Saturday, November 19, 2005

Location location

In new and other news, a location scout came to the door today wanting to take some piccies. He was enamoured of our close spatial relationship with the (hot, male, possibly gay and loud muscle-car owning) neighbours since the drama series he’s scouting for requires two villas in close proximity. Suddenly my flatmate (for the purposes of this blog) Jock’s intimate view of next door's bedroom is real estate gold. For $500/day we would get our fence knocked down and a carport built. The neighbours, for their pain, would have astro-turf laid over their backyard carpark. At the very least. I wonder what the landlord, well, property managers will say?

In all truth they probably won’t care – last week the (family of Samoan) neighbours on the other side laid a ladder up against the fence the Grey Lynn Singles Club and gaily started constructing a tree-house at eye-level *in our tree*. Our tree. After ringing the propety manager I was assured that as the occupants of the Grey Lynn Singles Club we’re the ones who get to say yea or nay to any extra activity on the property. Armed with this knowledge I slunk next door with (lets call him) Hank to complain and inquire why they hadn’t asked our permission before extending their boundary rights over the fence. It transpired that the man of the house had, in fact, asked our old flatmate “Anna” just before she vacated the premises 6 months ago. How gaily she must have replied in the affirmative before galloping into the sunset. I was mollified by this piece of information however. When the neighbour told us he remembered when the tree in question was planted, 38 years ago, I decided he had some customary rights owing. So now we have a tree-house. And lovely neighbours. Tonight they came over with a huge yummy plate of barbecue food. I'm planning on making a christmas cake to return the hospitality. Most excellent.

Four reasons to be a groupie

All’s quiet on the romance-research front. I’ve just started one of two new jobs and both are excessively populated by women. In one I find myself ghettoised into a corner, surrounded by girls who shop. They seem nice and certainly efficient, but sadly foreign. And certainly very female. However, there are alternative solutions to the man-drought than screwing the crew…. I hasten to add that this blog is unrelated to any *recent* activity on my part…..

I never used to “get” groupies – why enter into a completely lop-sided and exclusively physical arrangement with someone just because of what they do? But as time has passed I’ve had to acknowledge that lots of women, and frankly, men as well, are irresistibly drawn to a public expression of skill. Indeed I’ve been guilty of this myself on a number of occasions. So rather than get into a moralising or feminist argument against, I’ve started thinking about why.

I strongly suspect the cult of personality in which that elusive 15 minutes of fame are tantalisingly within almost-reach have contributed. You can’t have the fame but you can have the famous. Bonking someone with skills and talents that you will never possess is a way of owning those skills and talents, if only for a moment. And in a the context of a hyper-real universe (read “the internet”), stimulation seeking and flexible and self-invented identities are normal. When you’re a groupie you can try on someone else’s success and skill by proxy, just like you can be anyone you want to be in a chatroom.

In defence of casual sex with famous people it must be said that Paris Hilton is hardly a girl who deserves a discerning groupie. Back in the 70s when they were mostly female and orally or otherwise attached to the dicks of bands like Led Zep, groupies were drawn to skill at something new, exciting and avant garde. Simply being famous was not enough. So while being a groupie is a little like letting the whole world’s selfish gene vote on who’s got the best genetic material, it’s also a more discerning process involving taste for a particular (musical or other) aesthetic. And in a cyber-world, suddenly poets, journalists, and geeky film-makers who get on the next big wave can add their imprints to those of the girly- and not-so- musicians who never used to attract a smile either.

And yes, yes being a groupie is hardly a recommended activity for getting a long-term gig with a significant other. But this is all about the alternatives, isn’t it? Given that most people’s object of choice is unlikely to share their interests or perspectives it I say they’d be wise to take what they can get and leave the rest. Or just lie back and think of Cynthia ( - be aware this site features flying penises…. Or try

But for those with more refined or eclectic taste in achievement:

Richard Reeve

Kelly Pendergrast

John White

Renee-Louise Carafice

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Oh I've got a plan

Well the two of you who read this blog may be relieved or disappointed to know that there was no retaliative pranking after my last post. I certainly was. This post brings contemplations on the state of being single in Grey Lynn that have nothing to do with living with three men. But who knows what the future will bring??

According to recent reports in scar-mongering publications like TVNZ’s recent article on the man-drought in the 30-34 demographic thanks to able-bodied blokes fleeing a recessional New Zealand after finishing university in the mid-90s. The implication is that single 30-something women in urban areas are now in a disadvantageous position when looking for love (or whatever). However the man-drought is hardly news. At my late stage in single life (a creaking, disgruntled 30), anyone my own age without a partner usually has qualities that make them somewhat undesirable as an intimate companion. (Sadly I suppose that theoretically includes me as well - certainly those looking for a sugar-mummy should try elsewhere.) I’m not sure having a smaller pool of strange, hairy or impoverished men to choose from really makes much difference to the average single 30-something woman. There are a variety of work-arounds of course – go younger, older, foreign - mail-order perhaps – but the age-old problem remains. Why and how would you attach yourself permanently to someone who isn’t a total knob-end?

Now that everyone takes women’s independence for granted, why to attach oneself to a man has become a vexed question and open for much heated debate. While I’ve made some ghastly errors in judgement when it comes to (alcoholic, workaholic, mentally ill, irritatingly jealous) partners, I must say I’ve never really had the urge to marry them. In spite of the life-stage-retarded implications of living in the Grey Lynn Singles Club I rather like my whimsical life-style of random parties, chats on the deck and the ogling of hot-bodied men bought into the house by various flatmates. What compensations could possibly draw me towards a more mundane domestic existence with someone strange and hairy? Desire for children – check. Desire for stability and emotional connection – check. Late-onset maturity and wanting to be a “real woman” – not as yet. Financial security – I wish. Ditto regular sex of course but after reflecting on the ghastly errors in judgement detailed above, I’ve decided to live without in the meantime. There are a myriad of social, psychological and biological reasons for getting attached to a man - the zen of it really comes when contemplating the “how” which is where Carrie Bradshaw made her money and why the demographers are getting all excited about a reduced pool of 30-something men.

Obviously I’m not really in a position to offer advice on getting a guy, given my ghastly errors list. I don’t really get the dating scene in Auckland, having moved here (as all two of you know) from Southland via Dunedin. I’m taking this opportunity to announce, however, a series (we’ll see how long this goes) of VERY SERIOUS blogs on how to get some in Auckland. The research will be EXHAUSTIVE. If there’s a way I’ll find it. And you shall know all about it.