pebblerocker: Vila from Blake's 7: I have a very low pain threshold (vila pain)
I've been feeling a little too smug about my phone - my cheap, simple, solid phone with its two-colour non-touch screen. Pretty much everyone I know has a shiny, bulky, expensive smartphone and lives in permanent fear of damaging it... everyone except the two or three people who are using smartphones with screens already smashed into crazed mosaics.

My little phone lives a hard life. I drop it onto concrete on average once a week, and it flies into three pieces completely unharmed; all I have to do is snap it back together and reset the date and time. But today I utterly destroyed it. I put my bike on its stand on a slope and it tipped over, and somehow a hard corner of the frame must have come down right on the screen and busted it completely. And unlike a smartphone, that type of screen becomes completely unreadable once it's broken. I tried out my memory for button-push sequences to send my parter a text, letting him know I wouldn't be able to read any texts from him, but apparently all I managed was sending a blank text.

Oh well, a new mobile phone can be my Christmas present to myself. At least it'll be under $30 to replace.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Every time I think I might post something here, I realise that a lot of it wouldn't make much sense without context, and I never get around to posting the "where I'm at" post.

I moved house. I moved from a smallish and cheap house in a noisy street to a beautiful roomy new house on the edge of town. This has been cause for some happiness and some distress. I love living in a really nice house, where the walls are a colour I chose and there are no neighbours zooming up and down the driveway past my window twenty times a day and it's wonderfully quiet and dark at night. I am distressed that not everybody gets this sort of thing. Life isn't fair and that bothers me even when the unfairness in my favour.

I am filled with shame when a person in my life says that I must have been doing a lot of positive thinking to attract such wealth from the Universe. According to her beliefs I wouldn't have received this if I didn't deserve it, and therefore I must be better than her and she'll have to do more affirmations until she deserves it too. This thinking is horrifying to me; being praised for winning at capitalism is not the sort of approval I want.

I'm trying to invent a system of town planning in which everyone can have a bedroom window looking out over trees and croplands instead of streetlights and roads. My ideal town needs to have fractal edges so everyone can live at the edge. Although perhaps there are outgoing types of people who wouldn't mind living in the middle with people all around them. I love being at home and not having to see or hear any people at all.

When the people in my old street heard I was moving out soon, several different people approached me to ask when my moving date was and whether they could move straight in after me. I'm happy to be out of that ticky-tacky box of a house, but it was at least sunny and dry and that makes it a very desirable house on that side of town. I met someone whose landlord had given her the minimum amount of notice right before Christmas and she'd had nowhere to go, so she was sleeping on her daughter's couch while her husband, who has a bad back, had to live in their car. And someone else whose place was mouldy and her children had bad asthma and the landlord wouldn't do anything about the pool of standing water under the house. And all I could do was say what rental agency to apply to. My few near neighbours in the new place are all middle-aged white people.

I do love this new house though. All the peace and quiet, the row of pine trees dividing my place from farmland, the grey warblers and tui and moreporks I hear in the trees. I started a bit of a herb garden and I like gardening better now I'm not being squashed by the weight of people's eyes looking at me whenever I'm outside. Moving house was very stressful but living here is taking away a lot of strain I didn't really know I could escape from.

Museum fun

Mar. 15th, 2012 07:54 pm
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I went with my family to The Poisoners at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. It's a murder mystery-themed programme which serves as an excuse to display all sorts of poison-related exhibits, as well as an immersive art and theatre experience. We all have a deep love of Cluedo in my family -- not necessarily the gameplay, but the atmosphere and the suspects and finding of clues and all the conventions of the murder mystery genre -- and The Poisoners was a bit like playing Cluedo with much more interesting props and locations.

On the day we went there was a detective on the scene, walking around talking to people and enlisting our help in solving the mystery; we were very impressed with his private-eye trenchcoat, his stubble, his pencil behind one ear, his Bronx accent which slipped only rarely... I thought even his shoes looked like detective shoes. I wished the actors playing the suspects had been there in person, instead of only in photos. The place was set up in four areas, one decorated as the lair of each suspect: the femme fatale's boudoir with her collection of poisonous plants, snakes and spiders; the marine biologist's submarine, containing a plasticised giant squid and lots of crabs and other sea creatures preserved in jars; the mad scientist's lab (actually the least interesting room, though it had a big button marked DO NOT PUSH); and the poacher's safari hut, featuring various animal skins and a large stuffed wildebeest.

The aim of the game was to figure out what killed Professor Splicer, using the clues hidden in the rooms and around the exhibits, and nail the culprit by finding which of them had that poison in their hideout. The clues weren't difficult to solve (it's fun for everyone but has to be solvable by reading-age children) but some of them were pretty hard to find! All the signs are in both English and Te Reo Maori; I only had time to solve the English clues and pick out Maori words I knew on the other signs, but I'd have liked to try to solve the mystery in Maori too. (Or find out just how badly I can't read Maori now.) And I'm going to have the chance for another go -- the clues have been changed since we went and there's a new mystery to solve! Presumably all the same set-up, but with the signs changed to point to a different item as the solution.

For those (two) of you who are in Auckland, I highly recommend a visit. It's $5 to get in (which includes your clue sheet and the loan of a pencil) and since there were 8 of us we thought it was quite a chunk of money, but after going through we'd all gladly have paid more for such a cool event. The whole thing is really well done; I'm amazed at the creativity and effort that went into putting it together.

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pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
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