Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

Posts Tagged ‘Oops!

No more porn for me…

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That’s right. No sooner did I declare my perturbed state regarding pornography seekers looking for porn on my site – than they have cleaned up their act! Crikey! And I mean crikey! A random sampling of the last few days search engine requests:

  • staten island fotos
  • everything is illuminated
  • staten island
  • the commitments irish soul
  • hotel lobby
  • officious seeing eye bitch
  • monster sex sins
  • thelma and louise brad pitt

brad_pitt_10Brad Pitt is still #1, which means I really ought to write an authoritative piece on him. A girl could be tasked with much worse. The angle – brilliant artist and devoted father. Will have to leave out the whole Jennifer/Angelina thing – ick.

Staten Island is incredibly popular. Who could have known. I’m still planning my piece (translation: haven’t gotten around to it yet) on my trip to New York. The day on Staten Island was one of the very best! I could do a whole piece on that!

Hotel lobbies are a recurring search theme. They are one of those invisible subjects that really are fascinating – but you’re always busy checking in or out and rarely have the time to truly explore the amenities of a quality hotel lobby. Note to self – on next set of travels – photograph the hotel lobbies.

Officious eeing-eye bitch

Officious seeing-eye bitch

I am endlessly encouraged by the number of film lovers who are still reading about Everything is Illuminated.  One of my Top Five Films for life. For the curious, they are as follows:

  1. Touch of Evil
  2. Casablanca
  3. A Fish Called Wanda
  4. Everything is Illuminated
  5. I Served the King of England

#5 changes from time to time. I think it may be time to seriously reconsider #2 and #3, they’re still great, but it just might be time to have a rethink.

monster-sex-sinsNow I do see that Monster Sex Sins has stayed up there – but I’ve got to say, I’ve grown rather fond of the monster.  You could say he’s grown on me… And let’s face it – if his personal life is a bit quirky, that’s really none of my business. It’s occurred me that even the most sexually active people and monsters only spend a few hours a days actually engaging in sexual activity (unless of course they are in their late teens to early twenties, when more is at least possible). The rest of the time they’re just ‘us.’

Oh no… I’ve got to go back and rethink this. I’m pretty sure I’m not a 3D animated porn monster. But are YOU?

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

10/04/2009 at 12:58 pm

Trains of our Lives (Chinese train part 2)

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It occurs to me the saga of the train ride to Xian was so full of melodrama, angst, chance encounters, intrigues and things that weren’t what they seemed to be – it qualifies as a full-blown soap opera. Today’s episode, is therefore brought to you by your favourite haemorrhoid cream, the latest improvement in incontinence maintenance and ointment you can use on blisters, boils and baby’s bottoms.x-ointment


As you recall, your raconteur found herself stranded on the top bunk of a miniscule train compartment. Below her the spouse lay in the dark attempting sleep. Across the narrowest of aisles, lay two travel acquaintances, a man and woman of unusual height, who struggled to rest, folded into yoga-like contortions entirely inappropriate for sleep. I assume their breathing patterns were appropriate to get them through the night as both survived. (Unfortunately, later in the trip, the man took seriously ill and found himself in a Chinese ICU. He recovered.)

I lay there, willing myself to sleep, terrified of needing a wee (Damn! Where ARE the sponsor’s incontinence products when you need them most?) Through the flimsy compartment door, a French woman wailed and cried as she tossed and turned and was unwittingly stumbled over by night whizzers en route to the loo. The man across snored soberly. I frowned, but smiled a silent grin, knowing that when I finally wended my way to slumber, he would pay. I can outsnore a chainsaw on a good night.

Though I could swear I hadn’t slept a wink, suddenly I found myself awake. I cracked the window shade and yes, dawn was eking its way across a shimmering green landscape. My bladder notified my brain it was time to be emptied. I sat up, bumping my head on the ceiling and realised there was no way to get down. That woman who required assistance from two men to hoist herself onto that upper berth was not prepared to jump six feet to the floor, especially not on a moving train. But I probably could manage to get my feet on the table…

I flipped over and eased myself down. My feet reached the table, and as my weight came to rest, it tilted just enough to send me zooming, feet first into the lower bunk, bouncing back as I landed to catch the table’s edge square in the back, my head flopping. I  suppressed a scream and settled for a gasp. No, I was pretty sure I didn’t have whiplash. I slipped into the disposable slippers that Eric our guide had included with our food packets and entered the corridor.The French woman had passed out sometime during the night. She lay sprawled out, uncovered in her jammies. I resisted the urge to fix her blanket and made my way to the loo.

After a major clean-up!!!

After a major clean-up!!!

Jesus, Mary and all the saints preserve us! Nothing prepares you for the sight and smell of a toilet that has been used by fifty men in the middle of the night, men whose aim is undoubtedly poor in the comfort of their facilities at home. Add the rocking of the train and the disorientation of travel and it looked as if there had been some kind of contest going on all night. Who could reach highest, farthest, coat the seat, piss in the sink, on the sink? Even the mirror??? The male of the species has a lot to answer for. But there I was, with a full bladder and nowhere else to go. I’ll spare you the details for now, but squatting in such a way as to prevent any part of my body to come into contact with any surface was a yogic miracle.

Using a wad of toilet paper to open the door, I found a queue had formed, fronted by the French woman. I scurried down the corridor to my compartment as her piercing shriek bolted through the air…

Join us tomorrow, friends, for the next episode of All My Trains

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

06/03/2009 at 12:19 am

Hell is other people

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I’ve got to stop waxing philosophical – last week Camus and I were butting heads and this week I find myself tortured by Sartre. I don’t fancy myself conversant on either but apparently they are fascinated by me.

I prefer my personal philosophy – “The One True Way.” However, despite its catchy title and obvious superiority to all that came before, I can’t get anyone to buy into it – not even my spouse, who insists on arguing its fine points. Sigh – I have resigned myself to the reality that “The One True Way” is too good for lesser mortals. But its time will come! And then I will take over the world!!!

But I digress…hell

Simplifying Sartre to the point where he’s going to thump me – there’s consciousness, our awareness of our Self: and then there’s the Other, beings or object that are not self. Because of the nature of things (Sartre now damns me to hell for eternity…) Self needs Other to prove its own existence. Therein lies the problem.

Now let’s shift to my office. It’s an ordinary office with the usual mix of mostly ordinary and a smattering of extraordinary people. We manage the usual mix of projects and tasks, relying on each other to produce various bits and pieces – resulting in the desired outcome. That’s a lot of Selfs and Others inter-relating, proving our own existence, validating our actions, motives, methods, etc. Basically, we work together well because we know each other, who’s good at what, who can be depended on for this and who for that. Of course there are minor conflicts, issues and glitches that must be worked out from time to time,  but generally, it’s all very ordinary.

Enter the Consultant, brought in to deliver a one-off project. Consultant brings their self – a new Other.  My Self is, in turn, a new Other for them. Consultant communicates their needs. I listen to consultant and satisfied I have heard them, provide Resource (another Other.) Soon there is trouble. Resource is not providing Consultant with what they need. Consultant is not happy. I listen to consultant again, and once more satisfied I understand their needs, update Resource and leave.

Repeat this cycle half a dozen times. Consultant, Resource and Self are all unhappy. Emails fly! Project is in jeopardy! Communication break down! Resource goes home so their self can have a more positive experience with another Other. Self is left with slightly enraged Other and experiences mild rage at Other in return.

At this point what you really want is an all out cat-fight, just to let off steam, just to prove how right you are and how unreasonable they are. Except of course Other’s self is in exactly the same position. And everyone knows cat-fights are stupid unless you’re being videotaped in a bikini and in a large vat of mud. And getting mud on is so much easier than getting it off.

hell2Upon reflection, perhaps when Other was communicating their needs, attempting to do so clearly and succinctly to the best of their ability, what Self heard was something very different, despite listening intently and carefully. Self gave Other what Self believes to be the correct resources for what Other described. But what if Other needs a different resource, but is unable to describe it because this is a new type of project and Other does not possess the jargon to describe their true needs? Uh oh. Self must admit some culpability for not accurately assessing Other’s true needs. Self hates that! Self prefers to be 100% right 100% of the time, despite repeated evidence to the contrary. The project must not fail because Self and Other can’t reflect off each other.

Everything will be fine – the problems are not insurmountable and everyone really does want to work together. It’s a molehill, not a mountain. The project will be delivered to spec and on time now that the true needs have been identified. But I bow my head to Sartre and grumble, “Hell is other people!”

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

21/02/2009 at 3:35 pm

6 little thoughts

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Math joke: What comes before 10?  The postie.

A woman’s complaint:  My sweeper is so weak it wouldn’t suck a maggot off a chop.

The master penis operates the TV monitor, CD player, DVD player, radio, and surround sound.  When I hold the master penis in my hand, I am holding something borrowed.

I needed to laugh, if only for a minute

Titirangi wood pigeon

Titirangi wood pigeon

Why do people say actions speak louder than words?  Why do they say that words lie?  Words do not lie although the action of the speaker may be one of betrayal.  Actions betray far more often and more deeply than words ever could.  Speaking is an action.  Words can be stolen.  How could we ever be honest with ourselves without words?  How could we ever kill without action?

Dazzle is the most perfect word in the English language.  To be dazzled is to indulge in pure joy.  Dazzle me.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

11/02/2009 at 11:13 pm

Tom Robbins in New York???

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There were about three hours today when I mistakenly believed Tom Robbins The man.was going to be hosting a 3-day writing seminar in New York at the very time I am going to be there in March. Registration is open until Tuesday.

My friend Bindi, who is coming with me, sent me an email with this brief info in the subject line. I don’t think Bindi realises just how much of a Tom Robbins fan I am. Or just how my heart was set aflutter at the mere thought of being coached by my favourite author of all time.

I was 19 or 20 when I first read Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and I was convinced Robbins must have been following me around. I considered myself the utr-ecgtbltimate passenger and hitchhiked up and down the east coast of the USofA in the mid to late seventies. The people I met were an awful lot like the people in Cowgirls, right down to the Chink – who didn’t live in a cave but was a crazy dragon lady named Mrs Lew who let me waitress part time in her Chinese restaurant. My best friend and I fancied ourselves the real-life Cissy and Bonanza Jellybean – me being Cissy and she Jelly because she went horseback riding every weekend we weren’t off on a mad jaunt.  One of my favourite memories is the two of us sitting on the bare metal floor in the back of an old Ford pickup truck, leaned up against each other, drinking cans of Schlitz and rereading Cowgirls. We knew right then we were having a ‘moment.’

tr-still_life_with_woodpecker1By 1980 life had changed and I found myself married with a baby daughter. It was a strange new world, all topsy turvy – nothing the way it used to be or the way I planned it to be or even how I thought it should be. Mr Robbins saved my soul with Still Life with Woodpecker, a fairy tale about a princess, Leigh-Cheri, who falls in love with a bomber, Mickey Bernard Wrangle aka The Woodpecker. When Mickey went to jail, Leigh-Cheri locked herself in the attic (with a maidservant to bring her meals.) It was a strange analogy for post-partum depression, but it worked for me. And made me laugh.

Robbins got a bit more serious and literary with his next two outings, Jitterbug Perfume and Skinny Legs and All. I was very busy being a productive grownup, had another baby girl and Robbins’ quote, “I believe in nothing, everything is sacred. I believe in everything, nothing is sacred,” was a the kind of reminder I needed every so often. I also found myself aching for the freedom of Boomer Petway’s Airstream turkey from Skinny Legs. I wrote a novel. Sadly, it was nothing like a Tom Robbins’ novel.


tr-skinny1 tr-frog1

1994 was a watershed year. I moved to New Zealand and Tom Robbins gave me Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas. I’ve never quite gotten the connection between the two – I guess we weren’t always in sync. Although – it was a year of isolation and loneliness and there was more than a bit of that in there. I just didn’t relate to Gwen, the heroine, though I surely would just a few years later.

tr-fiThings got a bit more interesting when the internet arrived. I joined a Tom Robbins discussion group – and four years later, ended up marrying the man of my dreams, a scalliwag bearing more than a passing resemblence, at least psychologically to that old Woodpecker. Robbins’ wedding present to us was Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates. A friend got him to sign a copy. We were chuffed!

Now I’m ashamed to say that neither of us have ever sent Tom Robbins so much as post card. We had a couple of fan tr-villareunions in Maine and considered inviting him – after all we’re his biggest fans – but there was something a little too Misery about it – I really didn’t want Robbins taking me for a Kathy Bates wannabe. So we were gobsmacked when Villa Incognito came out in 2003 and one of the lead characters’ surname is Stubblefield, which happens to be my husband’s rather unusual surname. And the description was so accurate and the behaviours… Well, I’m back to thinking Tom Robbins is following us around.

And that pretty much takes us up to this morning’s email…

It turns out it is a 3-day seminar given by Tony Robbins. Tony, not Tom. Sigh, I feel so deflated, so flat. Kind of sad. Lost something I never had… Perhaps I should send Tom a postcard and just say, “thanks.”

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

27/01/2009 at 12:12 am

Posted in Books, Tom Robbins, Writing

Tagged with , , ,

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