Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Identity is part perception, right?

So if people perceive you as being X, but you perceive yourself as not being X, are you X or not?

If you are born somewhere, or live there for a long time, does it make you that nationality?

Legalities and citizenships aside, I mean. If your gut feeling is that you aren't that nationality, even though you might hold the relevant passport, then are you right?

I know how I feel about it all: you are what you feel you are, and passports etc. are about laws and controls, not about your identity at all.

So although I hold an NZ passport and am an NZ-er, I'm not really a kiwi at all. I live here, but I don't really belong.

It's difficult to explain without people getting insulted as if you're rejecting the country (man do people get super-personal if they feel you're rejecting NZ!). Otherwise they accuse you of having your cake and eating it too, or of being a snob. Oh, or they tell you loftily that you'll miss it when you go overseas and will end up eating your words.

But it isn't any of that at all. It's simply that I don't belong.

And, for the record, I miss some people and things that are here when I go away, but I don't miss being in NZ, or the feeling of living somewhere where I really don't belong.

I'm ok with not belonging - it's taken some thinking and learning, but I am. I'm also ok with the fact that so many people here feel that this is the right place for them. Different people, different needs, right?

So why is it so impossible for them to accept how I feel?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Exciting times


- Using crazy, orange plastic knitting needles from the 70s, with blue-y striped wool. It's a 70s extravaganza all knitting-time long! I'm also making really good progress on the wacky scarf, which is gratifying.

- My friend had her baby! It's a girl!

- I just ordered yarn online for the very first time. And at a flat rate of 15 pounds for shipping, I went a little bit silly.

- The Trouser has finally finished the private project he's been working on for a few years, and he's free!

- I've sent off my second package to my secret pal giftee, and while I'm still waiting to actually receive a package my gifter sent me, I know it can't be far off now.

- We have another potentially viable wedding and reception venue - one that has special meaning and could be lovely. (I know that a wedding-related post is well overdue - will get to that soon, I promise.)

- My full-time staff member started and so far she is *great*.

Ahhh, happy times.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Unlike virtually everyone I know, I don't view Valentine's Day as a commercialised nightmare.

In my book, it's a day about lurrrrrrrrrrrve, and a good excuse to tell people that you lurrrrrrrrrrrve them. Even when I was single it was a day I enjoyed.

As a small child, my school class exchanged cards (obviously this was in the US, not NZ!). My mother would always leave us little valentines like Pinky bars etc. (in NZ now).

This is my first and probably last V-Day as an engaged Skirt. The Trouser and I are low-key but we still celebrate.

This year, I drove him to work, and gave him a great Bill Bryson book, Hip Hop Music In Aotearoa, and some chocolates.

He gave me a jumbo-normous bouquet of flowers, and some DVDs. Then we went to dinner at a local Mexican joint, and had ice cream from our favourite local place. Oh, and we watched the "wedding of the year" on Shortland Street - a lesbian coupling, no less, which we agreed was super-progressive, and also a good thing.

Our day was low-key and lovely, and certainly the nicest V-Day I've had yet. Probably the best presents ever, too.

Which leads me to thinking about the worst V-Day gift I ever got. It's a doozy.

I was working in a big but crappy hotel in downtown Auckland - waitressing in the restaurant and taking up room service. Right in the middle of the busy part of the night, I get a phone call from the then-boyfriend (who was a butt-munch, but no one bothered to tell me that, and I didn't consciously realise it at the time). I took the call, and told him it was a bad time, and that I needed to work, and could we talk later.

His response? He dumped me.

Yep, on the phone while I was busy working, on V-Day. Like I said, butt-munch.

Luckily I have much better taste in men now :-)

Anyway, what was *your* worst V-Day ever?

Friday, February 10, 2006

The problems (and maybe how to fix them)

It's been a shite ol' time for me recently, work- and knitting-wise, and even personally to some extent.

Surprisingly, The Trouser and I have pulled together and feel closer than ever, even though I've been a grumpy, weepy mess for awhile (thanks sweetheart!).

But I'm determined to sort it all out.

The most trivial problem is that I'm short a ball or two of wool to complete my evil black cardigan. It's an obscure wool, hell to knit with, and I really like the result so far on my cardigan. I've asked the shop to investigate how I could get another couple of balls, but I might have to undo it all. If I do, I'm washing the wool and then biffing it.

In a less trivial vein, I am still feeling isolated from The Trouser's family. As much as I am part of the family when it suits them, his parents still see me as an outsider when they want to. It's convenient for their purposes, but it means I get all the responsibility and none of the pay-off.

And while I am truly thrilled that my family treat The Trouser the opposite way (all love, no responsibility unless he elects to take it on), I'm a bit envious of him. Everyone loves and supports him, but his family only really take what they want.

I know I need to get over this - I can't make them change their behaviour, and I think it's mostly subconscious anyway. It's hard to do, and the only way I can see me managing it right now is by refusing to be obliged or responsible more and more. More honesty and less being nice, including my reactions to inane comments about wedding plans ("Don't get a band with old people. I hate looking at old people. Attractive young people are much nicer to look at." or "Don't wear green, that's horrible.").

The work thing is the most complicated. Problems include:
- I am really good at what I do - an over-achiever. (I know, it sounds arrogant, but you have to have a decent idea of how good you are at things, and I am good at my work. I can feel it, but I also get that feedback from others.) The problem? My workplace doesn't really value over-achievers.

- I am really committed to and passionate about my work. My workplace doesn't really value commitment and passion. Slow and steady and inefficient tends to get you more respect.

How to fix these problems?
- Try to take less and less on, and to pick projects I like doing. There's usually plenty of stuff going on so I can at least try to avoid the annoying bits by being too busy.

- Care less. After all, it's only a year and I am not my work. Also, I can't make people be responsible or conscientious or even vaguely mature. So stop caring so much. (Yes, this will be the hard one.)

- Stop being bitter. It's horrible and soul-destroying. Maybe I need to be salted to remove bitterness, like how you salt an aubergine or bitter gourd?

- Finally, get more of a life outside of work. Again, I am not my work.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I was wrong

My job is not okay, or perhaps even manageable even only for another year.

My job just sucks.

(sniffle) I'm feeling a lot less philosophical about not getting that other job.


Okay, so maybe no one remembers or cares about the new Power Rangers. Never mind, I'm still cool. Did I mention the street will be closed off *again* this weekend? This time it's a commercial. Auckland City Council, you make loads off these people, maybe it's time to make the parking around here free again? For the odd day when there's no filiming or construction, I mean. Like 3 days a year...

I haven't had a lot to say recently, mostly because I've been so buys doing stuff. Like knitting the evil black cardigan, and finding out that the job I wanted but was philosophical about not getting has been re-advertised.

Work has been really, really busy as usual. More frustrations and unprofessionalism for me to deal with, which has sucked.

I've also been waiting patiently. My Secret Pal has sent a package to me, so I'm checking the PO Box (no luck yet). The person I've sent an SP gift to hasn't posted about receiving her gift yet either.

I'd blame NZ Post, but they're not that slow - damn US mail service...

We've had a bit of progress on the wedding front too - but I'll save that for another post.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I'm cooler than you are

Huh? you think. How's that?

Because they film the Power Rangers in my neighbourhood.

Yep, that's right - one of the streers around the corner was closed off, and street parking in the adjacent streets was coned-off and unavailable for all of last Sunday.

They do it fairly often around where I live.

Told you I was cool.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Down but not out

So I didn't get the great job.

I'm okay about it. The Trouser, bless him, was worried I would be upset, but I'm not.

Meanwhile it looks like the agent hasn't quite understood me about the other interview I went for. Sigh. Some people are just not good listeners/ readers, are they?

Meanwhile, I've been knitting away at a cardigan I'd previously abandoned. It's a pattern designed for a mohair mix, but being a smarty-pants, I substituted a merino/ microfibre blend.

All good, except it's black, and ther dye leaks out all over my hands. The dye comes off my skin with a bit of scrubbing, but my nails are semi-permanently tinged a pale bluey-grey.

No one's said anything yet, so they can't be that bad I guess.

Anyhow, I'd completed the back months ago, and have managed a side and a half in the past week, which bodes well. I just hope that the dye won't continue to leak after a couple of good washings!

Update from the job-hunting front


It's been a week and I haven't heard back from the great interview people. As you'll recall, I didn't really think I'd get a second interview, given the importance of the role and my lack of seniority vis a vis the other candidates.

Poos. But oh well.

I had the interview with the large corporate. It was the third role in the same team I'd looked at. The agent was smart - she got me to agree to an interview before I saw the role. It was not what I wanted - i.e. not managing people and/ or money - and meant specialising in a more technical/ internet-focused way, rather than continuing down my current path.

It wasn't for me - I knew as soon as I read the job description - but I went. And it still wasn't for me.

I know that agents have to try to match up skills required with those of their candidates on file, but it is bloody annoying. It's like she's totally ignoring what I told her I'm looking for.... except for the money, which would have been great. But, as veryone keeps reminding me, money is not everything.

Meanwhile I've been trying to hire my full-time junior, and launching a whole bunch of new products at work, so it's been a lot to juggle.

We may not get the great person I want to get for the junior role. We may have to settle for someone competent but without a backbone or that certain je ne sais quoi. If so, I will forcibly transplant the backbone.

I've been toying with the idea of just sitting tight. After all, it's around a year till we get married (if we ever find a venue, which is a subject for another posting), and then we plan to go overseas. I'm the one who's keen to go, and getting a kick-ass job might stop me, even though I really need to leave.

In a year I could accomplish a lot - finish things neatly, all documented, and ready for the next person. I know what to expect, and all the people. I could do it all. I wouldn't need to buy new clothes to do it (I will still buy new clothes, it's just that I won't need to, which is good when you have some wedding stuff to pay for).

It feels like a cop-out in some ways, but maybe the easy way out is right this time?