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Archive for June, 2007


Siobhan returns, and more

Posted by Leith in News,Play

On Wednesday Siobhan returned to Christchurch for her whirlwind tour. There was a bit of confusion with Dace over who was picking up who at what time, but eventually Mum, Dace and I all ended up at the airport to see her. Some of Christopher’s (her boyfriend) relatives were there as well, although I’d never met them before. We head back to Mum’s place and talked for quite a while. Grandma and Grandad showed up, I went and got the gas tank filled and after a while ended up heading over to Dad’s to see Dad for a bit. I saw Daniel briefly, then went up the hill to Rach’s parents’ place to see Rach, who was house-sitting. We had dinner, played many games of backgammon and I ended up crashing on the couch.

Other things I did this week: had dinner with Serah, coffee with Will (was neat to see him again), lunch with Siobhan and Dace, visited Jem’s flat (more of a house, really… what is it with people I know having not-flats?), played taxi for Siobhan and sent many, many text messages arranging to meet up with people! Since I got another “it’ll be done Tuesday/Wednesday of next week” from the laptop people this week, I have to give thanks to Gareth for him letting me borrow his little travel laptop, that’s certainly been a big help.

I hung out with Rach some more, went and saw Fantasic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (randomly seeing Andrea and David at the theatre, which was an awesome random “Christchurch moment”), went out on the town with Serah, Adam and friends… I did a fair amount of social stuff this week, which was nice. I also managed to have a quiet night in as well, which was also nice. ^^

Family dinner tonight, first one with Siobhan… naturally she gives me endless amounts of shit about my hair, to “make up for lost time” while she and I have been in different countries. I swear, one of these days I’m going to open my email to find one from her that just says “Get a haircut” and that’s it.

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Moving out after moving in

Posted by Leith in News,Work

I forgot to mention this last update, but I was informed that when my darling sister flies in from Ireland tomorrow, Mum was kicking me out of the spare room so that Siobhan could stay there. After scrambling around for a bit, I talked with Grandma and they said it would be fine if I crashed with them for the duration of Siobhan’s visit. She also suggested I might want to talk to Kath, since Kath has a spare room over at her place (my cousin Rhiannon being over in the UK as well).

Rewind: yesterday was busy, very busy. I had a work meeting in the morning with a client, then back to Mum’s, then down to Merivale to see the bank, the travel agent and have coffee. After that it was back into town to see another client, then to Dad’s to do a little bit of work. From there I went to Grandma’s and now we’re back to the start of this post. After having a lovely dinner with Grandma and Grandad, I then went over to Kath and Gareth’s to have a cuppa (after talking with Kath briefly on the phone) and talk aboutmy possibly ensconcing myself in their spare room. After that, back to Mum’s. All of this was on my bike, by the way. Work out day!

The upshot of all of this was that Kath and Gareth both said it would be fine for me to be staying with them, they’d be delighted. They also said I was welcome to use Rhiannon’s car, as long as it was serviced up and so on. So lots of thanks to Kath and Gareth for their generosity, it is certainly above and beyond and I am truly grateful. Today I moved all my stuff in and got the car. That’s going to enable me to do a whole lot more, methinks!

I also saw Dad today, since he’s back from the UK. It’s wonderful to see him again – welcome back, Dad. ^^

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A fairly eventful week…

Posted by Leith in News,Play

I caught up with several more people this week, but still haven’t put out the massive “I’m back, come see me” to everyone yet… it means I’ve been able to ease myself into seeing everyone (and the hideous cold). This week I caught up with Grandma & Grandad, Josie, Saku, Dace’s girlfriend Laura and Mickey. Mickey is off to New York City soon, having acquired his green card in the US Diversity Lottery the first time he applied (*cough* bastard *cough*). Having applied a couple of times myself (with no success), I’m more than a little jealous at this. However, since I won’t be able to take advantage of a US green card for several years yet, not a lot of point in me applying this year. Anyway, it was great to see him again, as I hadn’t seen him in years. It was good seeing everyone again, and I seem to be averaging at least a couple of hours with anyone I sit down with! Then again, with an opening line of “So… what have you been up to for the last… *looks at watch* 2-5 years?”, I guess I couldn’t expect anything less! I also very randomly ran into a classmate of mine from Uni, Dan. He’s apparently working at a local software company, and I might hook up with him later, maybe about some work, maybe just in general.

I looked over all my Student Loan documentation this week, looks like I’m good and the records that I’ve been keeping are correct – yay for me!

I also looked into the Japanese language courses at the Polytech here, the courses are free, just need to pay for the textbook. Speaking of Japanese things, I got my preliminary endorsement from the Japanese Consulate, hurrah! Now I just need to get my official Acceptance Letter from Todai back and in to the Japanese Consulate. After all that’s done (needs to be done by mid-August), I then administratively sit on my thumbs until December, when the final decision comes in from the Monbukagakusho office in Tokyo. I should get the notification that I definitively have the scholarship shortly before my graduation ceremony.

On the broken things front, I had to get my bike repaired this week as well – new tires, new handles, new light fixtures, etc. I managed to forget to get the pads for my helmet, though. Ah well. I got an update on my laptop as well – still in the shop, more things than they thought might be busted, and they’re having issues getting parts as well. They said another few days, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

I changed the internet plan at Mum’s (downloading 2 years worth of Windows Updates killed her usage for the month) and cooked dinner for Mum – we both marveled at each other for coinciding for a meal. I’ve been out meeting with people for dinners and coffees and whatnot since I’ve been back, and have barely really been at her place. In part this is due to my receiving a flood of mothering that I’m not used to and didn’t really want and so I haven’t been spending as much time at her place as I initially thought I would.

I’ve been feeling very weird since I’ve been back, very disconnected. My feeling of transience hasn’t really gone away, but I’m still essentially living out of my suitcases, so that’s not terribly surprising. I’ve been missing Anastasia a lot – I got to Skype with her this week, apparently my Kiwi accent has thickened back up remarkably quickly after obtaining a slight American twang while I was away. I also started looking into flights to and from the US between now and Christmas – I figure I might as well, since my work permit is valid until the end of the year. I’ll need to get a new visa, I guess. In news from across the water, Anastasia got the TV people to come and take away the rest of the TV. *sigh* Such a shame, that.

Abby’s party was this week, it was good to go and see some people although a bit weird to go somewhere and see all of my sister’s friends… and not have my sister be there. Not the usual context, although nice to say hello and so on. I showed up with Rach, Slosh and the KAOS contingent, which pretty much doubled the size of the party when we arrived.

As an aside, I also did a preliminary visit to the Carlton, where Dace’s 21st is being held. I’m in charge of music and the slideshow (already did the invites).

As another aside, I also started watching this interview with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates this week:

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After a week…

Posted by Leith in News,Play

This week was punctuated for me by very early mornings – the switch back into the NZ timezone would have worked really well, if I was a morning person. Which, for those of you who haven’t known me very long, I am not.

My mode of transportation for the week was my bike and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I’m not nearly as unfit as I thought I was! During the course of the week, I went with Mum out to the Warehouse to get a couple of plastic bins to use as substitute drawers for my clothes – there wasn’t enough space in the room to live out of my suitcases. I had dinner with Grandma and Grandad, and spent some more time with Dace (including a pizza session for lunch). Dace was also kind enough to drive me and my laptop out to Dove to get it fixed. After the power supply blew while I was in Seattle, I’ve been living off of the technological kindness of others. ^^;

Rach and I also spent some time together, having lunch, talking smack and so on. She showed me around her Linguistics office and introduced me to her “Ling posse”. We also watched The Princess Bride, quoting it incessantly. Lots of backgammon and I got to meet her flatmate Kristin (also a part of the Ling posse) and her boyfriend Boris.

I tried to fix some things on Mum’s computer, spent a fair thwack of time online emailing people, trying to organise to see them, that kind of thing. I also took a trip to Dad’s (it’s weird him not being here) and found my cellphone, which still works – just needed to put some money on it. That was pretty entertaining, as there were a few funny text messages that I had saved on there that I had completely forgotten about.

During the week I also went in to the Japanese Consulate for my interview and exams for the Monbukagakusho graduate scholarship. Both the interview and exams went really well, although the Japanese exam was frustrating – lots of questions that I could read and understand what they were asking me, but I couldn’t recall the specific grammatical response. In any case, I’m sure I’ll get my preliminary endorsement from the Consulate.

I had coffee and catch-up with Jemma and Serah, spent some more time over at Rach’s talking smack with her and Cam… we also watch The Boondock Saints again. Love that movie. Talking with Jemma yielded a heck of a lot of goss about the StAC crew, as well as a potential flat to move into if I’m going to be sticking around in New Zealand for longer. Serah also lined me up with some potential work with her aunt, who runs a software company with a Christchurch office.

I spent some time over at Dan’s and watched some anime, then a few days later went over to stay and have a good marathon. We had fish and chips for dinner (not exactly something I missed, but nice to have nonetheless) and finally watched some of the anime that Dan had demanded I not watch until I was back in NZ with him. Nik also put in an appearance, as he was over for a couple of days from Aussie. It was great to see him as well – he’s been one of the people that I’ve kept in touch with the most since I’ve been overseas and I know we’ll be hooking up in the future for something, probably when I’m off in Japan. The only bad thing about going to Dan’s was the assault on my lungs – after having been in a no-pets zone for such a long time, the 16 cats at the house made my lungs seize up a bit, and I didn’t really recover properly until I got back and Mum’s flatmate (Chris, very decent guy although not the chattiest sort) gave me an inhaler breath of Ventalin. Mum spoke at me fairly sternly about not going back over there. Looks like I’ll be having to spend less time in his house until I’m used to the cats again. I slept for about 12 hours after that and spent today just chilling out.

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First day back in New Zealand

Posted by Leith in News,Travel

I managed to sleep across the Pacific, so the traveling wasn’t too bad coming back this time. After a non-existent Saturday, I arrived on Sunday to find Mum waiting for me at the airport. Not a large contingent, but hey, it was early in the morning and I made it clear I’d see everyone later. ^^

Mum took me back to her place and I finally got to look around. Having never actually seen the place (Mum moved in a couple of days after I left for the US), it was nice to finally understand all the jokes that my brother had made about it being the HMS O’Rourke. There’s a split-level in the main room with an accompanying deck, as well as a big sail over the outdoor furniture. Anyway, I threw my luggage down in Mum’s “spare room” – this room is actually the computer room, and barely fits the bed in it. Bit of a tight squeeze!

I hung out with Mum for a while, had some breakfast and a hot blackcurrant – I really missed my hot blackcurrant! Dace came over and I hung out with him for a bit as well, although he had to motor along. I knew I was going to be seeing him later, so I wasn’t terribly concerned. Rach came over and had a cup of tea with me, then it was road trip time! We saw Abby randomly on the street (and got promptly invited to a party she was having) as we were driving by her. We saw Cam back at The Ric (Rach and Cam’s inestimably interesting flat) and hung out with him for a bit before dropping him off where he needed to be. From there we went and saw Daniel, it was really great to see him again, I know I’ll see a lot more of him while I’m in NZ. After hanging out with Dan for a little bit, Rach and I then headed up the hill to see Shirley, her Mum. She’s officially made me her web-guy and I’m now in charge of developing the website for Shirley’s Kitchen. After that Rach dropped me back at the house. Big thanks to Rach for taking the time to road trip with me!

Back at Mum’s it was dinner with Mum and Dace, as well as a trip to see Dace’s flat (which I also hadn’t seen). Dace’s flat isn’t really a flat, it’s a townhouse that happens to house students – very slick.

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