11 April 2011

ABC of Me

I saw this over at Today is my Birthday and thought it seemed like a fun idea because it combines two of my favourite things: lists and alphabetising stuff:

A. Age: *cough*39*cough*.

B. Bed size: King. I'd like to pretend this is because six foot tall Eccentric English Boyfriend takes up a lot of room, but actually it's because I thrash around so much in my sleep you'd think I was in a World Wrestling Championship. Only without the ridiculous costumes. Unless pink puppy pyjamas count as a ridiculous costume.

C. Chores you dislike: Choooooooooores? Nah, you've lost me.

D. Dogs: This is my dog:

Dogs are awesome.

E. Essential start to your day: Coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee. And more sleep.

F. Favourite colour: Purple.

G. Gold or silver: Either, but if I had to choose probably gold. In ingot form.

H. Height: Five foot tall. Although five foot doesn't really count as tall.

I. Instruments you play(ed): I was awesome on the recorder. I also attempted the cello at high school when participation in the school orchestra was compulsory. Ear plugs should also have been compulsory.

J. Job title: Full-time mum? Homemaker? Domestic Goddess? All of which probably means I should do more of "C".

K. Kids: Yes. 15 Year Old Daughter and 11 Year Old Son. Maybe I should get them to do "C".

L. Live: By "Live" do you mean:
(a) where do I live;
(b) am I alive;
(c) is this blog post going out live or pre-recorded;
(d) do I like the 1990s rock band Live.
Please be more specific, you've made extra work for me. But because I like you I'll answer them all:
(a) West Auckland, New Zealand;
(b) yep, I had one of those tests done where they glue electrode thingamees to your head and monitor your brainwaves. I have brainwaves. I am not a zombie. 11 Year Old Son is disappointed by this.
(c) it's going out live right now. No ad breaks or anything. Please feel free to record and play back later.
(d) ugh. Wank Rock. Hate them.

M. Mum’s name: I have two mums, Colleen and Susan.

N. Nicknames: ManikPixi - normally shortened to Pixi.

O. Overnight hospital stays: Yes, after my two caesarians and also when 15 Year Old Daughter broke her elbow when she was three. She fell off the couch onto a toy. Toys are dangerous.

P. Pet peeves: Oh I have so many:
The noises people make when they eat;
people who stop their trollies in the middle of the supermarket aisle;
the way nobody ever puts stuff back in the right place in the fridge (I have a system, people, a system);
the way people are always un-alphabetising my herbs and spices (a system, people, a system)...
I think we should stop now. You're already thinking I'm a nutjob.

Q. Quote from a movie: I've drawn a blank. I really want to come up with some favourite movie witticism but my head is empty. Except for the shoes. And the unicorns.

R. Righty or lefty: Lefty. Potato peelers are the bane of my life.

S. Siblings: A half-sister, two foster-brothers and a foster-sister.

T. Time you wake up: I try not to.

U: Underwear: Oh love pretty lingerie. Not that you'd know it by the number of black cotton M&S briefs in my underwear drawer.

V. Vegetables you don’t like: Broccoli. Did you know it's a flower? No flower should ever taste that bad.

W. What makes you run late: Sleeping in.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: Lots. I am accident prone. And a hypochondriac.

Y. Yummy food you make: I make an awesome hummus. 15 Year Old Daughter says my Pumpkin Soup is her favourite food. 15 Year Old Daughter is my favourite daughter.

Z. Zoo animal favourites: Otters! And Tarantulas.

I'm probably supposed to tag other bloggers to do this. Just go ahead and do it if you feel so inspired, and don't forget to send me a link!

01 March 2011

In which I defend John Campbell

So, John Campbell has landed himself in a bit of hot water over his interview last night with Ken Ring. Let me start by saying that I there are two things I should be upfront about because I am, in all honesty, biased. First, John Campbell is my favourite current affairs personality. In fact he's my favourite New Zealand celebrity full-stop (it would be safe to say, and Eccentric English Boyfriend would agree, that I have a bit of a schoolgirl crush on him). Second, I have no time at all for Ken Ring - I don't even want to waste space here talking about him. There are some excellent sites out there debunking his theories - a very good post over on SciBlogs does just that.

Rather than going over last night's interview in great detail, I'd like to ask you to stop for a moment and give some thought to this:

Over the last few months John Campbell (and indeed many other members of New Zealand's media) have seen and reported first hand the terrible things that both nature and humanity are capable of. He was there after the first Christchurch earthquake interviewing shaken residents; he was on the West Coast talking to the grieving families, police and Pike River employees who were hoping against hope that they could bring their 29 miners out from the collapsed mine; he spoke to the heartbroken widow of a murdered man while her now fatherless son played around his feet; and this last week he's been back on the ground in Christchurch interviewing the shell-shocked, the grieving, the rescuers and the authorities. All the while he's been calm, he's been compassionate and he has very obviously cared. And bless him, he's even managed to be funny (favourite quote from this last week, in reference to a newly-arrived Australian USAR team: "bloody Aussies, sometimes they just make you smile actually.")

It is in his compassion that I think John Campbell's great strength lies. It's what helps the people he interviews  to open up to him and it's what draws us as viewers in. But it also has me wondering how on earth, at the end of a day when he's been faced with so much tragedy and grief, so much evidence of how truly horrible life can sometimes be, he can still carry on and not just give up in despair.

So at a time when we are all of us heartbroken for Christchurch, is it any wonder that when faced with a snake oil salesman whose "stick in a pin in the calendar, colour in the days either side of it and call it a prediction" schtick is needlessly frightening already-scared and very vulnerable Christchurch residents, John let his anger boil over and his journalistic standards slide?

Sure we hold our celebrities to high standards and we quite rightly ask our media to be impartial. As a general rule I would say we are justified in this. But they are human and under such trying circumstances can we really blame them for just occasionally letting that humanity show?