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.

Moata: Dance like no one's watching

09:48am 02 Sep 2014

It's not that I'm a terrible dancer. If we're measuring on a non-professional scale, excluding anyone who's ever been in The Pussycat Dolls or a member of the Bolshoi Ballet for instance, I've got to be at least average if not above. But when it comes to physical self expression everybody's a bit whakamā, right? Because the terrible thing about dancing is that the overriding pressure to look cool can often take away from the simple joy of music and movement.

Which is why dancing on your own can be such giddy fun.

For years I was forced to clandestinely get down with my bad self in changing cubicles or in the privacy of my own living room. But people, I have found my new spiritual home and it is called No Lights No Lycra.

For those of you not familiar with this relatively recent development in the world of amateur dance, No Lights No Lycra is a basically a disco with no lightshow... or lights of any kind. You turn up, pay $5 and for one hour you can dance in a dark room amongst strangers to a playlist made up of songs that people have requested ahead of time. No instructor. No talking. Just music and mad flailing (if that's what you're into).

When I turned up to my first NLNL session last week I didn't know what to expect. The lady at the door pointed out that the slit of light on the other side of the room was the door to the toilets and this was pretty much the only guidance offered. It was a large space with a low stage on which sat some big speakers.

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The spurious science of baby

10:21am 28 Aug 2014

Babies are amazing scientists. As creatures who know very little about anything, every day as a baby is a day for trying out new things and exploring the world. And as a new parent you spend just as much time trying to figure out how the baby works. What makes it sleep? What makes it cry? What makes it laugh? So much of your day depends on these questions that it's easy to become borderline obsessive about it. You are very much at the whim of a seemingly unpredictable, capricious animal.

Some people, given such pressures, might turn to religion or some other faith-based way of making sense of the chaos. In the nearly nine months since The Master came into our world I've tended to see things through a quasi-scientific, mathematical lens.

Come with me as I flagrantly and irresponsibly subvert the fields of science and maths for my own jocular purposes.

First off there is the strange (until you've figured out the mechanism) gift that babies have for placing their flailing limbs directly in the path of a dirty nappy. It is truly uncanny how a small person who barely has control over their arms and legs will successfully plant a foot in the very centre of a disgusting poo-smeared nappy EVERY TIME it is removed.

Every. Damn. Time.

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Moata on... creative weaponry

10:55am 21 Aug 2014

If there's one thing I have absolutely no firsthand experience or specialist knowledge of... it's armed combat. Unless you count when my sister and I used to have light saber battles with rolled up tubes of shiny wrapping paper, and I'm guessing you probably shouldn't.

The closest I have ever come to brandishing a weapon was when some of the boys in metalwork class clandestinely fashioned "ninja" throwing stars from offcuts of tin and I had a go at throwing one at a bit of wood. That bit of ply certainly had it coming but it wasn't going to have justice meted out by someone with as little precision (or malice) as me.

Still, half a lifetime of John Woo movies has at least given me the ability to recognise a weapon when I see one... or has it? Because if this report of a burglary in the Christchurch suburb of Wainoni is anything to go by I have been woefully underestimating the offensive capacity of household objects.

Allegedly a man used a bicycle rack and a blender as weapons during the burglary wounding another man in the process. Presumably he went home afterwards and whipped up a batch of scones using nun-chucks and a rotary hoe.

Now, I'm sure it's no fun being attacked with a bicycle rack or a blender but wonder if it's just a bit less scary than being attacked with a chainsaw or a really big knife. To be honest, I'm not keen to find out for myself though and am now imagining myself terrorising the Silver Fox by chasing him around the house with our stick blender screaming "DON'T MAKE ME PULSE YOU, MAN!"

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Hey Diddle, Diddle

09:29am 19 Aug 2014

I'm often given to wonder at the extremes exhibited within the range of human behaviour. We're all similar animals and yet the iterations of the human creature are such that there's pretty much nothing that someone hasn't done or at least attempted. And so very often the results offer up a healthy dose of "for the love of little fluffy kittens, WHY?"

Never was this broad range of human inanity more apparent than in the last 24 hours when I became aware of two pieces of information.

The first was that a penis picture was posted yesterday from Sir Ian Botham's Twitter account. He's claiming that his account was hacked and for all I know it was. But it does remind us of that most baffling of modern day phenomena, the genre of genital selfies.

Periodically an esteemed sportsperson, minor celebrity or politician takes a photo of their junk which subsequently finds its way onto the Internet. It's happened so many times it's now a cliche. It's almost as if penis photos want to be seen by the world and should you create one it will inch its badly lit way towards the nearest web browser like a baby turtle instinctively dragging itself towards the ocean.

So, here's my small piece of wisdom. If you're thinking, even in the most exhibitionist recesses of your mind that snapping a pic of your underpants contents might be a good idea, please, please have a cup of tea and a lie down far, far away from a digital camera.

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Moata: Parenting is like Father Ted

11:35am 14 Aug 2014


When I first thought to enter into the state of parenthood (it's the state right next to "insanity" and the next one on from "hopeful optimism") I was prepared for a great many things, or at least I thought I was prepared for them - the interrupted sleep, the presence of bodily excretions on all my clothes, the awkwardness of breastfeeding - but I certainly wasn't prepared to find that my life and turned into episode after hilariously cringeworthy episode of Father Ted.

The Silver Fox and I are big Father Ted fans. Probably not massive enough to attend the annual, yes annual, Father Ted Festival aka "TedFest", but fans nonetheless. So I suppose it's not so surprising that, when faced with certain awkward situations in my own life, that I use the residents of Craggy Island as a frame of reference. 

These are the ways in which I've found being a new parent is like being in an episode of Father Ted -

I personally find this image quite terrifying

A pleasant playground outing re-imagined, Craggy Island style.

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