Friday, 31 January 2014

Wilder & Tamer


~ My uncle joined facebook a while back and has been uploading a shit ton of old family photos, like the gem above (that's my Dad second from the end). It's so great seeing photos of my uncles and aunties as kids, and also getting to know my extended family and genealogy better.

~ Winning competitions. Double pass to the movies? I'll take it!
~ I went to an incredible Curator's talk on Te Papa's current World of Wearable Arts exhibition. Seriously folks, keep an eye out for these things. They are free and they are good.

~ Passing an unwelcome parenting milestone - Koko's first tummy bug. Vomit in the car. Vomit on me. Yuck.

~ Catching aforementioned tummy bug. Not cool. Not cool at all.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Wilder Web

My friend Arihia introduced me to Wilder Woman Mickalene Thomas. Check out her art works created using Rhinestones (!!!), Acrylic and Enamel.

Who wants to have their heart broken a little? You do? Check out this series of photos of actor John Schneider. (via Jessica Valenti)

Want to feel simultaneously inspired, awed, & completely inadequate as a parent? Check out Cardboard Box Office. (via Matt) 
"The project began after finding that we had accumulated both a lot of cardboard boxes (due to moving to a new country) and a baby (due to giving birth). With our social lives drastically altered we decided to find a way to make some of those housebound weekends a little more fun."

I love Lorde, & I'm so happy for her following her well deserved Grammy wins. I also love this Royals parody that is freakishly accurate for those of us a little more advanced in age than the girl wonder.

Inspiring ~

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Wilder Wardrobe ~ Grammy Favourites

This list is short. It is short because I didn't actually watch all that much of the awards themselves, or the pre-show red carpet. It is short because a lot of the outfits I did see were, well, meh. Boring. Uninspired. Not a lot caught my attention, but here are a few of the looks that did ~ 

Taylor Swift

I never expected Taylor Swift to be leading a Wilder Wardrobe Favourites list of mine. Not that I have anything against Swift (okay, maybe I do, just a little), but her style is not usually to my taste. I love this gown on her. It looks like chain mail, in the best possible way. Sexy chain mail. 

Kelly Osborne

It looked like Kelly had had her lavender locks freshly cut and dyed for the occasion. I like it. I like the make up, especially the gorgeous fuchsia lip. I love the simple black dress made interesting by the jewelled shoulder caps. I love the manicure and rings. I love the gothic floor length draping of the hem. I love it all.

Cyndi Lauper

Oh, Cyndi. You are perfection. I was so pleasantly surprised to see Cyndi on the red carpet. Not just because I am A Fan, but also because Look! Look at this interesting, original and fantastic ensemble! I would wear this. I would wear this ALL THE TIME. Bravo, Cyndi! And congrats on the Grammy win too.

For more Wilder Wardrobe Favourites, check out my Golden Globes list here. Coming soon ~ The Oscars.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Wilder Women ~ The Ross Sisters

Here's some sartorial & menu inspiration for your summer picnics. But be warned: perhaps do not watch if you are easily grossed out. One word: Contortionists ~

(via Sera)

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Wilder Web

This Is What I Mean When I Say "White Feminism". Intersectionality, yo! Learn it, live it.
""White feminism" does not mean every white woman, everywhere, who happens to identify as feminist. It also doesn't mean that every "white feminist" identifies as white. I see "white feminism" as a specific set of single-issue, non-intersectional, superficial feminist practices. It is the feminism we understand as mainstream; the feminism obsessed with body hair, and high heels and makeup, and changing your married name. It is the feminism you probably first learned. "White feminism" is the feminism that doesn't understand western privilege, or cultural context. It is the feminism that doesn't consider race as a factor in the struggle for equality."
 Ugh, I did not know about this: The Woody Allen Story We Need To Stop Forgetting. Agreat piece on whether or not we can still love the work of reprehensible people.
"Last night when Woody was awarded a lifetime achievement award for what is undoubtably an outstanding, untouchable body of work, his biological son Ronan tweeted: "Missed the Woody Allen tribute - did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?""
Gah! The coolness! I'll take everything from the YmamaY? Winter 2014 range in size adult, please.

All roads lead to philosophy, on Wikipedia. The idea is that if you follow the first link from any article on Wikipedia, you will eventually end up at Philosophy. I tried it, starting with a randomly generated article on Sampans, Jura. 16 clicks later I was at Modern Philosophy, 17 clicks I was at Philosophy. Try it.

I got 13 out of 17 in this quiz on the opening lines of books. Can you do better?

I mentioned on twitter that one of my pet peeves is when people who missed out on Oscar nominations are described as having been 'snubbed', and my friend Francis directed me to this brilliant piece for The Movie Club ~ Why critics love Inside Llewyn Davis: It's about a critic.

"My highly scientific analysis of what happened with the nominations this morning is this: Those guys like stuff you don’t like and vice versa. Whatever and whoever else they are, academy voters are not critics..."
And then pretty much as soon as I got done reading the above article, my friend Cam tweeted a link to Robbed at the Oscars. How very serendipitous.

"It’s not that I have anything against attachment moms or eco-tree-huggers or health people or Team Green or any of them, it’s just that the SECOND you stick that label on my forehead is the SECOND I FALL DESPERATELY AND TERRIBLY SHORT and walk around feeling less than and like I’ve betrayed something. My people. My team."
Amen to the brilliant In the Name of Love.

"DWYL is a secret handshake of the privileged and a worldview that disguises its elitism as noble self-betterment."
A surprise Pride and Prejudice cosplay engagement. Amazing.

I vividly remember being banned from the living room while my older siblings watched the 1987 film version of Flowers in the Attic. Now the incest-heavy book will be a Lifetime movie.
"In a world where Fifty Shades of Grey—which is far more explicit with its sex scenes and includes rape, but not incest—is now a bestseller, one wonders if Flowers in the Attic will resonate with a new audience. It’s tough to find someone under the age of 30 who has even heard of the series, let alone read it. When I asked my twenty-year-old students what their generation’s Flowers in the Attic is, they were stumped. The closest they could come was Twilight. While Twilight certainly has an underlying abuse trope, it doesn’t hold a candle to Flowers in the Attic. My students hypothesized that their generation has the Internet, so they don’t need to read dirty books under the covers."

Habits of the World's Wealthiest People. I'm pretty sure that incorporating these habits into your life will make it better, money or no money.

Why I hate "I hate children..." Yes! Hate this sooo much.

The China National Orchestra performing Katy Perry's Roar. Seriously ~

(via Dooce)

Dancing always makes a movie better ~

(also via Dooce)

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Wilder Women ~ Tami Neilson

I'm taking my Dad to see Tami Neilson live tonight for his birthday. Hope she does this cover ~

Country + Soul = Good.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Wilder & Tamer


~ YA Reading Bingo. I love a good reading list to work through.

~ My first week back at work has gone really well. Long may this goodness continue.
~ Getting to spend all day with kids, which means building towers out of blocks again and again, trying a new configuration every time a toddler sends the previous structure toppling down.
~ Last night's outing to the Botanical Gardens to see The Digg play. Koko handled it like a pro, even though we were there two hours after her usual bedtime. Awesome sauce! Gonna try again next week for Eb & Sparrow.
~ Compliments. Nice to give, lovely to receive.


~ Online arguments, where people either miss the point entirely, or ignore the question being asked, or use it to air an unrelated grievance.  Ugh, interwebs, I love you, but sometimes I need my space so I can head-desk to full effect.

~ Accusing an author of plagiarism on twitter & having them find my tweet & respond to me. Big whoops.
~ I completely missed an appointment I had scheduled for this week, for no other reason than it just vanished from my brain. What a dick.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Wilder Web

Eep! A Literary Street Map! I want it! Exclamation Point!

When I got pregnant I told everyone straight away, before I even knew my due date. This article, Why we shouldn't have to keep pregnancy a secret for the first trimester, explains why. (via Boganette)

If you've seen the movie Thirteen (& you really should have seen this film) you might like this q&a by the films stars, Evan Rachel Wood & Nikki Reed, on the tenth anniversary of its release.

Alexandra Franzen's piece about hate-blogging & bullying is great. It says succinctly exactly what I was trying to get across to a friend recently. I wish I'd had this at the ready for them to read at the time. 
"Save your outrage — and save your energy, your power, your capacity to enact real, meaningful change, your precious time on this planet — for something worthy of your gifts."
We may not all be able to spend our birthdays in Hawai'i hanging with Oprah, but we can follow Michelle Obama's lead and take some time to ourselves once in a while. It's important to escape your family every now and then, even if it's just for a few hours. (via Eve)

I remember when the referendum on the anti-smacking bill happened, I was gobsmacked by friends who were vehemently against the law changes. Of all the laws to get passionately worked up over, they chose the one about hitting children. Coley speaks with sense in I was smacked as a child, and that's not ok.

More on smacking. As much as I hate to send clicks to The Daily Blog, this piece brings together a swag of research on why smacking is a no-no.

Ten ways to make sure your kids don't grow up all moany and dependent. (via Erena) Hate the title, and some of the phrasing, but there's some good advice hiding in there too.

Everybody has a story. These are the stories of the families taking shelter at a Women's Refuge. These are the women and children you are helping when you donate money, goods & services.

Oh my gosh, I have a feeling I neglected to link to this AMAZING interview that one of my bestest friends, Noush, did on her experience living with Alopecia.

"If you need a loan, as most poor people eventually do, you will end up paying an interest rate many times more than what a more affluent borrower would be charged. To be poor—especially with children to support and care for—is a perpetual high-wire act."
A roundtable discussion featuring actresses Oprah Winfrey, Emma Thompson, Amy Adams, Octavia Spencer, Julia Roberts, and the most incredible looking woman in the world, Lupita Nyong'o ~

(also via Boganette)

He just doesn't want to get his hair wet. Oh, Dogs ~ 

(via Dooce)

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Wilder Wardrobe ~ Golden Globes Favourites

Here's my completely shallow commentary on the fashion choices of yesterday's Golden Globes Awards, based entirely on the snippets of footage that I happened to see throughout the day. (What I mean to say is, severely under-researched. Lazy for the win!)

Lupita Nyong'o

This woman is flawless. She has that kind of luminous beauty that you would stare at if you came across her in real life. And she also seems to have flawless taste. Look at this dress! It manages to be completely glam and yet classically understated at the same time. I won't be the only one searching her out on every red carpet from here on out.

Sofia Vergara

I'm not usually a fan of Vergara's style, but for some reason this really works for me. Again, this dress could be completely over the top, but the black manages to keep it from going too far. And I love the necklace. I have a wedding coming up next month and that necklace is exactly what I'm looking for to complete my outfit. I wonder if she'd let me borrow it...

Cate Blanchett

Has Cate Blanchett ever gotten it wrong? EVER? I think not. She gets Golden Globes bonus points from me for sassing out Bono with "Your first album was really good." Boom!

Elisabeth Moss

Stand up straight, Elisabeth! That dress is hot! It's original and interesting. The shoes and earrings are perfect with it. Moss totally deserved her win for Top of the Lake. And she also wins Golden Globes sass points from me for this.

Alex Ebert

This dude. I had no idea who he was before, but he's well and truly on my radar now. When he stood up to receive his award my first thought was "I want to run my fingers through that man's hair." After he shared a moment with Diddy on stage my second thought was "I want to party on a yacht in St Barts with this man." The man knows how to wear tails, that's for sure.

Zoe Saldana

I'm not in love with the bottom half of this dress, but you couldn't see that when Saldana was presenting an award, so this still gets a Wilder Wardrobe win from me.

Emma Watson

What I love about Emma Watson is that she loves fashion, and she isn't afraid to experiment. Actually, there's a heck of a lot more that I love about Emma Watson, but this is about the frocks, and this is one that I liked.

Emma Stone

Had she been nominated for an award, I would have preferred to see a little more glam from Stone, but this choice was perfect for presenting an award. Simple yet interesting. Classy yet fun. 

Diane Keaton

Some people would maybe like to see Keaton mix it up a little more with her fashion choices. But why try something different when what she's got going on is working so damn well for her? I mean, just look at this perfection! I bet half the women in the audience saw this and wished they could pull off this look. Keaton has worn a lot of suits over the years, and I think this one is my favourite. The glasses and hair top it off perfectly. 

What do you think? Have I missed any spectacular frocks or suits that were on your list?

Monday, 13 January 2014


Today is Kowhai's second birthday. Two years ago today I was pacing the corridors of Hutt Hospital in a zombie-like state after two nights of no sleep. I was moaning and howling and roaring. I was making a mental note of the name of the anaesthetist who gave me an epidural so I could nominate her for canonisation. And, finally, I was holding Kowhai, the girl who everyone thought was going to be a boy.

You will have heard the often quoted parenting cliche - they grow up so quickly. To be honest, it hasn't really felt all that fleeting so far. There are days and weeks on end where it seems like nothing is changing. Then there are times when Kowhai comes up with a new saying, or performs a new trick, and I realise the massive changes taking place in her. I had one of those moments of marvel a few days ago, when I said to Apa "Can you believe she's been here for two years?" But it was a double edged awe; there was the wonder of how quickly two years has passed, but also, the disbelief that here is this little person with a personality so completely formed, and who is such a huge part of my life, and I've only known her for two years.

I experienced an overpowering moment of realisation last night. We've recently taken the sides off Kowhai's cot, and as I lay in my bed in the darkness, I was hyper aware of every creak and moan coming from within the walls of our home. I was on high alert. Was that soft bump the thud of Kowhai falling out of her cot, onto the mattress we've been keeping next to her? Was that creak the click of an intruders bones as he comes to spirit my babe away? (I have an irrational fear of the dark, specifically of home intruders.) As I lay there, body tensed, ears pricked up, senses vigilant, I had an epiphany. This is my life now. That other motherhood cliche about how having children is like your heart walking around outside of your body is so true. I need to know how she is. I need to know that she is okay. I will always be listening, watching, aware. And I will feel this feeling forever. When she goes to sleepovers I will be half-awake, listening in case the phone rings and I have to pick her up. When she goes to parties I will not sleep properly until the second she steps through our front door, home again. When she moves out of home I will need to know that she is safe, happy, healthy. I am a Mama. This is my life now.

Kowhai is two. She has unruly hair, and an impressive fat lip from when she face planted the ground yesterday. She is good at climbing and jumping, but not always good at watching where she is going. She has enormous blue eyes rimmed with long, thick, dark, enviable lashes. She likes The Wiggles & Yo Gabba Gabba. She is cheeky and mischievous, sweet and bossy. She has an outie belly button and a freckle on her left shin in the exact same place that I have a birthmark. This, more than anything, marks her as mine. She is my daughter. I had a hand in making her. She came from me. It says so right there on her leg.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Wilder & Tamer


~ Cracked Pepper Pate - the perfect blend of creamy, sweet, savoury & spicy. Delish!

~ Friends. New friends, old friends, and everything in between. I have been overdosing in friend time over the holiday period, and it has been very good for my soul.

~ Drinking Buddies. Don't let the name fool you. This movie is smart & relevant & really good & REAL.
~ Holidays. Having a big chunk of time where Apa & I are both home at the same time is awesome.


~ Getting a hole in my brand new Kowtow top on the first wear. A tiny hole, but still, stink buzz.
~ The impossibility of finding pants that fit.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Wilder Web

Tavi Gevinson interviews Lorde for Rookie. This pretty much wins the internet.
"I think I’m speaking for a bunch of girls when I say that the idea that feminism is completely natural and shouldn’t even be something that people find mildly surprising. It’s just a part of being a girl in 2013."

Ani DiFranco's faux-pology: White privilege and the year in race. As a white woman and a fan of Ani DiFranco, this was a little hard to read, but so important. 
"When I think about my own first experience visiting a plantation in South Louisiana for a class “heritage trip” I remember discomfort coursing through my twelve year old body, whispering to the 3 other black kids on a trip with more than 70 students about the dishonest way they talked about slavery, the way they referred to the “servants’ quarters” out back, the fact those were not a part of the tour."

Working on my own spoken word pieces, I'm going to be forever referencing this 11 year old South African girl. Amazing talent.

I am so angry at David Carter & the media's representation of tikanga Maori in relation to powhiri at parliament. This piece is the most excellent explanation of powhiri that I have read. I know I say this all the time, but: SO IMPORTANT! And also, so interesting.

It's slightly depressing, but I'd like to see a New Zealand version of this article ~ 20 things the poor really do every day. (via Yes and Yes)

My bro played this Nelly/BeeGees mash up for me the other day, & now I'm sharing it with you. I'm good like that ~

This Contemporary Dance How-To video is hilarious and so freakishly accurate ~
(via Trixie Boom)

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Wilder World of Books ~ 2013 in Review

Here's a list of everything I read last year, and what I thought of it. I know, I'm such an original.

The Corrections ~ Jonathan Franzen

This took me a while to get into, but once I was in it was a doozy. So awesome and yet completely awkward and uncomfortable. The thing that I love about Franzen is that he writes some deplorable characters, and yet every time they make a decision or action that I completely hate, I understand exactly why they are doing it.
"What you discovered about yourself in raising children wasn't always agreeable or attractive."
Truth, Jonathan Franzen. Truth.

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit ~ Judith Kerr

There is a plethora of WWII/holocaust literature out there for children and young adults. This isn't one of the better books I've read that fit that category. I feel a bit 'meh' about this book. Kind of because it's a kids book, rather than young adults, and kind of because it just wasn't that exciting.
Picnic at Hanging Rock ~ Joan Lindsay

So, so creepy and mysterious and magical and strange. You can read more about what I thought of it here.

Quillworker: A Cheyenne Legend ~ Written & Adapted by Terri Cohlene, Illustrated by Charles Reasoner

Sometimes when I am on a road trip, or playing chauffer for Apa, I'll buy a book at an op shop just to have something to read in the car. This was one of those books. It was beautifully illustrated, and included information on traditional Cheyenne life as well as the Quillworker legend. I've added it to Kowhai's bookshelf, as I'm trying to ensure her library is representative of as many cultures as possible.

Te Puea Herangi: From Darkness to Light ~ Michael King

This was another one picked up second hand to read in the car. This book had some personal relevance, as Apa and Kowhai are Herangis, so reading this was like researching a branch of their family tree. Te Puea is an amazing Wilder Woman, and I'd love to learn more about her.

Dreamhunter & Dreamquake ~ Elizabeth Knox

When I get out of the reading habit I often reread a young adult fiction that I've liked in the past. That's what these were.
The Alex quartet ~ Tessa Duder

Dreamhunter and Dreamquake obviously weren't enough to get me re-inspired to read new books, so I reread the entire Alex series as well.
Sydney Bridge Upside Down ~ David Ballantyne

A New Zealand novel that seems to be experiencing a rise in popularity, perhaps because a stage production of this story toured last year. This reminded me a lot of The God Boy, in that it is told from the point of view of a boy/young man whose take on what is happening around him isn't entirely trustworthy. It is dark and odd and unsettling.
The Rosie Project ~ Graeme Simsion

If you are looking for holiday reading that is light and fun and still really, really good, then this is the book I recommend. It is a quirky love story that is sweet and funny.

The Great Gatsby ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
(I realise this isn't the classic cover with the Francis Cugat artwork, but I'm trying to use the covers of the editions that I read, and my copy of The Great Gatsby is a Penguin Classic.)

The release of Baz Lurhmann's version of this classic was the motivation I needed to finally read this. Thanks, Baz! I'm so glad I finally ticked this one off my 'to read' list. It was brilliant. The language! The hedonism! The conflicted characters! The tragedy! Wonderful.
My Friend Dahmer ~ Derf Backderf

A random trip to Newtown library had me checking this out from the graphic novel section. Derf Backderf went to school with the infamous Jeffrey Dahmer. Here he reminisces about Dahmer as a deeply troubled teenager, and tells the story of the teen before he became a serial killer. 

Lone Wolf ~ Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is my literary junk food. I'm pretty sure I'm losing my taste for her though. If you've read any of her work before you'll know she is incredibly formulaic, and it's starting to get a little old. I think I need some new book candy to sink my teeth into.
The Grey Family ~ Noel Streatfeild

Oh, Noel Streatfeild! You with your quaint British families, full of daughters both plain and pretty, dogs that need feeding, mothers that have trouble paying the bills, slightly incompetent fathers, bolshy boys, and nannies that run the show! You win me over every single time. Your genius speaks right to my heart. I love you, Noel Streatfeild.
World War Z ~ Max Brooks

My brother raved about this, and after reading a couple of complimentary reviews I thought I'd give it a go for myself. I listened to this as an audio book. It was good, but not the best book I've ever read heard. I am incredibly fussy when it comes to anything with multiple narrators, and if you have ten characters that all have the exact same voice, then you've lost me. This was a good effort though. I recommend the audio book version if only to hear the fantastic Henry Rollins be as awesome as ever.

The Thoughtful Dresser ~ Linda Grant

Ugh, this book. I loathe the woman who wrote this book, and as this is non-fiction I pretty much loathed this book as well. On the whole I struggled through this book on people's relationship to fashion, though I have to admit there was the odd piece here and there that I found interesting. This being one of those few good moments:
"At the core of misogyny is this paradigm: that men judge women by how they look, their physical beauty and its adornment by dress, while characterising the need to look beautiful as concrete evidence of female triviality."
Telesa ~ Lani Wendt Young
I will be writing an in depth review of Telesa asap, but in the meantime let me just say this: a young adult romance with fantasy/mythological elements, set in Samoa.
Mister Pip ~ Lloyd Jones
This was another one that I was finally spurred to read because of the impending release of a movie version. This is also another one that I will be writing a more in depth review of in the near future.
Enough ~ Louise Wallace
This is the second poetry collection by my incredibly talented friend. Even if she wasn't my friend I would be telling you to rush out now and buy this. And also buy her first collection, Since June. Seriously. Poetry excellence.
The Luminaries ~ Eleanor Catton
I wasn't sure if I was going to get this finished in 2013. It was touch and go, but on the afternoon of December 31st I knocked the bastard off. All 800-and-something pages worth. And every single one of those pages was thoroughly enjoyable. So much so, in fact, that this is another one that I will be writing a full review of.
And that's it. A year's worth of reading. My goal for 2014 is to read a whole lot more Pacific, Maori and New Zealand literature. How about you? What did you read this year? And do you have a reading goal for 2014?

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Wilder Web

These Photoshop Parody Ads are pretty great. (via Bitch Media)

The reality of an unvaccinated childhood. If you read one thing off today's list, make it this one. Seriously.

Totally Talls ~ a hilarious and informative show about the giraffe descendants in your life. (via Spokesvagina)

Coley writes about how she'd like to burn 2013 from her memory, but also, why she won't.

I became a mother, and died to live. My fellow Mamas will feel this hard.

One Weird Old Trick to Undermine the Patriarchy. I remember my Aunty changing her daughter's copy of The House That Jack Built into The House That Jill Built.

Brevity. Clarity. Love. Alexandra Franzen makes an email pledge for 2014 that makes much sense.
On reading, love and loss. Laurie Penny's moving response to her father's death.
No videos this week, but I've got a couple of audio clips for your listening pleasure. First up is my wonderful, clever friend Dylan & his motley mob of misfits as they celebrate the 15th anniversary of music label Stink Magnetic with Stinkfest. Next up is another supremely talented friend of mine, Louise Wallace, discussing her second book of poetry, Enough.