Thought it might be fun to look at some good New Zealand blogs while I’m back.

Biz Girl, aka Natalie, is a 26 year old librarian who lives here in Wellington. Her blog recently won the Netguide Award with a style that is not unlike a kiwi Bridget Jones. However, after the award was announced the story broke that Biz Girl was in fact James Guthrie, who is happily married with children and lives South of Auckland. And they say New Zealand blokes don’t understand women...

Also, meet Fi: blogger, jogger, Mum and dedicated drinker of reasonably priced wine. I’m pretty sure she is who she says she is, although technically she might be more of a slow runner than a jogger per se.

And me? I’ve been relocated to the lounge area. It means I have to field questions while my Mother makes cups of tea (Her: ‘Isn’t it a lovely day outside?’ Me, typing and chewing the inside of my cheek: ‘No thanks, I just had one.’) but now there’s more natural light and a bit of a view.
Chris just rang and apologised for being a bit airy fairy with me. I hadn’t even noticed. Bloody actors.
On Friday night I went to the Pound. I’m a regular there now. I turn up and they’re all like “Drew!” and we high five and do the secret handshake *groans*. Uncharacteristically, there were actually four real hotties at the club, all with shaggy hair and sideburns. I did a bit of research and found that they were from the cast of Saturday Night Fever, an Australian production that had just rolled into town. Not wasting a beat I introduce myself. After we’ve made the preliminary hellos, one of them turns to me and asks me if I know a guy called Chris (Last Name Here). I tell him that, yes, I lost my virginity to a Chris (Last Name Here). Behind him, his friend smiles at me. And then I recognise who it is. It’s Chris (Last Name Here) with 70’s hair and sideburns.

I guess we need some back-story *turns on PowerPoint and dims lights*. It’s 1995 and I head off to the National Youth Drama School. It is a turning point in my teens because I am surrounded my young, enthusiastic thespian types and it encourages me to come out to a few of them. This is the first time I have ever REVEALED THE SECRET. The selected few are all very good about it – a trend that continues all my life, bless the Beasts and Children. Especially understanding is this guy called Chris, who’s actually quite cute, come to think of it. Fast forward 24 hours and he and I are kissing in the vineyard next-door to the place we’re staying at. It’s getting racy when we’re interrupted – by a sheep (insert sheep joke here) and, as we’re terrified we might be discovered, we flee back to the hostel to have a very uncomfortable nights sleep in separate beds.

Drama School finishes and we all go back to our respective homes - my virginity still firmly intact. A week later I turn sixteen and decide to invite Chris over where there will be no sheep and only a mild risk of my Mother bursting into my room to ask if we’d like a cup of tea and maybe a Tim Tam. With mission accomplished Chris goes home and we promise to write every few days to keep our flame of passion alive. I soon realise I am not quite cut out to do the whole long distance thing and I break up with Chris in my last letter to him.

Youth is cruel y’all.

I didn’t see Chris for another five years when I bumped into him in Wellington. On seeing him again I realised one important thing – he was now much, much hotter.

*turns off PowerPoint, brings up lights*

Which is exactly the same thought I had when I was saw him on Friday night. He is actually a quite a hunk – a far cry from the greasy teenagers we once were (my braces, with the rubber bands that would go the colour of whatever I’d just eaten, were particularly fetching). I bought Chris a drink and we stood at the bar talking for most of the night. It had been ten whole years. He told me I hadn’t changed. I asked him if that was a compliment and he laughed. No, really, I wanted to know. He laughed again. We kissed. It was much easier this time, what without the braces. Then we said our goodbyes, but not before I’d wangled an opening night ticket out of him for Saturday Night Fever.

The show was much better than I’d expected. I love disco, but hate the Bee Gees. I’m more of a Donna Summer, Diana Ross kind of guy, but the cast was stellar and it was very slick. I didn’t even mind it when they made us all stand up for the reprise (I have an aversion to clapping in time to anything).

Chris had also organised me an after party pass, so I happily tucked into the free champagne while I waited for him to get changed.

“You were wonderful tonight,” said a woman in a shawl.
“Um, thanks?” I said.

Now if you want to really impress someone, invite them to the opening night of your show, and then turn up to the party (which is all about you) looking and smelling nice, surrounded by family and friends and fans who all tell you, truthfully, how amazing your performance was. Yeah, that’ll do it. Chris kicked me out of bed this morning at seven because he was having breakfast with his parents. He also has a matinee and an evening show. But he has the whole day off on Monday. And as it happens, so do I.
And to think I thought New Zealand had a monopoly on mundanely hilarious newspaper headlines.

Is it wrong that this makes me homesick for London? Thanks for the pic, Matt!
Awful Hallway Art #2

Ready for the Muster
(Acrylic on Canvas)

Choosing another off the wall subject matter (unless ‘the gecko’ is somehow related to this piece) Johni once again shows his eye for detail by painting his subject matter in silhouette. Silhouette, in case you didn’t know, is artistic shorthand for ‘can’t paint for shit’. It means you don’t have to worry about things like, well, expressions, or the texture of hair, or the effect of the fire light, or the setting sun. You just draw a line and fill it in with black. Isn’t that right, Johni?

Those men have obviously been riding horses A LOT because their backsides have swollen to accommodate weeks on a saddle. They stand in a stiff row, amputated at the knees by the horizon. ‘Better get ready for that muster’ communicates the cowboy on the right. ‘I’ll just get my steed’ says the one in the middle. ‘Winnie’ says the horse. You can almost taste the tension.

In comparison the sky is masterful, although technically it feels a bit bright to warrant the lack of shadows. The trees in the background seem to be burning bright like the fire in the foreground, which has curiously been built in a circle formation. And is that riding crop in the centre of the fire circle? Is that some symbolism I’m not getting? No, I didn’t think so. This is possibly the most boring painting I have ever seen. Ready for the Muster, indeed. If only were ready for the Recycling Bin.

Life at Bullet Point

• My black swimming cap ripped today so after my swim I crossed over the road from the pool and bought a new one in the Swim Shop. My new cap is red. I can’t tell you how happy it’s made me all afternoon. I’m not really a things person - I think everyone who goes on and on about how their ipod has changed their life needs a good shaking – but every now and then I buy something so cool I want to lick it. Don’t try licking your new swim cap though. It has powder on it which must be similar to what evil tastes like.

• So I’m pretty sure that I didn’t get the chocolate bar advert, but as I said, it’s a lottery. However, I did go to another audition on Tuesday - this time for a liquorice commercial (I’m the Confectionery Kid!). The part was for the son of a knight, so I had to wear a heavy helmet thingy and eat lots of liquorice. They kept asking me to smile and I can only imagine the delicious sight by the third take, with all the black gunk in between my teeth.

• I’ve finished the first draft of the first Act of the book – all eight chapters. Now things start getting really interesting plot wise, but first I have to do some research and fact checking. I’ve realised you can’t just say “that shiny bit on a motorcycle” - you actually have to read about motorcycles and find out what its called. Google is only so much help and I’m going to be hitting the library hard over the next week. Included on my list are: How do you survey / what is surveying? How to build a tree house without killing the tree?

• I had the worse hangover of my life yesterday. It was horrid. The night before my Ma & I had gone to an exhibition opening at an Art Gallery. The exhibition was called Manscapes and the paintings were the sort of soft porn you often find hanging in the hallway of a house owned by gay men of a certain age. I thought I might meet the Wellington ‘A Gay’ crowd (I know they exist, goddammit) but unfortunately it was just regular gays. I did get asked to pose for the artist though, to which I replied confidently that I could suck in my stomach for a full twenty eight minutes, if that was long enough. It must have been because I was invited back to the after-party (Ma went home because she had work the next day) but by the time I arrived I was pretty drunk on free wine. Inside the party there was music and more drinking. The crowd was either gay or related to the artist (he was a Greek New Zealander). I had lots of conversations with his cousins along the lines of “I used to hate gays until I discovered I was related to one” and I drank lots more. A girl I’d become chummy with said she’d organised a taxi and when it arrived it turned out to be a relative of the artist (yes, Wellington is that small). We were driving away when the taxi driver started to talk in Greek to someone on his mobile phone.

“They want to talk to you,” he said, passing me the phone.

“Hello?” I said.

It’s then that the swearing started. I was too far gone to understand everything, but the gist of it was that one of the cousins thought that I’d stolen something (What? A painting?) and that he’d instructed his cousin to turn the taxi round and drive back to the party where I would be “dealt with”. Now, my family jokes that I am the most honest person in the world. Today I found $5 floating in the pool and I handed it in. Sitting here I feel indignant, but at the time I was just plain scared. I tried to explain to the taxi driver that I hadn’t taken anything.

“Don’t worry, they’re drunk,” he said.

“Do you want to search me?” I offered, not knowing if I should believe him.

“I’ll tell them I did, but didn’t find anything.”

And with that he dropped me off at my house. Weird huh?

• I was joking the other day that New Zealand has some pretty lame newspaper front covers on the Dailies. If it’s not a picture of two blonde children happily turning over shells on some beach, it’s something like this. (Actually, this story has a sad ending because what wasn’t reported is that the woman has mental disabilities and the baby has been taken off her). But my friend Amy, who came down to Wellington for a few days last week, has the best one. She wishes she’s kept the paper now. The front page headline was:

Man Throws Burger Through Window.

Word up, fools. Normal transmission will return tomorrow.






The audition went well, the Casting Director spent quite a lot of time on me, which is always a good sign – they kind of hurry you along when you don’t fit the part.

I got there early, and sat with the other actors. We were all dressed up in 60’s gear. The girls looked like Betty Sue, the boys like Rock Hudson. There was lots of psyching out on the couch - talk of Drama Schools, previous work, travel, the fact that there were probably loads of people going for this audition. It was really mean spirited. I should just keep my mouth shut.

We were auditioning in pairs so I found my actress, a cutesy brunette with an amazing smile, and we chatted a bit in that “oh god – we’re going to be doing something ridiculous together in front of a camera in a minute we should really learn each others names” way. When it was our turn we strode confidently into the Audition Room.

The thing about auditioning for film and TV is that screen tests suck. There are never any props so you’re “imagining” everything. The Casting Director is usually more interested in getting you in focus than your “process”. And if it’s got an advert you’ll be pretending to do something dumb. I once had to “catch a rainbow of skittles” at an audition. For like, ten minutes. There’s only so long you can make something like that look fresh. For a Fanta commercial audition in the UK I had to catch a tennis ball in my mouth. Tried that lately? No? Well, take it from me it’s impossible. And I have a really big mouth.

The last advert I actually got (a few years ago now *sniffs*) was for Network Video in Australia (Australian Readers, take note because I’ve never seen it and I would be a laugh if someone had). I played a Greek / Australian mechanic, who was debating with his Carpenter friend whether or not the actor in the film they were discussing was Pacino or Deniro. I was in a pub and I was drinking V.B. which I spilt on myself. I was all greased up. In overalls. And I sounded like whatshisname from Heartbreak High. Ring any bells, Australia?

So cut back to the audition. To start off we have to be cuddling; in love. Then we had to pretend we were on a tandem bicycle, playing a word association game in French. Then my character (Jean was his name was btw) looks into his basket and notices the delicious product placement. But what is he to do? He has only one chocolate bar. Will he share it with the beautiful girl he was only moments before been fondling? Of course not, it’s a commercial. A branch looms in front of him and he ducks. The girl goes flying and he rides on, eating the chocolate bar happily. Having just re-read that last paragraph, I think there might be some homoerotic undertones to the Ad. Chocolate bar as a phallus? Geez, now I really want to get it.

Afterwards they say thank you very much for coming and you try to psyche out a few of the actors on the couch again by saying that it was a really difficult audition. Then you get to walk home, dressed like Rock Hudson in the scorching New Zealand sun. What a life – the Actor!

Now it’s up to the fates. It was fun. It really was. I’m looking forward to more auditions. If only you could see me now because I’m pretending to catch a rainbow of skittles. No really I am.
I have my first audition in a very long time tomorrow morning. It's for a chocolate bar commercial which is in the style of a New Wave French film. Hooray for my Gaelic nose!

I have three lines: ‘Oui’, ‘Blue’ & ‘You’. How am I remembering that? Don’t forget I went to a very good drama school. And it sounds a lot like “We blew you.”

I like what they’ve added on the call sheet:

“Tina has stressed the importance of being clean-shaven European good looking casual (not Kiwi!)”

So no gumboots then.
My dad and I are visiting one of his friends for a few weeks here in Tauranga. I don't think I need to say this, but I love it here. I can't even tell you how wonderful I think this place is. Anyway, I just thought I would ask you if there were any places you suggest I take time to visit while I'm here.

Hi Drew: Found your blog while looking for info on NZ, where I'm considering a research trip for summer 2005 -- of these three: Auckland, Wellington, & Christchurch, which would serve as the best base of operation on a two-month stay?

So without any further ado -

Drew’s Guide to New Zealand
Or Down Under Down Under with Drew

Friends, the day after the U.S. Elections, the New Zealand immigration website was bombarded with traffic. But don’t start packing your body loofer just yet (unless, of course you’re already here – then, hi!), because there’s a lot to find out about these fair shores. Sure, you watched The Fellowship of the Ring, and most of The Two Towers. But New Zealand isn’t all Hobbits and evil Wizards, you know. Some of it is - but no where near all.

The first city we will subject to rapid-fire bullet points, is Auckland.

• Auckland is New Zealand’s biggest city at just over a million people.

• Aucklander’s have a reputation for being bolshy and up themselves, and are called JAFAs by other kiwis (Just Another Fucking Aucklander). To put this into perspective, they may be slightly more urbane, but are as bolshy as a meadow mouse when you compare them to your atypical Londoner.

Piha Beach.
• After New Zealand won the America’s Cup in 1995, we hosted the yachting race in Auckland and won again in 1999. Then all the other countries poached our team members and we lost to Switzerland last year. Now, in three years, the Cup will be held in Switzerland. Except that its a land locked country so they won’t. The race is going to be off the coast of France instead.

• Auckland is geographically a huge city. You’ll need a car if you intend to stay here for any length of time because the public transport is all but non-existent. Because of this a huge car culture thrives in the city. On Friday nights car loads of Boy Racers drive up and down the main street doing donuts and wheel spins. It’s so bad that they recently passed the “Boy Racer” Act and now they can be arrested for disturbing the peace.

Ellie and me on Piha Beach '03.
• The city is very beautiful and can get hot in the summer. Baking hot. Everyone goes regularly to the beaches – Piha is especially popular, but there are hundreds of secluded grey sand beaches above Auckland with great waves for surfing.

• In recent times there has been a big influx of Japanese and other Asian students and immigrants in the city. They are now a very visible presence but there is a lot of prejudice towards them.

• Auckland is the world’s largest Polynesian city. There are more people from the Cook Islands living in Auckland than there are in the Cook Islands.

K Road (Karangahape Road) is the closest we have to a Red Light District.
• People in West Auckland are called Westy’s and are bogans. People who live in South Auckland are poor. People in Remuera are rich and stuck up. Ponsonby is where all the gays live and where you can get coffee. The people who live in the North Shore are a little crazy.

• If you go into Estasi on Ponsonby Road and mention that you know me, you’ll probably get a free coffee.

• The Sky Tower was built by the Auckland Casino and is hated by most of the natives because it look like a syringe. Over the holiday season they change the lights to make it look more festive. Like a Christmas syringe.

• Go to High Street – there are some great little shops and New Zealand designers. But blink and you’ll miss it.

• Auckland is home to The Kelly Tarlton Aquatic Centre. It has an Antarctic section which makes you feel really cold! There are also some very good golf courses (I’m told). Not in the Aquatic Centre of course. That would be silly.

• There are little or no sheep in Auckland. Just in case you were wondering.
The other day I was walking past a second hand bookshop with one of those bargain bins out the front. I’m a sucker for a good deal so I rummaged through and bought a little gem for a mere dollar. It was entitled (The Way to Become) the Sensuous Man, written by someone called ‘M’ in 1971 and I have now come to believe that it is the best book in the whole, entire world.

On Where to Meet Women -

In the supermarket:
Wheel your Trolley alongside hers and, while she selects more goodies, wheel her trolley away. Oblivious of her pursuit, rush to the check desk.
SHE (indignant): You’ve taken my trolley.
YOU: No... surely not... (shamefaced) Yes I must have done, these look much more appetising than mine. The least I can do is pay for them.
SHE: Oh no... why should you?
By this time you’ve paid. Secure in the knowledge that all your appetites will be satisfied this evening.”

On Sexual Positions –

You sit facing each other, legs apart and stretched out (hers over your thighs). You hold each other first by the shoulders, then slowly let yourself fall backward just enough so that you are now holding each other by your outstretched hands. Now rock back and forth. This is silly, but fun, as much as sex play should be, The laughter and light in her eyes show she’s happy. The magnificent tumescence of your prick, ditto.”

The rest of the book is divided into chapters. Here are some of my favourites -

“Hints on Sacrificing Virgins”
“Thawing Out the Frigid Woman”
“Putting it In – and Out – and In – Etc”
“She Wants to Get Married – and Your Wife Won’t Let You.”

And my ulitimate fav:

“Every Twenty-Eight Days! Red, Red Everywhere.”

This book carries even more weight when you realise that it was the biggest selling non-fiction title of ‘71. Those were better times, man – simpler.

When my day has been so uneventful that, in comparison, watching paint dry would seem like a visual symphony, I may dip into this book. Ah, Drew – there’s so much for you to learn.
Last night I went to see Hero at the Embassy cinema. The cinema was revamped to host the premiere of the Lord of the Rings films, and it’s beautiful; a clean 1920’s design with tiles and big leather seats. Even the movie screen curtains looks expensive and plush, as if they got the movie screen curtain experts to go to a think tank to come up with some extra luxurious material for them - made out of puppy fur and silk. The only let down was that they’d designed the seating numbers so tastefully small that they’re all but invisible.

The movie was awesome, real cinematic stuff; no wise-cracking talking fish or all-too-obvious product placements (in case you count Communism) - just movement and colour and water and leaves and sand. And fighting. Amazing fighting. And betrayal. And passion. And honour. But mostly fighting. And leaves.

After the film I bumped into a good friend from drama school who was in Wellington for the night and was sent by the Gods to remind me that, yes, New Zealand really is that small.
I love Ben. He’s like Noel Coward. There’s something about him that makes me want to wear scarves and make fun of the common classes. He was already pretty drunk when I met him so he decided that we should go out and drink some more. I was kind of looking forward to some cheese and crackers before going to bed, but I didn’t let it show. Great, let’s go out!

Ben was in the city for his cousins 21st birthday. I didn’t recognize her but she promptly informed me that she’d gone to my High school and that her step dad had been my teacher when I was eight.* Everyone in the bar was young. Ben and I stood in the corner like old fogies. We even danced like fogies. I bopped. Ben was wearing shoulder pads. It was lucky the cool kids didn’t ask us to leave.

We decided to try another place. Wellington has one main strip with most of the bars on, from popular mock-American clubs called Coyotes and Shooters with queues of slutty girls and boys in their best shirt / hair gel, to funkier side-street jobbies, with hidden doors and upstairs lounges filled with bored looking hipsters.

After grabbing a drink in one of my favourite bars called Matterhorn, we decided to go to Pound. Now we all know that the closest I’m getting to hot loving is watching White Squall on TV (you just know that Scott Wolf and Ryan Philippe are still swabbing the decks long after lights out...) and that Pound is the only gay club in Wellington. And that its awful. Sure we can’t marry or adopt and there’s little representation in the media, but nothing makes a gay man more upset about their sexuality than going to a club that smacks of depression. But Ben and I had had three Moscow Mules, so up we go. After paying our $5 each we enter the main room. It’s busy, which is good. There are stringy looking men in police uniforms on a stage, and they are about to strip and reveal ugly boxer shorts. Which is bad. The show goes on too long. And they keep getting women up on stage to thrust their ugly boxer-shorted bodies against. Note to gay clubs: get gay strippers. Or at least gay for pay strippers. Or at least make them wear briefs. And, by the way, the uglier the strippers, the more the audience expects them to take everything off. It’s a rule in stripping. IF YOU ARE BUTT UGLY WE EXPECT TO BE REWARDED BY GLIMPSING YOUR GENITALS. IT’S THE LEAST YOU CAN DO.

To cut a longer story shorter, there were no ruggedly handsome men at the club. There were, however, a lot of guys in shirts and gel, so I guess they didn’t get that memo from HQ that said we were only to use salon-only hair products from the beginning of this year.

Ben and I danced some more. Then I saw someone I’d met at a party in Auckland*. His name was Jared and he was a cute in that salon-only hair product kind of way. He also had some cute-ish friends and the night felt like it was picking up. I told them the story about the guy at the pool who had followed me around the changing rooms in his speedos. I was all with the trying not to look and he was all with the looking. A great story.

And then in walked the guy himself*. I’d had three Moscow Mules so I was a bit more brave than I was at the pool so I decided to grab the bull by the horns and dance near him. He looked at me and looked away again.

When Jared and Ben came over, they did the how’s it going? eyebrows. “I think we should call it a night” was how it was going. I went to grab the coats and when I returned Jared and Speedo boy were flirting. With each other. Jared looked up, his big betraying eyebrows going all whoops, I hope you don’t mind. “I’ll get his number for you” he said. You know, I think I was wrong about Jared’s hair product. I think it was gel after all.

Ben and I walked back to mine. He was staying in my sister’s room, so when we got back we both drank a liter of water and said our goodnights.

“Unless you want to pash up for a bit?”

I looked at Ben and blinked. I love Ben. There’s something about him that makes me want to wear scarves and make fun of the common classes. But it felt weird even thinking about kissing him. And so I told him that. And then I went to bed feeling more like a schmuck than I had in a very long time.

*Yes, New Zealand really is that small *sigh*

Re: Seth vs. Xander

"Aside from Gallagher's breezily assured portrayal of a freewheeling idealist, family man, and surfer, much of the show's humor and soul emanates from Brody, who rivals Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Nicholas Brendon for winsome, quipping geekery." The Onion 10/05.

Was I right, or was I right?
It’s a warm spring night in Wellington. I’ve been writing, didn’t notice what the time was. When I checked the phone messages, my sister had rung saying that my Ma was leaving her house. That was 35 minutes ago. It’s only a 15 minute walk so I called my sister. It’s nothing to be worried about, my Mother has probably just bumped into someone she knows and ended up chatting, but it’s strange how I only let myself miss people when I’m worried about them.

It’s dangerous writing in your blog when you’re contemplative . It’s like doing the supermarket shopping when you’re hungry.

The door just went. It’s Ma. She’s safe and sound.

I miss a lot of people. I hope you’re all safe and sound.
x Drew
How to take a headshot (Pre haircut)

1. Keep your chin down
2. Look up
3. Turn you head slightly to the left
4. Make sure your top lip is not sweaty
5. Clench your jaw
6. Make love to the camera with your eyes
7. Tip 6 is much more difficult when you haven'’t had sex in weeks. If you can'’t remember how to make love at all, just squint a bit
8. Crouch (because the photographer is too short)
9. Remind the photographer not to cover the flash with her thumb
10. And to use the focus before taking the photo. No, you’re still covering the flash...

How to take a headshot (Post haircut)

1. Have a few beers beforehand.

p.s. To Blythe who sent me the lovely email... I'm not sure if I have your right address. Drop me another line.
They miss me, they really miss me.

“On Saturday night we were in 2tomuch, sat next to the little lap dancing pole thing, when a man clad in speedos and leather cap began to dance for us...... We all looked at each other and said "Drew" at the same time.” Lorna
I have to get a headshot to my new Agent tomorrow because he's "going up North to see the Casting Directors". Don't have time to get them professionally done, so it looks like it's going to be a quick shoot in the kitchen against the cream wall with my Mother behind the digital camera and my sister working as "lighting director." Pray for me.

(oil on canvas)

There is no price tag on this one so I think that it must be from Johni’s “experimental” catalogue. This is the stuff he does for himself, just for kicks. It might not sell as well, but damn it – isn’t art about expression?
To begin with it looks a simple painting. A gecko, or a small woodland lizard crawling through some flora. The lizard appears to have a something red in it’s mouth, possibly a tongue, which draws the eye into the centre of the artwork. But a closer reading of this work gives us much more. What does the gecko represent? Where is it going? What the hell is in it’s mouth?

Although it may not give any answers one thing is certain. This, friends, is less a painting, than a haiku. A really bad haiku.

My Ma says more paintings will come. Apparently Johni has them on rotation.
Awful Hallway Art

Welcome to the paintings of Johni. Since I arrived at my Ma’s apartment complex, I have been bemused by the awful art hanging in the entrance hallway. One, which I wish now I’d taken a photo of, was of a man holding a golf trophy. It was horrid. The skin colour was all wrong, the man’s head was tiny while his shoulders and hands were huge, and why, for Pete’s sake, would anyone paint someone holding a golf trophy? Ah, but I hear you say - Johni is probably about 12 years old. Perhaps his proud Mother put them up there? Give the kid a break.

But then I noticed something next to the paintings - a price tag. Little Johni was trying to sell these canvases, in a communal area, for up to 500 bucks. Next I discovered little Johni was actually sixty years old and worked in Real Estate. That was the last straw.

I suggested paying him the money just so we could dispose of the paintings and not have to see them every time we came out of the elevator. My mother suggested we steal one and send Johni pictures of us gallivanting around Wellington with it. Instead, I have decided to do the honourable thing and brutally mock him on the World Wide Web. Let’s begin!

(oil on canvas)

Ah, the sunset. A prevailing postcard image - the majesty of the great orb we call our sun setting for another night. Can there ever be too many paintings of this wonderful scene? The answer, after seeing this, is yes. With a technical skill that would make a three year old blush, Johni has tried to capture the mood of the sunset using dynamic reds and yellows. Except that he’s painted it so the sun looks like it is setting in front of the horizon. Now I can’t remember ever seeing that happen. I'm sure I'd recall thinking “oh shit, the sun is crashing into that mountain, we’re all doomed.” Looking closely at the picture I couldn’t see any tiny people running for their lives, either.
Let’s open a can o’ bullet points for the nice kids in London. And for everyone else around the World. Bullet points for all! *throws bullet points to crowd*

• Last night was Guy Fawkes in New Zealand. Yes, exactly the same as the festival in Britain. Except that it’s Spring here. So the kids have to stay up until 11pm to write their names with a sparkler. As a child I’d be delirious with tiredness before we’d even started the fireworks and then the Catherine Wheels would never spin properly.

• I have an Agent!

• And the Benefit!

• I had to choose between two agents. They both told me the same information:

1. That there’s not much acting work in New Zealand (which is why I went to London in the first place).

2. That I was getting to a good age range because “after 25 most people start giving up”.

3. Most of the work is in Auckland.

4. But they think I’ll get work. Neither of them added “as an walk-on extra”. They did express concern that I might not be able to do a kiwi accent, though. To which I said “Struth mate, don’t spit the dummy, my accent barks like a dog” whatever that means. They seemed to understand.

• My new Agent, who from this point on will be known as ‘The Agent’ or sometimes ‘the Agentmeister’, is a good kiwi guy. He’s also tight with the professional Theatresports Company here in the Capital so it looks like I’ll be auditioning for them. Better put my improvisation pants on! *Walks to wardrobe*

• Because I have my Benefit I have a little bit of money now, which means I’m going to buy me some porn! And some rent boys! And some rent boy porn!

What? It’s lonely writing a book, alright?

• I’ve just thought of something. Seth (from the O.C.) is basically Xander (from Buffy) - but with better hair. Discuss.
I know what will cheer you right up... Baby pictures!

Holly & Harri.




Harri had just woken from a nap.

My sis wanted this one included because she says her boobs look great in it.

While I was in L.A., Karen invited over some friends and we drank Corona Light and chatted. They were particularly interested about how much I knew about their Presidential race and what we thought about it in England. I spent most of the time arguing with a young Republican. He was quite charismatic and I enjoyed our drunken debate, but after a while I needed another Corona so I stood up and made my excuses. Before I entered the house again, I turned and raised the empty bottle.

“Well, one thing is for certain,” I said, trying not to slur, “and it’s this. America deserves the President it’s about to elect.”

It was the first thing I remembered when I woke the next day, and, strangely enough, when I woke this morning too.
[One more thing and then I'll never mention them again...]

So "that show" is on tonight and my Mother cannot stop talking about how wonderful they are, how kind they are to these clueless straight men. She’s always loved the show but tonight I think we can definitely factor in Carson's shoe compliment.

Ma: Look at that Kyan. He's so gorgeous.*

Me: Yeah, he's OK. He's a bit clean cut. I prefer them a bit more rugged. He doesn't look like he's capable of sweating.

Ma: Oh, he's lovely. Straight men are never that clean. I think you look a bit like Kyan. A bit like Thom too.


No you're right. Kyan's legs are too thin.


I like Carson's jacket. Leather.

Me: It's too Miami Vice. Just need to roll up the sleeves.


You’d get into Communism if Carson said it was slimming.


* My Mother does not have a Brooklyn accent. For some reason whenever I tell stories about her she ends up sounding like a Jewish housewife. She actually has a British accent with a slight elongation on some vowels due to the years spent in New Zealand.
Some background info - Christopher is my friend in London. You can read about him here. Christopher's ex-boyfriend, Will, was on a reality TV show in the U.S recently (Will is a Yank and lives in New York). Will has just started dating someone new but Christopher was not so upset because he's dating someone as well.

An hour after I made that last blog post, I get a call from Christopher. He had just read my blog and put two and two together. Will had told him, via email, that his new boyfriend "Jai" is away in London on business.

Yes, that Jai.

So, to clarify, Lizzie just met Christopher's ex boyfriend's new boyfriend who just happens to be Jai from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. And Christopher learnt the news from me, in New Zealand *waves*.


All that needs to happen now is for Ted to turn up at my Granddad's house and cook him Duck Confit.
This just in from Lizzie, our London correspondent:

"I can't believe Ellie met Carson! Cos, on the other side of the planet, I
was meeting Kyan and Jai! Totally bumped into them. Blew my cool. Got
autographs. They are ADORABLE.

My beautiful Kyan wrote:

I [heart] you!

So you see, he isn't gay! Um."

I want to take these sightings as a good omen about the elections, but as a lot of U.S. political commentators have already noted, it's not a good sign when the homos start fleeing the country...
My sister, Ellie, is in Australia on holiday and today she went to the Melbourne cup where she met Carson from Queer Eye. And Carson said she had great shoes. That’s like God complimenting you on your beard.
I’m applying for the unemployment benefit, but one of the little loop-holes is that I need to show that I’m actively looking for work. As I’m officially an actor over here (i.e. I chalked up a huge student debt at Drama School), I have to get an Agent and new headshots to qualify for financial support as an out-of-work actor.

I’m pretty confident that I’m going to get the best representation – I may have been in London for a few years but my New Zealand Acting CV still has legs, and let’s face it, I have an ass that just won’t quit.

So I’m soon to be an actor again! Auditioning! And, maybe even... acting! (In between the writing - lots and lots of writing - can’t forget the writing). Either that or I’ll just sit on my beautiful tush and get paid the benefit. It’s a win / win situation.

09/2003 / 10/2003 / 11/2003 / 12/2003 / 01/2004 / 02/2004 / 03/2004 / 04/2004 / 05/2004 / 06/2004 / 07/2004 / 08/2004 / 09/2004 / 10/2004 / 11/2004 / 12/2004 / 01/2005 / 02/2005 / 03/2005 / 04/2005 / 05/2005 / 06/2005 / 07/2005 / 08/2005 / 09/2005 / 10/2005 / 11/2005 / 12/2005 / 01/2006 /

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