Wednesday, March 30, 2005


After reading This Chick's blog for awhile, but never really commenting much (I'm not a lurker, I just don't like to comment unless I feel really moved to do so - no sense in clogging up comment spaces with rambling - that's what this blog is for!), I discovered that she and I have something more in common, apart from wanting to be slimmer (the subject of a later post, methinks): knitting.

I have blogged a tiny bit about knitting before (here and here), and mentioned it to my mostly-much-older colleagues, but I don't actually know anyone my own age or thereabouts who knits, or would admit to it. Which is just plain crazy, given that some lovely stores have hand-knit garments (that aren't even that nice or consistently knit) for sale for some outrageous prices (Stella Gregg, long cream hooded cardi in garter stitch for nearly $300, anyone?).

But thanks to the wonder of the Interweb, I can now see what This Chick is knitting! And lo and behold, she's just started the wrap cardigan I'm finishing (just sewing up the last half of the collar seam, so it's as good as done). Yay!

Nice to know that someone else out there is doing the same sort of thing.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Easter traditions new and old

The Trouser started a new Easter tradition for our little family (him and me) on Friday.

On Friday morning, not long after we woke up, he announced that it was Easter, and thus time to exchange our Easter eggs.

I was bemused, but he was keen and so we both bounded out of bed to get our offerings from their respective hiding places, then jumped back into bed to swap them.

Having missed out on the Lindt bunny I'd hoped to present The Trouser with, I had purchased a large chocolate chick, made of fancy European chocolate and probably 20cm tall. He gave me an exquisite Swiss dark chocolate chick (obviously a subconscious theme going on here). He then proceeded to cut his chick in half with a spoon, and gobble up the chocolate!

It's quite different from the traditions of my childhood. A few days before Easter, we used to hard-boil loads and loads of eggs, then decorate them (writing on them with white or yellow crayons, then dyeing them by putting them in a mixture of vinegar and food colouring). This was a serious process, with much competition for different colours of the dye, and to produce the most unusual and beautiful eggs.

On Easter morning, we'd get up and hunt for the eggs, which the Easter bunny had hidden for us. (As the years passed, I realised that the bunny had a few favourite spots!) The hunt was (as always in my childhood home) fiercely competitive - who would find the most eggs?

Adding to the excitement, we also had to find an Easter basket each, which had some chocolate eggs and stuff, but also jellybeans (no idea why, they were just there).

Once I finally got up the courage to admit to my parents that I *knew* about the Easter bunny, I got to be the bunny. My brothers (who were afraid to admit their knowledge in case they lost out on the chocolate) had a hard time finding the eggs and baskets that year, LOL.

After finding the baskets and eggs, we'd have a family breakfast, often including the hard-boiled eggs (yuck). Then we'd go to church, and come home to a family lunch or dinner, usually complete with a cake in the shape of a lamb with white icing and coconut on it (lambs and springtime and all, even though it's autumn in NZ). And we'd have Gran's hot cross buns (without crosses), even though we'd eaten hundreds of them in the preceding weeks, since they were so delicious.

In my late teens and early 20s, I'd make my own Easter eggs for friends. You poke a small hole in the top of an egg, get rid of the egg into a container (quiches here you come!), then wash the egg out carefully with hot water and a bit of detergent. You then pour melted chocolate into the egg, adding nice things like chopped up nuts, marshmallows, and jubes (sometimes you make the hole a bit bigger so you can fit things in). The egg goes into the egg container and into the fridge so the chocolate sets. If you get very creative, you decorate the shell, then tie a bow on it, and you've made a bloody heavy, delicious, chocolate egg.

Anyway, Easter has been different since The Trouser and I have been together - we see it as a precious opportunity to spend quality time together, rather than a religious time. And given our preference for a laid-back lifestyle, we tend to be fairly low-key.

However, if/ when we have children, I figure I'll be all into the egg decoration and egg hunting. As long as you have someone who will eat hard-boiled eggs, you're ok. I'd probably make the hot cross buns too. I've missed them heaps since Gran died (I miss her more, of course - but Gran and her cooking were fairly inseparable!). I meant to make some this year, but my knitting and desire to be lazy won out.

It was a lovely weekend (sigh)... Can we have another soon please?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

It's official...

...I am a boozehag! (With thanks to The Well Dressed Librarian.)

Bacardi 151
Congratulations! You're 144 proof, with specific scores in beer (100) , wine (133), and liquor (86).
All right. No more messing around. Your knowledge of alcohol is so high that you have drinking and getting plastered down to a science. Sure, you could get wasted drinking beer, but who needs all those trips to the bathroom? You head straight for the bar and pick up that which is most efficient.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 84% on proof

You scored higher than 97% on beer index

You scored higher than 97% on wine index

You scored higher than 92% on liquor index
Link: The Alcohol Knowledge Test written by hoppersplit on Ok Cupid

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

On a less introspective note

How cool are these beans? Roll on with quarry dust in gardens I say - though how you'd stop yourself from crying when you cut onions that are bigger than coconuts is beyond me!

Hmmmm responsibility

I read this post of Che Tibby's the other day, plus the article he referenced, and it got me thinking.

I wonder what it is like to opt out of the career and success track, and to do your own thing?

Some people would say that I have opted out, albeit in a more modest way: I quit law school, and have never made an effort to get a fancy corporate job like many of my peers.

But in other ways I've opted in to early grownup-ness: focusing on achieving my goals and setting myself up for the most pleasant time possible both in the present and the future.

At any rate, my main goal for the past 5 or so years was (and still is) happiness. Hard to achieve but worth the effort.

Meanwhile, the people I went to school with, who all did the "sensible thing" (i.e. not quitting law school or similar because it bored them), are now running away from corporate jobs at high speed, and chasing happiness like it's only available for the next 5 minutes. It's like they forgot about being happy till just now, and they have to do whatever it takes to be happy immediately - like it's a one-time offer that expires.

With a mortgage and career (of sorts) at the tender age of 25, I certainly had (and continue to have) a different kind of responsibility than most of my friends. Do I like pretty new things and long, lazy lunches at nice cafes? Do I love international travel? Sure. (Do I want to let my parents pay for me once I've moved out of home? Not really.) Do I want to get us out of debt quick-smart by paying the mortgage off? Hell yes!

Although I am actually very happy with my lot, it certainly is different from how I envisaged my life progressing. I never intended to become mega-responsible!

You see, as a younger person, I fantasised of my important job and a lovely apartment in a large international city. I focused on how successful I would be and how I'd live in this great, exciting city.

Fast-forward to the present and just about all I got right was the apartment bit. I mean, my job is important in many senses (gets the job done, pays the bill etc.) but it certainly isn't the high-flying role I thought I'd want. And Auckland is a nice city and all, but exciting-international-city-of-my-fantasy it ain't.

Of course, I never fantasised about being in a fantastic relationship, or dreamed of getting married, either. Meeting The Trouser and realising I love and want to be with him above all other things has been quite a shock. Realising I'm looking forward to marrying him one day was an even bigger shock.

I am really, really curious about what it is like to be truly footloose and fancy-free in your 20s right now. I wonder if it is empowering, or if it's just a recipe for later unhappiness? So many people have regrets about how they spent their youth on both sides (irresponsibly or as far too much of a grown-up), I wonder if you can really ever get it right?

Each to their own, I guess.

Monday, March 21, 2005


We've been discussing families in the past week or so - The Trouser and I, and my colleagues too (they get a lot of free entertainment!).

In your family, who is allowed to criticise whom? Can you criticise your in-laws, or is that only ok for those actually related by blood?

And when it comes to your "significant other", are you of the "don't ask don't tell" persuasion, or are you more of a full disclosure kind of couple?

My father always instructs me not to say anything negative about the in-laws (out-laws!) to The Trouser, which I find interesting, since we try really hard to be kind but honest about all sorts of things - especially the important and/ or difficult ones.

We are allowed to tell each other what we think about anyone and everyone, though we have to try to be compassionate for each other's feelings.

On a slightly different note, inspired by llcoffee's bravery, I think I'll invite The Trouser to add an entry or 2 to my blog. He already knows about (and reads!) my blog, but it's probably time for the loveliest man in the world to say hello!

Friday, March 18, 2005

The tornado that wasn't

It came, it apologised, it fizzled out.

After ranting about the mean email and worrying about dealing with it all, it turns out that the tornado was simply being difficult, and has learned how to apologise in a low-key but sincere way.

Thank goodness!

And thank you also for listening and commenting supportively - it kept me from resorting to violence :-)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Lesson of the day

No matter how much you love the taste of aioli, it tastes considerably less nice about 2 hours later.

It is even *less* nice 3 hours later (and so on).

However, the bad taste and potential heart attacks are totally worth it. I mean, it's no sweet chilli sauce (my precioussssss!) but it is very nice indeed (and always a delicious accompaniment to sweet chilli sauce, come to think of it!).

Monday, March 14, 2005

And on a happier note...

After a bit of whinging, I finally found a shop with modern knitting patterns and even some wool I liked!

No scary Jenny Kee multicoloured knitwear for me! In a non-religious kind of way, bless you LynnMall (never thought I'd see myself write that!), and bless The Trouser for driving me there (it was his turn to drive).

I am loving my knitting - it's entertainment and new clothes all in one!

Starting the week off on the right note

I am 25% Asshole/Bitch.
Part Time Asshole/Bitch.
I may think I am an asshole or a bitch, but the truth is I am a good person at heart. Yeah sure, I can have a mean streak in me, but most of the people I meet like me.

(With thanks to Cesca.)

See, I knew I wasn't a completely mean person! Meanwhile, the tanties/ dramas situation has developed - more dramas, then less, then a couple more again.

I won't be able to leave town or ignore the people in question ("the tornado" - tee hee!) - unfortunately they are related to The Trouser so I can't confront the issue, just put up with it and let him sort it the best he can (he is very kind to me). Damn in-law situation (or should they be outlaw, since we're not married?)!

The temptation to be obstructive and obstreperous and generally petty and nasty is very strong. I am actually quite good at that sort of thing, especially if logic is involved. I know I could easily beat the tornado in any argument. But for the sake of The Trouser, I am keeping well out of it. It is perhaps a waste of my superior arguing skills (finely honed for approx 25 years), but then I am morally superior.

Hm, think I'd prefer to win the argument *and* be morally superior. Though frankly, the tornado probably wouldn't appreciate the thoroughness of the trouncing (or understand it?).

My one consolation is that we have pulled together and are closer than ever. It has also made The Trouser realise that he is a good person who doesn't deserve to be bullied. And as these are probably the very last things that the tornado wants, it gives me perverse pleasure.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Oh yeah

I should add that I *am* actually a nice person. Other people (tanty-thrower excluded as of today) say so. I like babies and children, and generally anyone as long as they are not entirely rude and blatantly disrespectful to me or my loved ones. Even then, I make exceptions.

I also do nice things like help people who are lost and make baked goods for people at work. And I always say please and thank you.

So really, I am nice. As much as it would please me to use my intellect for more Machiavellian means (rather a lot, truth be told), it's just too mean for me to follow through on.

Other people's crap

I really, really hate it when other people dump their crap all over you.

Not when they are friends/ family (or even strangers!) who need a hand cos they're going through a rough time - that's fine. It's the people who don't make an effort with you at all, but expect you to put them in the centre of your universe, and when you don't do as they say, they dump their (metaphorical) crap all over you.

You see, The Trouser and I have had to make some tougher decisions in the past few months. Big stuff - extended family's desires vs. our needs; financial security vs. short-term happiness for someone else; etc. It has been hard for us - we both consider other people, even when they don't consider us.

Some of the decisions we made have meant that other people have not been pleased. But you can't please everyone all the time, and there really is no pleasing some people. Besides all that, there is absolutely no point putting other people first when they never stop to consider you - even when you ask them to!

The Trouser received an unkind email today that upset us both. Apart from its appalling spelling and punctuation, and total abuse of the grammar system as we know it, it was mostly remarkable for its lack of clarity and consideration for other people. We were not surprised that the sender was self-centred - we knew that already (though I suspect The Trouser originally thought the sender was less selfish), or that there was a total lack of logic displayed in the crazy-ass suppositions and conclusions that were made. What we were surprised by, however, was how mean, nasty and just plain horrible the message was.

A tantrum is usually unpleasant, but via email it is worse (you don't see their face going red so there's no comic relief).

The actual content is too miserable to even blog about - but basically I am a nasty, manipulative, evil bitch who is unworthy of The Trouser and all those who know him. Oh, and my morals are all shot to hell, too. Apparently "everyone" says so.

The upshot of all this is that, aside from the drama of trying to sort out the tanty-thrower (who will be visiting NZ soon, and whom we cannot avoid for various reason), we may have to totally change the trip we've been planning for ages, since the tanty-thrower's place was a major destination.

Anyone else ever had a really nasty tantrum thrown at them via email? Any suggestions as to how to handle it all? I am so sad (and quite hurt) that I want to ignore it all, but then it will only get worse.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Too distracted to blog

A lovely French boy lent me his copy of The Da Vinci Code.

Although I admit to reading and usually enjoying almost anything (car manuals can be dull, but are a better option than nothing to read when stuck in the car!), I had low expectations.

So when I began it last night, I didn't expect to be hooked - and freaked out - so quickly.

In short, I would blog tonight (that 100 things list is an excellent idea and I do want to do it), but I'd rather read my book.

I should also note, in my defence, that The Trouser has forbidden me reading it at bedtime. It gives me the heebie-jeebies - I spend time wailing "I'm all creeped out! Put the light on!", or scrunching my eyes up tight and tensing my body up as I try to think of anything but the creepiness.

This is not the first time this has happened to me - Stephen King's Bag of Bones had a similar effect on me (and rightly so, it is a creepy book!). Yes, I am highly suggestible.

So while there's daylight I'll be reading... For the next couple of days, anyway. Reminds me of the bad old days when I was too busy reading prescribed texts (let alone the secondary readings!) to do things like check my email (impossible for me nowadays) or do the dishes. Ah, they weren't all bad then...

Monday, March 07, 2005

A confession

My pseudonym is not entirely apt.

Although I have named myself "The Skirt", I should probably be called "the collector of shoes". A passion for fine footwear developed early in my childhood, and it never abated. Although it was a crappy job that didn't pay too well, I fondly remember my days (and evenings) working at one of NZ's better shoe stores.

I am not an Imelda Marcos - I demand beauty and quality at low, low prices. The lower the better - and never full price unless the footwear is divine and I am feeling very flush.

My #1 tip to you is this: No 1 Shoe Warehouse. It will take time and you must be prepared to try lots and lots of footwear on - you have to be able to envisage the potential to shop well here - but it has loads of good stuff. I might also add that it doesn't just have cheap crap - there are leather, leather-lined shoes there too. It just takes a bit of scavenging.

So I haven't bought anything there yet - I've found bargains that are either too large or too small - but I am ever-hopeful. Hell, for NZ$19.95, who wouldn't be?

And to the other confession: every work morning, I read Manolo's Shoe Blog. While I don't agree with some of his comments (David Hasselhoff will never be anything but scary to me), it is very amusing, and I do love to read about shoes, even if they are out of my reach!

I am wearing a pair of new shoes today - mushroom-coloured, pointy-toed, ankle-strapped beauties. They were less than half price from Diana Ferrari last time I was in Sydney. Very comfy (quite important) and very beautiful (always important), and now I have one less pair of shoes that I've bought and not yet worn, yay!

Friday, March 04, 2005

It's Friday afternoon...

so it must be time for a spot of covert work-blogging!

Time seems to have sped up in Skirt-world recently - although there are definitely parts of the day that drag, for the most part the week has flown by. Not much time for blogging, so I figured an update was in order.

The Trouser and I **loved** the Lantern Festival. It was very convenient to walk up and find ourselves dinner each night - why o why did it stop after only 3 days? My newly-arrived-in-Auckland colleague seemed perhaps a little phased by all the weird-sounding food, but she gamely sampled a wide variety of delicious treats (and some very yucky spicy plum juice).

Our top picks were: vegetarian bbq pork buns (thanks to the creator of TVP), and fortune noodles from the lovely Buddhists. I also loved the chicken satay from "Malaysia Food" (we know the great guy who runs the stall, and his chicken satay are definitely the best!); The Trouser was keen on the pearl milk tea (too tea-y tasting for me - I prefer Queen St's Ice Shop version or EasyWay on Dominion Rd), and the tvp chicken satay (since he's a veggie).

The only crap thing about the festival (apart from the disgusting mess everywhere - hello people, the bins were everywhere and constantly emptied!) were those damn mosquitoes.

You see, when I get bitten, I have a severe localised allergic reaction. Which basically means that not only do the bites itch like crazy, but if I scratch or slap them even the tiniest bit, they more than quadruple in size, get really hard, and develop a large hot, red patch all around them.

It is not dissimilar to how a giant's nipple might look. Imagine these all over your legs and arms. Classy, huh?

Anyway, we had a great time. The Trouser often bemoans the fact that it is nigh-impossible to purchase cheap and tasty food from the side of the road, as you can in Asia. Although I agree it would be nice, I am big on the whole hygiene and no-food poisoning thing (having had campylobacter twice already!).

Our favourite "roadside" food place has to be the masala dosa stand at the Aotea Markets. Mmm, delicious masala dosas. If you have never tried one, you really should. They are even better than the masala dosa restaurant on Mt Eden Rd - and that is saying something!

On that note, I think I will go and do a bit more work. I did mean to write a nice long list (still keen to get rid of the map that's messing up the formatting), but I might be brave and do it on my own time. After all, some fidelity to my employer is probably a good idea. Especially since I just found out that I get an extra week's leave, just for being me :-) Bless large organisations for their administrative incompetence - it makes your entitlement seem like a special gift once it's finally discovered!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Stupid big map the damn map goes into the archives and the whole layout isn't screwy forever.

Might be a good time to talk about all those random, meaningless things I'd like to get off my chest.