We punch above our weight down here at the bottom of the world. We are the rugby champions of the world; the rugby league champions of the world; we make it to the World Cup of Association Football with a pool of 22 players to choose from (and then draw against the current world champs) to name but a few of our many sporting accomplishments.
A couple of days ago the New Zealand cricket team (The Black Caps) beat the Australian cricket team. In the bigger scheme of things, this is not earth shattering news. But in the context of the peculiarly cut throat, competitive relationship that we Kiwis have with our Kangaroo cousins across the ditch, THIS IS MASSIVE.
Why, I hear you ask with baited breath?
I'll tell you. Us (NZ) beating them (AUS) in cricket is like a penguin beating a killer whale in a fight to the death, and then flipping it around the ocean playfully for a bit before devouring it piecemeal. IT JUST SHOULD NOT HAPPEN.
But it DID. We ripped them a new bum, and they weren't (aren't) happy.
I won't bore you with the details of the game; I'm a cricket fan and even I concede that watching your cat defecate is more exciting than reading about the nitty gritty of a cricket match.
Suffice to say that New Zealand should NEVER beat Australia. We are the equivalent of a cricketing amoeba, they are a cricketing red giant sun. It's their national game and the only one of the many sports in which they excel that unites the whole Australian sporting public behind it. Like Rugby in New Zealand, cricket is an integral part of the Australian national identity. They go into mourning whenever they lose. They go into absolute writhing apoplexy whenever they lose to US!!
The last time that we had a victory over them in their own country was around 1984. That was 27 years ago - a very long time between drinks. I was still wearing short shorts and sandals to primary school, and my mum was making my lunches. In the time that has elapsed since then, they have whipped us like curs with depressing regularity. Until now.
Kiwi cricket fans, like myself, have to crow loud and long whenever we experience the giddy heights of a win against the Ockers on their own turf because it could very well be 27 more years before we get another. You have to be ungracious and rub it in as much as you can, much like an Australian would.
So here I am, doing just that. Haha Australia, you suck.
If there are any Australians reading this, feel free to make excuses or abuse me roundly. It can't change the fact that you lost....to US!!!!
It's been a while, but I'm back having a nosey around UNRV to see how everything is hanging. Since my last blog I have discovered a new passion; FISHING! I'm fuckin' HOOKED on it, pun completely intended.
A close friend gave me a fishing rod and reel and then sat back to watch my too-cool-for-school indifference turn into complete and utter obsession in seconds flat.
I'm absorbed completely by this pastime; it has outdone reading, rugby league and music in the interest stakes. I don't know what's going on in the world anymore because I am generally somewhere by or on the ocean trying to hook up on a big snapper. (For instance; we had a massive oil spill in New Zealand a few weeks ago. It was three days before I knew anything about it because I was out camping by the sea, intent on watching my fishing line for bites!)
From knowing practically nothing about how to fish and actively dissing the hobby as being inferior to diving, I am now a walking encyclopaedia of knots and a zealot when it comes to defending the merits of fishing.
SO! That's me at the moment. Oh, and I met a lovely lady who I also turned into a fishing fanatic. It was our one year anniversary on Monday just gone, and we are very happy.
To all my UNRV friends; get out from behind your computers, get your noses out of your musty textbooks and go for a fish!
I honestly meant to have a quiet birthday this year. No; honestly I did. I was going to hide away from my alcoholic mates and read a fuckin' book.
But it didn't turn out that way. It is impossible to stand in the way of friends whose mission it has become to drink you under three of four tables.
We'll just get one bottle, they said. Just the one. And maybe a box of beers. Or two. We might as well get some Vodka, too....
Six bottles of Bourbon, one bottle of Stoli, three boxes of beer, nine cigars, three packets of ciggies and various other substances were consumed by me and my four very determined beer buddies in the space of two days. That's just the stuff I counted whilst still able to count! And, of course, drunk logic dictates that the best hangover cure is a hair of the dog that bit you. My birthday was on a Saturday. It is now Thursday, and the party shows no sign of abaiting. The dog that bit us must have a bloody big bald patch now!
This year's birthday has taken a couple of years off my life; I shit you not!
The moral to this sorry tale? If you find one, let me know....
Excuse me if this blog rambles. I'm mothered.
Myself and a very good friend of mine decided to make this christmas a Heavy Metal Christmas (throw your horns up!!). We donned our favourite, mankiest metal t shirts, mine a tatty, holey Slayer jobbie, my friend's a Motorhead T shirt that is still resplendent with bloodstains from the last time Motorhead visited these shores. We dug out the doc martens and the chuck taylors. Only music of the metal ilk could grace our stereo; Slayer, Motorhead, Chimaira, Sepultura, Helmet, Sabbath. It has been a very beautiful thing. Heads were banged, people: Heads were banged. We bought ourselves a whole keg of Steinlager, a very potent local brew. It's been two days now since Christmas, and we're almost there. I can see three blurry keyboards in front of me as I write, and I'm quite proud of how many spelling mistakes I haven't made.
Have a very, very Beery Pissedmas, and a happy New Year all of my friends at UNRV.
I've only just returned to the site today and learnt of the sad news about my friend and yours, the incorrigible Gaius Octavius Bathroom Attendant.
This man was my first friend here - we gave each other shit and he invited me to be on his friends list. From there, he basically gave me the lowdown on Nephele and other people who became my friends, but GO was the first and he maintained that friendship even when I didn't.
His jokes and pictures clogged my inbox. Not to mention his insults. After learning that I am Maori and seeing some of my native language on my ID page, he dubbed me "The Savage". I loved it. There was nothing politically correct about our Gaius Octavius. In fact, I think the man went out of his way to be politically incorrect.
I read the news and tears came to my eyes. I had to pretend to my workmates that I'd got sand in my eyes. They got it out of me in the end though, and we all stopped work and had a beer in memory of a man none of us had even met. I told GO stories and GO jokes, and we toasted his life.
Do the same here and post your GO stories as a tribute to a fine man. If someone else has already done this, I don't care. There are heaps of GO stories to go 'round!
I'm gonna miss you, you old bastard.
Salve all of my friends from UNRV!
Over the weekend, something monumental happened that you may not be aware of.
The Kiwi Rugby League team won the World Cup from Australia!
This is bigger than Obama. This is bigger than the financial crisis.
NEW ZEALAND ARE THE WORLD CHAMPIONS AT SOMETHING!
It may not mean a bean to any of you, but I don't care. I get this little warm feeling when
I think of our team smashing the Aussies at their own game! I'm happy for the next five years
until we get to defend the cup AT HOME, and I can go to every game and scream my nuts
GO THE KIWIS!
Hey! I'm back, for those of you who care.
The job is finished on the islands and the resort that I was working on but they wont upload. I'll keep trying so you can all see where I've been at and be appropriately jealous.
I hope everybody has been well and all is good in your lives. God, I missed UNRV.
Great to be back!
Friends and fellow scions of UNRV! I have a new job. Less hours, less work, more money, more responsibility. I'm happy in the new job, but where we work there is no TV coverage, no Internet, and no Cell Phone reception. These are minor trivialities really, because the job is on a tropical island building a new resort. It's a three month contract running a labour crew of twelve, a really easy gig bar the technological difficulties.
The major drawback is that I can't get to UNRV much these days, and I really miss visiting this site and giving arseholes to that reprobate Bathroom Attendant's Assistant, Gaius Octavius. You'll keep, Octavius! To my friend the lovely dianamt54, if she is reading this, we'll hook up again soon! And to Nephele, Lost Warrior and docoflove you're all class, ladies, and I will be back soon to lead your topics off thread! I miss the caustic wit of Moonlapse, the incredibly detailed knowledge of Faustus, and to Gaius Paulinus Maximus, 'Go The Rhinos!'
This weekend is to be spent with my kids. I've got a back pocket bursting at the seams with cash, all of it which will be spent mercilessly on trinkets, toys, video games and junk food. My lovely little girls and my boy are going to get spoilt ROTTEN. I can't wait! First stop, Dunkin' Donuts! After that I'm going to let children be my guides. It's all up to them where we go and what we do. Am I a madman? Yes, I freakin' am!
I shall return!
I had my first go at Stand Up Comedy last night.
It could've been better, but then again, it could've been a whole lot worse.
Luckily, there was your archetypal drunk-guy-who-thought-he-was-hilarious on before me, and he made me look good, and I was able to take the piss out of him mercilessly and get more laughs. Later on I bought the guy a beer, not out of pity, more out of thanks!
My routine was based around lampooning race relations in this country in the main and I was glad to see that Kiwis have a sense of humor about this, and can laugh at themselves. The crowd was mostly European and middle class but they were great. Last night gave me confidence to have another crack at this stand up thing.
You get a real sense of being on the edge of disaster and I found it very invigorating. One of my fellow victims had a harder time with dealing with nerves. He spewed on himself and never recovered. It's hard trying to shore up someones confidence when they cant stop retching! Unfortunately for the guy he tanked, but reckoned he was going to have another go now that he'd got this first time out of the way. Now that's brave!
I ended up adding in a whole lot more ad-lib stuff than I thought I would, and that extemporary humor definitely helped to mix up the stuff I'd scripted. The crowd gave me a big clapping off when I finished (one of the better ovations of the night), only some of it ironic! I resisted the urge to pack the crowd with my friends (I didn't tell anyone about this apart from the UNRVites) and in hindsight, that was a good idea. Next time I'll invite some of my friends.
I'm stoked with myself. Getting up in front of people and trying to make them laugh is bloody hard!
I've been through a whole heap of painful crap in my life, more than most people I know. I have always subscribed to the belief that if it the pain isn't enough to kill you, it can only make you stronger.
I honestly thought that given all that I've been through, I can get through any kind of pain that comes my way.
How sadly I misled myself.
My children will soon be moving with their mum to another city, far away from me. I'm hurting about it, real bad, and so are my three beautiful little buttons. I love them all more than words can explain. My children and I have a bond that is so exquisitely pure in it's expression and emotion that all other forms of love I've experienced pales in comparison. To know that they won't just be down the road soon is killing me.
They've been staying with me for the past week or so and every night I've had to hold them close to me, group hug styles, as their tears soak my shirt and they cry that they don't want to go far away from me and their grandmother. They wake up in the middle of the night after having nightmares about being away from me that you can see on their little faces have scared them to their cores.
How do I deal with it?
Gods damn me, I lie. I lie through my teeth and tell them that everything will be alright, that they'll get to see me and gran just as much as ever, I mouth platitudes that granma and I will always be in their hearts, but deep, deep down I know my kids aren't stupid and that they're agreeing with me to make me feel better. That's how lovely my little people are. As much as they are hurting and struggling to understand why this has to be, they are trying to make me feel better about it all.
I've never had this kind of pain. I'll take broken bones, any kind of torture that inhumanity can come up with and gladly swap it for this.
I'm using this blog to get all of this out of my head, and it's great. Thankyou, UNRV. I'm sure that most people don't get this personal with their blogs, but, quite frankly, fuck 'most people'. I need to express this stuff somehow or it's going to drive me insane. This blog entry is not a veiled cry for help. It's a filter to help me try and make sense of this fucked up bullshit.
Worst of all is that I don't know what I'm going to do. I may have to move cities and just thinking of that is like staring off the edge of an abyss into the blackness. It will be very difficult for me to find work in the city that my kids are moving to. It's hardly even a city. There's not a whole lot going on down there apart from unemployment benefits (bugger that) and growing weed (bugger that, too).
I say thankyou in advance to any of you who may read this and decide to offer me advice or moral support.
I hope that my next entry will be a whole lot more positive.
The Old Dude
I've decided to give up football (Rugby).
This is a sad, sad day for any self respecting traditionally Kiwi male. I'm the 'Old Dude' on my team, and now even outright spite and denial cannot keep me going. I stopped playing Rugby League (Rugbys more brutal cousin) three years ago because I was getting too many injuries. Now I'm hanging up the boots for good and I feel like less of a man because of it. Since I can remember, Saturdays have e'er been the same. Get up early, go and play footy, then share a couple of well earned ales with the lads, partners and opponents afterwards.
But, I went to training the other night and wondered what the hell it was I was trying to do there. It was raining and cold. I dropped the ball and missed tackles uncharacteristically. I kept wishing that training would be over so I could go home and have a nice warm cocoa and read a book. That's when it hit me. You're getting to old for this shit. Time to give it up and stop kidding yourself.
Footy is a religion here, perhaps on a par with cricket in India and Australia. It's part of the fabric of this country, although that status is becoming fraid now that kids have so many other options. Like Romans used to reckon the years by the consuls, we here in NZ often reckon by way of All Black victrories. If the team loses a match during the season, the whole country goes into apoplexy. The game of Rugby helped us define ourselves as New Zealand (as opposed to An English Colony) early in our development as a country and has continued to do so.
So it is with a very heavy heart that I write this. Now I think I'll pass the torch on to my kids, who will be infinitely better at the game than their old man ever was. My middle girl is quick and tall like her old man with an instinct for the outside break; she loves footy and gives me a little warm feeling when she fearlessly crashes into boys twice her size. Hopefully I can live vicariously through her!
In the blog previous to this one, 'Good Deed', I wrote of helping out some English tourists who were being set upon by some unscrupulous scumbag bastards in my city.
Karen and Seamus, the tourists, have become friends. They hunted us down somehow (my friend and I mentioned where we worked) and shouted the boys lunch and a box of beers. We got talking, they mentioned that they were interested in Maori culture, so I offered to show them some and did so yesterday, taking them to see a cultural group that my cousins are in and then to my marae, which is a traditional carved Maori 'meeting house'. I was proud; they were awestruck and had never seen anything like it. Today, my mate Semisi is taking them to a traditional Samoan feast. Seamus told Semisi that he's played a bit of rugby. He'll regret that.
They are lovely people and I'm glad I met them, circumstances notwithstanding. They hail from Birmingham (although Karen was bought up in Wales) and we all share a love of Black Sabbath and naff seventies Heavy Metal.
They told me that even with what happened, they want to come to New Zealand and live. Seamus said he'd been mugged in London in broad daylight with people walking past, and no one did a thing. I'm glad that they do not think ill of my country and hope that they do come here to live. We've made a very strong connection, but I guess that's to be expected. They loved my children! That's a pass mark as far as I'm concerned.
Me and a mate did something that I was very proud of last night. Let me regale you.
Working through the wee hours as I have been lately, I have lunch with a friend at about 4am. We work in Auckland City, so wander down to the town square, which is called Aotea Square, to watch all of the early morning freaks out and about as we munch and swill coffee. I've seen some funny stuff sitting in the square. Last night was not so funny.
We went to take our usual seats and we heard a woman screaming. It was shrill and full of horror. Instinct took over; we both ran towards the commotion. It was coming from an alleyway near the square.
I got there first. My mate Semisi is a huge Samoan, 18 stone of Polynesian muscle, but he wasn't far behind me. The scene that greeted us was of a hysterical woman screaming at three guys as they were beating the shit out of a man whom we later learned was the woman's husband.
It amazes me now that we didn't even think of consequences, Semisi and I just whaled in and started banging. We Kiwis have a very finely honed sense of supporting the underdog, and the guy receiving the bash fit well and truly into that category.
Semisi picked up one of the assailants as if he was a ragdoll and threw him against the wall of the alley. I heard a satisfying crack of a rib or some bone breaking as he hit. I was busy pummelling the other guy, and the third piece of shit did a runner before we could dispense violence on his ass too. The guy against the wall was bleeding, my opponent, also bleeding from the nose, gave up too and they both decided to leg it - I'm glad my bro was with me or things could've been the worse for me. The only bummer was that we couldn't hold them to hand them over to the cops.
The woman, whose name was Karen, explained that one of the scumbags had asked her husband for a cigarette, and when he was told that neither of them smoked, all three set upon her poor man. He was much the worse for wear. They were tourists from England. I cringed at that. What a great advertisement for my country that makes.
Karen tried to give us both money which we turned down. Semisi and I offered to accompany them to the police station, but they said no, they just wanted a taxi and to get home.
I'm proud that my friend and I helped, but I can't wait to get back onto the day shift and back to sanity. But I'll be keeping an eye out for those scumbags, and it'll be round two if Semisi and I see them again.
Yesterday my brother got married to his childhood sweetheart. What a day.
I've attended four weddings so far this year and I'm still no more enamoured of the idea. Familiarity is breeding contempt. What a freakin' production. I was happy for my brother and his new wife, but when you hear the phrase 'your special day' what I reckon is really meant is 'the bride's special day'.
What is it about the day of marriage that makes perfectly reasonably, sane, women turn into slathering egomaniacal control freak megalomaniacs?
I had a chat to my brother earlier in the morning before the ceremony and his attitude was that he was over it, and couldn't wait for it to be over. This was an attitude shared by the grooms in all four of the weddings I've attended at this point in proceedings - 'God, please let this be over soon without too many casualties'.
The bride was beautiful but who knows how many were sacrificed to get her that way. She's a lovely girl, bless her, but an ugly, ugly being has had control of her body for the last two months.
The great thing was that my family pulled together to make it all happen for them and the ceremony went off without a hitch, as did the dinner and speeches. I got up and told a corrosively embarassing story about each of them and then, as is custom at a Maori wedding, sung a song. I chose 'I Can Change' by Jon Legend. Know this one?
'When I look back on all that I done to you
Take it for granted, things I never should do
I see the light now baby it's shining through
Gotta give up the game, I got changin' to do.
I wont get high if you want it
Get that straight
Nine to five if you want it
Keep my ass home at night if you want it
Whatever you need me to do
When you talk, I'm gon' listen'
Give you all that attention you' missin'
Girl, I swear, I'm gonna handle my business
Just like a real man should do'
I can change for you'
Yes, about as much subtlety as a punch in da teef. I couldn't help it. Everybody else was singing these mindnumbling, tooth rottingly sweet vignettes about love and the future and stuff and I just can't resist taking the piss. Everybody laughed except the bride. She looked like she'd swallowed a bag of lemons as if my attempt at levity had spoit the whole day. I hope that thing leaves her body soon and we get the old her back.
Needless to say, so does my brother.
I've been working nights for the past months, and in that time I have come into contact with a building site administator who has the people skills of a flesh eating virus.
I'm Maori. There is a popular perception here, long held and deep seated amongst the ignorant, that we are not very bright as a race. I deal with this every working day and try to change perceptions.
The fact that I am a labourer does not help me. It kind of reinforces the aforementioned perception of me and my people. I do this type of work because I really like it, and I'm so good at it that I can contract my skills out and make enough money to keep me happy. But I don't feel that I have to explain this to anybody. I am always judged by my cover. It galls me how surprised some have been to discover that yes, I have a brain, and it functions quite well, thankyou very much.
As I have said, the person in charge of the site I am working on is not a nice piece of work. I suspect he was bullied at school by large polynesian types like myself, and revels in his revenge now that he can crack a whip.
I am not obliged to listen to him - I'm a contractor. He is in charge of the temporary labourers but has lumped me in with them and last night it came to a head.
I will do almost anything for someone who asks me politely, as you would one human being to another. But treat me like a slave and I'll rebel.
This guy knows my name but refers to me as 'boy'. I find this interesting because I'm older than he is. Last night was his third strike after being asked nicely twice to use my name because I don't like being called 'boy'. Yet, he persisted; he kept calling me boy so I stopped listening to him. He appealed to my boss who knows what I'm like and told him to fight his own battles. This came to a head when he lost his rag and let loose a tirade of racial abuse when I refused to even acknowledge his presence.
Anger clouded his judgement. When he came too, he was faced with an angry six foot two ex boxing champ none to impressed with his oratical skill. My boss had to hold me back. The administrator actually had the cheek to hide behind his labourers, who parted like the red sea for me to get at him like the good polynesian brothers that they are. I didn't get to hit him but I really wanted to. My reasoning was that since you persist in treating me like savage, I'll show you savage alright.
So I've been swapped over to another crew. The administrator there is a really good bloke. I'm just glad I didn't lose it and paint the walls with the little prick!
I got promoted! This is the first entry of my first ever blog on the net. Thankyou UNRV, Primus Pilus and anyone else important whose arse I may have neglected kissing. I love this site, and this is a signal honor in my opinion, even if to other more experienced people it is 'just a blog' and a ho hum kind of achievement. Not to me, mates. This is the shizzle.
I'm writing a stand up comedy routine at the moment. There is an open mic at the local comedy club next month for new talent (read victims), a mate is the MC. He dared me to have a crack, called me a pussy and all the usual insults when I copped out, offered to bet me a large amount of moolah, generally pestered me until I said I would do it. Now pride stops me from backing out. I hate losing a bet, especially to that clown.
But I was thinking about giving it a whirl anyway. I went and watched a few at the last open mic and thought, here's a challenge. I admired the guts of theses guys and gals to get up in front of strangers and potentially tank. Many of them did. I made a point of going up and shaking the hands of those who tanked after, offer them some support. It was noticeable that the rest of the punters regarded them as they would something smelly that they just stood in.
Doing this kind of thing is scary to many people, but I reckon I've got a head start. I'm a guitarist and singer (yeller) in a band, so I figured that can only be marginally less nerve wracking. The difference is that if someone doesn't like what your playing, you just carry on and drown out their boo's or ignore their indifference. No such luck in standup. I'm thinking of working a guitar into my act so I've got something to hide behind - I always feel more comfortable with a guitar and being able to play it has always given me confidence.
This gives me goose bumps just writing about it. I was less nervous when I jumped out of a plane. I've surfed with sharks and felt less nervous! And the gig is still about a month away.
I'm considering going to university to study English and History, get a Bachelors Degree and become a teacher. There is a real need in this country for good, male teachers. I think I have the skills to be one although I may be completely deluded. Still thinking about it; three years is a long time.
I'm a blogger! SWEEEET!