Saturday, August 27, 2005

“In August and everything after, I’m after everything.” ~counting crows

My family’s here! I can’t even tell you how happy I am. I won’t update for a while because we’ll be traveling, but when I get back I’ll add a nice, long entry.

I had the strangest dreams last night.
In one of them, I was at my first practice back at Richmond Synchro after being abroad. The girls tried to drown me; they held me underwater, but I eventually managed to break free and swim to the surface. Afterwards, they gave me a list of things they didn’t like about me as their excuse for trying to murder me. I think a lot of the things were real insecurities that I have about myself, but some of the things were just plain stupid, like, “Your hair is too dark.” ?!?!?! Anyway, it was weird.
In another dream, Rich’s mom took over our flat and cooked Christmas dinner. She used up all my vodka (I was mad at her for that) and made all these pitchers of this drink that were scattered around the flat; there were literally about 100 pitchers, positioned all over the place, mostly on the floor. How bizarre is that?
Any dream analysts out there?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

"When everything gets lonely I can be my own best friend. I get a coffee and the paper; have my own conversations With the sidewalk and the pigeons and my window reflection." ~bright eyes

I haven't updated in a while. Last week was a busy one. It feels good to be finished with it, though. My music industry test was a little tricky but I think I did okay, and my English essay was…well, it was complete. I never know how to judge how well I’ll do on those things, and when I do have a feeling about it, I’m usually completely wrong. So we’ll see.

If you’re ever looking for a good movie to make fun of, watch The Mothman Prophesies. Rich and I watched it last night, and the only thing that made it bearable was the fact that we tore it apart as it was going on. It was actually fun. There are just so many inconsistencies and impossible events that make it completely laughable. I could list them all for you but I won’t. It suffices to say that it was poorly written, poorly made, and I can’t believe those actors would ever even consider being a part of such a piece of trash. Especially Laura Linney. She’s an absolutely amazing actress, she’s an Oscar nominee and a Tony nominee, and why she would take such an underdeveloped role as that character is beyond me. And her southern accent is atrocious. The worst attempt at a southern accent that I’ve ever heard. No, I take that back. She’s on par with Nicole Kidman in Cold Mountain. In other words, pretty awful.

My family gets here on Friday and I cannot wait. We're going to a rugby game; the New Zealand national team is playing the South African national team. It's a big game, and I know it'll be fun. We'll be here in Dunedin for a few days and we'll explore the area, especially the penninsula (there's lots of penguins and seals, and an albatross colony). Then we'll go to Milford Sound (supposedly one of the most beautiful places in the world if not the most) and Queenstown. I'm really looking forward to that. We'll go skiing there, and that area is where lots of The Lord of the Rings was filmed, so we'll go on some hiking trails exploring that area. The valley where the big battle was filmed is there. I'm excited to see it. Perrine's coming with us to the rugby game and to Queenstown, and I think it'll be fun to have her with us. They'll be here for my brother's birthday (next Wednesday) and they leave on the morning of my birthday (next Sunday), so I'm glad I'll get to celebrate both of those days with them. We've both got 'milestone' birthdays; he's turning 18 and I'm turning 21. It's funny; he would be able to drink here on his birthday because the drinking age is 18. I'm pretty sure he won't, though. :-)

Monday, August 15, 2005

"Somethin' filled up my heart with nothin', someone told me not to cry. But now that I'm older my heart's colder and I can see that it's a lie." ~the arcade fire

The Arcade Fire is one of the names floating around as an opener for the 3d leg of the U2 tour. I would absolutely love that, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

I hate how all this work seems to sneak up on me and culminate in a crazy week of tests, papers, and projects. I've had no assignments for the past 6 weeks, and all of a sudden I have three due in one week. If I were better at staying on top of things and working ahead, it would be fine. But, like most college students, I'm a procrastinator. I turned in my education journal yesterday, and it was good to get that off my hands. For this week I still have to worry about a test on Thursday and a paper due on Friday.
Yesterday I went to talk to my English professor about the paper due on Friday. I talked to him for over an hour. I think that's the longest conversation I've had with anyone since I've been here. I've never felt completely comfortable going to any of my professors at Richmond; I usually come away from those meetings feeling stupid and even more confused than before. I don't know why this guy was so easy to talk to, but it really felt great to just be able to brainstorm and feed off of each other's ideas related to the poem I'm writing about. I still don't know how my essay will turn out, but I really needed that intellectual conversation. Strangely enough, he's American. It was nice to talk to another American. It made me feel at home.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

“Stars, in your multitude, scarce to be counted, filling the darkness with order and light, you are the sentinels, silent and sure, keeping watch in the night, keeping watch in the night.” ~les miserables

I’m in a Les Miz mood. Want to hear something funny? I saw Ricky Martin in Les Miz, before he was famous. He was Marius. I discovered that while going through my Playbills awhile ago. I wish I remembered his performance. That was the first time I saw the show, though, which was when I was pretty young, so I can’t remember what I thought of him. And no one knew who he was then. I guess it's not so surprising; he seems like a sucker for tight pants.

All the boys are gone this weekend, so it’s just Perrine and I. Scott goes skiing every weekend (actually, every Wednesday through Sunday), so it’s not unusual that he’s gone. Rich and Matt went to Queenstown to go skiing this weekend; they invited me but I have too much work to do. I’m going skiing in two weeks, anyway. So it’s just the girls.

We went to Pizza Hut last night. Heh. I found that so strange, to be in a Pizza Hut halfway around the world. It seems like such an American institution. I would have preferred to eat at some local place, but they don’t have Pizza Hut in France and Perrine’s never been, so she wanted to go. It was actually a really good deal. We each paid about US$8 for all-you-can-eat from the salad bar, pizza bar, and dessert bar. I ate way too much. What I love here is that, when you’re in a restaurant/bar/etc., if the menu says something is, say, $10, that’s exactly how much you pay. No tax, no tip. It’s great.

I know I complain about how cold it is a lot, so I want to share this quote with you to prove that it’s not just me being a wimp. This is from the ‘Letter from the Editor’ in The Critic, the school’s weekly magazine. By the way, I’m sorry to say that it puts The Collegian to shame. Anyway, here’s the quote:
“Last year, a study found that the average temperature inside student flats was well below the level recommended by the World Health Organisation, was frequently colder than the outside temperature, and was often lower than 2 degrees – colder than the inside of your fridge.”

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

"And so she woke up, woke up from where she was lying still. Said, I gotta do something about where we're going. Step on a steam train, step out of the driving rain. Maybe run from the darkness in the night." ~u2

My mom sent me the Live 8 dvds that she recorded for me! It's, like, 12 hours of pure music because it's the version that they aired the week after the concert, with no commercials or commentators. I got through one disc and I still have to watch the other one. I'm in a U2 mood, so here's some Bono pictures for my U2 gals who may or may not have discovered this blog.
A crappy screen cap I took from Live 8:
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And a return to that old, famous photo of Bono and Liam Gallagher:
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There were some rumors about Oasis opening for U2 at MSG in the fall, but I don't think it'll happen. That would have been amazing. I'm still waiting to hear who we'll get as an opening act. Whoever it is, I'm willing to bet that they'll be better than Kings of Leon, who opened for them on the first leg of this tour. I didn't mind them, but I think U2 could have done a lot better. I would have liked them more if I could understand the lyrics. All the words except for the occasional expletive were utterly incomprehensible.

One bad thing about Dunedin is the wind. It's always windy here. In summer I can imagine that being nice, but in winter it's awful. It rained today, and wind and rain make a terrible combination. The wind has destroyed two of my umbrellas already, so now I've given up on using one at all. They don't do anything here anyway. Because of the wind, the rain comes at you from all angles. It slants in sideways, pours from up above, and even seems to rise up from the ground. You'll still be soaking wet even with an umbrella. And it was SO cold today that the rain felt like ice. I think it was about 40 degrees. I wish it would have snowed instead.

Monday, August 08, 2005

"I walked across an empty land, I knew the pathway like the back of my hand. I felt the earth beneath my feet, Sat by the river and it made me complete." ~keane

Sorry I haven't updated in a few days. I had a good weekend. :-) I'm getting to know people better.
I have to go work on an essay now (the thought of writing an essay in August just seems wrong to me, even if it definitely does not feel like August outside; it's supposed to snow tomorrow). Anyway, in my procrastination I just thought I'd pop in here and, if anyone is actually reading this, let them know that I'm alive and having fun. That is all for today. :-)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

"We are nowhere, and it’s now. We are nowhere, and it’s now. You took a ten-minute dream in the passenger's seat, While the world it was flying by. I haven’t been gone very long, But it feels like a lifetime." ~bright eyes

I really, really want to be in New York today. Or tomorrow, I think. I guess it's best to say I want to be in NYC on Thursday (it's already Thursday here, but I think it's still Wednesday at home). There's some stuff that I'm really bummed about missing. I know, I know, I'm in New Zealand and this is a lifetime opportunity, blahblahblah. I'm still having trouble dealing with missing some things that are important to me. Maybe I'll eat some amazing New Zealand chocolate to make myself feel better. You can't get that in New York. But I'm still moving to NYC the second after I graduate and I'm on my own.

I love talking to Rich, he always cheers me up. He's funny. And he's so easy-going and friendly that it's really easy to have a conversation with him. I'd say, out of all my flatmates, I get along with him the best. Perrine's up there, too, but sometimes we have a hard time communicating because of the language barrier, even though her English is pretty good. Rich really reminds me of Brett (my brother). They don't look exactly alike, but somehow their facial expressions seem so similar. When I'm talking to Rich, I watch his face really closely and I feel like I'm looking at my brother. Which is comforting to me. I'll try to get a picture of Rich so you can call me crazy for noting a resemblance between the two.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

"All I ever wanted was to be near a face, In the morning, In the morning. After the operation, my heart will become erased, And I will miss you, I will miss you." ~anika moa

Anika Moa is a really, really talented New Zealand artist that I just discovered. The first time I heard that song I was hooked; it's so beautiful. So of course I did some research on her. Here's a funny part of an article that I found:

Her latest album, Stolen Hill, begins and ends with two short Maori songs. Imagine the reaction that would get in the American market, I suggest. "They'd be like, 'Those bloody Ma-oris," she laughs. "But that's not going to happen. I would never, ever sell my album to that kind of market. 'Cause they just wouldn't [expletive] accept it. They'd fire it back at us."

Too bad she feels that way. I'll definitely buy her album while I'm here. She shouldn't be so quick to judge Americans. Maybe it wouldn't fit into the mainstream American market, but I bet it would find it's own audience, especially if publicized correctly. At any rate, I don't think she should discount America as a market so quickly.

They have Raspberry Coke here, which really excited me. Raspberry is my favorite flavor; I'm obsessed with anything raspberry. I tried Raspberry Coke for the first time today, and I was sadly disappointed. It was pretty bad. It didn't taste like raspberry at all.

I watch Almost Famous all the time; I could probably recite the whole movie for you. It's my favorite movie ever. I was in a "mood" today so I watched it for the gazillionth time. It always cheers me up. I feel like we need a reappearance of this lovely picture. I've posted it in another entry here, but I love it so much that I'll post it again. It's of me and the star of Almost Famous, Mr. Russell Hammond himself, Billy Crudup (in my opinion, looking much better than he looks in that movie; the long hair doesn't really do it for me, though I think he's gorgeous no matter what). I love how that single piece of his hair is sticking up.
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Monday, August 01, 2005

"How does it feel? How does it feel To be on your own, With no direction home, Like a complete unknown, Like a rolling stone?" ~bob dylan

Have I mentioned how much I love my Music Industry class? For the past two days we've been watching music videos from glam rock bands. We're studying glam rock as a case study of how an artist creates an image and attempts to appeal to a specific audience. It's so interesting. We get to watch David Bowie, Kiss, T-Rex, Sweet, and all these other bands in action. It's funny that I opened this entry with a Dylan quote, because he was one of those opposed to glam rock, about as far away from it as you can get. I'm not a huge fan of most glam rock acts, I tend to side with the true rock 'n rollers in that battle (and it was basically a battle at one point in time), but now I think it's interesting how the boundaries have continuously been blurred.
Sorry to ramble on, I know most of you don't care. I'll move on. The thing is, I don't really have anything else to talk about. Oh, I went swimming yesterday. I finally found a pool that's open. I don't think I'll go that often because a.) it's a 45-minute walk, and b.) it costs $5 to get in. But I really needed that swim. It was worth the hour-and-a-half of walking there and back and the $5. And they have a jacuzzi! It was so nice to just sit there and relax and be warm for once. I'm always cold here, always. So that hot tub made my day. I'll probably go every once in a while. I'm feeling really lazy here. I don't exercise (usually swimming is my exercise), and I eat a lot. The chocolate is just way too good here. I don't even want to know how much weight I've gained. Okay, that's all for now.