06 October, 2009

Second Epistle of Peter: to a fake brother

so as i've discussed in a previous post i like to send letters and care packages.
i got another opportunity to assemble a box of fun and cleverness just a few weeks ago. as i'm sure just about every one of you knows (i doubt many people who don't actually know me read this) i am an only child. which is mostly fine, but has left me occasional wanting the kind of brotherly relationship found in much pop-culture. for much of my public school life i wished i had an older brother to help me learn how to defend my self and to play me good music, though i made due with good friends, though we did have some kind of crap taste in music. i have known a few brother sets over the years, a few happy but a few taking the normal sibling rivalry to occasionally dangerous heights. specifically i'm thinking of my cousins who are about as different as two people can be who were the product of the same couple.
i still wished i had had a brother.
then i lived with Caitlin, Blyth and Kristina and got some sisters. which was/is truly awesome, not that we haven't had our moments of fighting and annoyances, but when it comes down to it we know we love each other. the first few pieces of mail i sent out from down here went to them.
and it was through them that i met my fake brother, well the person i would like to be my fake brother anyway and more importantly the recipient of the package i just sent out.
mid summer of 2008 just as the Olympics were happening in Beijing, Kristina's little brother came to visit. half way through the summer between his junior and senior years, he came a few days before his mom arrived so he could check out the city with his big sister and her friends.
so for a week me, Kristina, Caitlin and Blyth showed him the city and our favorite parts and a lot of our apartment. in between all this tourism and on the nights where Kristina and Caitlin wanted to do things that an under age boy shouldn't be involved in but whisky gingers should i stayed home and watched Olympics (i watched an absurd amount of Olympics last year). it was really fun. he is a smart kid and we had a lot of fun conversations about things while we watched and while we wandered around town. it was nice to have a boy to hang out with, not that i don't love my sisters and the few homo friends i have. it was also fun to hang out with a teenager who doesn't make me want to go back in time and smack my self for the things i know i used to do. really he made me wish i could go back to high school and be friends with him. so i did the next best thing and was friends with him in the present.
we didn't get to hang out for too long before he had to return home but even a week and a half of having a surrogate brother was awesome. and i've tried to stay in touch. sending him the occasional note about his favorite SF based ice cream treat (the delicious Its'-It) and i've already sent him a post card from here in NZ. then Kristina told me about moving him into college and i decided to get together a box of back to school fun for my little bro. it was another of my ideas that would have been super duper awesome if i'd had the time and resources that the idea in my head required. but for my budget and time it turned out well. three books from the Popular Penguin series we have at work (sufficiently boyish and college-y, Cats Cradle, Fever Pitch, and Quantum of Solace) a sweet NZ t-shirt (i know of no other country that loves the image of it's own outline as much as here.) and some school supplies including a notebook that i redecorated with crap i've accumulated here in NZ. all in all some good work i think. if anyone knows how i can be a professional care package-er let me know its about the only thing i really am good at and like to do.

anyway more letter related blogging coming up. i hope ...

24 September, 2009

i tried i really tried

i started a post the other day.
and i tried to finish it today but i'm just too tired. i was rambling so i put a hold on it till i can actually form real sentence and sound interesting.

for now i'm just going to fail at all my art projects and eat cereal for dinner.

this city is trying to kill me

13 September, 2009

Progress Report

so in a previous post i talked about some of my goals for while i am here.
now i intend to update you on how those things are going.

and it will be in list form.

- still haven't zorbed or met phil keogan. this will happen later. well the zorbing will still not sure about the meeting phil keogan part
- real bunggy jumping is still on the agenda, i might do it here or i might wait till i'm somewhere more cool to jump off of.
- visiting lord of the rings sites also still on the agenda just not with a date written down next to it
- sailing, hmmmmm still need to properly look into this. i want to actually have to do things like work on a boat but i have no actual knowledge of how to do that so i'd need to find someone who likes to teach people to boat? research will be needed. anyone want to do it for me?
- hobbit hotel. need to find out where that one is, then hope it is affordable.
- i'm certainly improving my fitness. i just got back from the gym. its really making a noticeable difference and i'm really getting into the swing of it. i even read some fitness magazines at work yesterday. i still don't really know what i'm doing but i can almost fake it now. and i can swim better, though i have to wear nose plugs which look silly.
- blog: i could be doing better, but then NZ's Internet could also not be absolute poop
- journal: has been going fantastically, missed a few days but not that many. though recently i've been attempting to journal before i go to bed and falling asleep mid sentence. so i'm instituting a new rule of not journaling in bed. and the art has been getting better. see facebook for proof.
- writing project: i have one and its going well, though i hate having to type up what i've hand written in my journal which makes it slow down. when i have more of it done i will talk about what it is.
- the picture a day thing is where i've completely lost it. mostly due to crap internet making photo uploads somewhat torturous. also the long walk to work and then all that time actually being at work. i've been trying to take more pictures and i will try to get them uploaded in a semi timely manner but one a day is just not a doable project.
- favorite bar, done! though i get to it less now that i'm not unemployed.
- expat thanksgiving plans are coming along, i just hope to increase the amount of people to invite.
- visiting Amy is almost definitely not going to be possible, it is way too expensive to get up there :(
- Australia should still be do-able but will need some more looking into
- tropical island. see previous answer
- letters and postcards are going well, as you can probably tell from my list of posts to come i have some mail projects either done or in the works. i have a stack of envelops and things that i need to get into mail boxes soon, and one big project that i started over a month ago that i need to actually work on again.
- taking an art or design class is probably not going to happen, i saw some listed but they are just too expensive. but i did get invited to a crafter's bar night that i'm going to go to and so that's something. i've also been checking some stuff out of the library and i have a big art project in the works as a souvenir for everyone (well lots of people) that i think i can get to turn out really well.
- i haven't seen an Opera or a Symphony yet, there haven't been as many options as i thought there would be, though i did miss out on one that was this past weekend (it might be next weekend too i should look into that). i have however been to two plays, both quite good. The God of Carnage and Holding the Man, both funny and sad though Holding the Man was far sadder.
- still don't have a concrete plan for when i get back, but i am thinking about it and i have lots of ideas. i know i want to have a week in SF on my way back to NY but beyond that i have no real shape or form of what i want after this. i know what i would like for it to involve but its a matter of what i can actually get together and plan.

so that's how i'm doing on all those things i said i would do. not a bad tally. other then the photo thing i've kept up with most of them or plan to. even if Auckland hasn't been great to me it has helped me be good to my self. and it its own way i couldn't have done it anywhere else. i just know i never want to live here ever again.

12 September, 2009

Why I Didn't Blog yesterday

there was a bus strike.
that's the short answer.
the long answer involves many factors. in the interest of finishing this post before my internet caves in like a house of cards and or i get bored i will list them. (also i like lists)

- the a fore mentioned bus strike
- a longer gym session then i intended
- choosing the only bus stop in Newmarket that doesn't have an electronic informational sign. (which amusingly did not call it a strike merely said that the buses weren't running for an "event")
- my internet at home is crap, see previous statement about the house of cards.
- 45 minute commute to work/the place where i can get free fast-ish internet
- laziness, i will not totally blame the Auck
- i had a drought of topics until yesterday, now i have a glut and no time till Tuesday to fully apply them to bytes.

posts for you to look forward to: (hey look another list)
- Status report: how i'm doing on the various goals i laid out in "goal post"
- Second letter of Peter: to my fake brother Stevie
- (a topic i forgot to write down and thus have forgotten)
- Third letter of Peter: to Lynn a fellow traveler

see you soon

27 August, 2009


i hate this city the way you hate medicine.
i've long since come around to the idea that being here is good for me, i'm not going to love Auckland or want to live here permanently like i did in SF, or even like it in the want-to-visit-every-other-month way that i love NYC, but i can see the way that this city is helping me shape my self, find new habits lose old insecurities and become a better me.
i've been doing more writing here, not much else to do when the internet sucks, i've started a journal and out of the almost 3 months i've been here i've only missed about 7 days. which is more then i imagined i would be able to do consistently. and i've been doing a lot of drawing in between those entries, some of it already featured on my facebook page (and more to come when i get them photographed). i'm even a bit worried that i might run out of the two moleskins i brought for journaling purposes (don't worry i will either use something else or put out a call if i need more). they aren't quite the amazing super pretty art-books that i want them to be but they are there and that is better then i've managed before i got here.
i've also started a new writing project. to be fair i have at least one old one that i could be refining but i'm not sure if i can give it the editing it needs yet (also i'm kind of over a lot of the feelings that inspired it and the sort of "marketing niche" it was semi-aiming for is kind of over). i'm keeping it a bit under wraps till i get at least half way done with it, and i don't know what i will do with it when its all the way done (it's scripts for what would be a webseries) but as i was working on it yesterday it was feeling really good and i miss that feeling. i have a lot of projects in my head, i get them on my long walks to work and i'm hoping that i can pull at least a few of them off and start down the path to developing an artistic career or at least a hobby that satisfies me. on top of the writing projects i have two mail based projects that i'm planning, one for you guys one for me and i have a stock pile of some art supplies that i hope to find ways to use.
i've become an early riser too, well at least for the last two weeks, my job starts early most days and because it takes me a bit of a walk to get there (and don't get me started on the bus) i'm up at 6:30-7:00 most days of the week. i've also been getting up for the gym but we're getting a head of ourselves on that one.
i'm slightly less socially awkward then i used to be! this is one of the big ones. being alone in a foreign country has kind of forced me to get better at this. i'm still no social magnet but i've developed a small circle of friends almost entirely on my own and i'm getting much better at the random interactions with other people that used to be really bad for me. the short conversations with strangers who will probably not become friends but are still people i can learn small things from. i'm also less terrified of the idea of people of authority yelling at me that made some more institutional interactions i've had in the past. i still could be better at this, i haven't found a bar i like enough to meet new people at and i still kind of hate calling people but i'm not going to sell short the progress i'm making. (also i kind of like that i hate calling people, i's a good quirk as long as i don't get to pathological about it.)
and lastly i've joined a gym, which is something i've wanted to do for a while. i don't have the goal of becoming a gym bunny or a muscle god but i know i could be both healthier and more sexy (i know that second one is hard to imagine but it's true). i've never been super concerned with my physical appearance, ok well that's not quite true, but i've never been what you would call "high-maintenance." it isn't my intention to become that either, but i've wanted to do good things for my body and get closer to the kind of sexy boy i want to date, now i don't have any absurd expectations about having a ripped six pack and pecs of steel but i have already noticed improvements and i feel really good about my body for the first time in a long time (public school did a number on my self esteem). to the point where i'm entered into an underwear contest next sunday! gaynz.com check it out.
these are just a few of the big changes i've been noticing that Auckland has in its weird way has been helping me with, there are more i'm sure other big ones and i'm sure a bunch of small ones. i'm hoping that all my time here is long enough to reinforce these great developments so that i can keep them up when i get back (i'm still not sure where i'm landing yet, that is a whole other blog post).

anyway, i need to go to bed i'm off to the gym tomorrow.

18 August, 2009

The Plan

so new digs, a job (which i learned on Sunday will definitely last till November) and all kinds of things in the work. an update on "The plan" is in order.

really up till now there never really was a plan. there was the amorphous "i'm going to New Zealand" phase, then the "Auckland is going to be awesome" phase, then several iterations of the "oh shit" phase and finally we have "The Plan":

now-December 3rd:
-work at Borders, accumulate monies (repay Amy (super shout out thanks BTW)), read books from the library, receive mail (hint hint), send mail, take day trips (so many volcanoes i can visit), meet new people/make friends, hate the Auckland bus system, go to the gym (more on this later?), work on art projects (suggestions welcome), watch some of the movies and TV i have on my hard drive, get to my two favorite cafes as much as i can considering the crappy bus system, go to art openings, blog, relearn how to cook (and relearn how to shop for said cooking), have a thanksgiving fest, and some other as yet unknown things of fun, leisure and adventure ...

this is where things get interesting
December 3rd till at least half way through January but i'm hoping till early February:
i'm going to be working on a farm/resort.
not just any farm/resort, this farm/resort:
a gay, clothing optional hippy farm.
yea crazy right. i'm figuring because Auckland/New Zealand is not going to be a place to advance my career (though i guess that would require having something approaching a career in the first place but that is baggage for another post) i should do something weird/exciting/adventurous so that i get something out of this country other then nice pictures and a bunch of stuff with the All Black's logo on it. a lot of the people who come down here to work/putz around for a bit end up doing some fruit picking or farming work (apparently many of the crap ton of Germans do it) and while i don't really want to do it as a form of employment the idea of doing it as a sort of adult (not in the XXX way) summer camp really appeals to me. sort of a vacation from my normal existence but one where i'm doing something productive and still having fun. i have been wanting to learn about growing food for a while (the slow food and urban homesteading movements are big in SF) and just generally do something a little more radical then i usually do. i have this vision of working hard on crops and cooking and general interesting estate maintenance/handyman kind of stuff for a few hours each day then reading on a beach or a nice green field in some small item of clothing (or if i get brave enough nothing at all?) then some kind of magical campfire events at night and some nice yoga sessions in the woods. obviously i don't really know what to expect but i'm still really looking forward to it. i've decided to do it when it is summer here as opposed to just hopping on a bus now because i think that will make it a more enjoyable experience, and give me time in the city to make money.
so yea gay naked farm for two months. neat right?

February and some of March:
fuck around, go on crazy adventure/travel buses (google Kiwi Experience and or Stray) do all the fun silly backpacker touristy things meet drunk college kids and freaks from the UK and Australia and Germany and the US, get drunk, eat lots of bad food, talk about the gay farm. send postcards from lots of places, just vacation basically. by this point i will probably picked a date to come home so it will be a "run out the clock" kind of mood. i'm hoping to get in some Australia travel and maybe an island or two before i head back but it will depend on how much i bank here in Auckland.

late March:
return triumphantly to the US just as its getting nice (weather wise, i'm hoping that economically things will be better too), parties in SF and NYC, consistent internet, real public transit systems, currency that doesn't have the queen on it, showing all my pictures to everyone.
but most importantly figuring out what's next.
still not clear on that, "The Plan" kind of drops off a cliff at the end of next march, but then i'm hoping by then i will have added to it. i know i want to take a road trip across the US but not really how or why (i mean why in a narrative thrust way, they why is because its an awesome idea), i could go to grad school or move to Austin who knows. i'm hoping some of my time here and in the naked woods of a gay farm will help me figure out a "what's next"
or i'll mooch off my parents for a month or two and go from there?

stay tuned for "The Plan 2: in a State"

12 August, 2009

i'm not moving again/i want to move again

so i'm going to try and keep this less whiny then all my other posts. (emphasis on try)

as some of you know for the last two weeks i was camped out at a hostel as i looked for a new place to live, which was its own stressful and annoying story. anyway i have a new place but i'm feeling conflicted about it. i'm trying to figure out how to deal with that.

i liked a lot of the things at the hostel i was staying at (BK hostel) it was kind of nice being back in a dorm like atmosphere and having a kitchen after a month without one was nice. even their bathroom was nice if really cold. i even had a manageable useful Internet connection. really the only thing i would have changed from there was having a roommate and even that wasn't so bad, he was hardly around and when he was he was nice.
but living in a hostel doesn't really feel like living here (not that im super attached to living here, my new plan (upcoming post) involves staying here till the end of November, which did it's fair part to cramp my apartment hunt im not going to lie.)
so i looked for places, and for the most part didn't find much. one place was WAAAAAY to far out, most places didn't get back to me, on place i looked at were great till i mentioned that i would be leaving at the end of November, and then there was the place i am now.
now my problem is not so much that i hate this place, i don't, i just have a few problems that are keeping me from like it a lot. the room its self is awesome, its big and comfortable (once i figured out the heater) and has plenty of storage for all the crap i've accumulated. the house it's in is also nice its big and in the really posh part of town, it is kind of more like a fancy long term boarding house, which by it's self is fine. really my problem with the place comes down to two factors, everything else is either great or at least not a problem.
the first problem, crappy internet now really that is kind of a problem with the whole country (see previous post) but here the problem comes down to the fact that there are a bunch of people living here sharing one connection which makes it even more glitchy. it doesn't seem to be as much of a problem during the day (today is my day off) but it is really bad when i get home from work and just want to vedge out in front of the Internet for a while. also it isn't good at just leaving me on during the day so that all the people back home who are asleep by the time i get home from work can leave me messages (note to all of you, email would probably be better from here out). as internet is my one big life line to all of you its going to take me a while to adjust to that and find ways around it, i demand more e-mails (and seriously yell at me if i haven't updated this in more then a week.) and working more on the other stuff in my life i could be doing like writing and art projects. i think i can get over this hurdle i just have to go through an adjustment period.
the other problem, which might be bigger but i can't tell yet, is that this place is kind of far out from the parts of town i like. in another city this wouldn't be such a big deal, get on a bus or subway and your back where you like in 10-15 minutes, but Auckland's public transit system is pretty embarrassing. its 15 minutes just to get to a useful bus, a 25 minute to the place i work three days a week and takes between 30-45 minutes to get back to the cafe and bars that i like (well bar, singular) and i haven't commuted to the place i work the other two days a week so we'll see about that. really i'm going to have to plan my days so that if i do something cool i leave from work and don't come home first because once i'm here getting back out seems really daunting. this might change as it gets warmer and if i can figure out some shortcuts or just get used to it but for now it is also putting a damper on my excitement for this place.
really i'm just taking longer to settle in here because i feel like i mostly took the place because i was a bit backed into a corner and it isn't my ideal place. i'm worried that the next three months here will be more challenging then i want to deal with on top of other things (i already kind of hate my job, in the same way i hated it when it was my job back home) but i could also find great ways to deal with the situation here and be all better and awesome for them.
i'm thinking of joining a gym.