Saturday, June 8, 2013


I stood in the cold on Lambton Quay for an hour and a half on Wednesday evening, trying to raise money for Autism NZ. There was plenty of foot traffic but the weather didn't help; people just wanted to get home. It was also hard to get noticed, unlike last year when we put up a stand at the entrance to New World. To my surprise two blokes each gave $20. I was the next biggest donor (a $10 note and a bunch of small change) but of the thousands of others who walked past me, only ten or so donated. If everyone had given just a dollar, what a difference it would have made. It can't help that so many people live cashless lives. I stood next to a bus stop for some of the time; bugger those Snapper cards.

I can't remember anything of Thursday except that after work I walked past a café that I hadn't really noticed before on the corner of Dixon Street and Courtenay Place. It has lots of old shabby furniture. I heard the latter half of what seemed like an amazing song blaring out of the speaker. The only lyrics I caught were "Jump On My Shoulders" which happens to be the title of the song. I Googled those lyrics after going to the gym. When I listened to the song (by a band called Awolnation) on YouTube it no longer seemed amazing, just reasonably good. I must download the Shazam app (which can identify songs as they're played) when I ... um ... get back to using my smart phone instead of my dumb one.

Last night I saw the Great Gatsby at the Embassy with the work social club. It's good for me when the social club organises a movie because I can participate without having to be very social. I read the book in 2009 and I can see why it's viewed as the great American novel. I didn't realise that F. Scott Fitzgerald was so damn young when he wrote it. The movie wasn't bad either but I preferred the book and I felt the movie was half an hour too long (one of my colleagues said two hours too long). They could have cut back a bit on Gatsby's use of "old sport". Visually it was quite spectacular though. After the film a few people, including my boss, wanted to extend their night out but it was an easy decision for me to go home.

I listened to bits (when I wasn't asleep) of last night's gripping semi-final between Nadal and Djokovic. The other three grand slams have produced all manner of great men's matches in recent times but this time it was Roland Garros's turn to come up with a real classic. It wasn't just the quality of play and closeness of the match, but the significance of the outcome. Luckily I woke up in time for the fifth set. During the most dramatic game of that set, which saw Djokovic broken for 4-4, the commentators did justice to the historical significance of it all. The crucial moment was perhaps when Djokovic touched the net to hand Nadal a break point in that vital eighth game, but it's easy to single out individual moments. Had Nadal served out the match at 6-5 in the fourth set, all those "crucial turning points" in the fifth would never have happened. With a staggering record at Roland-Garros (58 wins and only one loss), Nadal must be a fairly heavy favourite to win a record eighth title.

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