Monday, February 28, 2011

Work on Adelaide Road


This is the first art I've made since I've been in NZ. Hell, it's the first work I've done in a month - my supplies have been packed for weeks. Still are. They're sitting in a big blue bin in the wood workshop of Massey. The University has a really great library. I found a fantastic book called The Dodo and Mauritus Island: Imaginary Encounters by Harri Kallio. It has some delightful images of dodo skeletons and such, very inspiring. I just happened to put a sketchbood, a few pencils, and one lone charcoal pencil in my luggage which I used on the above pieces. I also used eyeshadow on the top piece and coffee on the bottom one. Hey, gotta make due. Making due has played a major role in my life for the past two weeks.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Beacon

I think of all the things I've learned thus far, it has been when lost in downtown Wellington don't panic, just look for the War Memorial...my Wellie beacon of light. I spent Thur. and Fri. in downtown to take care of some biz. You know, the usual...setting up a bank account, getting an IRD tax code to be eligible to work in NZ, hunting for grocery stores, figuring out bus and train schedules, and other mundane grown up stuff.

Luckily in the midst of all of this I had the pleasure of visiting the Te Papa Museum (Killer! LP, I saw Rita Angus' painting, Rutu, with my own two eyes! It's the work that is on the cover of the NZ female artists book.) and touring Massey's campus. The campus is delightfully small and everyone I met was wonderful. Before releasing me onto the city streets, one of my profs gave me the golden advice to always look for the War Memorial which is located directly in front of the University. That beautiful memorial saved me much anguish in my two day downtown adventure.

The first day with map in hand, I cruised the town and did pretty well. I made an appointment at the bank, had a great lunch, mailed some bills, had a delicious pear cider at a local pub, picked up some groceries, found the railway station where I purchased a ticket and hopped on board, and even managed to get on the correct bus towards home. Nicely done.

Second day...not so much. I got into town around 9am. My goal, have breakfast and make it to my bank appt. at 11am. No prob. I had this shit down yesterday. Let's just say that I both did and did not make my appointment.

Got lost leaving the train station. Check. Found a breakfast joint now drenched in an hours worth of sweat from being lost. Again. Check. Bowl of fruit, blueberry muffin, and two cups of coffee. Check. Made it to the bank at 11:01am. Check. The kicker...it was the wrong bank branch. Apparently I had the map upside down the day before. No need to worry, my banking needs were met and I was on my way. When I stepped out onto the sidewalk I realized I had no f-ing idea where I was. Then I looked up on the hill and saw this.....


Thanks War Memorial! I could have hugged you that day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Let's Do This.

I feel excited about being here for the first time since I arrived. The first 4 days were overwhelming and lonely despite being surrounded by absolute beauty. At the moment I'm sitting on the the front porch waiting for one of my profs to pick up myself and my art supplies and then off to school we go.

I thought the desert sun was warm but the sun here is quite intense. Pretty sure I got a sunburn just sipping coffee and writing this. I can see the beach of the bay from here and a herd of school children just exploded onto the sand like a group of penguins. For all I know it might have very well been a group of penguins.

On the agenda today...schooly paperwork for teacher's assistant gig, get a NZ bank account, hit up the grocery store, and roam....tourist-style. My venture back via bus will be interesting. I'll keep you posted and wish me luck!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My New Zealand Window

Day Nine AM

Day Eight AM

Day Three PM

Day Three AM

Day Two

Day One

Journey to New Zealandville

Feb. 10, 2011 12:45pm (Phoenix time)

Okay people, entry number one...New Zealand-style. I'm sitting in Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. First stop, San Francisco then to Auckland and finally on to my final destination...Wellington, New Zealand. The city I've been fighting to get to for the past four months. My 22 hrs. of travel have officially begun.

I would like to begin by saying that I truly enjoy the fact that you can order a beer with a tequila sidecar at any time of day at the airport with no judgement. In fact it is encouraged. And I'm doing just that. Cheers!

I cannot express the feeling of freedom knowing that all of my worldly possessions are locked away in storage and the 3 bags that will sustain me during my 2 yr. stay in Wellie are on their way to New Zealand. My only hope is that my bags and I will be reunited sometime in the near future. But you know, if they decide to go AWOL I packed an extra pair of jeans, my Willie Nelson t-shirt, jammie pants, and a toothbrush in my carry-on.

I shall stay in touch but for now I mus eat an overpriced airport meal and it is delicious.

Feb. 10, 2011 4:41pm (San Francisco time)

San Francisco Airport. Check. So this may be my official last taste of Mexican food for a long time....airport-style. A bowl of tortilla soup is headed my way to accompany my Dos Equis. Observation...International terminals are way fancier than ghetto domestic terminals. From my vantage point I spy a shop where I can buy a suit jacket next to a kiosk peddling swarofski (sp?) crystal.

The flight here was painless except for having to listen to people whine about leg room and lack of overhead compartment space. Hey jerks, I'm trying to soak up this 1 hr. jaunt because by hour 12 of my next flight I'm gonna be going ape shit.

I have a good 2 hrs. until the big flight. My eyes welled up when we left Arizona. I put my cheek as close to the window as I could to absorb the last bit of Phoenix sunshine. I will miss you mountains and endless sky. I think the next flight will be the kick in the ass I've been waiting for. This whole moving to NZ stuff still hasn't sunk in. Cheers San Fran.

Feb. 12, 2011 7:45am (Auckland, NZ time)

Well, I made it to NZ-town. The 13 hr. flight wasn't bad. About an hour after we took off we were served dinner. After dinner I ordered a whiskey and water to wash down the Ambien and dramamin. 30 min. later it was lights out. We woke up to being served breakfast and in no time we were landing in Auckland.

Here is a lesson I've learned. When the Phoenix airport counter dude says that "your luggage is going directly to Wellington", he actually means that you need to claim your luggage in Auckland and re-check it to Wellington.

Thinking that I didn't have to deal with my bags, I casually got off the plane, went to the latrine to brush my teeth, meandered through customs, and then got an iced coffee (my first purchase with NZ dollars). I saw all of the peeps from my plane in a line so I thought hey, I should probably be in that line as well. Waited in line while sipping my coffee, got to the airport clerk, and said..."I don't know if I need to be in this line but..." He then informed me that I should have picked up my luggage and I now had to go to the baggage claim office to gather my bags to re-check. Long story short...if you would have been there you would have seen me racing my luggage to the terminal (a 10 min. sprint to another building), dumping my bags, and running to the gate just as they were boarding. Whew!

I was picked up at the Wellington airport with bags in hand and wisked off to my new home. I then slept for the next 2 days. Zzzzzzz...........