Moata's Blog Idle

Moata Tamaira is a librarian with a black-belt in sarcasm who's been meaning to get one in procrastination too but always ends up watching TV instead. Her blog is an unholy mash-up of whimsy, cynicism and wry observation.

Eleanor Catton is not a traitor

11:01am 29 Jan 2015


What does it mean to be a proud New Zealander? Does everyone actually understand democracy? Do only some people get to have opinions on politics? 

These questions and many others came swooping into my mind yesterday after listening to Sean Plunket's frankly bewildering Radio Live rant about Eleanor Catton.

Follow up questions included "who stole Sean Plunket's brain and replaced it with a swarm of angry wasps?" and "What country am I in right now?"

In case you're not caught up, Eleanor Catton, Man-Booker prize-winning author, recently made some remarks about New Zealand, many of them rather critical. The comments that seem to have particularly bothered Plunket are to do with our current government, the neo-liberal tendencies of which Catton is not particulary impressed with. She doesn't equivocate and the comments are harsh. They're supposed to be.

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Because cosplay

01:15pm 27 Jan 2015


I have to admit that for several years I was intimidated by the notion of cosplay. What was it exactly? Did you have to be into Anime to enjoy it? Were dice and card games involved?

I basically just lumped it in with a bunch of other geeky/nerd subcultures that I didn't happen to be involved with or know much about.

Imagine my surprise when I realised that cosplay is basically just Halloween party dressing but without the seasonal limitations. No need to wait until October to unveil your Wonder Woman ensemble. You can haz knee high boots any time of year.

I bloody love costume parties. Always have. I get a kick out of trying to work within a budget, or with clothes that I already have. I spend hours thinking about accessories. I research appropriate hairstyles.

I tried to get people to dress up for my Princess Bride birthday party with mixed results, sure there were 3 moustachioed ladies in attendance (2 Inigo Montoyas and a (wo)Man in Black), but plenty of people just turned up in street clothes. But of course, my fiance was magnificent in his handmade Rodent Of Unusual Size get up.

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What not to watch while pregnant

05:00am 22 Jan 2015


In November last year I started writing a blog post about movies and television episodes to avoid watching while pregnant. I never finished writing it because the next day we were informed that our baby would be arriving ahead of schedule.

As I know several people who are pregnant at the moment I thought it would be a good idea to finish off the post.

Last night the Silver Fox and I attempted to catch up on some episodes of SoHo show "Masters of Sex". SoHo, for those of you who don't get this particular pay channel is where all the shows with tits and bums live. Now that I think of it the majority of the shows that we watch on that channel have an above average nudity and swearing quotient. It's basically like that Chilli "adults'" channel but with actual storylines and production values.

And sometimes dead babies, it turns out.

Whoops. We kind of blundered into that one and, er, that didn't go very well. One minute it's all tense human sexuality and reproduction related drama, the next minute we're looking at a tiny little pretend dead baby, probably made of latex or something but still realisitic looking enough to give one pause...and it kind of ruined the rest of the episode of which there was thankfully very little. I'm sure it was meant to be sad but for expectant parents it kind of tipped over into "arrrgh, I can't deal with this, actually".

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The Dukes of Hazzard and other terrible role models

11:05am 20 Jan 2015

Sometimes it's the small news stories that give a real glimpse into New Zealand life and culture. For instance, a man in Timaru recently managed to earn himself a disorderly behaviour charge when he attempted to emulate one of the Dukes of Hazzard by sliding across the bonnet of a police car.

According to the story he also did "a sexy pole dance" but no charges were laid for that presumably because a) cops like sexy pole dances, or b) being embarrassing isn't actually illegal. Just ill-advised.

Look, we've all been there. Well, maybe not exactly there, gyrating against a pole on King St in Timaru after midnight, but wanting to be cool and copy something we saw someone do on TV when were young and impressionable? Sure. I spent many an hour as a youngster attempting to copy Billy T James' signature giggle and only succeeded in sounding like a lunatic. We've all been there is what I mean.

MOATA: Don't always listen to your TV heroes. 

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Mother knows best

05:53pm 15 Jan 2015

Mothers. All knowing bestowers of wisdom. As children we expect them to be the font of all knowledge. How glad I am that unlike previous generations I have the Internet at my disposal. For eventually The Master will get old enough to ask curly questions like "why is the sky blue?", "why do cats purr?" and "what kind of power does a TARDIS run on?" and I will either have to make stuff up (an option that is not without its appeal) or consult the actual font of all knowledge... Wikipedia.

But eventually we begin to doubt our mothers and their maternal wisdom. We allow the evidence of our own experience to influence us. We sit too close to the television and yet our eyes retain their normal shape. The wind changes and our faces don't stay that way. Sooner or later we realise that, though she can usually find that thing that we've been looking for, our mothers don't, in fact, have all the answers. And actually, some of that stuff sounds made up.

Thus it was once I reached that Age of Skepticism. I openly scoffed at my mother and her insistence that drinking a hot cup of coffee on a hot day was an effective way of staying cool. Yeah, right, Mum. That sounds legit. Tell me again about how eating my crusts will make my hair go curly. What. Ever.

I'm parched, darllng!And here's where I eat crow, dear readers. Because it does eventuate, that um, drinking a hot drink on a hot day does actually cool you down. Apparently it's all to do with producing more sweat, which we all know is one of the body's nifty tricks for cooling itself.

So this is awkward.

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