Monday, June 16, 2008

and now i'm leaving

naturally i was not expecting to leave so quickly. this happens to me a lot, when I think that i have more time than I do. I was planning on leaving Friday or Saturday to head up to Auckland but my travel buddy just came by last night and said that we can get a ride with her boyfriend and a few others tomorrow. Sooo I'm not one to tell a person no. Not that I really want to. My dad says that he and I thrive in chaos and sometimes I feel that we do. But chaos also wears me out and I need time to relax. This is how summer goes:

I rush around everywhere so I can sit on a beach. Basically I hurry up to slow down. I'm not sure if this is how life is supposed to be. Lately I feel that the only quiet time I have is the fifteen minutes right before right after I go to bed.

But I am excited! I've never been to Auckland and I can't wait for Fiji. I think it will be a good change from Palmy, despite the lovely people I've met here (Tara this includes you).

I'm thinking of going to Thailand in December. Hopefully this will work out. I'd like to find an orphanage or women's shelter at which to work while I'm there. Does anyone know of one?

Hopefully I'll blog in Fiji and put up some pictures. hopefully...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

She is Leaving

One of my closest friends here is leaving on Saturday. Rachel and I have hung out almost every day and we go to the Palmerston North Film Society together. Fortunately she lives in North Carolina so we'll see each other.

And it wouldn't be bothering me if the Beatles song "She is Leaving" hadn't come on. And suddenly I remember that this was completely temporary and I am leaving. This was not permanent? And I wonder if any part of my body isn't aware of this. Is it only my brain that knows I'm leaving or is it my entire being? Are my veins aware? Should I announce it to every part of me? I'm sure my fingers know now, since they're typing this out. And my ears must know because I hear people talking about when I leave. And of course there's my mouth. So I figure the word will spread. Either that or it will just be a big shock to the system when I get on the plane.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bigger Better Faster

I just have a trial with Blogspot and I suppose I should be asking you for help. First I tried to do a link and then I couldn't stop linking my words to a website and then the font kept getting bold and underlined and I discarded the whole thing and "x-ed" out of the whole site. But I got back on and things are fine. I'm just going to keep on experimenting.

The reason I want to spice things up is that I have been inspired by these amazing blogs of my friends. They have links and pictures and lots of things. I feel as though I should be grateful to my readers for anyone looking at such a boring page. Though I have a feeling you wouldn't be doing it if you didn't care for me. So thank you.

My friend Cassandra and I are going to Fiji and it didn't hit me until today as we sat down and made plans. It all looks so lovely! We'll be there for two weeks which may be too long. My main concern is getting sick of each other. This probably sounds hurtful, but I feel that way about anyone. That's why the concept of marriage is so foreign to me; I can't imagine spending so much time with one person! I suppose it's like living with parents, you get used to it. But I am sure my married friends would not draw that comparison.

Currently I'm listening to the soundtrack from Sweet Land, a movie about a practically mail-order bride who turns out to be from Germany. Her husband is Norwegian and I always enjoy a good Scandinavian accent. They make me extremely happy. So do people who come from Wisconsin. Just a good, comical accent. It makes all the difference. The kiwi accent used to mesmerize me but I've been around it so long I'm getting jaded. Well, perhaps not. I still marvel at how we can speak the same language and yet have such different words for things. It's fascinating. Anyway if you're a fan of bluegrass please get the Sweet Land album. It's only ten dollars on iTunes for 24 songs. And while they are short, they are all quite pleasant. None of those dramatic, the-ship-is-sinking-and-we're-all-going-to-die-in-a-matter-of-minutes songs. Those of you who are familiar with Titanic's score know what I'm talking about.

Another failed attempt to get to church. I have a bike here that I got for free. And my friends, I find bikes make me very, very antsy. I don't like riding on busy streets with them. And I've tried to get over this fear because really, it's beautiful here and I like the ride from my university to Palmerston North. But this is mostly all in retrospect. When I look back I remember the beauty. During the ride I tear up from the cold and let my nose run. So elegant...

My ride to church here is a little old woman named Leone (pronounced LEE-own-ee). But I think after a series of two Sundays in which I did not show up at our meeting place she's given up. I tried to write her e-mails about missing those appointments but she never responded. So I think she's washed her hands of me. And I hate asking for rides because I just get so flustered when people give me too many things. People here, especially those I have met at church, are very warm and supportive.

But this morning I felt independent.

This morning I showered, got ready for church, and hopped on my bike. I only had ten minutes before church started because I couldn't find my helmet but no worries!

Then I got lost.

Then at 10:45 (church starts at 10) I just gave up and slowly rode home. Not before stopping at the BP and purchasing some Frank's Ginger Beer and Sparkling Passionfruit and Bitter Lemon. I wish we had Frank's at home. There are some foods I will miss.

This is quite long and I am not sure anyone will have read to this point. But there's what's been going on with me. Oh! And I'm almost-definitely-for-sure-graduating in August! So let the excitement fall from the sky and into our hearts.

Oh! And check out this commercial! It won a few awards. And with good reason, I say.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I won't ask Mother Mary to come to me

Listening to "Let it Be" from the Across the Universe soundtrack and wondering if Paul meant the Virgin Mary or John's mother like people say.

I have a paper due tomorrow at ten AM which is supposed to be between 800 to 1500 words long. My, what flexibility they give! This may be a late night so I thought I'd write before I got started.

I am constantly amazed at the appeal things that are harmful for us have. They're almost like magnets. But don't we want things that make us feel good? Looking at my own life I'd say no. The things that make me feel the best, the most whole, are the very objects/people/Scripture that I run from. It's incredible. And what's even more incredible is that when you resist something bad for you, you often aren't even left with a sense of satisfaction. And even if you are, is a sense of satisfaction going to keep you warm at night? Tonight I avoided something through my efforts and the efforts of another I should have avoided in the first place. And yet I'm sitting in my room with a slightly antsy tummy, my eyes shifting now towards my window, now my cell phone, now my door. And for what? Temporary insanity. That's where I've gone.

I find it interesting that Kiwis don't think of New Zealand as islands. To me, how could it be anything else? I've never really thought of the US as a big country up until now. But after coming to NZ I've discovered we (Americans) are huge and diverse. Or at least our country is. Pretty excited about Obama. Guess who's getting my vote? Teehee.

The weather outside makes my fingers hurt. So no matter how little I want to study and work on a paper, at least I'm not outside.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A change would do you good

We have a week off to prepare for exams and I have only barely begun to study. It is Tuesday. My first exam is officially in one week now and I am here, blogging. But when I did the sample questions for my first exam I got nearly all of them correct. That's how I justify my laziness: I'll be able to answer all of the questions about the Treaty of Waitangi without studying.

I think I need to get out of Palmy for a bit. Or maybe just out of my room. Right now the curtains are drawn because I considered taking a nap, but I've done nothing that exhausts me, so I need no nap.

Lately I've been reading Proverbs and was excited to see Wisdom personified as a beautiful woman. It says that God took great delight in her. It reminds me of the muses of the Greeks, that the finest attributes associated with the arts and creativity are female. I wonder if I've moved away from the competition phase of my life; that is the competition between male and female. When I was younger I used to get so excited to hear that a woman invented such-and-such or was the first to do this-n-that. Now it's not as big a deal as it was. Still, I wonder if this is just innate in people: are we inherently counting the good deeds of men and woman in some elaborate scheme to see who's the better sex? I would suggest that yes, we are. Humans are just naturally driven to be the best at whatever.

As far as what hasn't changed about me: I am not good at solving mysteries. Despite reading so many Agatha Christie novels and watching Clue about ten times, I still don't do it well. Last night at Bible Study we played a game of Clue and I failed miserably. Well, at least I eliminated a few people and got that right. It couldn't have been Miss Scarlett. That was too obvious.

I rented Hitchcock's Notorious from the library today but am a bit nervous because of my last encounter with a copy of the film. When my 15 year old boyfriend (I was fifteen too, don't you worry) tried to watch the movie it turned out to be gay porn. It was a copy someone gave me while they were throwing all their movies out. I really don't believe it was intentional, but nevertheless I'm not going to say who it was. At least I knew he was gay before then! It would have appeared really weird if I was still in the dark.

Going to bundle up and go for a walk.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Oh my friends it has been too long

I'm thinking of apologizing to all of you for my lack of writing. It's a bit sad really. But no worries, at least my personal journal has had somewhat regular entries. Really, isn't the written word more valuable than the typed? I suppose that depends. But I feel a hand-written letter means more to me than one punched out via a computer. And that's not a fair judgment because recently I received a very heartfelt letter that was typed. When I saw it through the envelope I thought it was too formal, it reminded me of something a lawyer would write. But instead it was a beautiful letter that I read outside, under a tree on one of the last days I can wear short sleeves around here.

What hasn't happened since I last wrote? I've made some really good friends and some exciting plans. Let me think of details.

Yesterday my friend Meg (not me, she's from Canada) and I decided to go to Levin and see the Katchafire concert. This is a kiwi reggae group. We decided to hitchhike which is not an obscenely dangerous transportation choice. Nevertheless I've never done it alone and don't plan to. We trudged our small amount of luggage out about a kilometer outside of Massey (our university here) and stuck out our thumbs whenever we saw cars. Meg said I was really enthusiastic. I was trying to be as optomistic as possible, considering I was getting increasingly cold and no one was picking us up. After thirty minutes we got a ride from three pale, skinny Kiwi boys (that means someone from New Zealand) who were really interested in the winter sports in Canada. They only drove us for about five minutes but such is the way of hitchhiking; you can't pick the length of travel time. A recent college grad picked us up after that and drove us to Levin. We walked, hauling our sleeping bags and backpacks under the ever-darkening sky. There were a few hitches on the way, but the highlight was eating our fish and chips outside, on the sidewalk, in the doorway of a furniture outlet. Lots of people spoke to us as they passed; I think they were making sure we weren't junkies. The concert was great and I'm pretty sure I left smelling like pot. I couldn't believe people were smoking at the concert. I'd heard that people do that, but there they were, lighting joints right in front of us. Shocking! We got a ride back to Massey with our friend Ivor, despite planning to camp overnight in Levin. It was raining and didn't seem worth it. I returned home late, shuffled over to brush my teeth and wash my face, and crashed. Missed church the next morning. Which in itself isn't an unforgivable thing, but it still bothered me. Sometimes I think I'm way too obsessed with sleep for my own good.

My room is quite warm, which is nice since the weather is not. My building is older than most of the dorms on campus, and the heating here consists of two pipes on the sides of the windows. When the temperature drops to a certain degree outside the pipes shoot boiling water through themselves. I'm on the third floor and the mechanisms for the water are above my head. Sometimes if I am quite I can hear the boiling water. Our particular building took a very long time to heat up, the maitenence people spent hours working on it. Once I was trying to take a nap, listening to "There Once Was a Pirate" from Spring Awakening by the way, when I started to feel patterings on my pillow. At first I thought it was a mouse. It turned out the roof was leaking all over my bed. It was a sad day as I scrambled to put on a jacket and rush out to tell the guy in my attic that he was leaking water on my bed. He didn't hear me the first few times; I had to yell. And when he did hear me he didn't seem to care. Sometimes it feels that there's an air of apathy held communally in New Zealand. I wonder if it's growing on me.

I mentally prepared to leave a few weeks ago. I love it here, but leaving will not be incredibly difficult. This is a place I'd like to return, but I wonder if that's reasonable. I find that I justify leaving the country so early by discussing how easily it'll be for me to get a work visa here. I'll just come back and work for a while. But this is merely speculation; I have no idea what's going to happen.

What is probably certain is that I will move back home with my mom and dad after graduation. As all good graduates should. But I will not consider this a period of waiting; I should live life as it comes. I keep remembering John Lennon's quote:

"Life is what happens when you're making other plans."

I may get that tattooed on me. Well no, not really.

Tonight I ate with my friend Ivor from Singapore. He prepared Laska but I'm not sure what the laska part of it was. It might have been the liquid, which was coconut milk-based. Maybe it was the deep-fried tofu. Or the sliced fish balls. I am no accustomed to Laska. I think that's the most open-minded way to put it. But there again, I'm just being politically correct. Here:

I did not care for laska and will not order it at a restaurant if it's available.

There. I think that's pretty clear.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why not post when there is so much to do?

I just returned from watching The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and feel elated. I love good movies! This image comes from the early portion of the movie, when the lovers discover Guy has been drafted. It's a great movie and the best, and possibly the most taxing part of it is, the dialogue is exclusively sung. It was a bit irritating after the first thirty minutes, but you come to expect and enjoy it more and more as the movie continues. And the Technicolor! The movie came out in 1964 and was not originally filmed in color (I think). But the colors in it are so vivid I wanted to wear nothing but bright colors and drape bright, bold wall paper all over my cinder block walls. The movie was so good I felt I was floating when I walked home. It ended happily, but not as I would expect it. Please see this film!

I have two papers due very soon and I have not started on either. I think I thrive on procrastination. It's a nice feeling to get things done when one should, but an equally nice feeling putting things off. And I work so much better under pressure. I think I will go to bed soon and get up at six AM to begin working on my papers.

My friend Cassandra and I are thinking of going to Thailand after classes end. She can only stay for three weeks though. I'm anxious to come home, but I do want to see so many things. I can only hope three weeks will be enough. And what of the rest of Asia? How will I make money? I think I need to become an accomplished writer and live wherever I please with nothing but my computer for company.

I started reading Mrs. Dalloway last week and found Woolfe's writing style to be difficult to follow at first. Now that I am used to it, however, I find it fascinating. She can skip from idea to idea with such ease; the writing does not seem stilted at all. She keeps the mind of the reader constantly at attention. I have had to go back and reread certain passages just because I realize I'm not giving the paragraph all the attention it deserves. Oh! There's one paragraph that I related to, not only as a woman but as a human being who craves attention from everyone around her at all times.

"But the indomitable egotism which for ever rides down the hosts opposed to it, the river which says on, on, on; even though, it admits, there may be no goal for us whatever, still on, on; this indomitable egotism charred her cheeks with color; made her look very young; very pink; very bright-eyed as she stat with her dress upon her knee, and her needle held to the end of green silk, trembling a little. He was in love! Not with her. With some younger woman, of course."

The passage occurs when an old flame returns to Mrs. Dalloway's parlor to tell her he's back in town and is here to seek a divorce for another woman so he can marry her. Dalloway, naturally, finds herself automatically working to reclaim her love, for fear that she may lose him. It's not healthy, but what girl does not do the same?

I'm off to roll about in my bed and which that life were so constantly colorful and I could sing as high as the women do in the film.