Summer daze

I’ve used that title before, but it’s just so perfect for this time of year. I expect it was probably exactly this time last year that I used it. I can’t be bothered searching.

So anyway, Christmas has passed and new year is yet to come. We are home for one night between beaches, and far out – life is beautiful.

I love summer holidays. They are the only time of the year that my mother stops working and relaxes. She is one of the most dedicated people I have met and she taught me a work ethic second to none, but she forgets to balance things sometimes. On holiday, she announces that it’s time for a wine every afternoon at 5pm. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout… (I’ve stolen that saying from a friend but it so perfectly illustrates how I feel about things).

So tomorrow we drive up country to hang out with friends for a MASSIVE new years celebration. I have stockpiled fireworks from Guy Fawkes, and I am infamous with fireworks. There was the incident where I let a skyrocket off on a friend’s balcony (it richocheted around for a few minutes) and he got a formal warning from the body corporate. And the time in Mauritius where the police got involved. Fireworks mean fun. And there’s going to be fun…

Once we are all broken and temporarily funned out, we are heading even further up north to yet another beach, where we’ll hang out with the family. That’s when 5pm wines start. (Before that, to be honest, I expect we’ll be well plastered by 5pm). After a week of doing nothing in the sun, I’m back to work.

But I’m not thinking about that until then.

Right now it’s all about the long hot days of summer.

Goodbye office, I won’t miss you.

Today is the last day of work for 2006.

The last half day, actually. Everyone is in that silly kind of mood and I expect that not much is going to get done. Someone is already launching some kind of flying screaming monkey in a cape around the office. It gives me a fright every time. It’s brilliant. I’m thinking of lighting it’s cape and then launching it at the guy that keeps getting me.

I have tried to clear the backlog of work that’s built up so that I could start fresh next year but due to a slightly below average energy level over the last few days it just hasn’t happened. To be fair, most of yesterday was spent staring at my screen pretending to be reading something. Then I went to boxing. I told my trainer that I wasn’t up for sparring so we’d just train. Big mistake. He spent the hour trying to make me throw up. It got pretty close. At one stage, a guy who was sparring in the ring got his nose busted. It sprayed blood around the place like a geyser. I just about fainted.

It’s a beautiful cloudless day. It’s boding well for the summer holidays. I have two weeks off from today and I’m planning on spending as many of them as possible lying outside with a book. Blogging is going to be sporadic over that time. The cats go into the cat hotel tommorrow (that’s what we tell them anyway – it’s just a cattery) and then I’m responsibility free. It’ll make quite a change from the usually incredibly responsible person that I am.

Life is beautiful.

The longest day… in the world

So it’s fair to say that I like a good party and there are definitely occasions when I’m not the most responsible with home times, but I have never stayed up all night on a school night.

Until now.

I left work at the usual time yesterday afternoon and was heading home to take it easy. Shaun had work drinks so I figured I’d eat toast for dinner and watch some average TV. I had promised my best friend that I’d swing by his place on my way home and check out his new garden. So I do, and it looks fantastic, but annoyingly I can’t pull out of his street because it is the world’s most annoying intersection. I decide to turn left and take a completely different route to the motorway. As I’m in the process of doing this, I happen to get a text from him saying that he’s down at the viaduct having drinks.

I decide to stop in for one.

So about one million drinks later I realise that I’m going to have to leave my car down there. Once I had made the not driving decision, all hell broke loose. Many, many times it occurred to me that I should go to bed, and many, many times I vetoed my decision. And then the sun came up.

I arrived at work on time and kind of thought things would be ok. They’re not really. In fact, they’re not at all.

And of all the days to choose, today is the longest day of the year.

Go me.

Losing anonymity

I belong to a HUGE gym. It has around 15,000 members (although I think only 5,000 are active…). The Pump class I go to at 6am has around 200 people in it. What I like about that (apart from the fact that they make so much money that the gear is always new) is that I can be completely anonymous. I can get up and leave the house without bothering to turn the light on. I don’t do my hair or wear makeup. I throw cold water on my face and that’s it.

Oh – and put clothes on.

My boxing gym is next door. It is small. I don’t know how many actual members there are (most people are casuals) but I would guess around 30 of us. It is a bit of a novelty for some of the trainers from the main gym – they quite often come over to hang out and watch us spar. I guess it’s highly entertaining to watch me try and get the better of Doug.

As a result they have learned my name.

Due to my party flu, I’m only at half strength this week. I dragged myself out of bed and went to Pump. I always go on Wednesdays because I have a weekly gym date with a couple of guys from Shaun’s work. I knew it was going to be tough, so I went right down the back of the class.

The tutor spotted me never the less. Half way through the first track he decided to say good morning to me. That was tolerable – Sarah is a common name. Half way through the third track when we were doing push-ups I got lazy and dropped to my knees. That was a mistake. He called me up on it – apparently it was innapropriate laziness.

It was during the shoulder track that things really took a turn for the worse. I was just about done for and I guess I was day dreaming and got out of time with the music. I was  brought back down to earth when he screams “Sarah – would you GET IT TOGETHER please?

The 200 pairs of eyes on me implied that my days of anonymity are over. Shame.

Collateral damage

The fallout from this weekend was worse than usual. On Friday night we had our work Christmas party. The theme was Wild West. Things went pretty well. I did have a couple of moments. The one that stands out was when I set up a line of men to hide behind in order to shoot our General Manager in the eye with a high powered water pistol. We have never gotten on that well (I was going to say we’ve never seen eye to eye).

Things got interesting when the security staff started throwing people out for being intoxicated. For some reason they decided that they needed to run each decision by me first. Yeah, right – ’cause I’m a great person to make calls on intoxication.

So after the party we ended up down at Suite (for a change). And once again, I got bitten. This time by a girl. It was completely unprovoked. I wasn’t even talking to her. This time it is on the other arm. My entire tricep has gone black. It’s fairly obviously a bite mark so I’m not even lying about it.

The biggest mystery of the night is what time I got home. I remember feeling really self-righteous at 4am when I said to Dave that I thought I’d head off. He suggested that it was a great idea. So the confusion arises from the emails that I sent at 7am. I either took the long way home or spent 3 hours doing some ‘computing’ before going to bed. It pays not to think about it.

The biggest disaster of the night is the fact that I have somehow contracted a chest infection and laryngitis. At one stage during the evening I went to say something and nothing came out. My voice hasn’t been back since. Everyone else is loving it but it’s driving me crazy.

I’m going down to the bar after work to see if I can find it.

If you don’t like it, go away

I am currently taking part in a couple of interesting debates about blogging. It is clearly a subject that I have a personal interest in! So, as it happens, is debating.

One of the reasons that it is being talked about is that Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2006 is “you”. They are recognising that the nature of the web is changing and that the biggest growth is in user generated content.

“It’s about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes,” said Lev Grossman, Time’s technology writer and book critic.

I accept that perhaps Grossman isn’t referring to this type of blog specifically, but they all serve a purpose. There are those that provide interesting insight into specific subjects, those that are educational, those that provide entertainment, those that keep loved ones updated and those, like this one, that don’t do much at all other than keep me occupied and provide you with the occasional laugh – and frankly, that’s enough for me.

One of the most common ‘anti-blog’ attitudes I hear is the one that goes along these lines…
“blogging to me is boring because its usually the same ole thing, ppl talkin about their daily lives and its like…. why would i wanna know this stuff?! “

Well, maybe you wouldn’t. Your prerogative. I see blogging as being like TV. There are always going to be shows that you don’t want to watch, so change channels. It doesn’t mean that all TV is crap. Blogging is a passive media – it’s not being rammed down your throat. Take control of your own life, for god’s sake. Moan about something that matters.

The above complainant goes on to say “most blogs ive read are usually made up from ppl who want to air their ego from time to time… what sort of life would someone have anyway to sit down and take the time to write about it…. “.

Hmmmmmm… it’s definitely about ego. So? And as for the what sort of life bit, well I guess the answer would be the sort of life that other people want to read about. Just because you don’t… which clearly you do.

Actually, you are.

Boys and booze

I’m not sure what it is about Christmas parties that makes boys go crazy. It may have something to do with the fact that they have a license to drink unimpeded from an early hour. I don’t think it has much to do with Christmas spirit.

Last night I went down to the viaduct to have a couple of drinks with the girls. There were three of us at the table and a fourth seat. It only took about 10 minutes for the first punter to ask if he could sit down with us. At that stage we were relatively relaxed and unpestered, so we said yes. He was pleased – he wanted to have ‘an interesting conversation’ with us. Fine. His idea of an interesting conversation was slightly different to ours. His opening line to me was “I want to f**k you.” Right. Move along.

A few minutes later another candidate came along. This guy didn’t ask if he could sit – he just did. He was dressed in a santa suit with boxing trunks over the top. The trunks gave him points in my book. Not enough points to counteract his opening line of “What are you ladies looking for in a man? I have $60 million dollars.” Excellent. That would be more attractive if you could say it without spitting.

The third guy wanted to discuss diamonds. Unfortunately he couldn’t seem to look at our rings without holding our hands. For some reason he kept forgetting to let go – until he needed to drink. Then he’d pick up his beer, have a swig and slam it down so hard on the table that it’d spill all over the place. He would then yell ‘f**king c**t’ and go back to the hand holding.

We moved the fourth chair away. That attracted squatting guys. The most interesting of that group was the one that wanted to take us all home. When we told him we weren’t interested, he said “I’m not from Auckland, it’s OK.” Interesting approach. We told him we only did Aucklanders so he’d have to try his luck elsewhere.

We lasted about an hour before we moved on. In retrospect it was pretty funny, but this morning I have a headache from all the eye rolling.