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.

Weird for art thou?

05:00am 24 Jul 2014

Before the big quakes hit in February 2011, I had in my possession tickets to two upcoming concerts in Christchurch. The first, The Queens of the Stone Age were to play at the town hall on Thursday the 24th of February (they, along with NIN have since been back and played a concert earlier this year*), the other was for a Weird Al Yankovic concert scheduled for March.

To be completely honest with you, I wasn't nearly as excited about the Weird Al gig (he's no Ginger Elvis, after all). I bought the tickets mainly as a gift to the Silver Fox who is a massive Weird Al fan. In fact there are numerous songs that the SF only knows the Weird Al version of. Which can make for some very confused car singing since I'm all ready to launch into Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA"** only to find that everyone else is singing about the dodgy practices of the CIA instead. This is a good deal more frustrating than you would imagine.

But with Al and his day-by-day release of videos from his new album, very much cruising the zeitgeist wave at the moment, I'm forced to admit that I really do like him.

For one thing, he's a massive dork. Where other recording artists are drilled by choreographers and make attempts at a combination of precision and sexiness with their dancing, Weird Al just sort of flings himself about like one of The Wiggles who has OD'ed on muscle relaxants. His "style" if you could call it that, has not changed significantly over the years. This is a man who knows who he is and doesn't care that he's not cool. He plays the accordion, for pity's sake.

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Tower of babe-l

12:40pm 17 Jul 2014

First off, sorry for the lateness of this post, dear readers. The Silver Fox had a death in the family late last week that necessitated an impromptu family road trip which left us all exhausted and not a lot of time for the crafting of blog entries.

If this one is sub-par then my apologies. Just know that I have paid my penance for this grievous crime ahead of time by being projectile vomited on twice in quick succession in the car, not far from the Kaikoura seal colony. This, amongst many sufferings, may have left me a little bereft artistically, if not spiritually.

Anyway, today I wanted to talk about the other stuff that occasionally bursts forth from my son's gob. That is regurgitation of the verbal kind.

I've long had an interest in language. In fact, I have an Honours degree with a major in Linguistics. It hasn't been terrifically useful, unless you count peppering dinner party conversation with language-related facts, and I'm technically still paying for it (oh, student loan, how you hang about my neck like an overeducated albatross). So as you can imagine, watching a small human acquiring a language for the first time is quite interesting to me. That little brain listening and watching and learning and occasionally trying to make sounds of its own is like the most engaging of language labs.

Of course, at seven months old my son, who I shall now be referring to as The Master*, doesn't really talk. For several months he's been making a series of burbles and other sounds that sometimes sound like he really is saying things. It's a bit like that time that my 4th form music teacher played "another one bites the dust" backwards to us in class and all it sounded like was weirdness until he said that you could clearly hear "it's fun to smoke marijuana" in the backwards lyrics and then magically we could all pick out those words. Which tells me there's nothing so predictable as a suggestive mind, and also that Mr Williams might have had some "recreational" something going on at the weekend.

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Hundreds and thousands from hell

09:20am 10 Jul 2014

Facebook is responsible for a great many evils, amongst them passive-aggressive status updates, the perpetuation of hoaxes of all kinds, the inability to ignore the religious proclivities of your relatives, and (looks sideways with a rather guilty expression) Too Many Baby Photos. But one thing it is useful for is providing a feed of interesting internet tidbits and articles as selected by your friends and acquaintances. Sometimes it's stuff that you would never have stumbled upon on your own.

This is how I found out about microbeads.

Apparently I have been using microbeads for years and had no idea. Microbeads are the tiny, gritty bits of stuff that they put in face and body scrubs to give them that extra bit of exfoliating "oomph". They are like Paul Henry in your TV schedule, there to make things just a bit abrasive. Whereas PH leaves me wishing I could scour my skin from my body, microbeads in fact do this very thing.

For several years I have been using a facial scrub that contain microbeads and I never once thought to wonder what they were actually made of. If pressed I suppose I would have assumed they were made of something similar in formulation to the facewash itself, though hardened perhaps? Certainly the manufacturers wouldn't have just whacked a bunch of plastic in there. I mean, that would just be dicky.

I'll give you three guesses as to what microbeads are made of and you won't need two of those guesses.

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Too soon for quake drama?

09:18am 08 Jul 2014

MOATA TAMAIRA

I didn't watch the first instalment of earthquake drama Hope and Wire as it aired. Rather we recorded it and I watched it in the weekend. It had got a bit of stick from people on Twitter when it aired on the Thursday beforehand so I didn't expect too much. Perhaps it would be awful... but I love a bit of bad television almost as much as I like the good stuff.

However Hope and Wire could never really be entertainment. A dramatic rendering of a catastrophe that you've actually lived through is never going to provide much in the way of escapism. Rather it left me with a queasy feeling in my tummy and I was out of sorts for the rest of the afternoon.

I have to admit, I was surprised by this. After all, the events depicted, though dramatic, were over three years ago. A lot has happened since then. My life is very settled now. I hardly ever think about the earthquakes themselves and when I do it's like remembering something that happened to somebody else.

But what I discovered as I watched Hope and Wire is that it's all still there, just below the surface. Waiting for you to do something silly and scratch at it.

I was crying by the first ad break though couldn't really say why.

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The urgh and the squee

11:30am 03 Jul 2014

In every life there comes moments of hilarity and wonder that you wish you could bottle or keep in your pocket for a rainy day (like that time I took the baby out for a walk on a gusty day and I swear he looked like he was actually trying to eat the wind - babies, not smarter than your average cocker spaniel, evidently). Where was I? Oh yes, things that make you go "squee!". But of course the flipside is also true. There are also things I've come across recently that have just made me go "urgh" and roll my eyes in an overly dramatic fashion which is, let's face it, my "signature move"*.

In the interests of ending on an upbeat note let's start with the urgh-iness.

Things that have made be go "urgh":

David Bain is to be a father. Now, don't misunderstand me, I am not in any way offended, grossed out, or otherwise bothered by David Bain becoming a father. I just don't understand why this information is being presented to me as if it's something I should care about. I don't want to be the kind of person who yells "HOW IS THIS NEWS?" every time something that isn't personally relevant to them is reported in the media but in this case I have to wonder. I mean, if David himself were pregnant I could see that definitely being newsworthy (and assuming that his taste in sweaters hadn't improved in the last 20 years, boy would I have the christmas-themed maternity outfit for him) but otherwise ...meh. Two eyerolls and a "tut tut" from this reviewer.

His and hers placenta or breastmilk ring set. I'm going to give you a second so that you can re-read that last sentence because frankly, it is a concept that takes a bit of added brain power to absorb.

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