Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hey, we've moved. House is big. Central heating is a wonderful thing. I hope it is efficient. We are quite happy there so far but are barely using half the space! one room has sat completely empty while two others are pretty much just storage for the moment. We really love our kitchen and new fridge.

Samson loves running around the house and the back yard. Of course he has already found the weaknesses in the fencing and is no longer confined to the property if he does not want to be.

We have had to do much shopping for the place. We got some great bargains from our friends Ange and Daniel who are moving back to Australia. We bought a bunch of stuff from them for only $65, and that's NZ dollars to even less US. That includes a nice set of dishes, iron and ironing board, toaster, welcome mat and many other items.

We also bought a nice new set of silverware. It was on big discount so we've really been doing well, spending a lot but only on needs and usually with significant discounts. We are still waiting for our lounge set to arrive (sofa and loveseat). Hopefully get it before June is over.

The transfer of phone and power/gas went smoothly, but apparently our broadband will take another week to catch up to us. Yet another example of why the internet is having some troubles really penetrating the market in NZ, sometimes they do not make things simple. Not such a big deal for me, but a little frustrating not to be able to just call and have service transferred within a day or so.

Oh, instead of moving house, here it is called shifting house. I like that.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Here is a picture of my beloved Samson who has been badly neglected lately. I was out of town for a couple of days for work and now that Celeste is working he is spending many many too many hours alone each days. I intend to take him for a nice long walk when I get home today. He deserves some good exercise! He is a lot bigger now than he was in this photo, he just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

366 Days, but who's counting?

I'm in the booth DJing at lovely MUNTfm (streaming from www.muntfm.co.nz) right now. Playing all kiwi music cuz this is NZ Music MUNTh :-) I do not know most of the music, i just piled it on my ipod and told it to shuffle. Playing a song by Odessa right now which I think is pretty good actually.

To celebrate our one year/six month anniversaries in NZ yesterday was pretty fun. Nothing was really planned as celebration, but it turns out it was my perfect kind of day. We even fit a little argument in, that's always fun.

The day started with us just hanging out for a bit, then we went to see a house that we had already checked out from the outside. It is in Karori, I had been wanting to move closer to work (and to flatter land), but this place is in our price range and once we saw the inside we were both pretty well sold on it. Sold being figurative as we will still just be renting. It is quite good sized which we wanted. There is tons of built in storage, that was very important for me. Allows us to keep the place looking sparse while also having places for all of our crap...nice. It also makes it much easier to puppy proof and later, child proof. Seems to have a lot of power outlets as well, I hate having to run cords all over the place because there is only one outlet in a room. Three sources of heat, gas duct heating, a few electric baseboards and a fireplace. One full bathroom and a half. A good sized backyard for the dog. So, tons of good things. Drawbacks are rather few and mild, still in hilly Karori too far from work; a bit dated and a little rough paintwise; tacky light fixtures; will take a lot of work to make yard really nice; no fridge or washer/dryer so we'll have to purchase those. Honestly though, those are pretty minor. After looking at a place in Khandallah later we decided that we were going to get the place in Karori. I do like Karori, this will be my third place in Karori in my time here. Hopefully this will be it for a few years.

While in Khandallah we had a very nice lunch at a cafe called Taste. After that we went home and had our little argument about choosing a place to live and decided on the Karori place.

The big event for the day was seeing Herbie Hancock in concert last night. I never thought I would see him live, though I've followed his career a little since Rockit was a big hit in the 80s. It was an awesome show. Really really good, just so much talent in the four people on the stage. An awesome combo of styles.

That was about it for the day, not bad not bad.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

One year in NZ, Wellington, Karori. Today is the day.

So, what has this year been like? Mostly just comfortable. Things have gone quite well. I got a great job, found a great apartment and have settled in quite well. Six months ago when Celeste arrived a new chapter began. From two years of long distance relationship to living together in one day. Quite a change.

It was also frustrating for us that she had received a Work-to-Residency visa not permanent residency so her staying in NZ was predicated on her finding a job. We soon learned that would be complicated by the time that she arrived in country. Turns out I had arrived at a very good time whereas she seemed to arrive at the worst time. November is too close to the x-mas holidays and everyone pretty much puts hiring on hold until sometime in January. So, nothing much happened on the job front. Then just as she was getting more interviews and things the Easter holiday arrived and things stopped again! So, it ended up with her not having a job offer before her visa was set to expire. We then spend some hectic times figuring out what new visa to apply for. This was complicated by the fact that the situation for WTR visa holders was in flex because it was not just Celeste having difficulty finding a job in the time allotted. After we finally tossed the application in the immigration drop box she was at last offered a great job. Of course when we contacted immigration to update them we found that they had lost her application (and passport that was with it). Very last minute it all came together and Celeste started her job Monday and in three months she should have her Permanent Residency taken care of! PHEW!!! It's been a hard time for her but it all works out.

Compared to that everything else has been pretty easy. The hardest adjustments are for her because she's having a difficult time dealing with what a lazy bastard I am. Now that she is working I am really trying to get better though!

And then on March 21 we brought home a little puppy who was born on January 22. He was named Samson by Celeste after a Regina Spektor song we both like a lot. He is a very cute little Australian Terrier/Maltese cross. He has grown from about 1.5kg to 3.3kg in the 6 weeks we have had him. Celeste is very committed to teaching him tricks. He will now sit/lie down/shake/jump up/roll over for treats. He is still learning to "stay" and "drop it." Unfortunately he does not like being left alone and our neighbours have complained to the authorities about his barking when we are away during the day. We are now looking for a house where he can bark his little brains out. Hopefully we will also be able to train him not to be quite so upset while we are away. Unfortunately I think that will be some work.

Hmmm...those are the things that jump out at me to write about for now. All in all, I am very happy about my first year as a NZ resident. I am working out and taking long walks regularly. Really trying to get healthier. Celeste and I want to have a child within the next year or so and I would like to be an active healthy parent!

If anyone manages to fine their way back here, please feel free to let me know!

Friday, May 04, 2007

One year ago I flew out of NYC on my way to NZ. Leaving New York was always a mixed bag for me. One year later I still feel the same way. There are a lot of things I really liked about being there. Maybe the thing I liked most was just that, Being THERE! 6.5 years in the Big Apple. Being the hermit that I am, I never took advantage of it like I could/should have, but still...the energy of that city is different than anything I have experienced and I enjoyed many aspects of that. I liked the diversity most of all. Really every type of person you could ever expect to see you would see in NY on a daily basis. Walking down the street hearing the kaleidoscope of accents and languages was so great.

I never got over the intensity of feeling when I would see the skyline of Manhattan when driving in Queens. All of the different neighbourhoods with such distinct personalities. The unmatched variety of food. All of the little and not so little dogs.

Of course, beyond that were my friends I left behind. Not that I had so many, but I had a few that it is hard to be away from. Carrie was my best friend for 6 years and very difficult to walk away from that support and love. Paul was a great buddy and was almost enough to motivate me into being a healthier person. I think New Zealand itself has taken over for him, I'm really trying to stop being a couch potato. Nina, my friend that I would never see, but we always meant to spend more time together. Also, all of my other friends all over the states, it just feels that much less likely we'll see each other now that I am on the bottom of the world.

Honestly though, this was a move I still feel I had to make. Not just because I needed to be with Letlet (though that is more than reason enough), but because I needed to get away from it all. I have always wanted to really live somewhere else in the world and though in some ways Wellington New Zealand feels a lot like home (home being Portland and the pacific northwest), it is also a very different experience. I have not yet made close friends after a year here, but I do feel connected to people. I think I can belong here, that I can happily spend my life here.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I am returning to semi-regular posting. Will I still have any viewers?

The past six months have been quite full, so of course I did not blog any of it. Now that things seem to be mellowing I will return to the world of blogging. It is so much more fun to write when you have nothing to say.

The short version of the past half year is this, letlet arrives, looks and looks and looks for work, began work this very Monday with assorted wackiness in between. There is a new addition to our happy home name of Samson, I will put in pictures soon. I am still working in same place, we are all still living in same place but the home situation is likely to change before too much longer.

This is enough to get me started back. I will expand on all of these areas and more in the near future.

About Me

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Hi, I'm Jon, you may know me from my appearances in Brattleboro and Marlboro VT. Or you might know me from my time in New York City. We may have crossed paths in Northampton, MA or possibly during my brief stint in Berlin, Germany. More likely you don't know me at all, but if you're from Portland, OR or Wellington, New Zealand there's a chance we've bumped into each other. If any of these sound like places where you may know me from, drop me a line. :-)