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  • a roof over your head and all that…

    Funny¬† how things change. At the start of the year I spent every spare moment looking at rentals online, in the paper, going to view houses and running around trying to work out whether each place was within 5 minutes of a bus stop and not in the ghettos. Incidentally, house hunting is not easy without a car. Plus agents look at you like you’re poor, crazy or both if they click that you don’t actually own a vehicle and rely on dirty, disgusting public transport.

    Now it’s all doom and gloom and properties sitting empty for weeks or months, and tenants actually getting their rent reduced because the owners know they won’t be able to sustain the price if their tenant leaves.

    But I think decent family type homes on nice streets are always going to be in demand. I saw a beautiful house for rent on Owairaka Ave at the start of this week. By today a big fat ‘Rented’ was slapped all over the sign.¬† Now I only saw it from the outside, in passing, but it was well maintained, is close to almost everything, isn’t on a super busy street and has some measure of privacy from the road. And I’m willng to bet it had a garden and quality fittings inside.

    So maybe I live in a somewhat damp house around the corner from the local ghettos, but the thought of moving makes me break out in itches.

  • sad but true

    My eyes are -6.5, out of -8.00 I believe. That’s pretty frickin close to blind and I’m all of 20 years old.

    And after a little reading looks like I have computer vision syndrome too, from all the screen staring I do at work, uni and home…

    CVS symptoms include trouble focusing near and far, sore and red eyes, blurry vision, dry eye, eye strain, headaches etc…Sure it doesn’t sound all that bad, but actually experiencing it constantly ain’t fun (especially the inability to change focus – it’s really freaky) Rest your eyes people and do those eye exercises!

    And….I just did the dishes and have an aching back!

    Sigh

  • My top 3 for the week

    1. OPSM Queen St. I hate OPSM, giant greedy retail chain that they are. But their current sale is pretty awesome, and the sales assistant on Q St is AMAZING; she’s a little gem. I may have to drop in and tell her manager to give her a pay rise. She’s funny, warm, friendly, UNPUSHY, helpful and sooo sooo knowledgeable. (Wide headed people unite!) I went in expecting to come out drained and depressed, but I came out having found multiple glasses I liked, fit me and within my budget. At least till we got to the lenses part..

    HOWEVER – $350 for lenses is totally unjustified. So for that reason alone I may not be returning there, no matter how fabulous she was or how awesome those Morgan frames were (pretty, comfortable and cheap).

    But yes – go there – she’s the angel of eyewear.

    2. Revive – mostly yummy, healthy vegetarian food and now a second store closer to uni! woop woop! And their weekly emails and vouchers – genius. Haven’t come across anyone who does such inspired promotions, the amount of freebies and student discounts they’re doing is unheard of.

    3. BnT – just cause I picked up a $65 plush bathrobe for 15.

  • If I ruled….

    I’d stop taxing students secondary tax on their second jobs.

    Most of us don’t do it for fun, we do it because we have to and one job doesn’t always cut it.

    Hell, I’d stop taxing us secondary tax on our first job for those of us who get student allowance…

    And somehow, I’d make the cost of glasees way freaking cheaper!

    $350 for lenses is just nuts.

    Sucks to be blind…

  • There are a lotta things I don’t get…

    There is a popular view I don’t understand. It goes along the lines of: I believe in family values. I believe that the breakdown of the family unit is the cause of all society’s ills. Not to denigrate single parents, but children need a father and a mother. So I’m voting National.

    How is that going to help, how is that going to change anything? People will still get married to people they shouldn’t, get married too early, end up divorced. People will still end up pregnant. (Hint: Sarah Palin’s daughter. Abstinence only teaching doesn’t work, clearly). Having National in power will not miraculously rid the world of single parent families overnight – or ever.

    Is it just a kneejerk reaction? The whole world is going to hell, damn those liberals and I’m gonna vote National?

    Similarly, I don’t understand people who are just voting “for a change”. You have to be pretty confident that the change will be for the better – or that it will even happen once said candidate is in power. Actually, I can understand why a lot of people are voting for “change”; it just scares me how many are trumpeting the refrain without any knowledge or understanding of party policies or vision.

    Know what else I don’t get? The idiocy of bureaucracy. I find it very frustrating that after a certain amount of time an expired passport is no longer deemed a valid form of ID by the AA. Yet a birth certificate is, despite not featuring any sort of photograph. A passport bears a person’s name and date of birth, does it not?

    People, make sure you have your birth certificate somewhere safe, or that it’s with someone that you can trust won’t lose it.

  • Lovey dovey

    So just where do they get all these doves? They seem to be a staple of funerals lately (or at least the high profile ones).

    Is there a secret dove farm somewhere we don’t know about? Are there free range and battery doves? Are they bred and held until somebody dies and a large order comes in?

    At least we don’t eat them.

    They gotta come from somewhere, it’s not like you see many white doves just hanging around your garden on on your windowsill.

    Anyone know?

     

  • It’s been a bad day…

    I am so incredibly mad.

    I just can’t believe the sheer rudeness and unprofessionalism of certain insurance agents.

    I don’t recall a single good experience I’ve had with insurance companies, but I think this one tops the cake. Not that this is directly involving me, but I wish it was because I have some choice things to say to this person.

    This is meant to be a representative of a massive national company dealing in motor vehicles and insurance, one with the same initials as another organisation known as Alcoholics Anonymous.

    This particular individual has been ringing someone I know while they are at work (and they are not in a job where they can simply take calls at leisure), telling them to “stop being cheap and top up your phone” to ring somebody else (maybe this agent is so well paid that $20 is a drop in the bucket to him, and he’s never experienced being broke at the end of the week), SWEARING at the person and then hanging up.

    That’s beyond rude, beyond unprofessional and is, frankly, harassment. What I find most inexcusable is the cursing – understandable perhaps had the other person provoked him by swearing at him FIRST – but that wasn’t the case.

    It absolutely disgusts me – this “agent” has ruined my good perceptions of his company. As their representative he should be acting ethically and professionally at all times. Whether you’re a politician, police officer, debt collector, shop assistant, bus driver or teacher, you simply can’t speak to people any bloody way you like. You sure as hell can’t start swearing at them

    What gets me the most is that there was absolutely no reason for these calls. The matter should have been conducted through writing and there was no need for telephone contact whatsoever. I sure as hell hope I get to speak to this character and set him straight about his job and take the matter to his manager.

    Just as an aside, why does virtually everyone in the insurance industry seem to lack a rudimentary grasp of English? Almost all of the ones I’ve dealt with seem incapable of understanding what I’m saying let alone answering my queries (although that’s also to do with poor training, I suppose, and the fact that insurance companies really aren’t there for you – they’re out for themselves(.

    In other news, I feel terrible for Austin Hemmings and his family. It’s awful to think that he was doing the right thing, trying to help someone in trouble, and ended up dead. If I was trying to intervene in a fight I’d probably expect to get punched in the head or something – I wouldn’t expect to get stabbed for my trouble.

    That’s a whole new level, and I think in this country we still don’t quite have that mentality. But it’s only a matter of time.

    It’s amazing though how much difference it makes to be able to put a face to tragedies like this. When it was just an unnamed man, sure it was horrific, and depressing, but once his name and a photo of him smiling and alive was released, that added a whole new dimension. It made him a real person, who now no longer exists. A person who got killed for no reason at all.

    I think it’s the sheer randomness of acts like this that scares us. That and how close to home it was – just metres from my office. Most people still believe in the inherent goodness of human nature; but incidents like these make it hard to do so.

    I just can’t understand how people can do things like this. Much like I can’t understand how people can hurt their own children. Once you’ve held a newborn in your arms , I think your entire outlook on life shifts a little. And that’s something I never thought I’d say, being one of the least maternal people I know.

  • I wanna save the world

    WHY must there be hunger in the world? Why must there be people who don’t have enough to eat and kids who die every day from starvation?

    I may not have a lot but at least I (almost) always have food in the cupboards. It saddens me that we have all manner of greasy crap freely available to us on one hand and on the other, fattened birds and battery farmed hens and baby calves sacrificed so people can have their delicacies.

    With so much wealth concentrated in the first world it seems so wrong to me that millions don’t even have the basics. A little redistribution?

    They’ve only recently managed to eradicate some disease in Africa stemming from dirty drinking water (?) where worms grow in your stomach and then burst out through any part of your body (wherever they may happen to be, eyes, chest, legs, worse…), a painful, painful thing that a little sanitation wiped out.

    In the midst of my interminable reading for my lit review I came across this quote from “a little boy in Gabon”. Something along the lines of, I don’t have breakfast in the morning; I go to school, and I don’t have lunch. When I get home I have a little supper, maybe potatoes, and sometimes I see other children eating and school, and I watch them eat, and think I’m going to die of hunger. Oh, how I wanted to cry after reading that.

    Oftentimes the weekend comes around and I moan about the fact that we have no food, and annoy everyone around me by complaining that I’ll pass out if I don’t get something to eat. But no matter how bare our pantry gets, in reality it’s never really, truly empty. So here’s my resolution – no more ‘there’s nothing for me to eat’ Saturday morning bitching. There’s always something of some sort around. And if I don’t like it, at least it’s still edible.

  • The pursuit of money

    I was sitting in front of a Fijian and a Samoan guy on the bus the other day. They were talking about how great it was going back to visit because life over there is so different; it’s more laidback, there’s a sense of community, money is not as important and you don’t NEED it to get by as you do here.

    It sounds idyllic. But you know what, I don’t think I’d last long there. City life is stressful, and expensive, and sometimes it’s harsh and dangerous and downright disheartening, but I wouldn’t trade it in. The Pacific is top of my holiday list but it’s not really a lifestyle option.

    I think I value ambition and money and the buzz of the city (not that I’d want to live in the midst of it) and the insane variety of foods we now have here (y’all know how much I love to eat). I want to work hard and travel and obtain the trappings of middle class life eventually.

    Or have I just been brainwashed by the capitalist economy?

  • Hello world!

    Moving on from my occasional exam-induced ramblings on a certain networking site, I’m actually going to keep a dedicated blog. Hopefully I’ll manage to keep it from degenerating into lame everyday one-line updates (that’s what facebook status is for after all) – because really I want to make this something I wouldn’t be ashamed to have anyone read.

    SO I’ve been immersed in Fashion Week photos since Tuesday, and as little as I know/care about high fashion, I totally loved the Cybele show. Loved the colours, loved the prints. Also up there was Juliette Hogan; wouldn’t wear most of it but hell it looked good on the models. But the standout for me was the Trelise Cooper kids’ show…how adorable…they were the cutest little things, though i can’t imagine they enjoyed the makeup and the hair teasing. And I now know why they send them down the runway in pairs.

    On a rather more boring note, I’ve finally decided to start a price book! I can’t do anything about rocketing food prices but after rent, food and groceries are my biggest expenses so I’m gonna do whatever I can to keep those under control. In theory over time I’ll get to know sale cycles and know what a good price for something is, and what stuff to get from where (we alternate between Pak and Slave and Countdown).