Category: Personal

Who will watch the watchers? Report from the Chinatown store detective

Oh, hai. It’s been a while I guess. I got distracted studying maths in the library.

No, really!

I’ve started an MSc in social research methods, and it includes… maths. And it turns out I’m worse at maths than I remember. I remember being great at maths. But back then, computers didn’t exist, and neither did puberty. So I may fail quant. But qual is pretty sweet so far (leaving more time for maths homework). Here’s my ‘participant observation’/ethnographic homework for my qualitative research methods class. I decided to follow white people around London Chinatown. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on Who will watch the watchers? Report from the Chinatown store detective Posted in London, Race

Baby now less like disabled kitten, more like badly programmed robot

OMG you guys my baby did this awesome thing the other day. I am totally going to tell you about it, and you can’t stop me because this is my blog.

Your first reaction will be to make a barf-face. At least, it should be. I hate it when people tell cute stories about some amazing thing their baby did. Ooh, the baby did a solid poo. Aah, the baby is snoring. Wooooh, the baby threw up then ate its vomit. So I will tell you a similarly banal thing, which you should by rights, then barf upon.

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So today is National Poetry Day in the UK. Happy National Poetry Day! And by ‘Happy’ I mean ‘Fuck’. Because I wanted to be sincere and generous of mind on National Poetry Day, but instead I listened to some actual poetry and started smashing things. Like, in my mind. And by ‘smashing’ I mean ‘being really mean and sarcastic’.

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We are all snakes now

The Caps Lock is probably next.

It might be the postmodern elements of the internet that have destroyed my concentration, producing in my online activity a simulacra of intentional evasion of essentialist identity, which of course is more complicated and flattering than the image of some scatterbrained nerd whose tab key has fallen off her keyboard.

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Literary stuff

People still publish things on bits of paper, and even consider some kinds of writing to be literary. Here is a partial bibliography of that kind of thing.


Pants, too, should be optional – Honorable Mention in the Asian-American Writer’s Workshop fictional Gaokao contest, 2012. Marked down due to excessive obscenity.

Edited journals
‘Borderline’: Landfall, Autumn issue 211, May 2006.

Short fiction
‘No Shadow Kick’ in Lost in Translation: New Zealand Stories, Marco Sonzogni (Ed.), Random House, 2010.
‘Tunnel of Love’, Kyoto Journal issue 69, February 2008.
‘Daily Special’ in Best New Zealand Fiction 2, November 2005, Random House.
‘Hereditary Fiction: The Mok Tapes’, Meanjin, Autumn issue May 2004.
‘The Beach,’ Landfall, Spring issue 206, November 2003.

‘Lament of the Imperfect Copy of Ensign Harry Kim’, in Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand, Eds. Mark Pirie and Tim Jones, 2009.
‘Whispers’ (a translation game with Yang Lian and Jacob Edmond), Landfall, Autumn issue 211, May 2006.
‘An Arabic Poetry Lesson in Jakarta,’ Best New Zealand Poems 2004, Institute of Modern Letters (online), March 2005 (originally published in Landfall, Autumn issue 207, June 2004).
‘A Czech Poetry Lesson in China’, ‘An Arabic Poetry Lesson in Jakarta’ & ‘KL Sunrise’, Landfall, Autumn issue 207, June 2004.
‘Three Represents for the Communist Party of China’s 16th National Congress’, Poetry New Zealand, issue 28, March 2004.
‘Reverse Engineer a Poem for Sport: Exploded Sestina’ & ‘Xia Yu’, Sport, Spring issue 29, October 2002.
‘Open Fire’, Eclect, August 2002.
‘Westward Ho!’, ‘There to where’ & ‘Jakarta Sestina’, JAAM, Spring issue 11, October 1999.
‘Hegel’s Holiday’, Trout, issue 4, Autumn 1998.

Essays, reviews, arts interviews
‘The Beach’, short memoir of the the recording period of Caterpillar & Butterfly by The Tokey Tones in Soundtrack: 118 Great New Zealand Albums, Ed. Grant Smithies, 2007.
‘A place in the city’, backgrounder on the No Chinatown Auckland Triennial project by the Long March, Daniel Malone and Kah Bee Chow, Listener, 11 March 2007.
‘I am not a reality show: Fantasy Island, Survivor Island, Exile Island and the art of Kah Bee Chow’, Auckland Triennial Catalogue, March 2007
‘A look back in anger’, review of Mao: the Unknown story and interview with authors Jung Chang & Jon Halliday, Listener, 27 August 2005.
‘Mao’s trail of tears’, review of Mao: the Unknown Story by Jung Chang & Jon Halliday, The Dominion Post, 27 June 2005.
Never enough,’ review of Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie, Listener, 15 October 2005.
‘The American keeps talking’, review of The Darling by Russell Banks, Listener, 5 February 2005.
‘Race you there’ (PDF), Landfall Essay Prize co-winner, Landfall 208, November 2004 (reprinted in Great New Zealand Argument, Activity Press, July 2005, recorded for Radio New Zealand archives 2005, excerpt published in New Zealand Herald June 2005).
‘Return of the King’, review of Tarzan Presley by Nigel Cox, Landfall 208, November 2004.
‘England’s Dreaming’ review of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, Listener, 23 October 2004.
‘Swamp Thing’, review of Port Mungo by Patrick McGrath, Listener, 18 September 2004.
‘Sick bird of youth,’ review of The Book of Proper Names by Amelie Nothomb, Listener, 7 August 2004.
‘Chinatown,’ review of The Noodle Maker and interview with author Ma Jian, Listener, 5 June 2004.
‘Life is a box of Chocolat’, review of Jigs & Reels and interview with author Joanne Harris, Listener, 22 May 2004.
‘How to resurrect Rwanda’, review of A Sunday at the pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche, Listener, 13 March 2004.
The Worst Man the World, ever, possibly’, review of Genghis Khan: Life, Death & Resurrection by John Man, Listener, 17 April 2004.
‘If it’s Tuesday it must be Chechnya’, review of four travel books including To Catch a Tartar by Chris Bird and Eight feet in the Andes by Dervla Murphy, Listener, 31 January 2004.

Some things may not be where they were

It was 2009 when I moved to London and finally decided to overhaul my website with WordPress, because it would simply be too embarrassing to leave it one second longer. (It had been puked onto the internet one night in 2007 with the help of a Dreamweaver tutorial template for an imaginary hotel that could only have housed the hopeless and destitute.)

Instead, I worked, lazed around, facebooked, got married, tweeted, had a baby, and mislaid my career.

Now, rather than attempting the impossible task of devomiting my flat, it seems the perfect time to return to the public internet to devomit my website.

Some things may not be where they were.

If you can’t find a resource or document that was up previously, you can contact me here.