Tells you the things I didn't tell you before but now do: all in one, long, post - PLUS, if you order in the next five minutes: a couple of other things I didn't mention I didn't tell you. PLUS, if you pay with credit card: some news with links

[tells you the one about the car]
After years of working for companies who made me use my own car for company business, it was so nice to be given a nice, albeit logo-emblazened, Mazda to drive to Hamilton's training session last Friday. It was a nice clean car, with automatic transmission and a CD/radio and four speakers that could drown out my singing all the way to the Flat Lands.

I allowed 2 hours for the 90 minute trip, which was my very first mistake. It took me 40 minutes to just get on the motorway that morning, but I got there eventually and enjoyed Snug-in-training-action and Molly'n'Snug-for-lunch.

My second mistake was forgetting my camera. Of course, whenever I do that I see a dozen photos I'd love to have taken and the drive home was photo-opportunity after photo-opportunity missed and JJ's words of "sleep with your camera" rattling around the back of my brain.

My third and final mistake was stopping at the Supermarket on the way home. I'm pretty sure that's where someone broke the rear window - I figured this after watching far too many episodes of CSI and recognising the tell-tale glass shatter pattern on the back seat. They were either trying to get in or don't like the company I work for very much.

They're never going to trust me with a company car again.. it was so nice while it lasted.

[tells you the one about the oysters]
Meanwhile, back at the Coal Face; I was spending a lot-less-time-than-promised walking Molly around Macromedia Flash. It was one of those days I'd managed to get all the way until 3pm without eating anything, and it was beginning to show. When my manager's manager came to retrieve my manager for a meeting, she expressed her excitement about something-or-other and suggested the "world would be our oyster".

I'm not sure if anyone else actually *heard* her say that or not, with hindsight it may have seemed a random comment but at the time my "mmm I love Oysters" seemed to stop everyone in their tracks for a very obvious silence and caused my Manager to be momentarily and uncharacteristically lost for words.

[doesn't tell you the one about being generous]
[I decided to cut my losses and go to a meeting I had offsite after that, and it has to do with the question, is giving still generous if you recount every penny in detail everytime? but, I'm not going to carry that thought any further here.]

[tells you the one about the Internet Stranger *insert Jaws music here*]
That leads me nicely into Things I Do When I'm Not at Work and that's mostly Meeting and Sharing Delicious Food with Internet Strangers - and surviving to tell the tale - which seems to have been the case in this instance.

I've met a lot of wonderful people offline after getting to know them online. A few have remained part of my life for years even after they meet me. Like JJ, for instance, I've known him online for years and years and I met him when I was in the UK. And truck, I've known her since she was a whippersnapper (she met me even though it was suggested I was a rampant lesbian after perverted offline sex with young, attractive girls and stuff) and met her in Melbourne and she came here for a visit too. Some I know online for years and years and haven't met: Phet - for example. I've known him for years and years and years and years. And years. Actually, he's the longest I've ever known anyone and not met them. What a distinguished little group on your own there, Phet *makes you a badge*

I do have a little bit of trouble deciding to meet friends I've known and grown close to online. I've come to believe in some cases, meeting someone offline after knowing them a online is the last thing I ever get to do with them.

On the other hand, I have no trouble whatsoever meeting almost complete online strangers because, and I'll be perfectly blunt, I have no emotional attachment. So last weekend, I doned my axe-proof-vest (just in case) and took my emotional deattachment to the Atomic Cafe to meet Ms Sarspirilla for coffee and cake.

She was exactly where she said she'd be, and I found her effortlessly, albeit: late (me, not her) But all was good because she's completely delightful, easy company - funny and articulate with the most beautiful, expressive face. We had coffee and cake and talked about places to go and things to see in New Zealand until the Cafe closed. I took her home to her hostel which, it turns out, was right behind where I work in town - how convienient! So, Monday we met up again for some more food (she might tell you that she's on a World Trip of Discovery, but she's actually just chasing meals around the planet) at a local Korean restaurant. I was having a dumb day on Monday but the afternoon was so much better for having spent lunchtime with Ms S.

She flew down to Christchurch to jump out of a plane and sip feijoa wine with Eroica, before coming to stay her last night in New Zealand at my house (bringing the gift of Feijoa wine from the generous and lovely Eroica). I poured it and chardonnay (CARDennay mum, the aytch is SILENT!) down her throat until she begged for bed. On Sunday she left, continuing her trek eating her way to enlightenment!

Thanks Ms Sarpirilla. I had a wonderful time. I am now officially emotionally attached enough to hope to see you again one day.

[Tells you something you didn't know you were going to know]
Last night I went to see New Zealand Ballet's Dracula at the Civic here in Auckland. It was fabulous. The lighting and sets.. the sets, btw are always really efficient - minimal and detailed, relative and versitile - even if you think you don't like Ballet you should go just for the sets. And the lighting. And the costumes. And the dance hell go for the dance it's wonderful. Though I did get the giggles doing The Count impressions* during intermission and at one stage expected Michael Jackson's Thriller to start when the dead crawled from their cript crypt.

On my way to the Ballet I noticed a bit of a hallabaloo up Mt Wellington. Fire appliances and a goodly number of police vehicles - turned out a car had been driven off the mountain and a child had been killed. It's been a bad weekend for odd stuff like that - those "young people" who threw the concrete block off the overbridge, killing a young man and injuring the passengers traveling with him in his car had better be crapping themselves because there will be NO mercy when they're caught. I doubt I was the only motorist on the motorway this evening paying particular attention to overbridges and pedestrians upon them.

[UPDATES: Arrest and charges pending.]

But wait.. there's MORE:


HAPPY BIRTHDAY Uncle Chris who-never-visits-here!
and HAPPY SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE MONDAY DaveC - thanks for being patient with me, even though you're not really.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT "That ballet could've been half as short if it didn't have all that DANCING!" David, teenage ballet-goer.

* One Victorian Virgin, ah ah ah... TWO Victorian Virgins.. ah ah ahhh..I am the Count and I love to COUNT!