Tuesday, May 28, 2002

friends in town
friends in town, time to eat at all the classy establishments in town. katz's deli for lunch today. feel gorged. there was something enlightening i wanted to say today but the light has been turned off. bye bye.

Monday, May 27, 2002

toot toot
am back from detroit. missed fleet week. bummer. tonight i sleep alone in my own bed, something i've done only once in the last three weeks that i've spent in hotels with roommates. no phone calls for roomies at 3 am, no having to deal with other people. yeay!

detroit was ok. i don't care for it as a city but i've returned as umm, well, umm, yeah...{sheepisly} a national champion.

ok thank you.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

okay, i want to take back something i said the last time. i've been reading up a bit on maori culture and they did have some problems with health so maybe i shouldn't be so hard on white european achievements. modern medicine is a pretty significant accomplishment. but cutting a swathe across the earth is not.

Saturday, May 18, 2002

musings on the auckland museum
this morning we went as a group to the auckland museum. i'm finding that the things that attract me in museums is the exhibits on nature and on indigenous cultures. i couldn't give a rip about the armory exhibit or the old teapots of the english settlers that came to new zealand. there is something about white european culture that is such a turn off for me. there's nothing amazing about a lot of it because they just cut a swathe across this earth and managed to destroy so much in so little time. meanwhile, indigenous people such as the aborigines, maori and native americans have been living peacefully with the earth for ages. maybe they didn't invent cars, but what are cars going to bring us in the end when we destroy our planet?

there was also an exhibit by john pilger, an australian correspondent for the daily mirror. the photographs were from places including east timor, bangladesh, nicaragua, and indonesia. they were of people that were poor and often ignored by mass media (particularly by the american media, i think); some were from places that suffered much misery and death and destruction and oppression. they were incredibly moving and juxtaposed with the maori art in the museum and new zealand's troubled past with the native people...well, sometimes it just seems like this whole world sucks. it's sometimes so easy to get caught up in the bad stuff that goes on because there's so much of it. part of me wants to join the peace corps, and part of me just wants to put on blinders and pursue my career so at the very least i can surround MYSELF with happiness and friends and comfort and success. but what will all that mean in the end?
places better than auckland
saturday night, 1 a.m. just checked out the nightlife here in auckland, new zealand. well, if it's 1 a.m. and i'm in an internet cafe, that's gotta say something.

a few of us headed down to the american express viaduct pavilion for the america's cup (you know, the boat race). we went to a few bars. one of them, danny doolans, was an irish pub with a live band that was playing old american music from 30 years ago. there was something ironic or just deeply deeply wrong about that. people were obnoxious. they were stepping on us, pushing us around (of course we pushed back), spilling drinks on us and never an 'excuse me' or 'sorry'. man, people in new york city are nicer than that. and then this really fat obnoxious ugly stupid girl made some comment, after we said to her to quit falling on us, about how it was her country and her bar or whatever. umm, excuse me, but if tourists didn't come to new zealand, her fat ass would need to resort to prostitution to get enough money to feed her ugly face.

this lashing out is unfortunate. for the most part, i've been really chill here. the people are amazingly nice. i guess in rotorua last night they were sort of obnoxious too, but it wasn't EVERYBODY. and once when i said 'excuse me' as i was trying to get through, this woman very nicely turned to me and said, oh, please go, you're the first person to say 'excuse me'. sigh. what is it about cities that makes people obnoxious?

so let me give you my unsubstantiated and limited assessment of auckland nightlife: they're trying to be like new york and failing horribly. there are more people in nyc than in the entire country of new zealand by a factor of 2 or so. everyone was dressed in black and wearing these heels and tank tops and tube tops and assorted variety of slutty shirts. the men were all pimped out thinking they were all that. oh please. maybe that's the pinnacle of the social life here in auckland, but it was downright pathetic. they were all dancing to american pop/hip hop music.

but i don't want to come across sounding like i hate the entire country. on the contrary, i've really enjoyed my stay here and have met some really cool people.
* mitch in queenstown (see my post yesterday re: falling in love...sigh. before i go around spreading nasty rumors to the zero people who are reading this, he was an incredible gentleman and turned me down for drinks because of a 'friend' who wouldn't 'appreciate' him showing me around.)
* chris and his cohorts at the novotel in rotorua through whom i met aidan, a very neat guy i wish i could have talked to longer had i not been asleep on my feet (incidentally, the novotel also hosted this maori [the new zealand indigenous people] hangi [which is a way of cooking food] and performance -- it was amazing and i'm one who is incredibly sceptical when it comes to indigenous peoples putting on shows for ignorant tourists)
* there were the cool and accomodating and laid back folks at the tandem skydiving in rotorua too (see post yesterday re: jumping out of plane), particularly brendan who took it COMPLETELY in stride when i had to sit on his lap in the itty bitty plane as we climbed up to 12000 feet -- and i'm not a little girl!
* the people at the waitomo gloworm caves at which we stopped on our drive from rotorua to auckland today.

and that's not even including the neat people i met all over australia. and when you consider the fact that i'm traveling with a large band of loud, somewhat obnoxious, sometimes dim americans, it's all amazing to me.

my observation is that the closer the social scene gets to be like what i'm used to seeing (and avoiding) in the states, the more obnoxious people become. and it's not the alcohol. it seems to me that it has more to do with trying to present this facade of coolness and hipness and being all cosmopolitan. and i ask this: what is it to be cosmopolitan? is it dressing all in black and bumping and grinding and wearing glitter and hair gel and ck one cologne? i doubt it.

i don't know what point i'm trying to make with this meandering post. i've had an incredible trip to these here countries and am absolutely set on coming back. i've never felt so laid back and calm and nice in my life (oh wait, there was that time i got that massage in colorado...). i'm already trying to figure out ways to get here, perhaps interning at a nz or aussie publication. (i've read a few newspapers here and they could use a little help.) but certainly i feel that life in the small towns that are INCREDIBLY dependent on tourism for all of their economies, are my favorite places so far.

but i've run out of underwear, my suitcase is full of souvenirs and laundry, and summer classes are starting. it's time to head back.

Friday, May 17, 2002

greetings from rotorua, new zealand. i jumped out of a plane today with a very nice, cute man strapped to my back. i think i've found a new hobby. for about $2500 to $3500 NZ (half that to get the figure in USD) one can get certified to become a skydiver at tandem skydiving in rotorua. i think i've found what i'm going to do after graduation.

i'm staying at the novotel in this here fair city that smells like rotten eggs (something to do with the volcanic activity in the area releasing sulfur gas). i just partied for the last few hours at this seedy place with half of the staff of the hotel that is aged 20-25. good times.

there's something about the way the men here say my name that just makes me melt and fall in love. in the last two days, i've fallen in love and had my heart broken. but that's a story for another time.

Friday, May 10, 2002

playing eco-tourist
greetings from cairns (pronounced "cans" by the locals), australia, kids. we took the ocean spirit catamaran out to the great barrier reef today and went snorkeling and scuba diving. i have gotten motion sickness on swings, bicycles, cars, trucks, buses, trains, aeroplanes...and now swimming. at the end of our thirty minute amazing dive, i thought i was going to lose my continental australian breakfast. but the reef (the largest living organism) is just amazing. fish of all different colors and shapes and sizes and clams -- HUGE ones -- and sea slugs and conch and turtles and ... wow. it's like swimming in the baltimore aquarium. tourism is an interesting though. cairns depends on it for 70 percent or something of its economy. and the catamaran tour operators (ocean spirit) were very careful to take precautions to be as eco-friendly as possible. yet, people still stood on the reef when they weren't supposed to. it's a tough one. we want people to enjoy nature so they can go out and help the cause, right? but then if too many people enjoy something, it can be detrimental. alas.

anyway, this is just the start of the trip. there are more great things to come. i think tomorrow we are going up to a rainforest. drop me an email if you want. (helloooo out there?) i hope to check my email with some regularity. bye.

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

bye bye
ok. i know i've been really out of this. but it's hard when one is very very busy and when it doesn't even seem like anyone reads this. (only because i haven't told anyone about it but whatever.) if you do read this, hey, let me know. but after 5/20. i fear my mailbox will fill up because .... I LEAVE FOR AUSTRALIA in 5 hours! russell crowe here i come baby.

one of the first links i posted was for steve burns' website. he was the host of blue's clues for six years and has now moved on to bigger and better things (including hanging out at astor place, waiting for a friend, last weekend, i think!). he actually moved on over a year ago but nick jr. just aired last week the episodes of steve leaving for college and his brother joe moving in to take care of blue. i am taking this as a good time to get off my blue's clues obsession. what the heck. i don't even have children as an excuse. from what i hear of the masses, there's a general consensus that thus far, joe is not as impressive as steve, but let's give the guy a chance. he has 30 episodes in the can; it seems like he's going to be around for a while.

so on that note, i bid adieu for two weeks or so. i doubt i'll have time to update when i get back since as soon as i get back i head off to detroit to kick the asses of girls from around the country. i hope. as long as my jet lag doesn't get the best of me. and all the beer that i'm destined to consume down under. WHOO!!!!

Friday, May 03, 2002

who's counting?
i leave for australia in a few days. 4 continents down, 3 to go.

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

the last all nighter of the semester. let us all rejoice!

mindbending interactive digital art.