winding road

New blog

I've moved on to other parts of the blogosphere, but I'll still be using this account to comment on other LiveJournals. See you around. :)

winding road


I'm a bad blogger. Bad bad bad.

Winter's coming to Wellington. We had a week solid of rain not long ago, and sometimes it gets frosty in the morning. But it's all right - I'm looking forward to lazy evenings by the fire, drinking ginger wine and catching up on my reading. I tend to be a lot more productive at home once the warm weather ends.

Anyway, I'll need to spend a lot of evenings in for a while, saving up my money, because I'm going to New York City in October! I'll be in Manhattan for two weeks, rambling around and doing research for my book. (It's set in New York, after all, and you can't write about New York if you've never been there.) And I've booked a ticket to attend a taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, just for fun. It should be quite awesome.
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Swimming weather

As much as I love Wellington's windy grey weather (no, seriously, I do) there's a whole lot to be said for hot sunny days, and I wish we could get more of them. It makes it easy to cycle to work, first of all. When it's nice enough, I can go around the bays, an hour-long ride each way. Gorgeous when it's calm and sunny, impossible when a gale is blowing, so I'm cycling the bays as often as possible while the weather's good.

The ride also takes me past Princess Bay, a really pretty spot on the South Coast, just inside the Taputeranga Marine Reserve. If it's going to be a hot day, I toss a bikini and a towel into my cycling bag so I can stop by the beach on my way home from work.

Nothing drives the work day so completely out of your head like a swim in the sea on a hot day. The water's cold, but it feels marvelous once you get used to it. I had a fantastic swim yesterday, followed by sunbathing and reading on the beach. I'd forgotten how nice that is.

Today, of course, it's raining. Everybody I know keeps sighing about last summer, when the hot weather arrived before Christmas and stretched lazily into March.
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Big Day

Thanks to the time difference out here in Kiwiland, President Obama's inauguration took place on Wednesday, 21 January, at six in the morning. I went to bed late the night before and I had two solid days of staff meeting to look forward to, but all the same I dragged myself out of bed and went to curl up on the couch in front of the television.

New Zealand news anchors don't even try to be diplomatic about former President Bush, by the way. They were like, "And now here's President Bush, the worst president ever. Joining us now are two Americans who moved to New Zealand because he sucks so much."

That wasn't exactly why I moved to New Zealand, but I have to admit that it's a relief to be able to tell people I'm an American without having to make fun of myself.

I could say something really sentimental about watching Obama take the oath just as the sun was coming up. But I think it's funnier to mention that right after Obama's acceptance speech, Wellington had a city-wide power outage.
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winding road

Woman is....

You know, John & Yoko lover that I am, I never expected to enjoy this song. Much less when it's sung by that chirpy Australian guy who sings "Catch My Disease". Surprisingly fantastic.
winding road


Originally uploaded by christinelinnell
I've finally replaced my laptop computer, so I don't need to sneak in personal work to the office anymore. Which means I can blog again! Thank heavens. My Facebook friends must think I'm dead by now.

I spent my first Christmas and New Year's in New Zealand, which was a cool experience. Christmas was particularly remarkable because I celebrated with my flatmate Starrlite (seriously, that's her name) and her family. They're all Maori or part-Maori, so their idea of a family holiday is to hold a hangi in the backyard. It was a warm breezy day, and I walked around barefoot in a summer dress and ended up with sandfly bites all over my legs.

And now it's 2009, the sun is shining, and I'm struggling against the urge to buy fish & chips for dinner - a struggle I think I'm going to lose.
winding road


Dear Sarah Palin, Vice-Presidential nominee,

Regarding this exchange here:

Katie Couric: "... A lot of our viewers and Internet users wanted to know why you did not get a passport until last year. And they wondered if that indicated a lack of interest and curiosity in the world."

Palin: "I'm not one of those who maybe came from a background of, you know, kids who perhaps graduate college and their parents give them a passport and give them a backpack and say go off and travel the world. Nooo, I've worked all my life."

Yeah, totally! I've worked all my life too. Like when I was in college, and I had this crappy job as a waitress, and I saved up for months so I could take my first trip to England over Spring Break. Applied for the passport all by myself, too - though I think my dad drove me to the post office.

Or like that time when I sent dozens of copies of my resume to English software companies until I landed a six-month internship in Portsmouth, and saved up more tip money for a plane ticket and a BUNAC student work visa. By myself.

Or like when I kept a dull office job for eighteen months so I could pay off my student loans and save up money to travel to New Zealand on a work visa. As in, to get a job. By myself.

Isn't work great?

Love and kisses,
Yank Abroad

P.S. I like your shoes.
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winding road


Spring has definitely come to Wellington - I can feel it as I take walks by the harbour during my lunch hour. It's a kind of warmth and softness that wasn't there a month ago. A certain smell, too, a mix of the sea and rain and flowers. One of the pohutukawa trees on the waterfront is already blooming (they usually don't bloom until Christmas), and it's like when trees start turning colours in the autumn back in America - it really cheers me up for some irrational reason. Summer is on its way.

I must keep in mind that the October northerlies are going to smack us silly first.

On a lark, I've signed up to write book reviews for The Lumière Reader. It's not a paying gig, but it'll be good practice. Time to start haunting the library again.
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All Grown Up

So I've been living in Wellington for just about a year and a half, and for the time being, at least, my waitress/barista days are over. I work in an office now, joining the throngs of professionals marching down Lambton Quay every morning. The job itself is pretty cool - I write promotional and educational material for students about why it's important to study maths and science. Most importantly, I'm actually writing for a living instead of developing software, which makes me very happy. But all the same, returning to office life is kind of weird.

Among the oddly grown-up habits I am developing since taking this job are 1) drinking too much coffee, 2) wearing lots of black and grey and pinning up my hair, 3) reading library books on the bus, 4) grabbing the World section of the newspaper during morning tea, and 5) getting caught up in politics. All of which are perfectly fine, but 18-year-old Me would make fun of 28-year-old Me for being old and stodgy.

Of course, I also 1) live on a marae with a bunch of pot-smoking hippies, 2) ride a bike instead of driving a car, 3) go out dancing all the time, 4) get caught up in liberal politics, and 5) have plans to travel to new places, New York City and Tokyo being near the top of the list.

18-year-old Me can piss off.

I happened across an article called "The Progressive Politics of the Millennial Generation" while I was messing around at work (yes, this is how I mess around at work these days, because I am stodgy), and it kind of appeals to me.

"The Millennials are an unusual generation, not like young people we have seen for a long time ... they are not individualistic risk-takers like the Boomers or cynical and disengaged like Generation Xers. Signs indicate that Millennials are civic-minded, politically engaged, and hold values long associated with progressives, such as concern about economic inequalities, desire for a more multilateral foreign policy, and a strong belief in government."

I honestly hadn't thought of that. It's encouraging.
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winding road

Uh, hi

Gosh. It's been over a year since I last posted. Crazy!

Very briefly, I am:

- still alive and well
- 28 years old today (wooo)
- waiting for summer
- currently living near Wellington's South Coast, next to the Tapu Te Ranga Marae, and
- loving it
- taking salsa dancing lessons (linear style this time, instead of Cuban)
- baking my own bread
- working as a writer/researcher to promote maths & science in schools
- becoming a regular customer at Unity Books
- voting for Obama

Have I missed anything? Probably....
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