Thursday, January 29, 2009

Life in Los Angeles

So, I'm getting pretty settled into this new chapter of my life. I just finished my third week of classes: Ethnographic Methods, Visual Anthropology: Stills, Documentary Film and Video, Stress Management for Healthy Living, and Postmodern Hollywood. I like all my classes so far, sans ethnographic methods, where my bitchy, snob of a professor ruins my every Tuesday.

I have two jobs! I just landed a hostess/events receptionist type person position at Lucky Strike Lanes, a swanky, "upscale bowling alley and lounge" in Downtown Los Angeles. It's a pretty sweet place and the people there seem very cool. Apparently it's been voted the place with the hottest staff in LA. I had to send in a picture with my resume--somehow this makes me feel really bad about the superficial establishment I work for, but also, it makes me feel awesome. Yikes.

I am also going to usher whenever I can at concerts at a couple of music venues. Between two jobs and 18 units, I should be pretty damn busy, and I couldn't be more excited about it.

I had chai latte boba tea with Brianna the other night. It was really great to see her and for us to talk about New Zealand and how much we miss it. She and Gus are seeing it through, which is great. Also, I'm going to be on the NZ panel at a study abroad panel-y dinner thing tomorrow evening. I'll take any opportunity to talk about New Zealand.

I'm glad you guys are still missing it so much. I'm still incredibly homesick for NZ and want to go back. I was just so damn happy there. It's not that I'm unhappy here, just not as happy. Sometimes I worry I'll never feel as full and happy and complete as I did in Dunedin again. Then I remember happy things for my future, like weddings and babies and fruitful careers, and I think those things will outshine studying abroad. But at this point, New Zealand represented the absolute best time in my life.

In short, I miss you guys like whoa and wish I had a time machine.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

new semester

So classes started for me this past Wednesday, so that should mean everyone's back in class. It was really weird actually moving back onto campus. A part of me definitely doesn't want to be back at WM and to reality. Though this semester should be pretty good - there's only one class that's going to totally suck (history of anthropological theory). I'm also taking intro to archaeology, roman art and archaeology, food and drink in the ancient world, and whitewater canoeing! I'm reporting for the campus newspaper (can't remember if I mentioned that), and my first article comes out Tuesday. If it's online too I'll link to it. But today I got this huge pang at lunch, and realized how much I not only miss you guys, but how much I miss Dunedin and New Zealand in general. There's been no clubbing, no bars, no Botans, no museums, no George Street shops, no delicious lunches out, no cooking for myself even, while I've been here. I was going to the library today and I was thinking how I really wished they had celebrity squares like Otago. At lunch today I noticed the huge amount of awkward-looking people (you know, people who look socially awkward just by the way they walk around or stand in line) and I thought, this is not Dunedin! I was cold last night because the heat was off and I almost threw on another layer of clothing instead of clicking on the heater. There are just so many little things that I am surprised that I miss, but I do. That's how I know I really loved Dunedin... and the thing is, even if I make it back one day, it won't be in the same circumstances, and so it will not be the same.

In other news, the new season of Flight of the Conchords has kicked off. I haven't gotten around to watching it but you can online, here.

Finally, I think I am going to graduate one semester early, so after next fall. It looks like I can, so I might as well.

Good luck with classes!

Friday, January 16, 2009


it's funny because i can remember a point at which new zealand was nothing more than a checklist to me. it was a country made up of items to check off a list, things i wanted to do before leaving, things i had never had the opportunity to do before, opportunities i wanted to take advantage of while i had the chance.
new zealand was itself an item on a checklist: somewhere i had decided i wanted to go once upon a time, and while i didn't still actively feel a strong desire to go there like i once had, it was something to check off my life's to-do list.

i remember a time, maybe halfway through my trip, when i sat back and thought to myself how glad i was that i would have managed to finish all the things i had wanted to do in nz, and how that would mean i wouldn't feel a need to go back and do any other things, because i would have accomplished everything.

hell, i remember talking to my mom on the phone, and her asking me if i thought that i was going to have to return to new zealand, if it had affected me that strongly, and i told her no, that i liked it, but once i left, i was going to be pretty much done with the country.

that was before new zealand became home.
that was before i had a life there.

at some point, and i cannot pinpoint when this happened, i fell in love with my life in new zealand. i loved my friends, i loved my routine, i loved our places, i loved every little thing, and i was so damn HAPPY.

and i don't think i really understood that. i mean, i knew i was happy, but i didn't really realize HOW happy i was until it was all gone. and i loved everything about it so much.

what i wouldn't give to go to karaoke at the bowler, or go get rice balls, or go lay out with a book in the botanic gardens, or just go kill an evening at grange. i miss that so much.

i miss the leith, and that willow tree, and looking at the peninsula from my porch.

i miss it all, and i don't know what to do about that.

new zealand is no longer a checklist to me. it's a place, and it's people, and it's a life.
more than anything, it's a time.
one i miss terribly.

The Long Break is coming to an end

Hey guys!

So our long break is nearly over (all the way over for some). I go back to school Sunday and start class next Wednesday. Developments: I'm writing for the Flat Hat, the #1 student newspaper on campus this semester. I got an interview at the EPA for a sweet summer job. I turned 21!!! And I went on a cruise with Jeff.

The cruise was amazing. It was to the Bahamas for 4 nights on Royal Caribbean. We stopped in Coco Cay (Royal Caribbean owned island) and Nassau. It was sooo touristy but once you got over that, tons of fun. There was a rock wall; Jeff and I did a speed climbing competition. I won the women's! We did trivia, karaoke, went to shows, ate tons of amazing food! It was 80 degrees every day. There were towel animals in our room nightly. We gambled in the casino - Jeff came out a dollar ahead, and I lost about a dollar. On Coco Cay we explored and beached it. There were wild chickens and iguanas. Nassau is the most tourist-centered place I've ever been in my life. Several blocks near the port are just jam-packed with duty free booze and jewelry stores. We found a cool 18th century fort and climbed on it. There was a cool staircase known as the Queen's Staircase up to the fort that was by a waterfall. We met some other cool people, and overall it was great. Cruises seem to me a great value and just fun and relaxing. There's tons of things to do and all the food you can possibly eat (they told us how many meals they make a day... it averages out to 6 per person!). So go on a cruise, is what I'm saying.

So basically... I've been great!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Life Begins Again

hello friends!

i know i've completely failed at updating this thing since it started, but i really have not had anything to say. this has been a minorly depressing winter break for me. i spent the first 1/2-3/4 (basically up until i visited amy a week ago) moping around about how much i missed new zealand, and how depressingly the same everything at home was. i didn't want to see my friends, i didn't want to go out and have fun, i just wanted to sit at home and miss new zealand, afraid that if i stopped missing it like crazy, i'd forget how truly spectacular it all was.

going to yuba city was a turning point for me. seeing amy was spectacular, and it was kind of like a wake-up call: that everything was real, and it's not going to disappear just because i've come home now. my friends do exist, and there's still hope of seeing them even if we're not all ten minutes away from one another anymore.

furthermore, getting away from portland gave me a chance to escape from the blanket of monotony that has been my life since getting home (wake up, go to work, come home, watch tv, go to sleep, repeat). i felt light and free and happy for the first time since coming back, and to my delight, the feeling has stuck with me, even upon returning home. i've gone back to hanging out with my friends and getting things done, and i'm finally starting to feel like myself again.

most exciting of all, school starts in a week! i don't have any idea why willamette is starting up SO LATE this year, but i cannot wait to get back onto campus and get into classes. i can't wait to move into my apartment and spend time with all my school friends, and stimulate my mind once again. i also cannot wait to get out of my mother's house: she doesn't like my stubborn refusal to give up the independence i've grown accustomed to having, and we've been at each others' throats for weeks now.

basically, life is improving, and salvation is on the horizon.

i guess i can survive without new zealand after all?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Hey. Haven't written in a while... today's my last day at work! I don't think the job affected me too much over the last few weeks so I'm not sad about leaving that, but I'm definitely going to miss being in the city. I could totally see myself living here in the future--most days after work I meet up with friends, go shopping, or go searching for some yummy food--something I can't do while I'm in the suburbs. Last night I went out for drinks and ramen with my friend and his family friends, and well... suffice it to say, it took me nearly three hours to get home afterwards. =)

I miss you all!! My boss's husband is a Kiwi and I looooove his accent haha. How did everyone spend their New Year's Eve/Day? Random meme:

In 2008, I gained: some self-confidence!
I lost:
a sense of where home is.
I stopped: practicing ballroom (after I left school in May)
I started: learning the guitar, yo.
I was hugely satisfied by: my study abroad experience.
And frustrated by: the schoolwork that came with it.
I am so embarrassed that I: cried in front of my project advisor that one time *cringe*
Once again, I: had the best year of my life thus far :D
Once again, I did not: correct my circadian rhythms
The biggest physical difference between me last December and this December is: short straight-permed hair and less baby fat in my face
The biggest psychological difference between me last December and this December is: I no longer hate myself yay!
I loved spending time: meeting new people and seeing incredible new places.
Why did I spend even two minutes: being an anti-social loser locked up in my room "studying" when I was never studying in the first place?
I should have spent more time: spending time with my awesome friends.
I regret buying: scones and savoury muffins like, every day in nz *pokes stomach*
I will never regret buying madd expensive plane tickets to nz and all around Southeast Asia even though with that money I could have helped pay my extravagant tuition bill.
I drank way too much.
I didn’t call my parents enough.
The long-distance relationship drove me crazy.
The most relaxing place I went was Pulau Redang in Malaysia, hands down. White sands, the endless swimming pool that is the ocean, and the boy
Why did I go to Columbus for the Ohio Star Ball? I wasn't even competing...
The best thing I did for someone else was grow up for them.
The best thing I did for myself was travel alll over the world.
The best thing someone did for me was forgive me.
The one thing I’d like to do again, but do it better, is life. I would like to Life better.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back in Los Angeles

Hey people, keep writing! I shouldn't keep writing when no one else is, but I just feel like blogging!

I moved back to LA yesterday and I'm very excited about it. I'm living in Koreatown (a neighborhood in Los Angeles) in a two-bedroom apartment with my best friend of over ten years, Jonathan. It's a nice place, newly remodeled with two parking spaces in a garage and a dishwasher (the two major selling points for me). The only poopy part is that our bedrooms are adjoined, so one of us has to walk through the other's bedroom to get to the rest of the apartment or to their room. I chose to be the intrudee, not the intruder, so Jonathan has the privacy, but has to walk through my room to get places. We decided this because A. I keep weird hours; B. I pee frequently until I can fall asleep. It's nice to be back in a city, and I look forward to school starting and life starting. Right now, I'm just busy with moving, unpacking, cleaning, and figuring out what necessities I don't have and running to Target to get them. Grocery shopping is on tonight's agenda.

I get to see Becky Clarkson tomorrow! She has a long layover at LAX and I am going to meet her for dinner or something of that nature. I'm pretty excited, it'll be nice to see her.

I had a wonderful time with Hannah during her visit! I felt bad because there is really nothing to do in Yuba City, so I am pretty sure she was bored, but we watched a lot of SATC and went Yuba City bar-hopping, which is creepy and entertaining. I miss her already!

Okay, enough indulgent blogging. I want to hear from all of you! I miss you guys!