In Excess

People review shows and exhibitions and in the same vein I am going to review the Law Ball. It’s in the title, we get dressed up, go to a venue, everyone’s allowed five drinks and chaos ensues.

The clothes: Have to start with what was competing with the food for my attention all night. Who. What. Wear. Thank goodness the judges of best-dressed actually had some sense and actually picked the best-dressed girl to win the prize (it was a bodice-jumpsuit by the way, so daring and so cool!). Too many girls wearing dresses too short we could see their cellulite and undies (thank goodness we didn’t see more) and shoes too high so that they winced around and half had to sit down at the end of the night through an inability to dance (I sat down from dance-fatigue in my wedge-heeled ankle booties). But there were some stunners, especially anyone who wore a long dress (I’m bias because I did, but seriously, there were some beauties there).

The food: GL and I spent the first half hour after arrival seated by the door where the waiters exited the kitchen to be first in line for the food (this backfired when I put a boiling arancini in my mouth and got burnt. But it was ok, because I’d taken two so let the other one cool down then I could actually taste it, delish! As were the smoked chicken rice paper rolls, the mini potato-top pies and the brownie with vanilla cream on top. Whoever decided to have the croutons with paté and not the mini hamburgers like last time is an idiot but overalll, a job well done. And a special shout out to the waitstaff, two of who were cute and all of whom were super friendly when we waved them over (again and again).

Dancefloor: the guy playing the classic hits on the piano was good. For the first two hours. I’m sorry but you can’t really dance to a slow version of ‘Uptown Girl’. Eventually he retired and then the iPod took over. Phew.

The only let down of the night (and I actually can’t get over how much it annoyed me) was all the drunk girls causing drama, being rude, vomiting, and spilling drinks on the dancefloor. I was very wary being in a cream dress and all (and very sober) so I was just like (now imagine Gabrielle Union in ‘Bring It On’ saying this) “Some bitch spill her drink on me one more time, one more time and it’s gonna be all ‘hold my earrings'” with a suitable head and finger sassy move.

Perhaps I’m just growing up and getting too old for that kind of thing.

P.S. You may have noticed that I did not feel the need to formally evaluate the male populace. They were there and in true law school fashion they were being their usual fairly uninteresting selves. My dear brother told me that maybe I didn’t get hit on because I was just looking too good and that’s scary (bless him, right). This was after he asked me if I’m a lesbian, a question to which I politely negatived. He then proceeded to tell me that I was becoming Bridget Jones, now, why he has seen that film or how I am becoming her is definitely a story for another day.

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Fur’s Fur.

I recently discovered a family heirloom, no, it’s not the watercolour that my granddad did of my mum, standing next to a train, aptly titled, “Kate with Train” nor is it the yellow sparkling high-neck, long sleeved scratchy ball dress that my mother wore to her sixth form dance. It was a fur coat that belonged to my great-grandmother, and you can tell it’s really old because it smells like mothballs and it has a rip in the shoulder. My aunt, who is guardian of this piece of history said I can borrow it whenever I want. Question is, would I want to?

Part of me, the part of me that loves Anna Wintour (even though she’s a bitch), that loves Christian Louboutins (even though I have bad feet and can never wear heels for more than 10 minutes) and wants a Birkin bag (even though I know that the waitlist is a million years long) wants to wear it. Fur might mean dead animals, horrible slaughter and Pamela Anderson’s photoshoots for Peta. But it also means luxury, warmth, wealth and I always think of Russian aristocrats like in Anastasia for some reason.

I’m inclined to think we can’t wear fur these days, but what if it’s already dead? What if it was killed a long time ago? I’m not creating new fur items, I’m not financially supporting the fur industry and I’m not famous enough to spark a craze. In France, fur was all good, but here, I don’t think it would pass at all. But it would be such a shame to leave such a piece of history in a cupboard, wouldn’t it? Or is it too reprehensible?

City Girl Skills

Farm girl: noun female who grew up on a farm or lifestyle block from whence animals come. Often rides horses, has pet sheep and owns non-patterned gumboots.

I am friends with three farm girls, and live with one of them. As many students in New Zealand will know there are many perks to living with kids from farms: they’re hearty drinkers (and eaters), they understand hard work, can drive manual vehicles and mow lawns. Undoubtedly the best thing that these rural students bring to any flat (or share-house for the Australians) is home kill. Yip, basically that’s meat that’s either free or for a small fee from some generous parents. We currently have five kilos of lamb saussies in our freezer because the butcher mucked up the order and made whole sheeps into  sausages instead of doing the usual where we get some mince too. We’ve also got roasts and racks which is more than the usual family on the budget we’re working with.

Lunchtime discussion today also centered on the fact that these girls have extra knowledge about such mysterious things as how the meat gets from the animals to the table, how to drive tractors and how to milk cows.

We started discussing what our city-girl equivalent is. What are the special skills we have that farm girls don’t? We thought about parallel parking, jay-walking, dealing with queues and other issues relating to business but none of them were comparable to knowing how to slaughter a sheep. The best we could come up with? Shopping. Comparably, that’s a wee bit pathetic though isn’t it, is there anything that city girls are especially good at??

Ka Pai

Yesterday I was at Maori Pasifika mentor training. It’s an initiative to help kids from stereotypically disadvantaged communities succeed at uni. There’s always food at these things, thank goodness, especially because yesterday they made us sing. Now I’m totally culturally in touch but getting a bunch of bleary-eyed students to do a waiaita on Saturday morning was just unpleasant.

Last semester I had the neatest mentee who always did her work, came to meetings, got good grades. Classic right. The irony of these sorts of programmes that the students who don’t need the help are the ones who seek it.

On our last session she asked me if I had a problem with the fact that I’m Pakeha (basically the Maori term for European, so in modern times, it means I’m white) and was giving up my time to a programme that myself or others of my race could never use? (told you she was smart). I hadn’t really thought about it, does that worry me? Not that I’m Pakeha and she’s Maori, but that other students are missing out on this great opportunity to receive personalised support purely on their race. I reckon it should be about financial need and academic history so it can help all the students from decile one and two schools to defeat the odds and succeed at uni, not just those from high-risk, identified ethnic groups. I;m very into positive discrimination but when will our education system stop providing extras on the basis of race not on genuine need?

Back to training, I sat next to a girl who was a little bit older than me, she’s Samoan, loves volleyball and lives with her parents and her son, first person in her family to go to uni and she is still giving up her time to help others. Holy cow. Imagine juggling a kid, uni and worrying about someone else’s education. RESPECT GURL (no I didn’t actually say that to her, don’t worry, but I thought it really loudly).

Working Gal

I have my own desk with a really comfy swivel chair, my own telephone (with my own extension), my own swiper card and not one, but two computer screens. I look so pro. Well I did, after I finally had I.T training to learn how to use the complicated document management systems that I actually do need the two screens to use.

I’ve had my first meeting in the boardroom, my first report, my first cups (plural) of tea from our communal kitchen and next week I’m on baking for team morning tea. If only there was more deadpan humour and English accents it would be something straight out ofThe Office.

I’m toiling away for a whopping fifteen hours a week (trust me, that feels like heaps when I’m trying to do uni work and actually have a life) at Crown Law (so that’s the government’s lawyers) helping out on a big case. That’s all I’m going to say because I had to sign so many privacy waiver forms that at this very moment I’m worried I’ve already said too much.

Everyone at the office is really cool (especially surprising considering they’re all lawyers) and the secretaries are like a team of super organised mums looking after everyone.

The very best thing is that I finally feel useful. I’m making people’s lives easier, I’m being helpful. What I am doing is not just for me like all the other stuff I do (study, exercise, eat, hang out with friends) and it’s not because I feel it’s the right thing to do (like mentoring or listening to people’s problems), I’m being appreciated by people who could just as easily say nothing. We should do more of that.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have readings on the criminalisation of witches in the 1600s to get back to (ironically the first bit of exciting law and it will NEVER be relevant in my actual life).

Double Standards

Shoot me I’m a feminist. I won’t be burning my bra anytime soon but I do get troubled by this ‘equal’ world sometimes.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the interesting frenzy that surrounded journalist Emer O’Toole after she went on morning television in The States and bared her eighteen month armpit cultivation. I watched the video and actually paused to get a better look, I’d never seen a full armpit of hair on a woman before. Now, that’s not my cup of tea but if you like it, please do your thing and work it. What was ridiculous was all the comments on the news articles and Facebook from men, grossed out and complaining about this event. I reckon that’s weird, condemning people for doing something that you do, growing armpit hair (unless all the males commenting did wax or shave then I am terribly sorry).

Same deal with brazilians, sorry guys, don’t whinge about chicks having hair down there if you’re not willing to go as far.

Actually, why are we even shaving our legs? My friends (a reliable poll) say it’s because it makes them feel clean, dressed up, attractive. Why does it do this? I fear it’s because we have been socially conditioned to think this and that we wouldn’t feel it if we lived 100 years ago.

I certainly won’t be stopping my hair removal habits on account of all this but next time you pick up your razor, think about all the men in your life with faces, legs, backs, sacks covered in hair and consider why on earth we feel we have to get rid of ours?

Comparitive Tragedies

I was so dreading coming back to Wellington, I’ve come back early for work. The cold, the work, the food, the having to pay for everything myself. I can’t stand it when people make “first world problems” comments. Obviously, every problem that my friends and I encounter is first world. Nothing in our lives is anything comparable to the destruction that faces some poor people everyday. If you weren’t already sick of my filmic references, Hugh Grant’s character in Notting Hill, Will Thacker, complains about something and his faithful flatmate Spike replies, “That’s compared with earthquakes in the Middle East or testicular cancer is it?”

I’ve been reading first-hand accounts of concentration camps (pre-trip) and reading an adventure story set in the gulags of Siberia during Stalin’s reign and these terrible, truly horrific events only makes me feel worse about dreading coming back because like everything else in this bloody lucky life I’ve got, everything, in the big picture, is fine. I’ve got enough food, clothes, dignity and my survival odds are excellent.

Yeah celebrating life is fabulous, I’m very into it as a hobby, as is perspective. But not only do I wish those poor people who have had terrible tragedies would find the peace they deserve, but also that they’d stop making me feel so bad about hating on things. CAN’T I JUST BE BITTER IN PEACE AND NOT FEEL BAD ABOUT IT?!

 

 

 

pleased I got that one out of my system.

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