Monday, April 29, 2013

shit runs...

Let me tell you some truths about getting older. I don't mean old; I mean older. Like just about to turn thirty.

Your metabolism will slow down. Not drinking just for one weekend won't make you skinny again. Neither will not sugaring your tea for a week. And one week of regular exercise won't make a damn difference to your bum; it'll merely make the shelf beneath it support it a little better.

There'll be mornings where you wake up and your back will hurt so much you can't get out of bed without assistance, and you won't really know why. You''ll have to stay in bed all day, and instead of enjoying it, you'll think about when you'll be on your deathbed and you'll be looking back on your life, and you'll think of days when you were stuck in bed, bored, lonely, and irritable, and you'll lament the time you wasted.

You might decide you want kids, because you think you've had enough hangovers to be able to say no for a year. So you go off the pill, and you think you're just going to go back to what you were like before it. You forget that your hormones have been manipulated for years, so it will come as a huge surprise when your boobs start to hurt, and then they just keep hurting. It'll take you a few days to realise why the biggest and reddest pimple in recent memory has taken up residence on your face, and not somewhere subtle like in your eyebrow, or somewhere where you can put black eyeliner on it and make it look like a beauty spot, like near your mouth, or even on your forehead where you could cover it by cutting a fringe. It'll be right beside your nose, where there's nowhere to hide. And you won't have the excuse of age, because you'll be waaaay past adolescence.

You'll start to become really involved in tv shows you were making fun of people for watching only a year or two ago. You won't know about new music until at least a month after it's been out. You'll find you've been wearing the same three pairs of shoes for the last two weeks, and that two of them were chosen for comfort. You'll need to wear merino underneath everything because you'll feel the cold. You'll be complimented more and more on your clothes by people older than you, and less and less by people your age or younger.

You'll be hungover after a couple of drinks, and severely hungover after just a few more than a couple. Severely hungover won't mean throwing up several times during breakfast at a cafe. It'll mean being bedridden, and still foggy the next day.

Sex will mostly be reserved for bedtime. That'll probably be a good thing, because everybody's eyes will be too tired to notice that your legs are almost as hairy as your head. Also, you'll be so concerned about your dog's well-being that you'll want to wait until he's fast asleep so he doesn't grow up scared, and then you'll check on him afterwards anyway, because you'll worry about stuff like that. You'll worry roughly ten times more than you did five years ago, and, surprisingly, your worries won't be any saner than they used to be. Sometimes you may even lie awake worrying about things you've dreamt, and then when morning comes you realise the whole scenario was completely ridiculous.

I'll save the rest for another day, and leave you with a song from my youth. I used to dance to this in heels and a micro mini (that's what they were called when I was young), and I liked the video, whereas now it makes me shake my head/fist at this awful, patriarchal world, and I can't fit  micro minis, and I haven't worn heels in several months (if I have, I don't remember; another charming side-effect of ageing).


But it's not all bad. According to Tony S., shit flows downhill, money flows uphill. Just have to find that hill...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

a roller skating jam named...

1. I'm a month behind the times, but that's less than usual so I'm okay with it. The Veils have a new album, released on their own label, called Time Stays, We Go. I'm on my first listen through some of the tracks, and I already really, really like this one, with its moody Western feel, which suits them. Finn used to sit in the square across from my old work, and we used to watch him in wonder, like he wasn't real. Much has been said about his looks (ethereal), but it goes beyond that; there is something about his person that is also other-worldly - something you can't quite put your finger on.


2. It's funny when you take something for granted because it seems fairly obvious, and then someone (usually a man) slaps a name on it and all of a sudden it's a revelation. Any reader of Jane Austen already knows about her exploration of manipulation and sophisticated communication. This guy has called it Game Theory, and all of sudden lots of people are interested. Clearly, I'm not overly impressed, but if it's going to gain her more readers and appreciation, then whatever. It's such a man thing to do though, and living in a colonised country and being from a colonised people, I have little patience for the practice.

For some happy Austen-related reading, a mini-review of Persuasion, which is also my favourite of Austen's books.

3. There was something vaguely annoying about this article explaining the new "new atheism" (perhaps the name "new atheism"), and I don't know that just because "they" say there's been a shift that there actually has been one, but nonetheless, I welcome it. Because everybody is different, the way we understand and practise beliefs differ, and I think it's a good thing to separate out different atheists. I'm an atheist. I can also see merit in religion, and don't think all of the world's problems are because of religious belief (this sounds crazy, but lots of people really believe it). I tried to read The God Delusion (and will, one day), but just couldn't stick with it, largely because of how condescending and just smarty-pants it came across. I see the same thing in some of my atheist friends who are sharp and witty and say things that can be funny but are also mean in a way that just makes them look like arseholes. I think many atheists struggle with this because we have reason on our side, but that's not licence to be dickheads. I like "secular humanism" (I would prefer "atheist humanism"); its focus is as much on the similarities between people with different beliefs as the differences. I've talked before about how I feel about organisations like World Vision and The Salvation Army. Like non-partisan politics, there are some things that are common to all people in spite/because of religious belief, and so much good might be done if we focus on those.

4. Okay, I usually loathe things entitled "friendship!" or "how to be a friend!", but I like Garance, so I clicked on this post, and I really liked it; maybe partly because I could hear it coming from her, and she seems a sincere, kind, and unpretentious kind of person. And also because faces immediately popped into my head, and made me feel happy.

5. Still on season 2 of Dawson's Creek, still digging it. It's also rekindling a love of the (often-overlooked) late '90s; the part that no-one wants to borrow from because it's still kind of embarrassing. I've been embracing the music, and it's only a matter of time before the style creeps in... Metallic eyeshadow and platform slides? Oh yeah. I was going to end with De La Soul, but it has to be one of the slow-jams I've been listening to (which is actually from the early '90s). Vincent and I were discussing the demise of the slow-jam, and I truly believe a big part of romance died with it. Songs like this make me think about what the first Vincent says about foot massages in Pulp Fiction: "I ain't saying it's right. But you're saying a foot massage don't mean nothing, and I'm saying it does. Now, look, I've given a million ladies a million foot massages, and they all meant something. We act like they don't, but they do, and that's what's so fucking cool about them. There's a sensuous thing going on where you don't talk about it, but you know it, she knows it, fucking Marsellus knew it, and Antoine should have fucking better known better." Now we dance to house, hip hop or d&b, and there's no subtlety... "This is about business."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Richie Havens


Richie Havens died today. He was 72 years old.

He's one of those musicians whose name has always been familiar to me, but if you'd asked me to name one of his songs, I couldn't. His passing probably wouldn't have met my notice if not for wonderful Mojo, to whom I owe so much music I love, posting this song today. It's part of the set he played to open Woodstock; three hours, which included making up songs, to keep the crowd entertained and appeased while the other artists, delayed by the unbelievable traffic, tried to get there. After that long, he was still called on for encores; this song makes it easy to see why.

It's so beautiful, it made me cry. A voice like his is at once so comforting and also makes me feel sad; I feel as if I can hear his history in it - the good, the bad, and the fact that it's gone. It made me mournful for what he was part of, and the dream of Woodstock, and the hippies, and the fact that those things are gone, too.

It also made me think about the things artists leave behind. I don't know much about his personal life, just what I read briefly on wikipedia, impeded by tears, but this song is a gift to me, and if you watch the video on youtube and read the comments, you'll read what a gift he was to so many other people. There is no-one more important to leave happiness for than the people closest to you, but I really appreciate the people who are able to leave something for everyone else. Like Richie has. Rest in peace.

Friday, April 19, 2013

on turning thirty

In a few months, I will leave my twenties. That sounds so dramatic; I will be living in the same place I was when I was twenty-nine, be staying at my parents' house where we moved when I was eight, and still have most of the charming faults, and clothes, I have today. I probably won't be very different from how I am today at all.

But it is dramatic. I won't be in my twenties anymore. The first decade of actual self-awareness, which has consequently felt longer and more significant than any other, will be over.

I thought I was prepared for it. Even before my last birthday, I felt ready to move in with the wine-at-homers. I told people I was ready to be forty, and I really meant it. I like being in bed before 8pm on a Friday (granted, I liked it better when it happened once every six weeks, and the alternative was the pub). I like ranting about bad manners. I like leaving gigs/movies/anything early if I'm not enjoying them, because my time is worth more than the gamble that they might improve, or the money I've already spent on them. I like it all.

What I hadn't counted on, until very recently, is that turning thirty is about more than just how I feel about what's around me. It's also about how the things around me feel about me, being thirty. I woke up the other morning and remembered realising, when I was about to finish school, that it wasn't going to be okay for me to check out boys in school uniform anymore; even if they might only be a year younger than me, that wasn't the point - they were schoolboys, and I wasn't a schoolgirl anymore. I don't remember thinking or caring that they, and everybody else, would be seeing me any differently; maybe because being the older woman to a sixteen-year-old really just means you're older than sixteen, and because I was completely self-absorbed.

I've realised that turning thirty is going to separate me, involuntarily, from people in their twenties. I've been going on about how great that is, and how most kids in their early twenties are imbeciles, but I think on some level, I still thought we were peers, and just that I was at the other end of that tunnel. And without realising it, I liked that. I've looked at them and made a million judgements, and in my self-absorption, failed to notice that they've been doing the same to me, and in a way I don't welcome. I don't want to be the old girl. I don't want to not know what they're talking about when they use acronyms, even though I make fun of those acronyms as well as their users. I don't want to be the wow, I didn't think she was that much older than us, friend. I want to be the same. As soon as I tell someone I'm almost thirty, something changes; they make the same assumptions about me based on my time on the planet that I've been  making about everyone else, which is fair and just etc etc but I'm not ready.

Being married already makes me feel older; say what you will about a piece of paper and the rest, but marriage means something when you don't have kids - it's a tangible thing (okay, a piece of paper) that says Pikachu, I choose you. And then, under the law, you're married, and you realise you hadn't ever thought of your status as being anything to do with the law, except when you were breaking it. You've crossed over. You've chosen to take legal (and symbolic) responsibility for your feelings. And, mostly, you just sound old. "I'm married" implies you have a spare room, and enough cutlery and plates and cooking ability to have four people over for dinner. And, since we moved here, we do. It looks to everybody like I've grown up. That might make it seem like the age doesn't matter; perhaps that's precisely why it does. My age is my last connection to the good bits of youth (as well as the bad). If I get too drunk and throw up on the floor, it's not so bad, because I'm in my twenties. Fast-forward a few months, and I won't be able to say that anymore. If I get too drunk and throw up on the floor, it'll be like hmm, Peter Pan, and hmm that's embarrassing; isn't she a bit old for that?

Maybe all of this is my fault for being, unwittingly, a little ageist. I've made assumptions, I've stereotyped, and now the chickens are coming home to roost. But it still hurts. Life-expectancy is increasing! Doesn't that leave room to defer calling yourself an age that has so many implications? Why do we even bother with the number anyway?

Stand-by for the pathetic woman who starts lying about her age at thirty, or saying she's twenty-ten.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

from my bedroom window


a week ago. It's funny how something beautiful and temporary makes you, even subconsciously, aware of your mortality. Or is that just me? This kind of beauty has always made me feel a little sad, even before I knew why. Perhaps because of all the reading and the dreaming, I've always been painfully aware of how temporary everything is, and the impending end.

Maybe that's why I like being drunk so much. It puts me in the moment, and I have very little thought for tomorrow, or the temporary nature of anything. Endings, if I think of them, don't scare me; they're for another time - real time. It makes sense, then, to drink to celebrate; the moment freezes. Drinking when sad? The moment loses long-term significance.

This wasn't going to be about drinking at all, but I've forgotten what it was going to be about. Oh well.

May the marriage equality bill pass, with a vast majority.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In honour of Dave McArtney

who left the world this morning. With thanks, for everything.




And, though it was written by bandmate and fellow legend Graham Brazier, thanks especially for this, one of my favourite NZ songs ever. As it goes: gone, but not forgotten.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

my life, at present

1. TV. Lots and lots of it. Currently rewatching season 2 of Dawson's Creek and season 3 of The Sopranos, and watching (for the first time) the final season of Reno 911 and the first season of Bunheads. Bunheads is the new creation of Amy Sherman-Palladino, the brains behind my beloved Gilmore Girls; it doesn't even come close, but for a GGs fan, it's watchable, if only to feel close to Lorelai. I'll never get over that woman. I'm taking a while to get into this season of Reno, after the deaths of three characters at the end of last season, but we have to finish it before we watch the movie (self-imposed rule). Highlights from the others:

Pacey - She probably didn't recognise me. I just had my tips frosted.

And the funniest episode of anything, ever:



2. This post from the wonderful thing that is bitches gotta eat

"sometimes i think about how much easier life would be if i had been born an attractive man: my dry cleaning would be hella cheap. i could decide to just "stop eating chips" and lose forty pounds in a goddamned week and a half. strangers on the street wouldn't stop me to ask why i haven't yet shit out a baby since i'm in my thirties and all my eggs are about to be dead. if i decided to run for public office no one would launch an investigation into how many jerks i'd banged when i was nineteen. genetically, males have thicker skin and more powerful muscle structure. i would be interested in knowing stuff about tanks. $12 haircuts."

3. Style blogs. Since I'm spending almost all day in bed, these are where I'm getting inspiration (not even close to actually being out in the city and seeing real people), and they're making me think crazy. I'm convinced I need to start wearing make-up, that I need to lose 6-10kg and exercise away my hips, and that all of my dressing dilemmas would be solved if I would just wear heels every day. Crazy. But look how grown up and pretty they look!

Krystal from this time tomorrow:


Karla from karla's closet:


So I get out of bed (yes, at 4pm), and spend ages trying to get dressed, and nothing feels quite right because I have these images of these impeccably put-together women, and everything I put on is way too girly, or you can see the socks through my stockings or the hair on my unshaved-since-March thighs, or my skirt's too loose on my waist or too tight on my bum.

I need perspective. Or to see people who inspire me to dress well in a way that's comfortable and genuine, so I don't feel like I'm playing dress-ups, and can get dressed on the first go. Like my old workmates, who are some of the most stylish women I know, evidenced below:

Ngahuia, snapped recently by gather and hunt:


Huni, snapped a while back by foureyes:


And Olivia, in a picture pinched from her blog make believe:


I'd like to point out that I only used pictures from street style blogs because I thought the girls wouldn't mind since those are already out there; they look awesome every day, and don't need confirmation from street style blogs. (Although, having been on one before, it does feel kind of nice - is that pathetic?) Also, in case it did matter, Olivia was on street and city photos a while back, but I couldn't find the picture. (Put in a search feature, street style bloggers!)

4. I'm carefully avoiding doing practical things towards getting the shop I plan to open up and running, partly because I'm in a rut, and partly because I don't really know where to begin. I have, however, begun a blog for the shop, and I'm trying to post on it semi-regularly; not much of an ask when I don't have much to do in a day, but something I find really difficult on the days when I can't get out of bed. But maybe it would help if I thought people were looking at it - like there's a reason (other than the rather important reason that I need a job, and the blog is part of it), so here it is, if you like clothes. I'm trying to keep it fairly impersonal, but I have mixed results with that; at best, I'm open, and at worst, I'm a total over-sharer. Which you will already know. Anyway, excuse the current heading; it's a default font, while Vincent finishes designing the real one. Dogtown Vintage.

update: logo is up! input on colours welcome; would black and white be better? trying to nail the blue, and the gold.

5. It's been a week since Paul Simon. I might have left it too long to review it well; my memory is particularly bad at the moment. Suffice to say, for now, that it was fantastic; he was at the top of his game, and clearly there to entertain and have a good time. Aaradhna opened, and although I would have loved to have heard her with a full band, the simple guitar and one back-up singer accompaniment meant her voice was the focus, and man, it is amazing. And then Rufus. He was lovely; sincere, and a bit grave, in the best possible way. This was one of my favourites of the songs he played.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cockling

One of the really cool things about having visitors is doing stuff we might not do otherwise. Some of it is just that kind of stuff you forget to do when you live in a place - we went to the museum every time we visited Dunedin before we moved here, but since we brought all of our stuff with us, we haven't been once. Some of it is because you want people to have a good time, so you try to think of what they'd like to do. But I think the best stuff is what people come down wanting to do, because of what they're into.

This is how we went cockling. On the drive down back in February, my Dad had a few things he wanted to do once we hit Te Wai Pounamu (he's a foodie, and the kind who enjoys going out and buying all of the stuff to make something yum for everyone). He wanted to have crayfish in Kaikoura, snapper, blue cod, and cockles from somewhere in Dunedin where his friend said they were as big as his fist. The cray was easy; he bought the biggest one on offer at Nin's Bin, the last independent caravan on the stretch, which we inhaled that night in Christchurch. It tasted different to the ones we get from Ahipara; less creamy, and really, really meaty. The thought of it makes me feel very hungry. The snapper was a surprise; he had wanted to wait for Kaikoura for that, too, but we were all starving, so we stopped off at an unremarkable little tearoom in Seddon. The lady behind the counter was so abrupt we almost changed our minds, but thank goodness our hunger and better-the-devil-you-just-met won, because that was the best fish and chips I have had in my life. Usually Vincent and I just buy whatever the "fish" is; partly because we can't really taste the difference (or we just really like hoki), partly because we think it's kind of emperor's new clothesy the way people are too shamed to get it, and more recently, partly because snapper is so endangered. However, on this day, the "fish" was snapper, besides which part of the point of these things is to all get the same, so we did, and the memory makes me feel like Tracey Jordan when he realises he has everything, and there's nothing left to live for. Really. The blue cod was okay; we'd been to a pub that was charging exorbitant (and, we later discovered, unjustified) prices, and ended up buying it from a local fish and chip shop that is actually pretty good, just not so much with the memory of Seddon so fresh in our minds. This, however, didn't put Dad off a return trip the day he left.

But the cockles. We looked it up, and found that the place to go seemed to be Blueskin Bay, about twenty minutes away from Port. Low tide was 8.30am, so 8am on Saturday morning saw us driving uphill, wrapped in blankets, and me complaining all the way about exhaustion and freezing to death. On arrival, we realised it wasn't simply a case of digging; we had to find the cockle beds, which was met by more grumbling from one of us (yes, me), as we traipsed up the beach, and then down again after consulting a local out walking his dogs, who sent us in the other direction.

It turned out to be a morning we still talk about. The quota is fifty per person; unsure of how they'd taste, we took less - a mistake we won't make again. Once home, Dad cooked some plain, made some into fritters, and Mum did some in wine, and then we spent the rest of the morning out in the sun scoffing them with stale bread.

That was supposed to be a brief introduction to these photos I took at the beach that day. Looking at them makes me really, really miss my parents, especially my Dad. They make me feel really lucky that Vincent's and my parents are such friends. And they make me really look forward to Dad's next trip down here, for the Port Chalmers Seafood Festival in September, which I hadn't even heard of until he said that was when he'd next be down. Usually I focus on similarities as a means of connection, but sometimes it really is all in the differences.

















Wednesday, April 10, 2013

hindsight

I'm currently spending not insignificant chunks of my days re-watching Dawson's Creek. I think someone mentioned it on Rookie, and with nothing to do and wanting something comforting, I put it on one afternoon, and now I'm hooked in a nice, mild way.

It's funny reliving the late 90s, and subsequently, my youth, through my (kind of) adult perspective. I would never ever want to be young again - the stress! - but it's sad in a nostalgic way watching the show and remembering what it was like to worry about those things: my first kiss, when/if anybody was ever going to fall in love with me, if I was ever going to grow boobs, if Mum would buy me cargo pants. And taking for granted how meaningful the most mundane music could be, simply because it was around at a time when absolutely everything was meaningful.

This time around, I really like Dawson. I remember thinking he was a pain in the ass who looked every one of his twenty years, but now doesn't  bother me in the least (perhaps because in my advanced age kids of fifteen and twenty don't look that different to me, or because now I know how tv works), and I find the aspects of his character that used to be so annoying - his idealism, neuroses, articulateness and propensity to talk about everything - appealing. I'm not nearly as sweet as he is, but in many ways I think I turned into Dawson, and maybe was all along (probably why he was so repugnant to me), when I was convincing myself I was Joey.

I was always on Joey's team, even when I kind of hated her; it's my Betty complex. I always thought I'd rather hang out with Veronica, but that it was right for Archie to be with Betty; I don't know if it was because she was an underdog, or because I thought nice girls weren't supposed to be like Veronica, or because I was afraid I was going to be Betty when I grew up, having neither money nor that specific type of confidence/entitlement that comes with it, and thus relying on The Way Things Should Be to get anything I wanted. Maybe I thought I was going to be a worker bee who did everything she could to make a decidedly unremarkable boy fall in love with her, and inevitably betray her (I read The Bell Jar young - too young, probably). But Joey wasn't Betty. As tragic as her story was, Joey was always undeniably beautiful; most importantly, not just to the other characters in the show, but to me. It made her not quite relatable; like she was sitting on something she just hadn't figured out yet (I was painfully aware of the importance of looks and perception). I felt as unimportant as she did, but I felt as if there was no key to the lock, as there was for her. 

Sometimes I was aware that Jen made more sense to me, in spite of what is frequently referred to as her "experience". It makes me think of my best friend in form two, who was as worldly as I was naive. I was always so conscious of the fact that she was so beyond me in experience and knowledge; it's only as an adult that I recall friendships where I was that person, and how that made no difference, except maybe that the other person was a better listener. Jen is almost as I remember her, except in her vulnerability. Other shows always portrayed the Jen character as having an agenda all of the time, and I think I projected this onto her, whereas she's so obviously just as confused as everybody else about her feelings, and only seems less so because of her honesty. I would be friends with Jen (in fact, I would be friends with all of them, now, although Joey would be a lot of work, especially Pacey, who is as funny but far more insightful than I remember). At the time I just thought she was a bit of a sook, although I did get her short haircut when I was sixteen.

Watching it, I miss some things about being young. Even though it was nerve-wracking and stressful, I miss having things ahead of me; big things, like first love and university, even though I have no desire to go through them again. I miss the music; the terrible music that was so important to me. I miss the trends that seem so endearingly unflattering and bad, now. And I miss the people. I miss the friends I grew up to detest, or who grew up to detest me, or the ones who just went away. I miss the all-in relationships you have when you're fourteen and sure you're the only person in the world who ever felt the way you do. And I miss knowing where I was going every day of the week.

On to season two (once the tears from the season one finale have dried). And lastly, I should mention the direction; the frequent homages to various films, styles and directors. It's great. I don't know about youth being wasted on the young, but the tv? Definitely.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

she bites/is dust

Today Vincent roused me before I was ready (I don't know if it's the cold, or daylight saving, and yes I know we're off daylight saving so the latter doesn't make any sense but NEITHER DOES THE HEART, and I LOVE sleeping), and five minutes later I was drinking beer and making calls. I am going to have a shower and get into something special, and as soon as Vincent finishes work we are going to the pub to celebrate a day we've been waiting for, but that many, many other people have been living for. These chaps, for example:


It's fun to watch this video, but it's also such a vivid reminder of what Thatcher has done that it's also heart-breaking; seeing the old men chanting this, knowing why they mean it so much. This woman, who is today being hailed as a great champion of freedom (wtf?!) by Obama et al, caused indescribable pain and suffering to a huge number of people; primarily poor workers. This woman, who is today being held up by every insincere (and ill educated) fuckhead with a twitter account as some kind of example to follow, had the opportunity to do great things, and used that opportunity to drive a wedge between people, and victimise and demonise normal, working people.

I'm going to leave the essay about Thatcher and why she was such a piece of evil another time, because today friends, we celebrate. Of course her death won't erase history; neither does any sentence given to any criminal. But she is no longer breathing. She will never see something beautiful, or enjoy a cup of tea, or say or do anything more to hurt anybody. Cameron is still in power, but that's something to tackle tomorrow. Today we celebrate.

To everyone everywhere but especially in England, who has suffered at the hands of Tories. We shall overcome.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Cakes, furs, and being a shut-in

Hmm, I was away a lot longer than I meant to be. Also, I've taken so long to do the three most important things on my list of things to do today (get dressed, bake cakes, have husband take me to buy beautiful fur coat ready for my not exactly imminent birthday), that there's not really enough time for a proper post. I must say, though, I did a hell of a job getting dressed today; socks and everything.

I've only eaten the bits I could get away with (one of the problems with baking cakes for people; you can't really try them), but the first cake is delicious. DELICIOUS. Which doesn't surprise me at all, because I got it from Molly of Orangette's cookbook which I have been meaning to tell you all about (and convince you to buy it). It's called The Winning Hearts And Minds Cake, and is the last recipe in the book, but until you buy it (and you really want to; it's much more than just recipes), you can find it here on her blog. As an added incentive to look at it, I'll tell you now that it has 200g of chocolate, 200g of butter, and five eggs. Five. I've made it for Vincent's sister's 40th birthday tomorrow, and only having met her and her partner twice, I guess it wouldn't hurt to win their hearts and minds with the cake; I simply haven't had time to do it on my own, and will probably be so intent on filling my own heart and mind with alcohol tomorrow before the gig (Paul Simon! Supported by Rufus Wainwright! And... Aaradhna!) that winning hearts and minds might be a bit beyond my capabilities.

The other cake is a bit sad. There has to be another cake (and, having tried the former, I'm happy that there are less of us to share it, and am thinking about making a second anyway - we have the eggs, though not the chocolate) because Vincent is allergic to egg, and his younger sister and her partner are vegan. Being someone who loves butter and milk as much as I hate Fonterra, vegan baking isn't very rewarding for me. Nonetheless, I found this recipe on the Good website, and believed the nice lady when she said it was the nicest she had made in a while. I do feel sorry for vegans; they're making the world better, and we thank them with shitty recipes. From what I've tried from the bottom of the pan, this cake is gross, and the answer to the other lady's question about vinegar is not white. I can taste it, and I don't even think the ganache is going to sort that one out. Also, after following the recipe so carefully, I went and greased the cake tin with fucking butter. I know I'm going to have to own up. Bloody hell.

This was not supposed to be about cakes (I name my posts after writing them, usually), and you may hate cakes, and baking, and reading about cakes, and baking, in which case I apologise (and in an actual, meaningful way; not like that arsewipe in Palmerston North, and every other right-wing politician whoever says sorry when they're not), so I'll go before I get onto other subjects that are topical for me (subsiding rashes, picking up dog poo, and trademe), and leave you with  the truly inimitable Elvis (though many try). Need to get out more? Don't I know it.