I was about to get ready to go out tonight and celebrate the end of / the beginning of a new year when I realised I hadn't signed off for 2004. I'd happily collude with ABC News to say it’s been the year of the blog, writing like this has definitely shaped the way I see the world. My resolution, therefore, is to have a re-design – or in fact, a first design. This blog needs bells and whistles and go go boys, dammit.
Bring on 2005, I say.
I’m watching TV out of the corner of my eye. That’s how I watch the box now. If I have to swivel my head I don’t get so engrossed. Well, you try and write a book then.
Best Scene I have Ever Watched Out of the Corner of My Eye:
Almost Famous (2000)
: (standing on roof at house party, about to jump into the pool. Everyone at the party has gathered around to watch) And you can tell Rolling Stone magazine that my last words were... I'm on drugs!
: Russell! I think we should work on those last words!
: I got it, I got it. Last words: I dig music.
, polite clapping.)
: I'm on drugs!
I think in a few more weeks, I might need to get glasses.
Can we talk about Hi-5 for a second? For anyone unfamiliar with the cultural phenomenon that is Hi-5, allow me to explain. They are big. Bigger than Barney big. Five incredibly peppy Australians dance around and sing catchy songs, wearing lurid spandex tops with little care for their dignity but lots of thought for all the money they’re raking in. Because Hi-5 is crack for kids.
I’d seen the show on TV in London and I have to admit, I didn’t think much of it. After the Teletubbies and the Tweenies and those mad puff-ball creatures that dance around, I couldn’t imagine how real people - with their normal sized eyes and lack of antennae or fur or bright stripes - could captivate young children, even if the people in question were
Stick Harri in front of the telly at 8 am (An hour and a half after he usually wakes up) as Hi-5 begins, however, and he turns into a zombie. His face goes slack, he slumps in his high chair. His jaw will automatically open and close so you can shovel as much of his weet-a-bix and milk and fruit puree into his little mouth before the spell wears off. And if there’s time, you can sneak onto the couch for a few more minutes shut eye, while he watches entranced.
Other shows don’t have the same effect. It’s something about the singing and the exuberance and the talking to camera that holds Harri’s attention. Holly and I sat on the couch for an hour the other day, speculating about the lives of the Hi-5vers. We thought that Tim (second from left) was dating Kellie (first from left). Nathan is probably the kids favourite, even if he is getting a bit tubby. Charli (last) is my favourite and probably dates someone with dreads. Hol said that Kathleen (middle) had the best body, but Kellie had the best tits.
I can totally understand how parents get roped into the excitement of whatever their offspring are obsessed by and I’m not just saying that because we decided to go to the live Hi-5 show when it comes to Wellington in a few weeks.
Oh who am I kidding. Hi-5, I think I love you.
Ah, it's good to be back.
Note to self: Do not end a post with the words "at gunpoint" and then fail to blog for over a week, or you will start to worry people. Sorry people!
Lot's of life stuff has been happening - some good, some bad. I'm staying at my sisters until just after Christmas and as she's not connected to the Interweb I'll fill you in on all the sordid details from the 27th. Have a great one x Drew.
Five Things I Didn’t Know About Writing a Book
often translates into Resident Babysitter
Guys you’re dating will call at any old time because they think all you do is sit at a computer, waiting for them to ring, which is generally true.
Every time your Mother goes on the computer, she will complain that “it's much slower than it used to be” because obviously
your book (all eight word documents, plus backups) is choking up her hard drive.
Your Mother will appear in the middle of the night and exclaim that your typing is too loud and ask if you really have to type that loud, to which the answer is, yes - tap, tap, tap.
At the end of the day you’d rather pull yourself over hot coals with a refrigerator tied to your back than reply to a simple email. Blogging has to be performed drunk and at gunpoint.
Joan of Arcadia.
Best. Show. Ever. And yes, I am a fifteen year old girl.
Drunken messages from friends in London. I love you too. Ya drunks.
as my pool boy. In my fantasy he rescues a hedgehog from drowning and we celebrate with a bottle of cinzano. Toby and I, that is. The hedgehog doesn’t drink cinzano.
. When there is nothing else to help me procrastinate, I always have you - friend; opponent; secret lover.
Still being a non smoker (how many months is that now?). Yesterday New Zealand became smoke free – no more lighting up in bars or restaurants. I’m not gloating, honest.
. For the swearing. And the tasteless sex scenes. Yes, I am a fifteen year old boy. Fuck Yeah.
Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere. Anyone want to sit on the beach with me tomorrow?
. Faith, how could you get it so wrong? Not even the fact that she’s called Tru Davies makes it bearable any more (I’m Drew Davies, gettit?). I hate you Eliza. And Jason Priestly looks puffy. Apparently the show has ‘...the sexiness and speed of "Run Lola Run," plus the ticking clock suspense of "24,"’ I want to squeeze the eyeballs of whoever wrote that, with my thumbs.
Chris. Nostalgia just isn’t what it used to be.
Staying home on Friday nights. I’m starting to talk to the TV as if it’s an animate object.
Hurting your shoulder. I’m doing too much freestyle, apparently. Now I have to demote myself every few days and do breaststroke
. Why can’t it all be perfect first time round?
Finding something to do for New Year’s in Wellington. Everyone says that private parties are the way to go. But I don’t know
anyone to get invited *yells obscenities at television*
Harri woke up tonight at 6pm from his nap, to a slightly more tolerant world. This afternoon the New Zealand Government voted in favour of the Civil Union Bill which, boiled down, means gay unions are now recognised in this country.
There has been very vocal opposition to the bill. We have our own epiglottal churches – or whatever they’re called – and they tried their zealot best to muddy the issue with vitriol. An eleven year old child wrote to Parliament, explaining that we were "violent, haters of God, disobedient, unforgiving, unloving, backbiters and whisperers ... worthy of death," which quite frankly is a beautifully constructed sentence. The sentiment is a bit fucked up, but it has lovely rhythm.
Luckily for Ma, who now wants me married off to a rich Doctor A.S.A.P., the bill became legislation.
"It gives the simplest of things -- the formal recognition and respect by our laws for the individual choices of New Zealanders," said David Benson-Pope (great last name), minister in charge of the Bill.
Conservation Minister Chris Carter, is already planning a civil union with his partner Peter Kaiser as soon as the law is implemented. Bless.
It has been a truly magical day. Thank you New Zealand. You’ve made a young gay man very proud indeed.
Monthly Newsletter: Month Two. Or whatever.
You've been gone for two months now. Or something. I forget.
It's been an eventful time. You've travelled all the way to the other side
of the planet. You've started to write a novel. You've begun to find cute
people to have sex with, even in Wellington. You've bonded with your nephew. You met Aladdin.
I have been learning, too. I've learned to go to Balan's alone, or with others. I've learned it can still be fun, just not as much fun.
And that isn't all. I've finished reading that sodding novel I'd been carting around for ages. I've eaten snails and Krispy Kreme donuts for the first time. The snails were OK. The donuts were better - it's true about the glaze. Mmmm. I've found someone cute to have sex with who isn't a total bell-end. I put my back out for the first time. It's possible that the last two items were related. I met a bunch of famous people, and asked them questions. I ate a lot of small, free items of food given to me by wait staff. I bought a skirt that cost £9.99 - it still hasn't come apart yet.
The world has changed, too. The USA voted for President Bush again, and although that makes me sad, I am glad you are safe in New Zealand with the no nuclear power and with the dreadlocked politicians on skateboards, and all the drinking water. Chris and Billie have split up for good, and all of Blue have fathered children, which means there was a chartable boy band with no bummers. Kerry and Brian McFadden may or may not be back together. These are uncertain times.
My hopes for the future are simple. I hope I get a lot of Christmas presents. I hope Kate Winslet agrees to play the character kind of based on me in the film of the book. I hope I don't have to work too much over Christmas. I hope my mum buys a lot of cheese and crackers for the holidays
Oh, and I should probably wish stuff for you too, innit? I hope you enjoy your time with your family. I hope the book goes well. I hope you get a commercial for toothpaste or shaving products - you would totally rock at that. I hope you come back. I hope that, when you do, you don't forget my gift.
'Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.'
The Lizard, (detail)
Tom Stoppard, "Artist Descending a Staircase"
I’ve just noticed a massive red sticker on the bottom right corner of Johni’s painting, The Lizard
. Does this mean he’s sold a piece? Ma says it’s a cunning ruse and he put the sticker on himself to give the impression that they’re selling like hot cakes. Gosh, that works! Better get in quick before they’re all gone! They’ll make great Christmas Presents! *Jumps off balcony*
It was Harri’s first birthday yesterday. In case you’re not an Uncle, let me just tell you that this is a very important event. I thought long and hard about my present, especially when I realised I might not be in the same country as Harri on his birthday for quite a few years to come.
Harri loves it when you spin things for him - phones, TV remotes, Harri – so I thought I’d buy him a spinning top. I went to a lovely toy shop called Tiddley Pom
where they had a selection of good quality toys. You could tell they were good quality because they were very expensive. That’s how you tell.
There were a range of tops – free standing ones, others with toys inside that rattled round as they spun. I decided on a medium sized one with ducks painted on which made a humming noise. They wrapped it real nice because it’s called Tiddley Pom
and they have quality toys.
The birthday party was at my sister’s apartment complex. Her flat is brand new but small so luckily there was an extra communal room big enough to fit the thirty or so people. Apart from me, the Uncle, there was Holly (the Mother), Ma (who will not be called Grandmother, so we have coined the phrase Old Ka Ka instead. Since we made up the name someone told us that Ka Ka in Moari means poo
), my sister (the Aunt) and her boyfriend, Ryan (the Dad) his brother (another Uncle) and their Mum (Gran) - plus friends. Oh, and Harri.
We’ve been singing Happy Birthday to Harri for weeks now so that he doesn’t get scared. He loves it. He whoops when you begin and claps his hands and sings along. At the end he pumps his little fists in the air. After we’d sung Happy Birthday for the seventh time, Holly decided to open presents.
These are a selection of the gifts: A working dump truck with lego-like bricks, a crazy dash board with lights and noises and a little vibrating man that made Harri giggle, another truck with real sound, a toy telephone with lights and buzzers and shit, and – get this – a toy turn table, with beats and crazy noises and effects – and of course flashing lights. The party had become a friggin’ laser show.
Whose present was opened next? That’s right. The spinning top was ripped open. It looked smaller than I remembered. No one said ‘what does it do?’ but I know that people were thinking it. My sister pumped the handle, god bless her, but it didn’t really work on carpet. ‘It makes a humming noise,’ I said when she gave up and opened another truck with realistic sounds and flashing lights.
After we’d cut the cake and sung Happy Birthday again (that kid was sure milking it) Holly came up to me.
‘Thanks for the spinning top,’ she said. ‘It’ll probably be the only thing I let Harri play with. Some of those other toys are going to drive me crazy.’
‘It hums a bit,’ I said quietly, as she patted me on the arm.
Chris just told me that the song that got him through our break up ten years ago was Alanis Morissette’s You Outta Know
. The first three lines of the song are:
I want you to know, that I'm happy for you
I wish nothing but the best for you both
An older version of me
I miss Alanis. She doesn’t return my calls anymore.
Today’s pick: Scribble Me This
I want to be a funny Dad one day.
While the show is on, Chris is staying with friend’s parents in their apartment. It’s pretty swanky. I know, because I’ve sneaked around the place all week. They wouldn’t mind if they found out I was there, but it’s not great etiquette to invite someone over if you’re a guest yourself.
Last night I suggested we go to my house instead because everyone would be asleep. When I opened the door all the lights were already turned off so we crept into the darkness.
‘Hi Drew,’ came my Ma’s voice, clear as a bell from her room.
‘Er, hi. I’ve brought Chris back for a bit of a pash.’
The slightest of pauses followed.
‘O.K. Hi Chris.’
‘Hello, Mrs Davies.’
Sneaking around, bringing friends home and waking my Mother in the middle of the night - I think I’m officially a teenager again.
: This is pretty nifty; a “community of New Zealand-centric weblogs” with regular columnists who take a look at the issues of the day.
There’s a gap in the market over here for regular comment and critique so I’m very interested to see if this takes off. p.s. Would love to write for you sometime, Mr Brown.