Good Morning Show

The Hermit Leaves the Cave to go on Television

We all know I’m a social recluse. With rather pitiful social skills. Which are sorely tested whenever I have to leave my cave and do stuff like an interview on the TVNZ Good Morning Show. So how did it all come about?

Blogging is a miraculous thing. And social networks can be far-reaching and super connecting things. A while back, a lovely woman called Nadine read my book ‘Pacific Tsunami-Galu Afi.’ She wrote a Goodreads review about it that brought tears to my eyes. I messaged her and thanked her profusely. We each noted the other was a blogger. We connected with each other’s blogs. (Check out her insightful and funny 5InABus here.) She read about my Telesa Trilogy books on here. Unbeknownst to me, she used to work as a producer at TVNZ. She wrote to her friends there and told them about my books. She may even have given them the link to this blog. TVNZ got in touch with me about the possiblity of having me on their Good Morning Show around the anniversary of the 2009 tsunami. I sent them copies of my books to check out. They said, ‘cool, lets do it.’

TVNZ sent me a list of 15 questions they “might” ask me. I didnt want to sound like the nervous nitwit that I am so I spent hours and hours composing possible answers to those and every other possible question they could ask me. (and then Mr Ron Cheeseman only asked me five of the fifteen questions and I was so nervous I couldn’t shut up anyway…GET THIS WOMAN A MUZZLE!)

In the days before I  asked them ‘umm..what do you think would be alright to wear?’  A super-cool TVNZ woman with a sense of humor replied, ‘Just dont wear a gold spandex onesie and you’ll be fine.’  I emailed back, ‘Dammit, and I was getting extra glitter stuck on my bodysuit specially for the show.‘ It was comforting to know TVNZ people knew how to be funny and sarcastic.

So I got my hair done at the hairdresser ( which explains why I TOTALLY dont look like me at all in the video), put on my precious new MENA puletasi that I was saving to wear during the Australia book tour ( and now my five Australian readers have probably seen it and they will feel extra sorry for me that Im so poor i have to wear the same clothes everywhere I go.) And I drove myself to the city. An hour early in case I got lost. ( because we all know the statistical probability of THAT happening…)

At the TVNZ studio I got to sit in “The Green Room” where guests wait – but which is not colored green at all.  They had snacks and lovely comfortable sofas. (But sadly, no Diet Coke or donuts.) I met a nice young man ( who looked alot like Liam Hemsworth by the way…I exagerate you not)He was waiting there for his girlfriend who was one of the models doing the fashion segment.
He said, “Wow, you look great.”
I said, “Ugh, I cant wait to take all my clothes off.”
He looked surprised. I said, “I mean, I cant wait to get comfortable and relaxed.”
He looked alarmed. I said, “I mean, its very nice of you to say so, but Im not used to wearing real clothes and this outfit is killing me.” I cant recollect exactly, but I may then have babbled stuff along the lines of…”I’m sorry for sounding like an idiot, but its because I  have lots of children and never go anywhere and I’m nervous as heck about being on the show and did you know you look like Liam Hemsworth?!”
He exited the building very shortly after. Heaving a great sigh of relief to escape me, no doubt.

 Then a nice lady took me to get my makeup done. A semi-evil makeup woman got irritated with me when I made a yuck face at the hot pink blush she wanted to put on me. And she said the f-bomb when I freaked out about wearing mascara. It’s safe to say that the makeup woman at TVNZ dislikes me intensely.

I met some more very nice people from the show who do fashion, cooking and crafts. Then I did my interview with Ron Cheeseman. Talking about the tsunami stories rips me up inside, even three years later and I nearly got lost in the emotions and cried. I was glad when the interview was over. All eight minutes of it.

The relief to be done with it was so huge that I felt like hugging everyone in sight. (which is an unusual feeling for me because Im allergic to body contact and hate hugging people.)

Back in the Green-Room-thats-not-Green, I bumped into actor Rena Owen and almost fell on the ground in awe. She was gracious and friendly and was nice enough to tell me that “I saw you on the Tagata Pasifika show and I really want to read your Telesa book.” Of course I gave her my copy immediately, trying not to fall on the ground in awe that Rena Owen was actually going to hold a copy of my book in her hands and take it home with her. ( Hopefully not to throw it in the rubbish.)

And then my visit to TVNZ was over. I was feeling pretty exultant after that. I had done it. I had left the cave, spoken on television, met Rena Owen, and apart from freaking out the boy who looked like Liam Hemsworth – I hadnt made a complete fool of myself, yay! My exultation lasted the entire 45 minutes that it took me to sit in the carpark and try and map my way back to the motorway. I got a little bit lost but nothing too bad.

So there you have it, to all you other hermits out there? Take heart, it’s possible to break out of the cave once in a while, interact with other humans and then still safely make it back unscathed.


A Night of Illicit Abandon – Walking on the Wild Side

A fit of fizzy flightiness overwhelmed me this weekend.  I was consumed by this insane desire to be like those people who bungy jump, sky dive and buy clothes that are NOT on sale. I felt like living dangerously and walking on the wild side.  Where did this strange feeling come from? Maybe it was because the week had been crazy busy – I Telesa chatted with  a Pacific Lit class at Auckland University on Monday, took kids to the dentist on Tuesday, wrote furiously on Wednesday, did an interview for the TVNZ Good Morning Show on Thursday, and gave a talk at a church women’s conference on Friday. (Or maybe it was because I ingested way too much caffeine via Diet Coke overdosing to assist me with all my speech writing and interview-prepping…)

Either way, I said to the Hot Man, ‘ooh, lets be spontaneous and exciting!He looked wary. ‘And do what?’

I said, let’s run away from the children and live it up all night! Dancing on tables ( or around poles), jumping off the Sky Tower, ordering not one but TWO desserts….all crossed my mind.  I  found a super fabulous overnight special for a lovely hotel in the city situated in the midst of restaurants, night clubs and assorted wild times venues so that we could do exactly that – ‘live it up all night’  (The mind boggles at all the possibilities in that phrase it up all night…)   I was ready to live dangerously.

But the sad fact is that a woman with five children can never really live dangerously without excruciating planning. And massive atonement for the overload of guilt one feels when one abandons said children. Soooooo before I ran away, I had to :
1. organize baby sitting
2. purchase extra groceries in case there was a famine while we were gone
3. Check that torches and radios had batteries, candles had matches, smoke alarms were working, all windows and doors had functioning locks, and every child remembered the emergency number and tsunami escape route   – in case there was a natural disaster, fire or influx of housebreakers while we were gone.
4. Remind Big Son and Big Daughter about paracetemol, asthma medications, treatment for spider bites, choking, accidental ingestion of too many cookies.
5. Rent DVDs and XBox games galore from the store so they wouldnt cry/be left bereft/sink into the depths of despair upon my departure.

I had a faint moment of panic when I remembered that we havent actually made a will yet and what if we both got killed in a motorway crash on the way to the hotel? Or what if the hotel got taken siege by terrorists and we were blown to bits because Bruce Willis couldnt save us? It was too late to get a will done by then so I had to let those dire thoughts go. Bad mother, bad mother – irresponsible enough to have so many children and NOT get a will done.

And finally, before we could run away for a night of illicit abandon, I insisted we take the children on an all-day fun outing. One that involved a trip to the local marine world and hours at the beach. Sand, sun, water, and fish’n’chips.Fun, fun, fun. Only then could I indulge in my fit of fizzy flightiness, chucking clothes in a bag and run away.

It was 5pm before we finally left. The hotel was lovely. We enjoyed being childless. (cue fireworks and glitter cannons here) We had a delicious dinner at a lovely restaurant. We finished eating. And then the Hot Man said, with forced joviality,  Right where shall we go dancing first?

Then the sad truth hit me. I was really really really tired from hanging out with those children all day and being kind and loving and patient and joyful for such a long time. I was kinda sunburnt from the beach. My feet hurt from walking around the marine place. I didnt want to go bungee jumping off the Sky Tower. Or dancing on tables or around poles. I couldnt even order two desserts because I was still full from fishnchips from Mission Bay. I didnt want to squeeze myself into my ‘dancing on table and around poles’ attire, I just wanted to veg out and space out in ginormously comfortable pyjamas. And did I mention that I  was tired?

But mostest of all? I missed my children. And my house. And my own bed. And my own shower. And my own living room. And my own fridge.

I said, shamefaced. ‘Actually, I want to go home. I miss the kids.’

And the Hot Man said, shamefaced. ‘Yeah, me too.

Conclusion?  We must be really old.  Or just really boring.

I am resolved – next time I am possessed by a fizzy fit of flightiness, I wont exhaust myself first by taking the children out on an all-day excursion of happiness. No. I will be heartless, cold and cruel, just walk out that door and slam it so loud that I will drown out the YOU CRAPPY LOSER MOTHER! sirens blaring in my head. And then nobody will be able to hold me back from the dance tables and I will order not one, not two, but THREE desserts, because I know how to live dangerously, dammit! 

We used to know how to be exciting and fun people, honestly!
(Is that edge of desperation in my voice convincing you yet?!)