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.

Feel the fear and buy some lippy anyway

11:08am 21 Oct 2014

In daily life, I do try not to be a coward. But I'm going to be honest with you, I don't always succeed. For instance this is me when I think about bungy jumping.

Oh hell, no

So, you know, sometimes I err on the side of not strapping myself to a giant rubber band and jumping off a bridge. At other times I look straight into the face of fear and blow it a big fat raspberry. Maybe I don't go out of my way to confront my fears but if an opportunity presents itself I'll try really hard not to let that sensation in my tummy that feels like a bout of gastro be the decision maker. So even though it twists my stomach in knots, I have had several cracks at public speaking. And I didn't actually vomit and everything was fine. Phew.

But there are other things to be scared of. And some of them aren't as cliched as public speaking. So let me finally confess to you the longheld fear I have been attempting to combat for the last year or so, my jittery nervousness in the presence of cosmetics counter retail staff.

Yes, I'm talking about the women of the high end cosmetics brand counters - Chanel, Lancome, Clarins, MAC and so on. The perfectly made up, not hair out of place, black clad ladies of your local department store. In Christchurch that store is Ballantynes, but it could as easily be Kirkcaldie & Stains or Smith & Caughey's. I am moderately embarrassed to admit that I was 39 years of age before I allowed myself to have any real interaction with a cosmetics counter ladyand this was out of sheer intimidation on my part.

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Small mannequin syndrome

09:00am 16 Oct 2014

My nightmares look like thisMannequins. I've always felt a little bit ambivalent towards them, truth be told. Their blank faces and stiff limbs are, to a person with an overactive imagination, the stuff of nightmares. Any episode of Dr Who where the mannequins/Autons come to life still gives me the jeepers, and the less said about this installment of The Twilight Zone, the better. Also Mannequin was the title of a movie in the eighties starring Kim Catrall, and it was beyond AWFUL.

So when it comes to the topic of mannequins I'm not exactly what you'd call "impartial". Mannequins and I have "history". For instance, several years ago I became semi-obsessed with the fact that a good number of female mannequins had nipples. Does a mannequin really need those? And if so, why did the male mannequins seem not to be similarly embellished? This enquiring mind wanted to know.

And now it's a question of ribs, specifically is it really appropriate for mannequins to have clearly protruding rib cages? And what does that say about what our culture regards as an ideal body shape for women?

The purpose of a mannequin is, of course, as a person stand-in so that we can see what the clothes available for sale actually look like draped across a human form. That being the case they should of course be human shaped. Though now that I think about it, how cool would werewolf mannequins be? Or mannequins with weird tentacles coming out of their backs, or robot mannequins (I'm thinking robot Maria from Metropolis would be ideal).

Just how realistically human do we need a mannequin to look? I mean, I'm pretty sure I know where the ribs are supposed to be so I'd be happy enough just imagining roughly where they are. I'm not sure I need to actually see them in all their bony glory.

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Shower peeing for the environment

11:30am 14 Oct 2014

Shower icon guy (may or may not be weeing)I've made no secret that I am, in most cases, in favour of weeing in the shower.

This is the kind of admission that would probably embarrass the heck out of normal people but for some reason I have been blessed (or cursed) with bullet-proof embarrassment armour. I suspect that all that terrifically cringeworthy behaviour whilst drunk in my twenties has desensitised me to lesser forms of shame so that now I can confess to the internet that I regularly wizz in the shower without so much as a "what if a nun/my mother out-law/a future employer/Henry Cavill reads this? What will they THINK?" pang of regret. Frankly, if you're the sort of person who gets judgey about what other people do in the shower, I feel a bit sorry for you.

But anyway, back to the mid-cleansing micturation. 

For me, weeing in the shower has always been a matter of convenience, perhaps with the merest tinkle of "peeing standing up" novelty. I'm there, my bladder's getting a bit restless, there's a drain. It just makes sense.

But a group of students in the UK are now actively campaigning to encourage their fellow classmates at the University of East Anglia to save water by peeing while in the shower. According to their number-crunching, over a year, the reduced water consumption (due to saved toilet flushing) could equal the volume of 26 Olympic size swimming pools. 

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What's on your sci-fi tech wishlist?

10:07am 09 Oct 2014


Recently the Silver Fox made a rare foray out for the evening, midweek no less, to a sci-fi/pop culture panel show called "The Nerd Degree". I'd heard about it on the Twitters and that sounded just my cup of tea for I am nothing if not a nerd.

Or so I thought.

It turns out that actually, if the number of references that were flying over my head were anything to go by, I am in fact, something of a vanilla/mainstream nerd. I mean, sure I have way too much Star Wars paraphernalia strewn about the house and I love everything about Firefly, and I follow Wil Wheaton on Twitter but then again who doesn't? Just to what degree am I a nerd?

The fact is I barely know what Minecraft is, I couldn't care less about Pokemon, and I haven't the faintest clue how to pronounce "Cthulhu" (but in my head I always read it as "cha-loo-loo" which makes it sound a whole lot more festive and "Hawaiian luau party" than I suspect it is).

Never was this more evident than with the crowd participation portion of the show when the audience was invited to answer the following question.

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It's official. I am now an adult

10:47am 07 Oct 2014

It's official. I am now an adult*.

Is it because I am a parent? A ho-meow-ner? A ratepayer? One half of a de facto couple? Is it the increasingly "distinguished" temples?

Okay, yes, it is all of those things but also because I am now the not-so-much-proud-as-amused holder of that most sacred of documents, the most holy of holies, that which mayest permit the bearer to patronise a Speights Ale House - an 18+ card.

Adult AND my living room has wood panelling...Now, you might think it odd that someone within spitting distance of forty would bother to get themselves an 18+ card since these are usually issued to people in danger of falling afoul of the "if you look under 25 you will need to show proof of age ID" provision when buying beer at the supermarket. Needless to say I haven't been in any danger of looking under 25 since, well, last century? So yes, I suppose my 18+ card and I do make an odd pairing, but as is always sometimes the case, there is method to the madness.

For most of the things I need to accomplish in daily life I do not need photo identification. In the past, when I did need it, since I don't have a driver's licence, I would use my passport. But then my passport expired last year, and as I was heavily pregnant and didn't see myself undertaking any international travel for a while, I chose not to renew it. 

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