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.

Confessions of an X-Phile

05:00am 10 Apr 2015


It is the mid-1990s. I am an undergraduate humanities student at the University of Canterbury. One of my favourite pastimes involves sitting in the subterranean depths of the Mac Lab under the main library building wearing a stone-wash denim jacket emblazoned with a small X-Files badge I got free with a comic book and indulging in my favourite obsession. That obsession, as you've probably guessed, is The X-Files.

This was my first experience of The Internet providing a platform for fandom. I was a frequent reader of, and sometime poster at, ATXF ( For those of you too young to remember this was a "newsgroup" where you could post messages to like-minded folk. ATXF was a place to wax lyrical about the last episode of The X-Files that had screened (though being an Australian group timings were always a bit out for New Zealanders). It was sort of like commenting on a plain text forum.

There were sometimes "flame wars". There were often limerick competitions. It wasn't unusual to find postings about the interior decor of Fox Mulder's apartment. Rewritings of pop song lyrics with an X-Files theme were common.

I may have, at one point, penned one of these using Shaggy's hit Mr Boombastic as an opportunity to wax lyrical on the first season episode Squeeze. This featured a series of murders committed by (SPOILER) a liver-consuming, hibernating, serial killer called Eugene Tooms. My version of the song, naturally included the line "Mr liver lover". Thank you, thank you! I'll get my coat ...

I would apologise for how terrible this all was but the fact is, you do cringeworthy things when you're in love. And I was. Obsessively. I watched and recorded every episode. I devoured any magazine article about the show. I read the comics (which introduced me to artists like Charlie Adlard who would go on to draw The Walking Dead).  

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The Return (to work) of The Mummy

05:00am 07 Apr 2015


Kia ora all! Sorry about the lack of posts last week. There was a bit of drama happening around our way that I won't go into, but things are back on a slightly more even keel this week so blogs will be happening again.

I hope you didn't miss me too badly but please remember that crying, whether from genuine sadness or out of relief, is OK. You don't have to keep it all bottled up inside, dear internet person. Let it out.

Speaking of having a good old blub, I have done a bit of that recently myself. And not just because that Twin Peaks really, really, really late third season is looking a lot less likely now.

It's actually because starting next week I am returning to full-time work. Or, that is, I'm returning to full-time paid employment.

Naturally I'm nervous about this for a number of reasons.

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Everybody needs good neighbours

05:00am 26 Mar 2015


We have neighbours, and like a lot of people we don't really have that much to do with them. We nod if we happen to be at our front gates at the same time or occasionally say hello, or like yesterday, cautiously introduce The Master to their cute dogs. Contact is infrequent but benign.

But then there's one neighbour. Why is there always one who is a massive pain in your arse? He has this uncanny knack of gearing up his stereo just as we're trying to go to sleep, usually in the middle of the week. We've had several polite conversations with him over the back fence, late at night asking him to turn it down and usually he does.

One time he was blasting Ed Sheeran across our bow, and in defence claimed he was wooing a lady. Fair enough. I'm not sure that women are generally impressed with having their eardrums beaten into submission by Thinking Out Loud (that strikes me as more of a quiet, romantic, snuggling track) but what do I know?

A big part of the problem is that he has his stereo cranked up to 11 and his back door wide open. If it were closed the sound wouldn't travel as far. Another part of the problem is that we have a 1 year old who likes to wake up early and so our sleep is precious to us. I used to be something of a night owl but not any more. So our relatively early bedtime (10ish) doesn't really fit well with whatever schedule our neighbour is running to.

The most recent episode was on Tuesday night. The Silver Fox had gone to bed early because due to a meeting in Auckland he'd had an insanely early start (4am). It was just before 10pm and I was just about to head to bed when the toddler woke up crying and the neighbour's stereo started blasting Higher by Creed. Now, I know that the band Creed is universally reviled as The Worst but I've never been as offended by them as many other people are. But whatever the song, I know that kid's not going to go back to sleep with music booming through the house.

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Keep it in your pants

05:00am 24 Mar 2015


Being one half of an engaged couple means there are a lot of important questions to answer. When will should we get married? Can we dress our son up as an Ewok for the wedding? Is picking out china still a thing that people do and how I can I use my influence to make sure it's this set?

And on it goes.

But surely, the key question any modern couple must ask themselves is "how can we make it easier to get sexual in public places?"

Because as parents of an official "cute widdle zombie shuffling" toddler, sexual escapades are a "nice to have".

Unfortunately, sleep is also in this category. It's like if Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep were both up for the Best Actress Oscar. I mean Reese is great. Everybody enjoys the heck out of Reese's performance. We're a big fan of "Reese"... but Meryl is probably going to win three out of four times and that's just the way it is. Sorry, Ms Witherspoon. Maybe next year?

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In the motherhood club

02:12pm 20 Mar 2015


For the longest time after I had a baby I was really, truly, not comfortable with the word "mother". Well, not so much the word itself, more that it now applied to me.


It just seemed to come with a lot of gravitas. Far too much for this flibbertygibbet.

Obviously I'd thought about becoming a mother throughout my pregnancy but even then I was trying to fudge it, coming up with a modified version of it, declaring I would be entering "muthahood" instead.

Frances Hodgkins, Mother and child, Auckland Art GalleryBut eventually the mist clears, you get a bit more sleep, and you stop fighting it. You are the mother of a strange, adorable, infuriating creature. You accept this responsibility and on good days you think you might even be passably good at it. And then they fall off a piece of furniture on to the floor and you immediately regret your hubris.

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