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.

Charity shop of horrors

11:29am 26 Feb 2015


In recent years I have become increasingly fond of op shops. Often I'll enter one not knowing what I'm even looking for, only that I have the urge to "rummage". Sometimes I leave with nothing, sometimes I pick up a cheap toy, book or item of clothing for The Master.

It's rare that I buy anything that's actually "good". I often have to stop myself from buying something silly like a pair of iceskates that aren't my size (also, I haven't been iceskating in years) or a delightfully retro piece of kitchenalia because the fact is, I do not need a cruet set. Especially a bright orange one.

There are several charity shops within walking distance of my home so I regularly wander out for a bit of a fossik.

My favourite of the shops in our neighbourhood is the Cats' Protection League Shop. For one thing there's a sign outside that forbids the presence of dogs in the shop. Of course. Because people generally are in the habit of taking their dogs on shopping expeditions with them, especially into a Cat Person shop.

But let's not take any chances! If it were the Catholics Protection League Shop the sign would probably say "Begone Proddies! And take your Satan worship with ye!". The Cats Protection League Shop is obviously hallowed ground, like a cat church, therefore natural enemies of the cat shall not cross the threshold.

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How life has changed since the Christchurch quakes

10:11am 24 Feb 2015


Another earthquake anniversary came and went on Sunday without much fanfare in our house.

There was a bit of quiet reflection, and we noted with interest the flowers planted in road cones when went out in the afternoon but not much else. Some time after 1pm the Silver Fox came over and gave me a hug as we'd been in different rooms when 12.51 ticked over, me feeding The Master his lunch, and he in the living room watching the cricket, I think.

So you could be forgiven for thinking that we weren't much affected by the fourth anniversary of The Day Everything Changed Forever. That life goes on much as it always has. But of course, it doesn't.

Everything in our lives is still very much affected by the earthquakes.

Take, for instance, our little outing to The Foo Fighters gig on Wednesday last week. It took place at a temporary stadium, for one.

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Exit via the rear windshield (and try to remember the baby)

02:10pm 19 Feb 2015


Earlier this week a woman was rescued by police from a car that shortly afterwards sank into the Waitemata Harbour. Dramatic photos of this event have sparked the imagination. Several people I know have remarked that they are moderately terrified of something similar happening.

There are lots of things that I'm scared of. Moths. That I will somehow slice a piece of myself off simply by being within arm's length of a power tool. That the female Ghostbusters reboot won't be good and every sexist douchecanoe on the Internet will smugly say "I told you women weren't FUNNY!". But it's never really occurred to me to be afraid of drowning in a submerged car.

Partly this is due to an understanding of the physics of the situation via such useful resources as the Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook and Mythbusters. I understand that the car will sink engine first, and that the doors and windows will most likely fail to open until the car is almost completely filled with water.

When I think about the possibility of finding myself in this situation, in my mind I sit there calmly in the passenger seat whilst feeling a little bit sad about how destroyed my phone is going to be (when was the last time I backed it up? I will wonder).

I unclip my seatbelt and wait for the car to fill up, perhaps counting to see how long it takes, perhaps making use of an airpocket at the rear of the vehicle, and then the Silver Fox and I open a door, exit the vehicle, and power swim our way to the surface. Perfect.

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Concerted efforts

10:55am 17 Feb 2015


Once upon a time, long, long ago going to a concert was simple.

You bought your ticket, rocked up to one of the many centrally-located venues in town, drank beer out of plastic cups, got your toes mashed in the mosh pit, and (eventually) went home where you would drift off to sleep to the sound of ringing in your ears with hair still damp with the condensed moisture of a thousand sweaty armpits. Ah, bliss.

Nowdays some things are simpler but others are a good deal more complicated. I mean, yes, you can book your tickets online and have access to them on your smartphone. Depending on the event you might not ever need to print them out. This is definitely a helpful development. However, even if you don't have to print your ticket out you are also going to be charged a fee for it. This is something that always irks me when I purchase tickets online, the "please let us charge you for using your own paper and toner because we have you over a barrel" fee. It is generally accompanied by juvenile gesturing at the computer screen.

Vyvyan pretty much nails it

And now of course we have to organise a babysitter for The Master now when we want to go out for the evening.

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Coupledom: The good & bad

11:46am 12 Feb 2015


Oh, St Valentine. If you'd known about the deluge of heart-shaped trinkets, couples getaways, miniscule underwear and jewellery of questionable taste that would be thrust upon the world like a sweaty, unwanted suitor every year in your name would you still have performed all those clandestine wedding ceremonies (assuming that that did actually happen because,well, it was rather a long time ago and details are sketchy at best)? 

Perhaps not.

But hey, that's just the crass commercialism that seems to accompany every life event or minor milestone these days. If there's not an effing ugly Pandora charm to commemorate something DID IT EVEN HAPPEN? 

But cellophane-wrapped heart-shaped chocolates and tacky jewellery aside I do think it's nice that we have a day that celebrates love. And romantic love, especially.

When I was single I kind of hated the build up to Valentine's Day. All the advertising with kissy-face, simpering couples used to make me wish that spitoons and "hoicking as punctuation" was a thing not just confined to cowboy movies.

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