"Not all who wander are aimless. Especially not those who seek truth beyond tradition, beyond definition, beyond the image."

Monday, November 28

Happy *belated* Turkey Day!!

Who was the anonymous that signed my blog a while back?!?! The escaped convict look?! Ring any bells! Sign your names!!! It makes my day to see comments everyone leave---but I'm a horrible guesser!!!

Well, Turkey day has come and gone and I hope it was just fabulous for everyone! For those of you I got to talk to, it was great to hear your voices! Me and molly had a moment of sadness when we called home to our familes. I think it made it worse b/c while everyone was together, we were at work. So, we shared a virtual hug, shed some tears, and got on with our day. Our Turkey day was on Saturday and we spent all day cooking up a feast to give our flatmates a little taste of home! Things that would have been simple in the states seemed to be a bit more difficult over here. The fact that they don't have pumpkin puree (and we couldn't let thanksgiving come and go without Connor P getting a taste of pumpkin pie), stuffing croutons, normal pie crust or a pie dish for that matter (sweet pies are hard to come by--if they have pie, it's usually filled with meat!), marshmellows (we had to go to 2 stores before we found ones that would do for candied yams!), or half and half, made things a bit more difficult! But, we had made our menu and we were determined to stick to it! Turkey, stuffing, mashed patatoes, gravy, cranberries, candied yams, breaded carrots, greenbeans, pumpkin pie and apple pie! I have to say, we weren't overly confident about how things would turn out, afterall, neither of us had really helped out cooking thanksgiving before, let alone done everything from start to finish! And by Connor's "have you guys ever cooked before" question, I don't think he was too confident either!!(we even bought a packet of cheap gravy in case we screwed that part up!) hehe. But, I have to say, we pulled it off! And we did it all---everything from making out own stuffing croutons to pureeing (is that a word!??) our own pumpkin. The turkey was a little dry but for 2 first timers, I think we did a dang good job!
Molly made up some thanksgiving activites for everyone, including some triva that really brought out the kid in all of us---Phil was caught redhanded cheating from Connor's paper (the look of determination in his eyes and the speed of his writing made us certain he had done it before...), innocent little Sarah worked dilengtly on her triva questions with confidence that her dad had taught her all there was to know about Thanksgiving--we never would have guessed that when she took a break and wondered off she had gone searching for the answer key---which she carried back to the table all stealth-like! I of course just sat there like a good little girl and answered the questions---but they all tried to disqualify me for taking too long. As for Connor---well, he was busy showing the German's around the house while trying to convince them that we were actually fairly normal people despite all the screaming and laughing going on!

Which brings me to the next topic---new flatmates! The German couple, despite our strange behavior has decided to move in! We are all a bit excited---and between the 5 of us, we are bound to come up with a few German words. Which, will probably be needed since neither of them speak very good english! So, it should be interesting to say the least! They seem nice and after a little breaking in, fun too! If you know any German (other then bad words and "yes, exactly"---we've got those covered) throw them my way!

Hope everyone had a great Turkey Day! Love you :)

Sunday, November 20

Wednesday, November 16

Just smile and nod...

It's lunch time over here on this side of the world and I'm using the strong winds as an excuse not to go for my lunch time run! The hour that we get for lunch is fabulous!! At first I didn't even know what to do with myself---it seemed like forever! I thought about cutting it down to 30min and getting payed for the extra half hour but I have since decided that it makes the day fly by when you go for a run (or blog, read the newspaper, or trashy magazines that seem to rule this place, or meet with mol in the park!) for an hour in the middle of the day! Anyhoo! Work is going well--my boss asked me a few days ago if I would feel comfrontable answering the phones when things got busy. I'm pretty sure my voice was shaking the first few times but I'm starting to get used to it and am kind of loving it! One thing I learned really quickly is that you can't just smile and nod when you talk on the phone. The whole 'just smile and nod' has gotten me by many a time when I don't understand a damn word that someone says (esp. sarah who might forget to breath when she speaks---between me and mol, we are usually able to piece together what she says. Although, it may make for some delayed reactions!) but that doesn't seem to work too well on the phone! Which is kind of great I guess--I'm sure I'll be able to understand these Kiwi's perfectly someday soon but so far I've been quilty of passing on a few calls simply b/c I can't understand them! And I'm perfectly aware that if I screw up or tell someone something completely wrong, they'll be able to track me down with "that girl with the accent told me so". The girls have been sure to point out that there is no hiding for me!

Enough about work! Our immature flatmate that I have told some of you about (ya know ash, the guy with the chip on his shoulder!) has now taken his TV out of the living room. Hilarious. To make what could be a really long story short, Mr. Brenden (or, 'the b' as he referes to himself) is extremly immature and has gone through periods of outright ignoring everone who has come through the house. It's happened to me and mol for about a week until I said something and Brenden just pussed out and told me nothing was wrong. He has now started ignoring Phil for the 2nd time. Sooo, we all got to the point where we have had enough. We were all meant to go to his 21st birthday but decided that he treats us like crap and being there would just damper our moods. SO, we decided to stay home and have a party of our own! Mol had a brillant idea of picking names out of a hat to see who would be the birthday person---sarah won! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH became the theme of the night---complete with balloons, a few games of 'circle of death' (in which sarah made a rule that you had to say 'happy birthday sarah' before you picked up a card) and some great flat drunken moments! We managed to stay awake for the All Blacks rugby game--we kicked butt!! And finally made it to bed soon after the birds started chirping and the sun came up! The B hasn't been around much since the weekend but this morning when we woke up, we noticed that he took his big TV out of the living room and left the smaller one that belongs to connor on the floor. We can't help but laugh! We hope it means he is moving out but it's more likely him just being spiteful.

Off to get some reading in before I head back to work! Hope all is well at home! Miss you all! Also a big congrats to my Rice girls who pulled out a big Conference USA win--that's HUGE for a program that is only 5 years old! Mol should be updating her online picture account soon so we'll be sure to put a -few- pics from our big birthday night up there!! :) (the website is written on one of these last few blogs)

oh--one more thing! I now have MUFTY friday's at work!!! The ANZ Bank has decided to join the rest of NZ and we are now allowed to wear jeans on friday! I think I'm more excited about the word mufty then I am about wearing jeans!

Tuesday, November 8

Read other blog entry first!

keep telling yourself that the hair will grow back :) :) (b/c it will! no worries!)

Always remember the 5th of November

(I'll get to that title in just a minute!)

Not sure where to start--my days are starting to blend together! I guess I'll start with 2 weekends ago. We are finally starting to get some nice weather so I pulled on my tramping boots and took off looking for a bit of a challenge. Everytime we take the train to the city, I notice this little trail off in the mountains, and everytime I look at it wondering what is has to offer! So, I set off to find out :) It was nothing too crazy but it was a nice little getaway that is only about 10 mintues from our house. Not to mention it was a tid bit creepy walking through the woods alone! It's okay mom, I won't do it ever again--!! It only took me about 2o minutes to get to the top and I wasn't feeling too satisfied. So, worked my way back down to a little stream that runs for who knows how long! I tried to stay dry at first, but by the end, I was willingly up to my knees in chilly water.

So, that brings me to this weekend--and the title of this here blog! The 5th of November is an event called Guy Fawkes. It's named after a man who was plotting to blow up the parliment building in England--he was caught and evidently burnt in a big bonfire. So, every 5th of Nov, people celebrate with fireworks. ("always remember the 5th of november--gunpowder, treason, and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder, treason, and plot should ever be forgot"). So, we planned for an exciting flat outing on saturday night---expecting the fireworks show to be very similar to our 4th of July. Wow, were we wrong!!
We started with a big flat BBQ--we had an american touch, a kiwi touch, and an england touch. It was damn delicious! So, off we go---expecting a nice fireworks show, never expecting that for the next 2 hours we would feel like we were in a war zone. As soon as we hit Oriental Parade (a road that is right on the water and the hotspot for the night), things got nutty!! It started with really load noises (that were pretty unmistakenly fireworks hitting cars), and heaps of people. I'm pretty sure that within the first 5 mintues of getting to Oriental Parade, we all jumped back or huddled up at least 5 times. I turn to my right--some chick who has no idea what to do with a roman candle throws it on the ground. It shoots off once and flys under some cars--shoots off again, comes right at the crowd of people--shoots off again and goes right towards another group of people. All the while, the girl is chasing it, (oh, and she now also has a sparkler in her hand) trying to catch it. She finally does and points it away from the crowd--right towards some people on their balcony across the street. I look to my left and there are fireworks of all sorts shooting up within feet---no, inches of crowds of people. All along the beaches, kids (and when I sy kids, i mean YOUNG kids) were setting off their own fireworks with absolutely no regard for the fact that they are REALLY hot and dangerous! Yeah, yeah, I sound like a huge wuss and I lost count of how many times I told my mother to get out of my head that night. But, just when I told myself to stop being a wuss, another piece of fire would come flying at my head. You try it and tell me you don't run away crying. I felt like I was playing dodge ball with fireballs---that exploded on impact. Surprisingly, all the crazyness that was going on around us stopped as soon as the big show started. It was awesome and beautiful and it was nice to not have to watch our backs for 15 minutes! But as soon as the show was over, the crayness started all over again!! Walking back through the crowd---more people who thought roman candles were fun to point at crowds of people. Me and Phil ducked as one flew right over our heads--turned around and watched it land right on some guys lap. We found a nice little place that was a bit away from the crowd and decided to hang out there for a while (don't get me wrong--we wanted to get out of there ASAP but we drove---and we thought it was better to hang out then to try and drive in this crazyness---yeah, remember the fireworks hitting cars bit earlier??). So, we sat on this little roof and just watched in disbelief. 2 young kids (couldn't have been much older then 6) were not only lighting the fireworks on the edge of the dock, but were jumping over them while they were lit. The parents kind of watched. Another roman candle (or something that shoots off multiple things) was lit on the edge of the dock and fell in the water. I thought the water would just kill it. Nope. Shoots once---right towards the dock where all the kids were, shoots again, and again and again---no one ever knowing where the hell it would end up! We finally made it home safe and sound--me and molly repeating over and over about how it would never fly in the states. How we were never allowed to light fireworks until we were at least-what, 13? And even then, dad or big brother was right next to me and I had to run away after I lit it. Usually the garage was a safe enough distance from the street!! Anyhoo---enough of that! It was quite an experience!

The first All Blacks game was on that morning at 5am. We didn't make it. We set our alarm but we weren't quite Kiwi enough to actually get up. But we caught the replay the next day and they kicked butt! (the All Blacks are the Kiwi's pride and joy--the rugby team that basically owns this place!). Next weekend they play at 3am--we'll be at the bar watching. For sure!!

Sunday me and molly took off for Mt. Kaukau (pronouced cowcow) looking for a nice little hike! It was beautiful!! Only about a 20 minute walk from our house and a 60 minute hike to the top. On the way up, we came across this CREEPY looking tunnel that we didn't have the guts to go into. Maybe next time! We hiked a little more and saw rolling green hills for as far as we could see. It was breathtaking. The pictures just don't do it justice but I guess they never do! We saw lots of sheep which we were super excited about!! They are just so cute :) When we got to the top, we had a great view of Johnsonville (our home) to our left and Wellington (our work) to the right! We had to cut the hike a little short b/c when we got towards the top we thought we were going to be blown away! But we are planning to do it again soon! I wish I could explain the view--it was just amazing!

Wednesday, November 2

Daylight Savings...AGAIN!

If my memory serves me correctly, the states just went through daylight savings and you all have "fallen back". What does this mean for us? Well, we are yet ANOTHER hour apart!

So, Florida (aka eastern time) you are now 18 hours behind me and Houston (aka central time), you are now 19 hours behind me! JEEPERS!! That's a long time...but it actually makes it easier to get each other at resonable hours!!

Me and Molly are off to our "pub meet" tonight...complete with our "smart" outfits (aka, business attire) and SNEAKERS!! Yes, that's right...we have taken the plunge into fashion suicide and now wear sneakers when we walk to work. It's HOT, let me tell you what! But hey, try walking to work and back everyday in really uncomfy shoes...! We didn't last long and have followed in the (smart) locals [sneaker] footsteps!

How I fare this weekend after attending GUY FAWKS (a huge fireworks event), drinking a considerable amount, and trying to stay up until 3am to watch the first ALL BLACKS (rugby) game since we've been here. I'll be in touch :)

A big hug and "i love you" to all my friends and family in Florida who were very fortunate even though they were without power for over a week after hurricane Wilma. Glad everyone is okay. Keep your spirits up. :)

Been meaning to mention for ever now that JULES and JARROD are coming to see us!!!!! We are so super excited!!! Can't wait guys :)