Thursday, February 27, 2003

last to know
why is it that everyone in my class knew that our instructor has a girlfriend and was on a diet because of her? (the last part is relevant because it was becoming very mysterious how i never saw him eat.) i found this out last night while i was on the piss with some of them and wondering, very innocently, why he never came out with us. well, after a 20 minute bout with depression (or was it just being let down?), i got over it. this is good. well, this is better, because my self-declared exercise in self-control was quickly becoming an exercise in futility.

woke up at 8am this morning (20 minutes ago) in a kid's bed with bob the builder sheets. i hate going to bed with my makeup on and not brushing my teeth, but such is the price you pay. i miss going on the piss in nyc where you don't have to worry about driving.

maybe i'm coming home after all.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

i'm drowning
more rain today, so bad it canceled our dive b/c the guy in charge of the diving was afraid we'd catch colds. poor babies. so we were in class doing our wreck diving classroom stuff. B O R I N G. the only highlight was that my favorite instructor was back in charge. three of us took the test and i got ONE WRONG. ONE. this ruins my 100% streak. i know it's geeky, but you gotta understand that i could probably walk into any of these tests and take them cold and still pass. so i've got to have some sort of a goal.

i shared my story about the locked car with keys inside, engine running story with my instructor. and he was like, oh yeah, when i did that i had to run home and get my spare keys. and then last weekend i locked my keys in the car and had to buy something at a hardware store... this means that one: he is just as much of an airhead as i, and two: WE ARE MEANT TO BE. ;)

because of the weather, diving tomorrow has also been canceled. which sucks. which means i won't be able to gaze longingly....anyhow, this means i have nothing to do for three days. i was going to go camping, but this weather is putting a damper in those plans. so tonight, i think i'm on the piss with my classmates. ahh, when all else fails, drink. i think my liver is making its comeback.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

i am stupid
i locked my keys in my car today. with the engine running. seriously. it's been a very bad day. a very nice man and lady in the shop in front of where i was parked helped me out. he was an electrician or something and tried to get in my car but couldn't, so she called a mechanic for me. and a very fat man with a very large truck showed up and jimmied open the lock. i was 15 minutes late for class as a result, and then the class had a good laugh at me as well. laugh away, friends, for the $50NZ has got to be worth something.

it has been raining for nearly a week straight and i am starting to get depressed. also, we had a different instructor today so i was not able to amuse myself during the very boring class by staring/fantasizing about my instructor. and we were doing very basic stuff (how to use a compass, how to calculate speed given distance and time -- i was a physics major, you know) so i was very very bored. i think our instructor was replaced because several people failed the last test, which is supposed to be the easiest of the lot. and i'm not sure anyone failed today, so i have a feeling there's been a coup. personally, i don't have a problem with our previous instructor's teaching style, but then again, you know...

more diving tomorrow and friday. and i'm hoping to do something fun on saturday, which may actually be more diving, but i'll be paying a company to take me to a volcanic island, (white island). i'm not sure there's much more to talk about.


Saturday, February 22, 2003

i was supposed to go to this fundraiser for the taekwondo team, a garage sale and sausage sizzle. i showed up at 12:45pm and it was over!! the master came out of his house and was like, uhh, they all packed up and left already. see you tomorrow at practice! tee hee.

i rolled my own smokes last night. i know, what the hell am i doing smoking? but the more important point here is i rolled a cigarette for the first time ever. and the second. and the third... ;)

i got two packages today. yippee!! thank you so much!!!

Friday, February 21, 2003

it's friday night. just got back late from whitewater rafting on the rangitake. i have no idea if that's spelled correctly, but that's how it sounds to me. some random observations i've forgotten to tell y'all about.

1.) there are lots of wild animals here, even though this is an island of birds, as they say. back in the olden days when all the land on earth was one piece, new zealand broke off before mammals ruled. so this is a land ruled by birds. but, they also have wild pigs, deer, dogs, and cows. yes, cows. apparently, they are very dangerous. but let's just be ethnocentric for a while and contemplate the thought of wild cows....ok, we can all laugh now.
2.) they breed deer here. yes, i saw deer penned up like sheep and cattle. i was told that it's mostly for the velvet on the buck's antlers. but can you imagine breeding deer at home? we have the opposite. we are discussing shooting them with birth control. someone asked me why it's not just open season to hunt them. well, because we don't usually hunt in the suburbs.
3.) i saw a pen filled with sheep and cows. living side by side, in peace and harmony, sharing the grass. my heart felt warm and tingly. this place is TRULY idyllic. ;)

toodle-ooo. off to have drinks. yippeeeee!

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

the non-A***** update
TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY. why? because i went on two dives AND DIDN'T GET NAUSEOUS AT ALL. i'm not going to get into details, lest SOMEONE out there get annoyed, but i called shotgun three days ago, and got it both ways. and went on two dives and ... well, lake rotoma has less of a current than where we were diving out at motiti island, so i didn't get sick at all. if i stick to driving to my dive sites and diving in lakes, perhaps, i may be able to stick with this scuba thing after all.

tomorrow we go rafting, while the scuba kids have the day off. i'm excited for a change of pace, and i'm excited to go rafting. surprisingly, i've never been.

i'm a bad girl. i'm ditching taekwondo today. the north island championships are over a month away.

judith, the woman i'm boarding with, packed me cookies and chocolates for my lunch. i didn't know what they were because they were wrapped in foil and were just sitting on the counter. and she put a little note inside the package with the chocolates. and she cooked a pasta for me last night for lunch today. this woman loves me and treats me better than my own mother sometimes! i'm never going home.

just kidding! i'm coming home! i know i have obligations. but playing with the world as my playground...well, you can see the excitement and appeal of that, no?

love you!

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

my parents are trapped at home. in fact, yesterday, firefighters had to come get my dad to take him to a doctor's appointment. so one: i now know how bad the blizzard truly was. two: why do i always miss the fun at home? firefighters?! in my house?! damn el nino.

so as you can see, i called home today. my mom's first question when she got on the phone: do you have a boyfriend?! and i said, eew no! it seems like every time she asks, i am just starting to have a crush on someone. mother's know best sometimes. oh, and in all her silliness, she asked me TODAY when my flight gets in. june 16, i said. what time, she asks. umm, I DON'T KNOW, mother. hell, i don't even know if i'll have a flight with the way things are going with United.

on other matters, i have realized that men in uniforms and/or with authority over me are uber-hot. that might explain why i was so damn attracted to my taekwondo instructor in baltimore. because they might look like pajamas, but they're still a uniform! ;)

ropes were good. it was raining. andrew didn't come. but i got to talk to him when we got back. and i got health and auto insurance, all in one day. it has been very productive. and i got some primo compliments on my facilitating skills, so that was really cool. warm fuzzies. how will i ever go home?

Monday, February 17, 2003

i forgot to report that on my way back from hamilton, i stopped in this ho-dunk town called matamata. it doesn't have much, except its claim to fame as "hobbiton". in short, the farm peter jackson used as his set for hobbiton is located in/near matamata. and now for NZ$50, you can ride a van to this private farm and see what's left of the set. which isn't much, because some of it was torn down and the contract between the movie studio and the farm people stipulates they can't rebuild. also, because it's summer, everything is very dry and brown. so there we were, tramping in this brown field full of old and fresh sheep poop, sticking our heads out of wooden holes in the ground. and the tour guide was sooooo geeky. she could recount every shot that was taken, the camera angle and all that, and it wasn't that interesting. it felt like she was recounting every step that Jesus had taken. while trying not to laugh, i did enjoy myself, and it was something i had to do. incidentally, it is the only remaining set from the film. all the others were done digitally or were torn down or were erected on public land.

yesterday, we went out to motiti island for our second dive. the water was calmer, but i still got sick. we did two dives. i was with andrew, sigh, in the remedial class i think, because i was a dive behind everyone else because i was so sick the other day i couldn't do both dives. it is pretty funny trying to do these skills -- like a mask clear -- underwater whilst laughing and mooning over my instructor. i feel so ungraceful. but it's all good.

andrew also gets pretty bad motion sickness. on our second dive yesterday, he said he started to feel nauseous. so i was kind of asking him about how he ended up doing this as a profession and he said, well, it just happened. you kind of build up a tolerance for it. just like that, calm as anything. and how many dives has he done? over 1500. holy mother of god.

so enough about andrew. we are taking two days off of diving to do ropes so everyone can bond and build trust and all that. blah blah blah. i does mean i get to help facilitate on the ropes course, using my newly earned credentials.

and in other news, i found an asian food market in tauranga!! it's run by a very friendly woman named victoria, who's from the phillipines, and who has a daughter in nyc. the store is called the golden wok. whoo hoo!

i really should go. i hate to admit it, but i really don't want to go home and could see myself living here.


Saturday, February 15, 2003

ok, i'm going to do it. i'm just going to sit here and write and update about what has been going on.

like i've said before, i'm in the middle of the scuba section of my course. and like i've said, it's not going that well because i suffer from some very bad motion sickness. i don't know if i want to go all the way and get my dive control specialist certification, but the one thing keeping me in this game is this damn crush i have on my scuba instructor. his name is andrew. he is 23. i know, i know, enough of the younger men. but, i have already decided "NOT TO GO THERE", as one of my friends said. because, well, first of all, if anything were to happen, how miserable would i be when i left. second of all, i've got to stop acting on every impulse and feeling and emotion. it usually just causes a lot of trouble for me, so this is going to be a long-awaited exercise in self-restraint. god help me.

in other news from the homefront, they did take in another boarder. a 22 year old chinese guy named peter. and he's straightup from china, here to study english. he failed his first test. dorkus. i don't think i'm going to like him very well. he chews with his mouth open. god i hate that.

the other thing i've noticed recently is the total acceptance of single parenthood and kids out of wedlock. it just seems like no one gets married here. i can't tell yet if it's a product of the people i've been around. but everyone just has a "partner" (and that doesn't mean homosexual) and they often have kids, starting at a very young age. a friend of a friend, i was told, has three kids, at 23, all with the same guy. hmm.

i guess that's it for now. it's sunday, and i'm heading to the beach, after i have a feed because my tummy is hungry. tomorrow we go on another dive, so it's up at 6am, before the sun!

love yous!

Friday, February 14, 2003

to my dear public, ;)

i have been a bit busy and pooped so i haven't been able to get myself to an internet cafe and put in some serious time recording my activities. and now isn't the greatest time. i'm actually in hamilton, which is about an hour from where i'm living, to visit some girls from the course who are based here. they come to tauranga to do everything but the scuba. anyhow, i essentially financed their drinking last night. oh, poor students. anyhow, i'm about to leave this internet cafe in search of KOREAN FOOD!! Yumm. I'm sure it exists here. i've just been to the museum. it was alright, but it was nice to take in something cultural after boozing and clubbing, which really isn't all that cultural no matter how you try to spin it.

i passed my open water exam. 98%. one wrong. would have been a perfect score but i mixed up meters and feet. stupid metric system. went on my first dive and got HORRIBLY seasick from the boat ride out and from being underwater. and in typical diana fashion, i have a crush on my instructor. oh jeebus.

i think i'm at the top of the hump between homesickness and never wanting to go home. i knew this time would come. but don't worry. i know i have to go home because of camp obligations. but with my september plans so up in the air, who knows. i may just come right back.

happy valentine's day all!
love you! miss you!

Sunday, February 09, 2003

i just haven't been feeling like writing, as of late. i don't know what it is because i certainly don't think any less of what i think. ;) i have had a friend in town. one of my nyu classmates is here with her sister. they have been staying with me for the last two nights, and they leave tomorrow, my tuesday. i will be very sad when they leave, and probably uber-homesick. the couple i'm boarding with have been really neat and generous with the guests. and we've had a great time sitting around at night, after dinner, and just talking about socialism and stuff. but if i keep eating like this and staying up all night talking, it's going to put a big fat damper on my plans. it's all good while my friends are here, though.

in other news, i think i almost died today. i'm really not taking very well to this scuba thing. we put on our gear and did shit on the bottom of this dive pool -- about 12 feet deep. after 20 minutes, this tingling sensation went up my arms and my legs all the way up to my chest. and my hands were cramping up like i was having a siezure. it was very scary and i had to come up to the surface. i don't know if i was getting too much oxygen or too little. all that i know is i'm on the verge of quitting scuba. sometimes, life is worth too much to risk it like this, and sometimes you're just too old to learn certain new tricks. i'm keen to start rafting.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

the beach
the cost of living here, if you take into consderation the exchange rate, is really cheap for me. so i figured that because i could, and this may be the last time i ever get to, i wanted to live by the beach. and i found a place! i'm going to board with this couple that i like to describe to be "hippies" in a house that is a 2 minute walk from the beach. they're even going to cook meals for me, like curries and shit, which i'm really excited about. when i met them we spent ages discussing politics and literature and journalism and free trade and paganism. ok, i'm not keen on paganism, but i think it's going to be great. oh, and all this for about US$300 a month.

we started scuba today. we were in this diving pool snorkeling, actually, and i'm not enjoying it, and i'm not looking forward to the nine weeks of scuba that i'll be doing. i'm going to come out with a dive control specialist certification from SSI when i'm all through, but i think i'd rather just take the nine weeks and travel the country. alas, i can't. but bugger all. i'm afraid of heights, but my brain trusts the equipment on the ropes course. maybe more experience will help me trust the scuba gear, but it's just so scary with all that hyperbaric chamber shit and stuff. eek.

if the scuba doesn't kill me, the driving will. oh, not my driving, because i'm doing pretty well on the wrong side of the road and car. it's all the people who drink and smoke up while they are operating an automobile that worry me. for real.

that's it for now. i ahve to go do homework. dumb fill in the blank bullshit for scuba. ugh. this only makes it all worse.

i'll stop whinging now.


Saturday, February 01, 2003

i went to this book exchange to get a book in exchange for this book I had called House of the Blue Mangoes. i would consider it Literature, as in it would be in the literature section at barnes & noble, like next to victor hugo and shit, except that it was written by some guy davidar, so it wouldn't really be next to hugo. anyhow, the lady at the exchange was like, we have a hard time selling "trade publications" so we can't take that. sorry. and i understood that very clearly to mean that the people who go to this book exchange like trashy romance novels and spy thrillers, like tom clancy the the kiwi versions of tom clancy. for fuck's sake. sheesh. i miss b&n. i did manage to pick up the fountainhead, though. something i figure i should read. i hope i don't get brainwashed.

it's really hard to find good literature here, even at legit book stores. any good books they do have cost NZ$40, and while i'd readily pay that at home if i really wanted to read it, there's something imposing about that number that makes me not want to buy a book. i am supposed to be living simply.

something else i have noticed is how technologified everything here is. every store, even the dinkiest snack shop, is capable of doing eftpos transactions, which is their way of saying debit transactions. you know, swipe your debit card, punch in your pin, and get cash back, if you want. it's really how everyone does things here. (my bank card is not able, however, even though it's from hsbc, and they have branches here, being a supposedly international bank and all.) the other thing that's big here is txting. yeah, like on your cell phone. at home, i txted, but only with three people. here, everyone does it. radio stations and mcdonald's even does contests where you txt a number and maybe win a cruise. interesting, no?

last night i went to my first party. it was cool, and it was nice to socialize with people from my course. i think the thing that impressed them the most and made them realize i wasn't some dopey shy quiet american was when i grabbed a ciggie and lit it up like a pro. yeah, so i have this problem where i like to smoke when i drink, but sometimes the nasty habit comes in handy. but man oh man those boys were dirty and gross. vulgar, more like. and a bit sexist and piggy. i'm starting to realize that american men aren't so bad after all. a good thing to learn; be grateful for what you have, i suppose.

guys here readily and easily drink "girlie drinks". you know, like smirnoff ice. and no one laughs at them. but what i've found my classmates and cohorts like to drink is jim beam and coke. premixed. for NZ$14, you can get four fairly generous bottles of authentic jim beam and cola (pepsi, it turns out) premixed. yes, it saves some effort, but in the end is more expensive. for fuck's sake. and last night, drinking and driving (and "smoking" and driving) was done quite liberally. i think i'll be lucky to get home in one piece.

i went SURFING TODAY! it was great!! i even stood up a few times, and had a pretty neat ride back to shore. my board was very very very very long, which thankfully made it easier, but i really enjoyed it. i'm looking forward to doing it again and hopefully eventually getting good enough where i don't drink half of the bay. i had salt water entering every orifice in my head. after two hours, i felt like a human pickle from the salt and was thoroughly convinced that if i laid out on the beach long enough i'd turn into human jerky.

my first visitor comes next weekend!! YEAY! and if you are really my friend, you will come too. ;)

love, me