Saturday, April 28, 2007


In honor of his birthday week, let me speak about my brownest flatmate, Doug.

When Joy moved out, Doug moved in. Julia didn't ask us if that was ok, she just made the executive decision on her own.

Unfortunately for her, we lucked out... she picked a good one.

Doug jokingly calls himself Duggie Damage, although I think Duggie Dreamer would be a better choice. The kid loves to have lots of things and has big dreams. He is one of the nicest, nicest guy I know, and one of the best flatmates I've ever had.

Doug has his own personal training business called Hot Body Fast. During the day he works for Trelise Cooper, the premier fashion designer in New Zealand. He gets to work with super cool people, and gets a few good perks for being a great employee (a few cool gears now and then).

But the best thing about Doug is his kind personality (most of the time). Doug likes to be seen with cool and beautiful people, and manages to do so very well by having a great positive outlook on life. He treats people well, and thinks of others. He has a great aura, and will be successful in whatever he does.

Doug Fresh... This shout out is for you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


(my mom loves this story...)

Oscar Wilde once said, "We [England] have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language."

Quotes like this are evident in everyday conversation for me.

Kids at school have a riot when I say 'awesome!'

At work, I've had to learn to say filet with a 't' sound on the end.

And I will never, ever call the kitchen counter the bench.

Consider the following conversation I had with my flattie Doug about three weeks ago. Although it was more of an accent issue, the humor of communication between myself and my flatties is always a source of laughter.


'Zzzzzzzzz,' (me sleeping one morning).

Knock, knock. (Doug at my door).

'Huuuuuuh,' I said, sleepily.

'You've got a package from Korea,' Doug said.

'Huh?' i say again.

'A package. From Korea.'

(getting up, opening door, answering tiredly) 'Who do I know in Korea?'

'No,' Doug says, 'A package from the Korea. You know. The mail

'Oh! the courier!'

'Yah! that's what I said!'

(uh, no it's not, and frankly, sometimes I think you might as well be speaking in Korean...)

Monday, April 23, 2007


Aunt Barb calls it 'the alphabet place.'

Nik once called it 'QSP'.

Mom just says 'the restaurant' (but is getting better).

Tera was the only one who said 'I know what that means!' (clever girl...).

I've decided it's time to offer you all a little free knowledge (because that's what teachers do, right?).

AND, from now on, when people in the restaurant ask what SPQR means, I am just going to send them here to my blog. Because since I talk so fast, they usually don't understand me anyway.

So now, with no further delay, please allow me to present you with today's (very brief) history lesson.


SPQR stands for Senatus Populusque Romanus. which translates into 'The Senate and the people of Rome.' It refers to the government of the ancient Roman Republic and the emperors, who considered themselves representatives of the people (even though the senate and most of the laws were made of the emperor's will).

When people at work ask, I pretend to get real excited and say 'Oh! I love that question.' and I then proceed to bore them with the ancient historical context of Rome, ending with this: 'SOOO, it basically means that the senate and the people worked together for the good of all of Rome.'

In Rome today, many public features, such as manhole covers, columns, and cement grates, still say SPQR on them.

For a recent connection, in the movie Gladiator, SPQR is the tattoo that you see Russell Crowe knifing off of his arm.

For a more detailed explanation, including the historical context and modern variants, please refer to, which is where I thieved the information for this short history lesson.

For a more detailed look at my restaurant, please refer to The pictures are quite nice...

Friday, April 20, 2007

My Dictionary

In this country people love to text. Love to love to love to text.

When I ordered my mobile, I did not get a plan. instead, I pre-pay each week for credit for my phone. It's quite costly. I spend about $20 a week for the credit to be able to text and text and text my friends what could easily be said in 30 seconds of conversation.

Weekly, I use at least 98%, if not 100% of my credit on texts. I NEVER call.

When I got my new phone last month (the first was accidentally dropped in a glass of wine - oops!), I was relieved that the text feature was considerably faster than on my previous (dinosaur, cheapy model) phone. I was really excited.

I never, ever, ever use substitutes for words. I don't say 2 for to, or 4 for for, I don't write 2nite or gr8. Maybe that goes with being a primary grade school teacher...

But, to make texting easier, I use the T9 predictive text function. This function allows me to bring up words by typing each letter key once. The phone knows what word I am trying to use based on the letter combinations possible. For example, if I type 66, it comes up with on. If I want the word no, I just down scroll to the next word in the phone's dictionary.

As you can imagine, though, the phone doesn't necessarily recognize all of the words I want to use. Luckily, this phone comes with a feature called 'my dictionary,' where I can input my own personal words that the phone will remember when I want to use them again and again. This morning, as I was texting away, adding and using words from my dictionary, I thought it would be fun to share the list of words that most mobile phones don't come equipped with.

Because I have never been one to watch my language, please steer small children away from this list, as it does contain words not suitable for those under 18. I'll use discretion when possible...

My Dictionary (in the order in which each word was added):

didja (as in 'didja get my last text?')
ruggers (as in rugby, 'didja wanna catch the ruggers game tonight?)
dahling (the gay way to say darling)
marm (what I call my mum)
rex (my friend from New York)
Pons (for Ponsonby, because really, I can't be bothered to type it out)
effing (as the polite way to say f***ing)
arvo (afternoon)
bitch (not sure why this wasn't in the dictionary)
xxx (kisses)
occam (the local cafe on the corner)
FAVE (as in 'occam is my FAVE cafe!')
f**k (without the stars, when I don't feel polite enough to write effing)
ponsonby (for when I'm not feeling so lazy to type pons only)
chow (as in 'wanna go get some chow at Occam?')
aahhhh (as in 'it's bedtime, aahhhh')
p*ss (without the star)
wf (my sign-off)
Aroha (a girl I work with who is the constant subject of texts at work)
lippy (lip gloss)
muah (my friend Tera's way of kissing)
awww (as in 'awww, that's so nice')
tahi (a friend)
nina (a friend)
luff (another word for love, as in 'good morning luff!')
como (spanish for what)
hola (spanish for hello)
whitcoull,s (the local bookstore, as in 'wanna meet at whitcoull's in ten?)
cuppa (as in coffee, 'wanna meet for a cuppa at whitcoull's in ten?')

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


When I think about Tess and I being friends, I smile.

Because really, what is the chance that I would walk into a local food store in Auckland, New Zealand and find someone from the same state as I am? In my eight months here, I can say I've only done that once.

What are the chances?

Believe me, I've gone over the absurdity of it. If she wouldn't have been in the store at that moment with that (Grinnell Softball) t-shirt on, I would have passed her with no second thought. And to this day, I have never, ever run into Tessa at the store again. Wearing an Iowa shirt OR normal clothes.

She would have gone on living three blocks away, unbeknownst to me.

But luckily, I did run into her and we're now great friends. We get together for coffee, smoothies, sushi, or shopping a few times a week. We always have lots to talk about, and we go on, blah, blah. The humor of two Americans, sitting oblivious to the rest of the world (which is how we are when we get to talking), is pretty funny if you think of it.

Tessa lives with and loves her boyfriend George. They met last time she was here doing her outternship (evidently like an internship, but opposite) for culinary school. She cooked at the same restaurant that he was a waiter at. They dated very casually at first, and then realized that they really liked each other. But, when Tess left to go back to the States, she left George here.

After finishing culinary school, she decided to return, pursuing and securing a position at the Auckland Hilton. That's how she ended up back here, with George, and at my Foodtown (or was I at HER Foodtown?)

Although Tess and I are very different (she likes to work out, I've become allergic to exercise; she knows what all foods are, I thought a lentil was a 40 day religious fasting period) it's still super great to have someone with whom you can talk about home (and even though she doesn't know who the Nadas are, I've forgiven her). In fact, we agree on the following things:

We can't stand how unreliable kiwis are.
We agree that Girl Scout cookies kick Girl Guide cookie ass.
We think nothing beats a morning cup of tea at a local cafe.
We both think tennis shoes here cost WAY too much.
We can't stand the lack of choice at the supermarket.
We both think that soya is a dumb name for soy.

She'll also be with my when I get my next tattoo. Very soon.

Lucky me for wandering into Foodtown on that warm November night.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Option C

Been very, very busy.

Lots lately to occupy my time.

But have been thinking about option c, if a and b don't work...

If no teaching job, I might travel for a bit in a foriegn land before coming home. Maybe Asia or South America.

Does anyone want to come with?