Dispatches from the rusted garbage washing machine stuck in the stream

When I was growing up we used to ride our bikes around the neighbourhood and get into wholesome mischief like daring each other to climb inside a rusty old washing machine that was dangling precariously on its side in a stream. Or forcing each other to hold onto the metal swing gate and then slamming it as hard as we could to try to cause each other to fall backwards onto the concrete. We would head home only when it was dark and parents started half-heartedly yelling to get your ass inside.

I spend a great deal of my parenting time telling my children they don’t need me to jump on the trampoline with them. I am unsure if my son would be able to make it to the mailbox and back without getting lost at an age where I once followed through on a dare that involved climbing through the window of a house on the corner that we were sure was haunted and stealing a fridge magnet to show that I did indeed step inside the witch house.

I’m not sure what all of this means because I’m hopeful my children will not break and enter at six but ideally I’d be able to work without hearing MUM MUM MUM MUM MAMA MAMA MAMA MUMMY MUMMY MAAAAM MAMA 80,000 times a day.

I made you a pebble pit. Do you know what we called a pebble pit growing up? Nothing. Because we just went outside and played in the garbage stream and we were happy when we found old Penthouse magazines stuffed in the old garbage Washing Machine.

My son wants his own YouTube channel. I spend a great deal of time explaining that YouTube is an evil corporation but he doesn’t care. He just wants to talk about bugs on his TV show All About Bugs With Eddie. He practices in his room and says “Subscribe and like” and I think about the time my neighbour and I dug a hole under the fence so that we wouldn’t have to climb it to see each other. I’m not nostalgic for the good old days – The whole purpose of the hole was so we could go under his house undetected from his parents who were overprotective and show each other our bits and plan missions to steal stuff from the dairy so I mean bugs are a wholesome choice.

I have relented and compromised because it’s important to him and he now has a small Instagram account – locked and closed. For fashion and bug facts. Small enough that I’ll still get grief for it from other parents but it means he spends the day outside collecting and housing bugs while wearing a ball gown. Relentless commentary the whole day through

Too bad the local stream has been cleaned up. Not a rusty, old, death trap washing machine in sight. He feeds the eels sausages and it still feels like an idyllic childhood. The kind I’d like and subscribe to anyway.

Dispatches from the house of snot and tears

I had my day planned completely – mostly around an RNZ interview but I have a heap of errands to do. And I need to finally get to the playcentre I was hoping would be my Monday escape. AND I’d even scheduled in coffee with a friend and baby snuggles. All doable with one not snotty child.

Alas both of my children have woken with colds. So no school. And no leaving the house. Well, I will still head out for the RNZ interview – my lovely Rants whanau have stepped in and our awesome producer Bevin will look after my babies as they zone out in front of the TV.

Anyway –  I’ve spent ten days in bed coughing and crying and aching. I won’t complain because I know some of you have not been able to spend nearly enough time in bed. But I will say my pelvic floor has absolutely not been up to the task of holding my pee when I cough. So even though rest is a nice new novelty it hasn’t been as enjoyable as it could have been.

I managed to get out to the movies twice. So here are those reviews. The rest are Netflix, Lightbox, and Neon – finally proving their worth.

Daffodils

Well, I shouldn’t have liked this because I hate musicals and I hate baby boomer NZ music like Crowded House and what’s that other band that’s the same as Crowded House? Split Enz? Anyway, I loved it. Loved Daffodils. Haven’t stopped streaming the soundtrack on Spotify. Obsessed. Now I actually like Fall At Your Feet. Amazing. And isn’t Drive just our best song? SO GOOD. Haven’t heard it in years and I love it – It was very hard not to be that person singing in the theatre. The film is beautiful and is a really gentle and beautiful snapshot into what life was maybe like for our parents (if your parents grew up in NZ). I thought a lot about my parents watching it and had a lot of feels. I am very glad my generation is generally not as repressed. For all the “Tinder is ruining romance!” commentary at least we can actually talk to each other. Though I guess that’s why they sing all the time huh? Anyway, loved it – would see it again. Rose McIvor is incredible. I want Kimbra to be my girlfriend. 43 stars.

Us

Took me forever to find someone to see this with me because nobody wanted to see it. I am not a fan of horror movies but I did really like Get Out so I figured I wanted to support Jordan Peele’s latest offering. I also absolutely love Key and Peele and have spent a lot of this week re-watching skits on Youtube. I’m a forever fan so wanted to see it based on that. Anyway, finally convinced my bestie and – It was very good. It is very scary though. I was very scared all night and didn’t sleep. It’s Hereditary levels of scary and Hereditary still gives me nightmares. There’s less scary jumpy bits and just more of a really unsettling feeling that doesn’t go away after the film finishes. Lupita Nyong’o is phenomenally good. Like surely one of the best actors working right now. So I don’t know – if you’re nervous about seeing it don’t see it. I enjoyed it but it was very scary. The ending is batshit but that seems to be the go with horror films these days and I quite like that there isn’t a neat tidy ending (though that doesn’t help with nightmares). I don’t know how many stars I should give something that made me wish for lorazepam.

Captain Marvel

Loved it. Actually preferred it to Wonder Woman. Brie Larson is my favourite. Loved her since Room (absolutely brutal film). It’s your standard super movie – just good fun. I was super into it. Great soundtrack, great flannelette lesbian aesthetic. 11 stars.

The Unicorn Store on Netflix

It pains me to say this because I love Brie Larson but this was not a good movie. I think I’m a bit old for its target market but it’s kind of like a weird white girl privilege thing – like how much time do you get to grow up? Girl, I was working at 14. Still, I watched the whole thing – and I don’t always make it to the end of Netflix films. One star for Brie Larson. One star for Mamoudou Athie. One star for Samuel L Jackson. One star for Joan Cusack, and One star for Bradley Whitford.

My cough medicine with morphine in it

Absolutely gold at temporarily stopping my cough but WHAT THE FUCK is up with good cough medicine being prescription only now? What the fuck? And also I accidentally double dosed and had a hallucination so that was something. Still would recommend. Just set a timer on your phone for dosing so you don’t do what I did.

The First Purge on Neon

I literally don’t know what’s wrong with me and feel deep shame in admitting I’ve seen all The Purge movies. I especially liked The First Purge because men in Ku Klux Klan outfits get their throats cut. I know, I am a mess of contradictions. I’m aware this is like the most trash franchise of films but LOOK I AM WHO I AM. Also Y’lan Noel is wearing a singlet through the whole second half and I’m only human so I am giving this 50,000 stars.

The Act on Lightbox

Hate true crime but I got sucked into this one. It’s profoundly depressing. Extremely hard to get through. I hate that it’s basically watching child abuse episode-to-episode. You know what’s going to happen so you’re basically just devouring someone else’s pain and agony. I think the difference between this and something like Three Girls (another true crime) is that Three Girls actually looked at what could have been done to avoid this happening. The Act is just a very slick Hollywood retelling of a child being violently emotionally and physically abused. That’s not really something I want to watch despite everybody gushing over it. Maybe it will change over the coming episodes but right now it’s just asking you to witness many people abuse a child. Could that be why the case went on so long? We’re too busy watching this shit on TV instead of looking outside our window for kids who need our help? Instead of stars you get a sanctimonious and hypocritical admonishment.

Choc-squiggle ANZAC biscuits

For $2.99 these are the best cookies on the market. Plus they raise money for charity so that’s basically like they’re free. I love a good Anzac biscuit but I hate chewey ones. They need to be crunchy. These ones are crunchy AND have chocolate on them. PERFECTION. I bought mine from New World then ate them all and bought some more at Pak N Save so they must sell them everywhere.

Gone on Lightbox

Remember that show Without a Trace? I used to watch that heaps and for a while I thought Gone was the same show?? Maybe it was the morphine in my cough syrup but it took a few episodes to work it out. Gone is an absolutely ridiculous show that is not even the least bit believable. Maybe that’s why I like it more than say SVU which just feels like murdered and raped women every week (when that’s the real world). Gone is just absurd. A woman was kidnapped as a child, and rescued by Big from Sex in the City. Then when she’s an adult – Big from Sex in the City starts a task force of adults who were kidnapped as children or I don’t know, had siblings who were kidnapped, and they fly around the states rescuing people? This is apparently paid for by the US government which seems someone unbelievable to me since the US Government barely cares about its citizens who aren’t missing so why would they care about those that are? And also the plane is so kitted out? And also they just gave her a gun and let her be a cop? But I dunno – maybe it’s different over there. I would not have watched so much of this if I wasn’t sick. But generally nobody dies so I was pretty into it for a while. Why did I watch this? No stars.

Turn Up Charlie on Netflix

I don’t care what you say I loved it. Idris Elba as a nanny – 1827536 trillion stars.

Satisfyer Pro 2 Next Generation

You know how there’s always those posts that are like K-MART HACK THAT WILL MAKE THE MUMS GO CRAZY!?!?! Here’s my hack – get this toy. It will get you off in 30 seconds. That’s my “busy mum” hack for you. Literally less than a minute raging orgasm. Trust me. Go get one now. I wasn’t paid to say that I just want you to have lots of orgasms because you deserve it. I bought it because I saw it on my friend’s instagram and she was saying it’s amazing. And she was absolutely right. Careful in the shower though. First time I used it I almost broke my ankle falling over. And it comes in Rose Gold – Cute!

RuPaul’s Drag Race on Netflix

Vaaaaaaaanji! Vaaaaanji! I’m in love with Vanji. And I’m in love with Vanji and Brook Lyn’s love. But most of all I’m upset Nina West isn’t getting the love she deserves. A zillion stars.

The Cry on TVNZ

This was SO GOOD. But really, really brutal. My sister told me to watch it and also warned me that it has a baby dying in it – so I felt a bit prepared. The acting is really, really good. And it’s a really harrowing miniseries. Not based on a true story thank goodness – but raises really good questions about how mothers are seen in the media, gaslighting, the way we grieve, what we would do to protect our family – what is family? It was very good – but steer clear if you’re feeling vulnerable. My youngest is four so I felt able to watch it but it would have messed me up if I had a newborn.

Derry Girls on Netflix

So good. And quite possibly the most perfect final episode of a season. I absolutely love the portrayal of teenage girls – it’s hilarious but also really respectful and gentle somehow? I just really adore this show and you should all see it. It’s hard to comprehend what life would have been like as a teenager during The Troubles. I loved this little slice of another time and life.

Tidelands on Netflix

I thought I’d love a show about a mermaid crushing a man’s dick but I only lasted three episodes. Nothing can save this wet mess.

Disclaimer: Last time someone had a shit fit about me not liking a movie they liked and said I wasn’t honest about payment. I don’t get paid. I don’t get free Lightbox, Netflix, or Neon. I sometimes get free movie tickets but that’s pretty rare – mostly people donate money for me to see movies because they like my reviews. So calm your ass down and find someone new to bitch about.

Bugs

My son sits in the garden and collects snails.
This one is called Doug he says because he’s dug.
He holds a tangi for a dead one.
We are gathered here today to honour Jim.
He does heaps of balancing and climbing and that’s why he is called Jim. Because he does gym.
He had a moth called Climby because he climbs.
His spider is Hank The Wrestling Shark.
Snails, he tells me, are very kind. They help your garden and they’re very scared of people because people can step on them. If a snail’s shell is broken it dies.
It lives in the world with its most delicate part just out there, he tells me.
It would be, he says, like if we had our insides on our outsides.
It’s not just a house, he says, it’s not that strong. It’s like a heart.
How it must feel carrying your vulnerability, knowing its exposed to the world and there’s nothing you can do about it because this is what houses you.
The next day I see a snail and carefully place it on the ledge, out of harms way.
He loves worms.
Sometimes he says, people don’t like worms because maybe they got told worms are yuck.
People think they’re slimy but they shouldn’t know because you should never ever touch them.
He looks at me to make sure I’m listening.
This part is important.
He looks me in the eyes:
Our skin, to a worm, is very hot. They might look strong but they’re not.
If our skin touches a worm’s skin it will hurt the worm. They’re more fragile than they look.
But he doesn’t say fragile, he looks up at the sky and squints and searches his brain and says “Like a word for a bubble if a bubble was skin”.
He uses a piece of cardboard, dulled edges to transport a worm whose name might be wormy but I can’t remember now.
Later, while gardening I accidentally decapitate a worm. Is it decapitation if I don’t know where the head is? Poor worm, hurt simply by any interaction with us, while doing all of this important work for us. As important as bees but with less PR. They don’t even need us but are constantly coming into contact with us. An impossible intersection.
I refuse to watch when he lets spiders crawl onto his hand.
MAMA he says – Just let one on you then you won’t be scared.
He searches me for an explanation as to why I hate spiders.
They bite is not acceptable to him.
“They might bite but only if they’re scared and only because people are so mean to them that they don’t know if that person might just flush them down the drain”.
Can I forgive a bite from the bitten? Can I accept it if its motivation is fear?
He made a box with leaves and branches for a spider to make a web. Caught a spider and talked to it every day.
It’s just playing dead he said.
But it wasn’t. It was dead.
He doesn’t try to keep bugs anymore. Instead he just talks to the garden. Tries to build a bridge, through the impossible intersection. Tries not to harm.
You can learn a lot about how to live from a six year-old.

GABEZ: A review

I’ll admit, I was a tad nervous about seeing a double mime act. I’m not the biggest fan of mine – but the fact that it was a Capital E production made me take the plunge and go.

My friend and I dragged our two and four year-olds to the Harbourside Convention Centre at Macs after dropping our big kids off at school.

The show was kicking off as we snuck in, late as always.

Bounding onto the stage, Japanese performers Masa and Hitoshi, had a phenomenal amount of energy. From the second they were on stage, they had the attention of our kids. My Hammy, 4, lost his mind laughing within seconds of their first skit.

It involved a rubber duckie’s lost squeak and I have never heard my little one laugh so hard at a show before. He even snorted. This is exactly what you want from a show.

Masa and Hitoshi perfectly blend mime with slapstick. And what kid doesn’t love slapstick? They have so much energy and they’re just completely charming. They dance and flip and move seamlessly around the simple set.

Some of the later skits in the show went over our kids’ head – you need to know the concept of a window washer to get a skit about window washing. But the older kids in the audience – 5+ school children seemed to absolutely love it.

There was audience participation and lots of ways to get involved by clapping and cheering the dynamic duo on.

It’s also silent – so if you take a little one, they may loudly say “I want to go on the iPad” near the end of it, shaming you as a parent in public. You will also be noticed if you open up a packet of chips.

In terms of entertainment for adults, I’d missed my morning coffee in my rush and I still loved it. I laughed my head off at the massage chair skit and left with a very big smile on my face.

I am considering taking my older son this weekend, as I know he’d enjoy it the most – the karate and physical humour complete with stinky feet references are just perfect for that over-five age group.

Buy your ticket here! Remember, Capital E has a 3 for 2 Ticket Offer. You can select your three favourite shows for $33! They also have a pay-it-forward offer so you can support kids who can’t afford to see these shows.

Read my review of another Capital E show on as part of the National Arts Festival Schools programme: Mozart’s Magical Musical Circus.

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I’ve been a long-time supporter of Capital E and I’m proud to work with them to bring you reviews x

Off to the circus

If there’s anything more joyful, more life-affirming, than sitting in a theatre, surrounded by children who are utterly delighted by art – I don’t know what it is.

The other day I was lucky enough to see Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus at The Opera House.

The Opera House was packed full of kids as part of Capital E’s Arts Festival for schools and even before the show started the atmosphere was pretty electric. I mean what kid isn’t excited about the circus? But it seemed to be more than that – it was about being in the hallowed Opera House and getting to attend something really special.

The kids all around me were quiet and filled with anticipation. There was a huge OOOOooooh! as the lights went down. From then, it was all on.

What can you say about Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus? It is absolutely magical. It completely engaged the audience of mostly six and seven year-olds from start to finish.

I have been to so many shows (good and bad) at The Opera House – I have never, ever heard a reaction like I did to this show. The children were absolutely riveted. They were dead silent and then as the incredible performers flipped and landed indescribable feats they would erupt in cheers and applause.

The performers were absolutely charming. The story was simple – no need for extras when you’re balancing upside down on a bicycle! Their talent literally took your breath away (the young boys behind me in particular seemed to hold their breath during every stunt and then breathlessly whisper FAAAAAR HOW DID SHE DO THAT).

I loved that the woman performer Kathryn O’Keeffe was so strong and powerful. She was the “base” and “Mozart” often landed on her much to the wonder of the children. I thought they had incredible chemistry and later found out they’re married! Paul O’Keefe, her husband, was just as impressive and Gareth Chin on the accordion was so cheeky and mischievous, I couldn’t help but smile every moment he was on stage.

Every seemingly impossible landing just blew the minds of the kids in the audience. They really reacted like it was magic. I heard so many comments like “She can’t do that! WOW! She is so strong!”

My friend and I were blown away too, this is definitely a show for the whole family. It didn’t once drag and it entertained us all – including our very tired two and four year-olds.

It really is a must-see – the costumes, the props, the dare-devil stunts (you will watch some from between you fingers!), and the glorious music all combine for a truly delightful experience.

Created just for our tamariki, the National Arts Festival brings national and international artists to Wellington, then invites all of the regions school children to attend! The shows are incredible diverse, everything from acrobatics, 3D shadow puppets, music, street performance, to comedy, and dance. The National Arts Festival is described as a celebration of performance and that couldn’t be truer.

Created by Yaron Lifschitz with Benjamin Knapton and the Circa Ensemble this incredible show comes to us from Australia. Absolutely don’t miss out!

Support Capital E so they can keep supporting our kids – Book your ticket now.

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I’ve been a long-time supporter of Capital E and I’m proud to work with them to bring you reviews x

A few film reviews

Films I have seen (was meant to be dispatches as well but FUCK WORDPRESS).

On The Basis Of Sex: It seems quite anti-feminist to point out that Armie Hammer is so aggressively attractive in this film that I actually squirmed in my seat in an extremely public manner.  But here I am. Because absolutely without control of my senses while watching this film I said out loud: Fucking Hell when he was shown wearing sunglasses? I mean Ruth Bader Ginsberg is a badass and thank goodness for feminism. But also, if you’re going to cast someone to offensively hot – well, you know what you’re doing don’t you. 15 stars out of a possible 16 stars. Would have given one more star if my husband agreed to wear silk Pyjamas but instead he just looked at me and said “Are you high?” It’s a very good film though. Way less grim than you’d think it would be.

Colette – I really wanted to like this film. I was super excited about seeing it because the trailer looked super thirsty and period dramas with dames hooking up and wearing suits is my fave genre. But it’s honestly like 1500 hours long and though the story itself is super interesting it really needs….an editor. And yes, that’s a pun about writing. And yes, I need an editor. But also, I was watching it like GOD THIS IS LONG then Keira Knightly would be pashing a hot lady or a trans guy and I’d be like WOW THIS IS GOOD but then it would stop and go back to this like endless storyline about how men are terrible and like, homie I already knew that. Would I look good in a jaunty straw hat?C

Mary Queen of Scots: I spent a great deal of my history classes quite drunk. We used to go to Zibbos on a Wednesday night and dance all night and then go to school the next day stinking of booze and smokes and probably sex after dancing to Ludacris and/or EVE and/or that one P-Money album. Point being I didn’t know anything about these queens so I quite enjoyed this. If enjoy is the right word – it’s grim. Everyone is all like QUEEN! You’re a QUEEN these days but I’m quite happy not to be because I don’t want small pox or syphilis all over my face you know. Margot Robbie and Impossible Name Irish actress are quite incredible as they always are. Some scenes gave me goosebumps. And if you don’t know you’re history it’s all a surprise twist ending right?

Vox Lux: Look I don’t know. This film is intense and thinks it is maybe a little bit more clever than it actually is but I am bisexual and it’s in our contract that we support everything Natalie Portman does when she has a butch haircut. It has a randomly violent opener if you’re like me and hate randomly violent things. Jude Law looks like that old guy you had sex with when you were a teenager in a hotel room and years later when you grew up and knew your worth you said – What the fuck, how lucky was that guy to have sex with me?

Green Book: Did I ever write a review about this? I can’t even remember. It’s not a memorable film. I know it won best actor but I mean I only think the acting was good – the story itself is very white saviour. Afterward I Googled Viggo Mortensen and could not at all believe that he wasn’t Italian so there you go. Mahershala Ali is perfect but he always is. See Moonlight instead.

Bohemian Rhapsody: Not gay enough.

Isn’t it romantic?: I enjoyed this more than I should have which annoys me because I wanted to be all: this sucks so much. That’s not to say there isn’t stupid fat girl jokes the whole way through it (I won’t blame Rebel for this because I imagine she gets far worse scripts and a girl’s gotta work). It has a Hemsworth in it so I mean that probably elevates it a half dozen points. And Pryanka Choprah who is Pryanka Choprah. So that’s probably another 10 points. I don’t know, it’s fine if you have your period and you’re eating potato salad straight from a giant bowl. Minus 25 points for a bad Australian accent.

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Rediscovering hornbag movies from 2003

So, the other day I read some article about In The Cut and how Meg Ryan had lost her career after being in that film because we live in a misogynist horror show of which we can never escape.

Anyway – I thought to myself – I am sure I’ve seen that film. And then I read that it had The Ruff AKA Mark “Daddy” Ruffalo in it. And I thought – YES I remember this! It came out in 2003 and I remember, because I was an idiot, that I did not find Mark Ruffalo attractive and I thought he was hairy and I did not appreciate his moustache.

Now I am 33 and it’s 2019 and I’m the rosé drinking cliché wine mum watching dirty Netflix films on her phone while her kid snores beside her and her husband sleeps awkwardly in a bunk bed in the other room. And I am all about his hairy chest and commitment to eating out (both kinds) and I love that soft boi dad body.

So I decided I had to revisit In The Cut and let me tell you ladies who like dudes and the occasional gay guy who reads my posts: It was WORTH IT.

To be clear it’s not like a particularly great movie in that it has random gore and violence (it sticks closely to its’ source material – the VERY good book by Susanna Moore of the same name) which I do not like. And it has cops in it – usually not sexy for me. BUT its shortcomings are more than made up for in that very soon into the film Mark Ruffalo utters the line:

Hey, listen…I can be whatever you want me to be. You want me to romance you, take you to a classy restaurant, no problem. You want me to be your best friend and fuck you? Treat you good, lick your pussy? No problem.

NOW EXCUSE ME. FIRST OF ALL. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.

 Mark Ruffalo with a filthy moustache telling me this is exactly what I needed on a Sunday night after my kid pissed the bed again and I had to change the sheets again before 10pm.

And then, AND THEN, they have an extended scene where he does basically as promised to Meg Ryan and thank you Jane Campion for a solid three minutes or so of Mark Ruffalo going to town and an unashamedly lady gaze view of his butt and then a surprise CASUAL PEEN.

Casual peen is my fave of all movie peen. And in In The Cut Mark Ruffalo is all hair and just laying there post-coitally (is that a word?) and he has just casual at rest peen there slightly hiding in the darkness and I am HERE FOR IT. Sometimes film makers want to make a big deal of peen but they don’t make a big deal of tits so why? Why can’t we have casual peen in all movies?

So I was extremely content with this but then there was MORE. You have to get through some needlessly bloody scenes (there’s a sub-plot about a serial killer – not important – but you don’t see any violence just the aftermath).

And then there’s SLIGHT NIPPLE TOUCHING and I just thought this is Jane Campion right? This is a director who is a woman making a film that is actually hot for women. No wonder people hated it. And then Mark Ruffalo says he wants to watch Meg Ryan and she says – do you like to watch. And he says:

Yeah, I like it in the cut.

I don’t know why but this one line got me like nobody’s business. It was SO HOT. And I thought – gosh, I just really need to go back to those films with just slick, sexy lines like that and so now I’m returning to all the films that I didn’t like before but now I’m an old lady who is cockblocked constantly by my god damn children will almost definitely be into.

Maybe 2002-2003 was like a glorious time in cinema because Secretary also came out then. Another film that I hated when it came out but now love.

So now I’m on a trip down memory lane buzz but I just had to tell you about my good fortune with In The Cut. Please recommend other porny Netflix films for me.

Next on the viewing list – I will report back!

The Piano – Look if someone had told me this film was about sex in exchange for Piano lessons instead of what I thought it was about – Piano lessons – I’d have watched it when it came out in 1993

Gia – Angelina Jolie + lesbian love affair 1998

The Hunger – Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon vampire sex 1983

Little Children – Stay at home dad sex + Kate Winslet 2006

Original Sin – I remember this one sort of for the full on sex scenes and feeling extremely bisexual about both Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderes and I remember it being a garbage film around the sex scenes which is fine because that’s not our criteria here. 2001

Nine and 1/2 Weeks – Apparently very horny and young Micky Rourke could absolutely get it 1986

An Officer and a Gentleman – Richard Gere say no more 1982

White Palace – Another James Spader one + Forever Hottie Susan Sarandon. 1990

Wild Things – Neve Campbell forever. 1998

Support your local girl gang

Hey so I made one resolution in 2019 that I’m going to try to only read women writers this year and I’ve actually been READING! Once I got into the habit of it, I got super into it. I used to just mooch on the couch watching shitflix but now I am reading and it’s great.

SO – you should join me! Here are some super great books I recommend you getting, all by amazing wāhine who really deserve your support! I’ve linked to buy them at Unity Wellington because Unity have been the most incredible support to me. They really are so awesome and supporting your local bookstore is another way to support your local girl gang (of writers and artists!)

But of course you can find all of these on Mighty Ape and Book Depository too! So if you’re overseas or they’re sold out – go there!

My books are at Unity so if you want to read Rants in the Dark you can get it here. And if you want to read Is It Bedtime Yet you can get it here.

I basically think whatever you like you can get it at Unity and it’ll be by an awesome woman from NZ.

Do you want sexy dark stuff that you can’t put down?

Girl, I promise you will love TESS. It’s by Wellington babe Kirsten McDougall and I was obsessed. I didn’t know what was going to happen and I loved it. It’s a short read and a great way to get back into reading. Buy it here.

Do you want to start a riot?

Clem Ford’s Boys Will Be Boys: An Exploration of Power, Patriarchy & the Toxic Bonds of Mateship is grim as all fuck. I’m not going to lie. You’ll want to lie down in a dark cave for a month after reading it, but maybe, just maybe you’ll also feel like I did – and you’ll want to destroy the patriarchy and make life easier for our children. Clem is hilarious and warm and angry and I love it. I adore her and I really think everyone needs to read her book. It absolutely IS hard to read – it’s about the ways the patriarchy hurts boys and creates boys who hurt girls and gender minorities. But it’s important we learn and it’s important we commit to change. Buy it here. 

Do you want to read something that makes you want to dance and be gay?

Get Poukahangatus by Tayi Tibble right now please. Just do it. I read this in one sitting. I’m obsessed. It’s poetry but not as you know it. It’s sex and heavy and light and dark and I don’t know I just read it like ten times and I want you to read it. Buy it here.

Do you wanna laugh at the absurdity of life with someone who you want to be best friends with?

Leah McFall is a national treasure and her book Karori Confidential is gorgeous. It’s made up of her Sunday columns which are always a joy to read. You can dip in and out and they just feel like having a pinot gris with someone you love. Buy it here.

If you want to get toeier than a roman sandal

In the country of my birth toey means horny but for some reason people insist it means angry. It doesn’t it means getting hot and bothered. Which you will if you read the NZ sexy times anthology Aotearotica. Now Unity sells #3 and #4 and they’re both fantastic. #4 has my favourite essay ever – I cried CRIED laughing reading it. I think it’s called Playing Cards Against Humanity With My Mum and one day I’m going to have an event and make Chris Tse read it because you all will LOVE IT. Buy it here.

Do you want to read something that will make you fall in love and sing and pash someone in a dark corner of Ivy Bar?

He’s so Masc is the BEST. Chris Tse is my heart so he gets to be on this list even though I said no women. Poetry might seem scary but it isn’t. I used to hate poetry but now I’m all about it. I realised in high school I just read shit poetry. Poetry is rad and this is my favourite collection ever. Buy it here.

Do you want to feel warm and fuzzy?

How We Met: The Ways Great Love Begins is a delight of a book. It’s like a big cuddle. It’s by one of New Zealand’s loveliest people Michele A’Court and you should definitely buy it. It’s a series of stories so you don’t have to read it all in one go, and it will honestly restore your faith in humanity. Buy it here.

Want to feel smart even though you’re not really?

You should definitely get Matter of Fact: Talking Truth in a Post-Truth World. Dr Jess is the writer I wish I could be and her stuff on talking about vaccination is perfect (I just need to take her advice!) Buy it here.

My wishlist

I have a huge crush on Hadassah Grace. I am so excited about her poetry book How To Take Off Your Clothes coming out soon. Follow her on Facebook or Insta for updates.

I want to read Tina Makereti’s The Imaginary Lives of James Poneke it has had rave reviews so I’m saving my pennies. I bought Where the Rekohu Bone Sings for all of my family.

I still want to get the Journal of Urgent Writing Vol.2 which features my favourite women Emma Espiner, Mamari Stephen, Jo Randerson, Sarah Laing and Dr Jess.

And on my bedside table I have We Could Make A Life by Chessie Henry and The Wish Child by Catherine Chidgey.

So there you go! Tell me what else I should be reading! x

Some one sentence reviews because I’m lazy

Well, I have woken up with a summer cold and my husband has taken the kids out because he’s the best. So I thought I’d review some things. I am not doing a best of 2018 because I can barely remember what happened yesterday let alone last year.

The favouurite

Widows

So good. I can’t remember if I reviewed this or not but I really, really liked it.

The Grinch

It’s my fave Dr Seuss story so you know – I loved it. Kids watched it twice. Such a good Christmas movie.

Green Book

Cannot believe Viggo Mortensen is not actually Italian.

Baldersnatch

I can barely make decisions in my own life and you want me to make decisions in someone else’s life? No thanks. But it did lead to some interesting conversations with my husband – he is quite sure robots will be taking over the world soon.

Bird Box

A+ arms on new crush Trevante Rhodes.

This potato salad I made when I was too lazy to make proper potato salad

It’s just pepper and sour cream and potatoes and pickles and I’m telling you it’s good. I don’t know if it qualifies as a salad or just a general life failure but I am into it.

The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell

I don’t know what this show is about but it’s extremely relaxing to watch. It’s like if lorazepam was a TV show for old tired goth soccer mums AKA me.

The Fall

Very late to the party on this one but just started watching it and though I am a fan of Jamie Dornan I don’t know how anyone even notices him with the reason why every woman is gay Gillian Anderson. And this show is a commentary on toxic masculinity, entitlement, and male violence right? Yes?

You

God I hate myself for watching this garbage.

The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair

Only lasted half an episode because male writers talking about writing is zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Leave No Trace

This has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes which means everyone thinks it’s good but I thought it was boring. Remember that old website Rotten? We used to all sit around a computer when I was a teenager and look it up then force each other to look at the pictures. I wonder if it still exists. Too scared to look. Bleurgh.

Tidelands

I don’t know what’s happening but everyone is hot.

The Bodyguard

He can call me M’am any time he likes.

The Favourite

Fantastic. Loved it.

My sunburn because I forgot to put sunscreen on

Terrible. Minus 150 stars. Now have a post-it note by the door that says “remember sunscreen on your back”.

 

 

 

 

Aquaman: A review

Sometimes there are acts of bravery, acts of great courage, that change the course of the world as we know it, or at least the course of a Boxing Day Wednesday.

We honour these people in many ways – maybe they win a Nobel Peace Prize or are named in the Queen’s Honours. We tell stories about them to future generations. We may take a moment, on a rainy day, to consider their contribution to humanity. They inspire us in all that we do.

Kym Barrett born 11 August 1965 is one such person. I would like to tell you why.

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