Archive for the Utter Trivia Category

Twelve hours of housework

Posted in Utter Trivia on September 10, 2011 by brunswick

Strangely enough, twelve hours of housework was exactly what I needed. Thank goodness for the new resealable half-litre V. And getting slightly drunk halfway through. Made things go much faster.

I’ve arranged the few miscellaneous boxes I have left in my studio area so I can easily pick them up tomorrow, and I used Anita’s impressively powerful vacuum cleaner to return the colour of my carpet to 2009. Sadly, once I’d removed every object from the room it became apparent just what miserable condition it was in – clean, but damp, and structurally sagging in the corners. Can this be fixed? Maybe in the short term, long enough to flick it onto an unsuspecting buyer.

I filled about a dozen recycling bags with plastic and paper, put all of the unwanted furniture in a single room, and pillaged the kitchen of useful objects. My flatmate returned home at about 11pm and as she watched me dismantling the kitchen, you could see it occur to her that with just over 24 hours until we legally have to be off the property, now would be a good time to start packing. She sidled up to me at one point as I wrestled with the lounge furniture and said “I hope you’re around tomorrow evening to help me shift”. I just looked at her. Over the past few weeks I’ve cleaned and sorted out the entire house. On my own.

I left at about 2pm and walked to the other side of town, exhausted (again) but satisfied that I’d done my best.

Kelburn -> Mt. Vic

Posted in Utter Trivia on September 9, 2011 by brunswick

If you’re ever shifting house and moving the furniture yourself, get an architect with muscles. Anita’s friend Diego approached this exercise like a game of 3D Tetris, and after two trailer loads my furniture was firmly wedged in. Unfortunately I have to move out all my boxes of books before I can arrange the furniture, and it looks as though I’ll be spending most of Saturday cleaning Moana Road.

I don’t really have to, to my friends’ exasperation. I’ve got the bond back, although I haven’t banked it yet. There’s no-one moving in after us. I suppose it’s because I’m essentially a tidy person and I’ve lived in that room for eight years, which is the longest I’ve ever stayed in one place.

Manoeuvring my furniture up four flights of stairs was relatively easy after carrying it down the long flight of steps at Moana Road. Altogether this was probably the most physically exhausting day I’ve ever had. I stashed the mural panels in our garage in a high wind – by the end my arms were like noodles.

Well, it looks as though I live in Mt. Vic now, after 15 years on the other side of town in Brooklyn and Kelburn. I wonder if this will change my perspective on life?

First load

Posted in Utter Trivia on September 8, 2011 by brunswick

Well, we have the keys to the new place. I’ve taken over an initial load with Peter of awkward/fragile/expensive objects. For some reason, my room has four lights and ten power points. Not that I’m complaining.

The painters finished early today, and the lounge is… exactly the same colour it was before. Which is fine.

P.A.C.K.I.N.G. I’m packing.

Posted in Cartoon stuff, Utter Trivia on September 7, 2011 by brunswick

Although our notice to move has been short, I have the luxury of spending a decent amount of time packing this week. Unfortunately I’m dealing with eight years of inertia. I’ve thrown out most of my collection of student newspapers, keeping only the Salients*, and other publications I’ve either drawn the cover for, or been interviewed in. I’ve cleaned and re-wrapped all 23 metres of the Vic mural – that’s going to be a picnic to move. I’ve carefully cleaned my solid wooden furniture with white vinegar, and right now my Andy Warhol shower curtain is flapping on the washing line. Although I’m moving as much stuff as possible on Friday, I’ve just found out the lounge in our new place is being repainted – and they don’t finish until Sunday. The lounge is about a quarter of the apartment. Gooood start!

I also think I’m going to have to de-friend Capital Times on Facebook. I appreciate that there’s a certain amount of deadline pressure to fill the ‘Weekly LOL’ column, but my profile has very high privacy settings, and some of my friends don’t appreciate being unexpectedly quoted in print. I was getting some very strange texts this afternoon.

*What a lot of my life I’ve devoted to that magazine, and not without cost. I’ve kept the early Brunswick issues, the half-year I designed, and my sporadic contributions up until last year, when it became far easier to get rid of me than to defend my reputation against lunatics with an agenda. Despite contributing to over 280 issues, I’m not as sad about the inevitable introduction of VSM as one would expect.

I’ve very nearly stopped moaning now

Posted in A Good Whinge, Bloody brilliant observations, Utter Trivia on September 1, 2011 by brunswick

It’s been just over a week since my nightmare flatmates moved out, and I’m still appreciating the improvements. I’m still doing a lot of cleaning, but things are staying clean, so the flat is slowly returning to the level of cleanliness it was at before they moved in and dragged everything down to their squalid level.

It’s also nice to be in a flat where the dryer isn’t being run every evening, the dishwasher isn’t constantly full of teaspoons, plates are there when you need them instead of being shut in someone’s room… oh, dozens of little things which individually are inconsequential and not enough to complain about or mention, but add up to one big, constant headache.

We have a flat kitty requiring $5 per flatmate each fortnight for consumables. Every now and then we’d use what was left over to pay bills. One of the couple was reasonably diligent about paying this, but the other one – the doofus – never paid a red cent over six months. A few days before they left, I actually lost my temper at having to clean the kitchen for the third time that day, so I filled in his blank boxes on the flat kitty chart with S W E E T F U C K A L L, which was not my proudest moment, but immensely satisfying.

It’s my aim in life to minimise contact with infuriating and useless people. I’ll never be totally there (logically to achieve this you’d have to either stay in a box your entire life, or alternatively be so infuriating and useless that you just wouldn’t notice it in others), but I’m getting closer.


Posted in Utter Trivia on August 31, 2011 by brunswick

My parents retired to Waikanae today. I spent some time this morning vacuuming the house, and stood in my old bedroom for the last time. I then travelled home on the Johnsonville Line, in one of the same crappy old train carriages I used to catch to Raroa Intermediate back in 1985.

They’ve probably replaced the engine a few times… and the chassis… but it’s still the same train.


Posted in Utter Trivia on August 27, 2011 by brunswick

Some of my favourite stores in Auckland are either about to close or are severely diminished. The secondhand music stores I visited in the late-’90s are long gone, and even Real Groovy seems more interested in selling clothing and vinyl than CDs. Which didn’t stop me from grabbing a bunch of $3-$5 albums to fill gaps in my discographies.

Borders closes in a few months, and while the Wellington store attempts to run down its existing stock at full price (good luck, you cloth-eared dorks) the Auckland stores have faced up to the inevitable, and everything except their brand-new stock is 25-75% off. Which is why my luggage is about 3kg heavier.

I was tempted to buy some of their volumes of In Search of Lost Time at $9 each, but they only had three volumes out of six, and I didn’t fancy having to pay full price for the rest. I managed to get hold of some stuff I’ve been after for years, including two Edward Gorey anthologies and an excellent book on Krazy Kat for $11. Ironically I’m going to be boxing up my 3kg as soon as I get home for the move.

The Viaduct

Posted in Utter Trivia on August 26, 2011 by brunswick

The new architecture in the Wynyard Quarter (it’s made of Wyn!) is fascinating, although unfortunately it strongly reminds me of Wellington’s Sesqui 1990. Several formerly isolated parts of the waterfront have been connected together, and all it’s missing is a stadium. The numerous high-class eateries were stuffed with people* taking long Friday lunches, and I kept wondering “who’s doing all the work?”

Nothing is quite finished, although it’s very tidy and full of curious residents. There’s an undeniable quantity of wealth on display, and although it’s not ostentatious, I wouldn’t want to have to justify this public spending to someone from Christchurch. After walking over a bridge and through a tasteful Maori tomokanga (absolutely the only sign of Maori people or culture in the area) there’s a variety of pavilions and ambiguous centres to pass, as well as a fountain and fancy customised playground -nothing out of a box for these children, let’s sculpt something themed out of fibreglass!

There’s an embarrassing number of high-concept nautical sculptures made by artists who have never been to sea in their lives, such as shiny funnels and oversized deck chairs, and in the hot Auckland sun it becomes something of an arty death march. I hope it isn’t deserted by November.

*Rich white middle-aged people, that is. There seems to be a factory somewhere in Auckland which pumps them out.

Like your Sooooul…

Posted in Lovely pictures, Unwarranted criticism, Utter Trivia on August 23, 2011 by brunswick

Wow, some property agents really don’t like it when you point out the huge health-endangering patch of black mould on the ceiling of their property. Suggestions that something be done about it are met with hostility, although it could be dealt with and cosmetically eliminated in under ten minutes. It’s ten minutes on a ladder with some bleach, not a request that you stucco the Beehive in Oyster Pink.

Resene Oyster Pink

Yes, Jaimee’s hat is what it looks like

Posted in Jitterati, Lovely pictures, Utter Trivia on August 15, 2011 by brunswick

Drawn while temperatures reached 2 degrees in my terrible, terrible flat. I went out to look at the snow. “Meh” I said, and went back inside. Two years in Moscow will leave you with that attitude.