in which I can knuckle down and focus, in which there won’t be a thousand household chores waiting for me to complete and the stress of my day job numbing my brain leaving me only capable at the end of the day to lie on the sofa and yell at the dreadful cooks on is infinitely appealing. I started babbling about interior design and bridesmaid dresses (same colour scheme you see) and just, well everything under the sun, because I could hear myself talking and I just couldn’t stop myself. If we’re only defining it as at night, and for one night only, then only two – a douchebag in the last week of Mighty Mighty who I slept with because I was angry with S (awesome life decisions, Jo) who was just not a nice person, and then a nice boy from OKC who is actually the boyfriend of a friend of mine (she knew). Last year after Amanda Billingsly was brave and courageous, this douchebag rightwing blogger wrote a piece about how wasn’t it just a strange coincidence that the victim of an attempted rape was also a feminist (huh? Oh, and let’s let XKCD have the last word on free speech here too . A little over a year ago, I looked at my Kiwisaver account and did some calculations and realised I had over $20k in it if we were to include the $5k first home buyer subsidy, and I was paying $375 a week for my flat in Mt Victoria, so I talked to my parents. It is gorgeous and lovely and I share my garden with a dog who greets me more enthusiastically than I have ever been greeted in my life, and the best part is she belongs to the neighbours so I have all the love and none of the responsibility.Not the mention the lure of a free Domino’s pizza every night. So there’s shuttles to the airport and expensive decaf coffee because I’m too early and the terribly difficult choice of a cookie or the vege chips, and the embarrassed look on the flight attendant’s face when I ask for an extension belt. I took a benzo to steady my nerves but I didn’t have to. She is very hard to get over when I think we work so well together. Should I count someone if I saw them again many many times as a friend but we didn’t sex again? ) and had worked with Rape Crisis or some such before (given that 1 in 4 women will experience assault, no, I don’t think that’s a strange coincidence at all) and I saw from the screenshot of that post (because I won’t give them the clicks) that there was a Vodafone ad alongside it. This is the thing that happens when you don’t write in over a year. This post is going to be epically long, but you will take it and you will like it, just because. On a Tuesday they agreed to help me put together a deposit, and by the following Wednesday, I had put a conditional offer on a house and had it accepted. The cats have adjusted really well too, except a couple of months ago, Seb disappeared for two and a half horrible days and reappeared in severe pain with a wrenched leg.And then there’s the Auckland airport bus to the city and then an Uber to Grey Lynn, and then I’m there. Her and Jess Mc Allen both make me real happy about the future of media in this country. Everything was just this bliss: I’ve been sick all week, chunks of my brain flying out of my nose and throat all swollen up like someone full of pride, and that’s not a lot of fun, and it’s not particularly inspiring. I sent them an email about this, citing my previous excellent experience, and then a couple of weeks later I got a phonecall telling me that behind the scenes, they had been reconfiguring their google ads so they wouldn’t appear on the Oily one’s site anymore, because their staff were equally disgusted. Around the same time, there was a bunch of disgust at Cannon for sponsoring the award that went to Oily for best blog, and as my twitter account was protected at the time, I used my profeshish twitter to add my voice to the outcry. He’s still limping and is arthritic and on painkillers every day. Luckily Tasman Street Vet are the greatest people ever since I am spending so much money with them.I had stayed here before back in 2005, when my ties to Auckland were stronger, before my university friends had fully scattered themselves to the wind. More importantly though, can we talk about just how fucking AMAZING The Spinoff is? I’ve been so sick I DIDN’T EVEN FEEL LIKE MAKING OUT last night when Pashfriend was over. So obviously, writing about staying in bed with cats fighting for pole position on my legs is not very interesting, even if four episodes of mysteriously showed up to keep me company, so instead, let me publish a list. Such a gracious lady, who has done so much important work. Then I got this email – sent, by the way, not to my profesh-ish address, but rather to one that had no actual association with that twitter account, so the person had clearly done some stalking on me, as a “I know who you are, you need to shut up now” message: Strangely enough, I never got a reply from them, and google didn’t turn up anything either. Speaking of money, I get that I am exceptionally lucky to have parents to help me buy a house, and family to help me with unexpected vet bills.I was so proud to have been able to pack all the clothes I needed for a weekend into a carry-on bag. Your clothes are bigger so they take up more space (You take up more space so the world believes you to be public property). The amazing Tash from Webstock contacted me recently and said she was doing a project on women of influence, and asked me who mine were. How fantastic to use her platform as a comedian to be so so fiercely feminist. I’d be full of admiration for her for La Boca Loca alone as its place in the community and that they’re paying a Living Wage, but then you add in all her lawyering in Afghanistan and woah. You have the ability to make each and every person feel special when they interact with you, and that is a very special power. As per tradition, I spent the morning with Tom and Karen and Keith, eating an amazing breakfast, drinking a lot of bubbly and gin, then watching . Toplessly Face Timing with Jo and trying to accidently flash her. That’s when I opened my Twitter up again, because I will not be silenced. After the election I realised that I needed to do more to help the most vulnerable in our society (ie: I needed to do something with all my fucking priviledge) so I trained as a Refugee Volunteer Support Worker with the Red Cross.
If you wear skirts, you need to factor in something to prevent chub rub as your thighs get intimate with each other when you walk around. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? She’s aware of her own privilege in being pretty and white, and yet she still works to do great things for others – see Smart Girls At the Party for her excellent web series for young girls. Parks and Recreation is fucking hilarious AND it’s about actual NICE people who support each other and achieve things. And her promotions that she does are so outside of the box and fabulous. I wish I was Courtney running this beautiful website about places to eat and making a living out of it. Whenever I am struggling with writing something that matters, I ask myself “how would Jo wrote me a list last week because she decided to turn Hubris into clickbait. Then we went out to BAMJI’s house in Petone for presents and dinner and fun times. After a whole bunch of night classes, me and another lovely woman team mate filled a house with donated goods and now we’re working with an Afghan woman and her daughter , who I will refer to as B and N.
I’d even managed to pack my rarely worn togs, determined that since there was a pool, I would swim in it. Yes and there were literal fireworks when I declared it. No but my levels of loathing for white cis straight men’s opinions has grown and grown and grown. As a person who works in the public service sometimes, Lesley Knope is my role model, even though her patience and resiliance is something I will never ever ever have. I guess at least that would mean I’d keep my New Year’s resolution to keep Hubris updated a little bit better than I have been. Because Claire is available during the day, she goes to WINZ appointments and stuff like that with them, and I take them to the things that can be done outside of work hours, like supermarket shopping.
This time, I have a suitcase on wheels, because my laptop is heavy and I have brought more than one pair of pyjamas with me. It seems like the place has had a spruce up since then, though it’s still odd having the swimming pool out in the open in the middle of the building. I’m going to write something momentous and have it published on the Spinoff. As per tradition, I spent the morning with Tom and Kris and then Keith, eating an amazing breakfast, drinking a lot of bubbly and reading each other quizzes out of the book that my work gave me when I left. Toplessly Face Timing with Jo and trying to accidentally flash her. (Again, this answer is the exact same as last year). Shelley is one of my favourite Webstock speakers because I love the work she does in trying to open up a magnificent resource like the Brooklyn Museum to the community in which it is based. Lord knows I’ve hardly stopped taking taxis to work, and I haven’t been very good at dancing every week, though I did have possibly the best dance of my life to ‘Shake it off’ in my red ruffled panties with a friend over Easter in a context I flatout can’t explain. Right now I am constantly checking the countdown clock until I go to Melbourne on May 1 to reunite with Jo and Kini in our #bestgirls reunion (another New Year’s resolution). It can be absolutely exhausting, and it can also be the most amazing thing ever when there are tiny victories like getting B’s phone to work so she could call family back in Afganistan, being able to tune in the Hindi TV channel for them, or even just how happy and determined tiny little B & N looked behind Justin’s enormous loud lawnmower.
I find my way to the room, bounce on the bed, read through the manual of how to call reception and turn on the TV. The writing desk looks at me expectantly, like the Nick Cave line about the piano crouching in the corner with all its teeth bared. Maybe I’ll write something as great as the poem about Monica from I swipe right on solid-looking men with cheeky grins, especially those with Irish or Scottish accents. “I haven’t dommed someone before, but I’m willing to learn” says Eugene. Obviously my girlfriend’s, because for some reason she likes me. The woman who suggested I should go meet up with the guy who’d stalked and threatened me, because “he was feeling bullied”. Especially Witches’ Coven Dance on Mondays with the amazing Boganette and Rachel. Sleeping all day on weekends, feeling lonely on Sundays and being passive/aggressive when things didn’t go my way. Then we went to Karen’s apartment for presents and dinner and fun times, and I was greatly relieved that it was not nearly as hot as it was in 2012 when we were there and it was airless. She’s so passionate about what she does, and she acknowledges the work of the people she works with, AND she has the greater good in mind. I’m also watching the clock on April 24 too, as that will be my last day in my current job before I make the leap to another public servant role. Especially Witches’ Coven Dance on Mondays with the amazing Boganette and Rachel. I am extremely grateful that my friends and family are supporting me in supporting them – like Raena helping me set up their house, heaps of people donating things, and even just being able to go over to Demelza’s after two long hours in the supermarket and stress-cry on her shoulder.
I ask him how rough he likes his sex and give him a detailed list of what I’m looking for – light on pain but heavy on saying the kinds of things that get me off. Also every cent I spent on Bae because I am a great big loved-up idiot. Her husband’s, cos this thing is far easier than it could be. The ‘anonymous’ person who complained to the Red Cross that I was taking (my) prescription anxiety medication during an incredibly anxious situation. And because how I’m going to blush now when I hear certain songs. I also wish I could have swum more but ear infections made me worry. It will be within easy strolling distance of my house and it will be more money too, even though it will mean doing timesheets and contracting and all that crap. I also wish I could have swum more but ear infections made me worry. Xmas holidays are over and I did nothing but bingewatch , take two naps a day, get some sunshine, make out with my pashfriend some and host really great Orphans’ Xmas Brunch and New Year’s Eve parties.
Subbing could be a very confusing time for a feminist if I wasn’t a firm believer that whatever two consenting adults get up to in the bedroom is only between them and their readers. ME for working on my self-loathing and getting better at articulating my needs. The police officer who used a 10 year old girl (and witness) as an interpretor. And maybe ‘Elastic Heart’ by Sia because apparently that was my most-played song. But I’ll be working with a woman who I met on twitter, and she’ll work me to the bone and I really look forward to that. Oh, and spend quite a bit of time out with the refugees of course.