Friday, December 3, 2010

In which I give thanks (a week late), etc.

Hi everyone. I know, I KNOW, it's been ages. In other news, I've decided to just use this blog to write about whatever the fuck (sorry, mom) I want, instead of trying really hard to make it lofty and meaningful, as previously planned. That said, I hope it is still either of those things to some people (hi, mom).

About a month ago, Tom and I got to talking. We decided (I suggested) that it'd be really great to have a celebratory Thanksgiving evening of sorts with some close friends and family, calling it (rather creatively) "An American Thanksgiving." We had this particular event on Sunday. It was, if I do say so myself (I do), a smashing success. Everyone had a lovely time (it appeared); bonds were made, tasty food was consumed and new traditions were made in the grand spirit of experimentation. Tom cooked a turkey for the first time, it was magical (FYI- I've essentially given up on my vegetarianism. I don't wish to elaborate, either). I made a gigantic pumpkin pie for the first time, it too was rather impressive (tip- add twice the recommended amount of cinnamon). Shout out to Sam and Matt for their adorable, ADORABLE cupcakes with little edible pilgrim hats! (Basically the cutest thing in history). On a heavier note (ugh, sorry), the whole evening really got me thinking about how much I take for granted. As much as I moan and cry, I've really got a whole heck of a lot to be thankful for. The reality is, I'm living on the other side of the world with the warmest, most generous and accepting surrogate family anyone could ever ask for. For this, I am eternally grateful. Speaking of family, how fucking (sorry again, mom) excited am I that my parents are coming here to visit in early January?!!?!??! AHHHH!!!!! I'm confident that M and M will greatly appreciate the wonder and whimsy of Aotearoa as much as I do.

Whilst toiling away on the elliptical yesterday at the gym, I watched the profoundly moving memorial to the Pike River miners on tele. For those unaware of the situation, on November 19, there was a large explosion in the mine in Greymouth that trapped 29 men underground. Due to the risk of another explosion, rescue workers did not attempt to enter the mine. Five days later, another explosion occured and it was determined that none of the men could've survived. This is, from what I understand, one of the worst national disasters to ever befall New Zealand. As I watched the memorial, breath bated and misty eyed, I was really proud to be here. I'm not sure if proud is really the appropriate word, but I was just very impressed by what I can only assume is the inborn compassion that Kiwi's have for their fellow countrymen. It all just seemed so much more sincere than any of the nationally sponsored American remembrance services I've seen. Perhaps this is due to the fact that NZ is a much smaller, and consequently more connected culture? Something I was really surprised by, however, was the religious presence at the event (for the record, I have no problem with this). Perhaps one of my Kiwi followers (all, what, 2 of you?) could explain this a bit to me? I just assumed (falsely, apparently) that in a country with an Atheist PM and a reputation for secularism that there wouldn't be a succession of priests reading scripture during the service?

That's all from me for now. Until next week (REALLY THIS TIME).

Monday, October 4, 2010

In which I am TERRIBLE at blogging often enough for people to care.

Hi hi hi, friendly friends!

I'm so desperate to avoid working at all costs that I am actually resorting to blog updating!

So, Tom and I went to Wellington a few weeks ago, I kept saying I would write a post about it but I never did. I sort of am now? Anyway, Wgtn was lovely and thoroughly enjoyable. The best part was meeting all of Tom's old friends, all gorgeous people. We ate and drank and generally lived Epicureanly (it's a word, look it up). We also stayed with the other half of Tom's awesome family- John, Anna and Callan in their bougie (seriously!) little modern-barn-looking house for the week. Had a great time. I saw all the sights and met all the people and great fun was had by all.

In other news, my homesickness has again reached epic proportions. It's just starting to transition into autumn back home, my favorite time of year. Leaves changing, weather coldening, Halloween and the like. Sigh. Tom tells me people don't really make much of a deal of Halloween in these parts, which is quite saddening. Hopefully we will find a way to remedy that in some way.

Something funny about New Zealand- they LOVE airing the most random American television shows, often during primetime. So, if I ever want to watch Veronica's Closet at 8:30 pm I can just turn to Channel 2.

Honestly, HONESTLY, I plan on updating this thing at least once a week from now on. Additionally, my blogs shall transition from documenting the slightly droll (strong word, perhaps) minutiae of my days to themed posts about things I am learning about New Zealand, ways in which my life is being impacted by my move and overall differences between the New World (NZ) and the Old World (USA). I'm sure you're giddy with delight and anticipation.

Adios, mateys.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In which I no longer trust the ground below me.

Greetings, all!

As most of you may have heard by now, we had quite the earthquake here in Chch last week. Lots of rubble, lives destroyed, etc. Being that I am from a place that is renowned for having many a quake, I am decidedly unphased by the entire earthquaking process. You know, all of the stuff that happens after? Noticing the destruction, melodramatic newspaper articles and the like. I'm really rather over it at this point.

On to better news-- Tom and I are going to Wellington tomorrow for a week! Should be bonkers, I'm very excited.

I'm still experiencing rather frequent pangs of violent homesickness. I'm rather tired of the weather here in NZ at the moment, it's certainly not helping my melancholy mood (it's not so so bad, mostly just vexing).

I got into Canterbury, which is lovely. I don't start until February, which is not so lovely.

Lois has been gone on her Anglo-adventure for about 2 weeks now! The house/ estate just isn't the same without her. Betsy is going absolutely bat shit insane every few minutes, etc. I think she misses good ol' mom.

That's all for now, folks. Look for another update while I'm in Wellington, hopefully.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

I see a wilderness for you and me.

HI. Updates:

-I spoke to a lovely little man at Canterbury the other day, he took one look at my transcript and said: "You have terrific grades, you should have no problem getting in." Stellar.

-Tom and I are currently working on our visa application, it's going really well and should hopefully be easy to complete.

-I'm currently looking for a job at a hostel or hotel.

-I have my first of three sessions with a trainer tomorrow (YAY. Thanks, Tom).

Now that that's out of the way. Hi. How are you. Hello.

I've been having a bit of a rough go of it lately, if I'm honest. I'm feeling a bit isolated and highly homesickly. I love everyone here, I've just had a real strong hunger for home and all of its components this week. I miss walking through the old neighborhood, I miss trips to SF and wandering around Oakland and Berkeley, etc. I miss the way the light hits the house at dusk. I miss knowing where everything is and just knowing what everything means and where everyone is supposed to be. I miss the natural order of things.

Oh, well. The journey continues.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Hey everyone! I'm FINALLY updating my blog, sorry tortured masses. I've been in God's Own Country for two weeks now, and I'm having a hell of a time. I feel as if I've been sucked up by some sort of lovely little time-warpy suction tube and landed in an oddly futuristic 1960's-era England or something. NZ is the perfect mix of rural and urban, it's really unlike anything I've ever experienced.

Some differences I've noticed so far:

1) Everything is SO SLOW here. Just, everything. People saunter down the streets, restaurants (mainly cafe's here) give you your food whenever they feel like it and people live less strenuous and time-crunchy lives.

2) People from the south and Asian-New Zealanders are VERY hard to understand (sorry, Lois!)

3) The women of Christchurch are very fashionable, favoring opaque tights with cute wee dresses and leather jackets. They also LOVE boots, which is a bit outdated (I participated in the first boot-revival of 2004).

4) The people could not care less about me being from America/ my accent. Nobody has asked me about it yet. In America, if you have an accent, you're pretty much the only person anyone wants to talk to.

5) THE ROADS. Oh my GOD. They're so skinny, and everything is all wonky and wrong-sided. My life has flashed before my eyes on a number of occasions as Tom whizzes into the lanes that I forget aren't inhabited by oncoming traffic.

Also, Tom's family RULES. I could not be happier with them, and I seem to fit in quite well which is excellent and comforting and all that. We hang out each night and eat dinner and drink wine together and it could just not be more perfect. One of the signs they made for me is posted above.

Come Monday, my job and school search commences. Time to see about making a life for myself here.

Also also, I'm going to try to update at least once a week from now on!


Thursday, May 13, 2010


So, my first post. 50 days until I am en route to Christchurch. It seems I've started this blog a bit early. eh?

I find myself thinking a lot about what America means to me as I prepare to retreat and relocate to paradise. I was reading a list of all the people who have forfeited (not sure if this is the right word here) their citizenship in favor of their new homelands (Terry Gilliam, etc) and it's making me wonder whether I'll ever be in a similar situation. Would I do it? Abandon all that I know to be swallowed up by a country and culture I know little of? It seems a bit of a hip move, actually. Like, it's the new "moving to Canada." I wonder what would happen if I did. Could I go back and change my mind? Would I have to get a Visa to return to my country of origin? Odd.

So, America. My land? Not quite. Hate? Strong word. Love? Even stronger. Will I miss you? Most likely. When I think about America I see dizzying images of Double Downs and double wides and Nascar beer coozies balanced on the handles of folding lawn chairs or protruding guts. Cliche as it is, it's actually closer to my own world than I would readily admit.

I also think of steamy nights with fireworks and running through sprinklers and loving myself as I disappear into the fickle embrace of the night. Lately, though, I recall waking up in the harsh light of a morning that does not welcome me. I feel trapped and at a loss most days, as I lay in bed and dreamily imagine how my life will be in New Zealand. I hope you will join me in my vigorous and desperate and hungry and invigorating pursuit of a new reality.