Monthly Archives: July 2013

Notebook Cover Boys

Erm, so I chose this to go on the new notebook. For reasons.

Do a little dance

Wellington had a 6.5 earthquake yesterday. I was watching a DVD at the time. While I was pushing the chairs out of the way to get under the table the DVD kept playing. I figured if the DVD was still playing then the quake couldn’t be too bad. There weren’t any jolts which I am grateful for. There were several reports from around Wellington saying that on Monday the Universities and the CBD would be closed. This is due to the need for building inspections to make sure they were still sound. My work posted on FB that apart from some minor damage, everything was okay.

I’m pleased for a couple of reasons. First – FB is part of our official communication strategy for emergencies. Second – a couple years ago we did a bit of work to make the library as earthquake proof as possible and it worked. Only a handful of things ended up on the ground. The rest of the items just needed straightening. Our building is not very tall and it’s on solid ground so that probably helped. After the earthquakes in Christchurch the librarians down there were very generous about sharing their knowledge. These are the three things we’ve implemented.

1. Shelve anything heavy close to the ground.
2. Secure the shelves, preferably to each other. (That way they are supported without being pulled about as the walls and floor go in different directions during a quake.)
3. Push the items 2-3cm back from the edge of the shelves. This gives things space to move.

Our shelves are fairly full so while we haven’t added those black clip-on shelf dividers (recommended by Christchurch librarians) there’s not a lot of space for the items to wriggle around which is also helpful in keeping things on the shelf.

Finally, the thing I remember best is the advice that if your work is dragging its feet because of budget, play the Christchurch card to get the money. The librarian was desperate to prevent her experience becoming our experience.

Cornetto trilogy

Last night I went to the lovely Roxy Cinema for a double bill showing of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. I was pretty excited as I’d never seen either of them on the big screen before. (I know, late to the party.) It may be still be the glow from the weekend but I really like those movies. I like the structure of them, the slightly weird and eccentric characters, the acting, the mood swings, and how real (in a fake way) the relationships feel. A good night out. Totally worth the four hours sleep before Thursday.

This is Sir PJ talking to Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost about The World’s End.


The World’s End

Tonight I went to the final movie in the Cornetto trilogy. *EEEEEEEE* Some thoughts/things from the evening:
– I am rubbish at the red carpet stargazing.
– I’m quite good at the one on one chat as long as it’s not too long. – Security guys are nice to chat to.
– I’m not so good at placing people from their names. (Especially when they try to be sneaky.)
– I tried to give my Cornetto to a dwarf but his wife told him to get his own. *tee hee*
– R row, while quite far back has a good perspective for the giant screen at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington. – Martin Freeman is rather good at the comedic speech.
– The movie is EXCELLENT.
– Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg write scripts that have all the elements of storytelling that I love. – Nick Frost has a pushkick that is a thing of beauty.
– Dinner will be late.

Thanks @paramountnz for the brilliant evening.


K’Rd Strip

I went to see K’Rd Strip last night at Downstage Theatre.  I enjoyed it very much. The publicity material makes it look like it will be all glittery fierceness. I found it to be engaging, fun, melancholic, sexy, hilarious, and clever. It’s full of NZ songs, chosen for their lyrical appropriateness, with delightful and surprising arrangements. I’m impressed at the way the stories of the people of K Rd were woven through and told either through the song or in little vignettes.

Also (quite selfishly) more men should wear guyliner and short skirts.



Arohatia te reo

I arahina ta māua tirotiro haere i te Weta Cave i tenei rā. I korerotia te tāhuhu kōrero ki te kaiarahi. I katakata māua.

We went on a guided tour of the Weta Cave today. The guide told us the history. We laughed.

I’m in my second year learning te reo through Te Ataarangi. They have a particular teaching style which is based on speaking te reo. It’s full immersion. The kaiako use a mixture of charades, transliterated phrases, cuisenaire rods, and lots of laughter to help us learn. It’s tough. At the beginning every word sounded like every other word and every second word was ‘ki’. Then I had a breakthrough – I could understand what my boss was saying when he was speaking Maori at whakatau. Generally a mihimihi will follow a certain pattern – mihi to the atua, to the kaikarakia, to the mate, to the VIPs, everyone in the room. I could understand that. It was when I began to understand the specifics of what he was saying that it became very exciting.

I can understand more than I can speak, although my vocabulary needs a big boost. (I’m working on it by being signed up to Kupu o te Rā plus I’m going to have a go at learning the 100 Māori words every New Zealander should know.) I can speak more than I can write. The first few sentences of this blog are an attempt to get over the shyness in writing te reo.

(The Window on Weta guided tour was very informative and interesting. Recommended.)

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Tapa whenua

I’ve nicked the title of today’s post from the Tapa whenua – naming places article on Te Ara.  It details naming conventions for New Zealand places names. Page four is the most relevant to this week – “Many Māori place names are simply descriptive, such as Whanganui (big harbour), Pukerua (two hills), Maunganui (big mountain) and Awaiti (little river), but others are difficult to translate because they may have more than one meaning.”  There are stories behind the names of places. History. So interesting.

This is today’s bonus #thethreeoclocksilentdiscoclub track. It’s Tu Te Manawa Maurea performing their poi at Te Matatini 2011. The kura I work at goes to stay at Manutuke marae once a year. Each year we get closer to the community and through our work, reflect them back to themselves…sorry for that terrible sentence. Anyway, here it is.

Ingoa Maori

Here are some tips on pronunciation for the Maori language.

1. There are a couple of standard sounds for vowels. A short version and a long version (indicated either by a double vowel e.g. aa, or a macron e.g. ā.)

2. Listen to the vowel sounds. Don’t look at the screen. Hear the vowel sounds. Practice them. Lock in the mouthfeel of them.

3. Seriously, don’t look at the screen. I hear a few people go wrong when they’re reading the words because their brain is translating the vowel sounds into the more familiar sounds of their first language.  (HT to the marvelous Anahera for that insight.)

4. Practice. Watch Maori TV and listen to the language.  Even if you don’t understand, your brain will be getting used to the sound of te reo. You’ll get better just by having it on in the background!

Ready for some more? Learn how to say Moata Tamaira (our idol blogger) or try out some Aotearoa ingoa wāhi.

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Download a whakataukī

It’s Te wiki o te reo Maori! This year’s theme is Maori names. If you’re on Twitter you can tweet @temihinga your name and the meaning, and she’ll tweet you back a translation.

The MCH have created a handful of  “wallpapers for your computer with whakataukī (sayings) that each relate to atua (deities) and places important within te ao Māori (the Māori world).” The choice is limited and you won’t find familiar whakataukī. I’d also like a pointer to why those ones. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the whakataukī “He iti te kupu, he nui te kōrero (a small number of words, a multitude of meanings)” is so true.

Think of it like this – when someone on the Internet says “One does not simply…” or “Damn you autocorrect“, there are layers of references that fall out of that one phrase. It’s the same with a whakataukī. (Actually, it’s the same with place names too. )

Finally, I’ve been trying to find the ad for te reo which had two fine young Maori in Italy (?) romancing each other in te reo, with two Italians (?) remarking on what a romantic language it was. Did I imagine this? Can anyone help me out?

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