Admin or what

Humor, Travel

Today marks the end of my second week in the Year of the Kiwi–an international/dual-cultural phenomenon locals are calling “What?” and “That’s not real”– and what a week it has been, amiright?

This installment sees our heroine (me) nab a job at a beachfront cafe due completely to the fact that my new flatmate might be the reigning mob boss of northern New Zealand. [ED. NOTE: This claim is unsubstantiated by science at present…] Copious fish&chips™ have been eaten, the term ‘jay-walking’ has been chopped from my vocabulary, cute Kiwi boys have been smooched. I even took part in a thrilling escapade to convince the landlord a cat does not live here! MY!

Things weren’t all sheep and hobbits, though; this week has been chock-a-block with paperwork, applications and, in general, ADMIN. I also remain in a Mexican standoff with the Auckland transit system which will not allow me to be on time (or even on the right bus.) Satisfying progress on the flat’s 3rd jigsaw puzzle and the ridiculous soothing sounds of 95bFM radio’s Freak the Sheep and Amelia Discrete are the only cure.

#Live, Laugh, Louvre, my friends! Xoxo, Em-the-Phlegm

If you haven’t read Week 1, you can catch up here.

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Sweet As, Bro

Humor, Travel

It’s been exactly 1 week since I landed in New Zealand; ONE. WEEK. since I walked off my third plane in 29 hours straight onto tarmac, on through to the waiting Sky Bus that took me into Auckland City. I refuse to utter a judgement yet on life below the equator– after all, the key to Kiwi living may turn out to be a devotion to 007-like secrecy (too early to say, its all very hush-hush down here)– but I CAN say that I am alive and kicking!

So far I have seen morning joggers run barefoot, eaten at a farmer’s market and a night market (one has vegetables, one has noodles), gotten caught in more rainstorms than I can count, taken the wrong bus, worked a trial shift at a hip cafe (only to spill orange juice all over a table, still waiting to hear back on that career opportunity…) and attended a 4-year-old’s dino-themed birthday party.

People are friendly as all get-out, and in fact I have developed a method of pretending I am getting a phone call which I must take outside if I’ve walked into a shop that I don’t actually want to buy anything from.

I move into my flat on Friday, which I hear has a lemon tree in the backyard, so stay tuned for chapter 2, pleebs!

Love always, your International Gal of Mystery

**Oh, they say “Sweet as, bro,” a lot.

Like a haircut, but for your closet!

Style, Travel

ep earrings

Less is hard more!

(If you hadn’t heard, I’m moving to New Zealand in October.)

I put on a laissez-faire façade in re selling off most of my worldly possessions to prepare for traveling and in honesty, I really couldn’t have laissez-faired less about downsizing, on the whole.  The thought of parting with bits of my precious and tediously culled wardrobe, though, gave me a near damn heart attack. It now seems to me that the success of such an endeavor might hinge on putting a pin in shopping for a minute or two.

This aha-moment came to me when I realized–by the aid of an extremely stringent pre-travel budget Google Doc manifesto drawn up by a dear friend, bless her, which laid out what I was and wasn’t allowed to spend money on anymore–that even infrequent shopping sprees would not do if I wanted to afford the plane ticket.

It has been six months and I have acquired precious little since agreeing to aforementioned manifesto (my, I am obnoxious today.) Without the siren call of a new garment begging to be worn, I’ve identified the items I repeatedly reach for based on a true fondness for said items. These items now form the basis of my travel wardrobe. Get out of town!

Coming in as an orgasmic surprise to all parties involved, I actually don’t miss the things I’ve tossed. The trick now is finding new and interesting ways to wear the same combination of garms, by which of course I mean “garments.” *DISCLAIMER: This is not that thing where I don’t want people to think of me as an outfit repeater. Getting dressed is my Sudoku. Without this beguiling daily challenge I will develop early-onset Alzheimer’s, I just know it.

As the resident advice giver of this, my own personal blog on which no one else is allowed to give advice, I advise that–if you find yourself in this position–you accessorize, ya freaks! I, for example, created a pair of sickeningly decadent floral earrings that double as wind chimes probably, and am in the midst a bandana extravaganza, the wearing of which make me look like I’m on vacation every day of the week! Force yourself to get creative with your possessions and you might be surprised by what your brain has waiting just around the riverbend.

It’s also enormously more eco-friendly and this planet needs all the friends it can get.

earth.PNG

The Right Way?

Art, Mind Mess

pizzazz

It can be very easy to think that some things just aren’t for you.

As an example, there is a man in a nice suit who works in my building and I have decided I am not allowed to talk to him because he must be important and I wear denim overalls most days.

I want to be an artist and sometimes I have daydreams of taping small paintings up as I go about town in a guerilla marketing campaign of sorts. I have never done this and I think it is because I was never taught that it was the right way to go about things. It is certainly not how John Singer-Sargent got his start.

Maybe we sometimes see ourselves as “Have-nots” because we have created mental barriers between ourselves and the perceived “Haves”. (You, too, could be the kind of girl who walks her alligator in a tiara carrying quantities of pizzazz/pizzas!) I resolve to talk to the man in the suit and infect the city with my art as soon as possible.

On Travel

Travel

I’ll never really be alone.

The yen to travel is a common yen, and I’m not going to overthink why that is. (To be honest, it makes sense; we are curious little rhinos at heart, no?) I’ve had my bags mentally packed since 9th grade, and in exactly 3 months I will be getting off a plane in New Zealand for a year-long working holiday– my first overseas Trip-with-a-capital-T.

I have seen and been influenced by examples of female trepidation in my own life, and as I prepare myself for what I imagine will be the Travel Chapter of my life, I find myself wanting to clone and shrink each of them down to take them all with me!

Ulla

One of my strangest–and favorite–influences is my great-aunt Ulla. Her hairstyle of choice is a disheveled blonde bowl-cut and she is a fiend for solo travel. I’ve only met her in person a handful of times and she must be at least 75 by now, but she hasn’t slowed down and says it’s because she finds travel “most satisfying.” *At 26, I am no less terrified of her than I was at 4.

travel

Growing up, my siblings and I had a babysitter named Emmy Joy. She invented the best car games and made us hot chocolate and she was our absolute favorite. After high school, she moved to Hawaii and became a full-fledged flowerchild! Now she drives around the country selling handmade gypsy halos out of her brightly-painted V.W. van and calls Maui home. Adventure!

travel3

Pat Carney is my fairy art-mother and is freedom and creativity personified. My mother met Pat while they were living wildly in Boston in the ’80s; she is patchwork-y and takes trips to Africa and finds friends wherever she goes and she can make art out of anything. She reminds me that living itself is an art!

 

travel2

I was raised by a woman who taught me to believe in magic and adventure and the magic of adventure. A devout composter and advocate for human rights, my mother has taught inner-city kids about caving, biked to Nova Scotia, and knows the scientific name for most plants. FOR SURE she will be in my pocket on these next adventures♥

Get Comfortable, June 23- July 20

Art

Cancer.PNGI’m not a big believer in the practical application of astrology (in fact, I’m not a big believer in practicality in general) but I AM a fan of astrological imagery so here we are!

According to some people who I assume looked into this, the moon is about to go into Cancer, which spells cozy times, babes! Build a blanket fort on your favorite hilltop and create a brain trust; you can use your most powerful intimate thoughts as the new renewable energy, ok?

A fun thing to do on a Saturday

Art, Style

donut

Every once-in-a-Saturday a friend and I do donut runs to Blackbird Donuts in the South End.

I recommend it but for the love of Laura Palmer, don’t go at 10:30AM because that is when I go and if it is fucking busy I will FREAK. IT. OUT.

*A donut run is when you put on athletic garb (sweatband encouraged) and trot to a donutery. You must run at least 20% of the way or it doesn’t count.