Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Week of 12 to 17 Sept

Full week also this time, went to San Francisco! Still wanted to get my hours in despite having the weekend off, so Mon-Thurs was 8 AM to midnight, then half day on Friday before flying out! Flight was fine (delayed an hour in AKL), got aisle seat, the Air New Zealand's entertainment on demand at each seat was a sanity-cup. Got in Friday afternoon,3 hours before I left Welly.

First things first, saw Bonnie, how awesome. Then she treated me to Taco Bell and 7-11, go USA! Friday was hanging out at home, went around town some as well, then got home-cooked meal and we watched her TV tapes, and had photo slide shows. Saturday was the wedding, getting ready in the morn and drove up (us 2 with Nicole, Julia, and Grace) through Napa and Calistoga, arrived about 2 and hung out by pool and wandered ranch, went back to townhouse hotel and back for ceremony at 5.

Great ceremony - short, but full of personal touches on traditional moments. Dinner was afterward (surprisingly, no veggie main course), then desert and dancing, and wandering about the grounds (one guest had a varicose vein burst, they tried to stop the bleeding, but called an ambulance up to the mountains). Back to room, pretty tired. Then brunch the next morning, and made our leave.

Drove back into Berkeley, and had only a short time to get ready for summer BBQ (Bonnie B-Q). Was a bit hesitant, wanted to just spend time with Bonnie, but it was good to see people and great to share our friends and build our sense of community. Then I had to leave to get back to airport by 7:30! Whirlwind, whiz bang zoom as my mom would say.

Then back into the grind...

Week of 5 to 11 Sept

Yeesh, so much happening these weeks, I've gotten so behind on the blog. Visitors, and visiting, and working insanity. But, let me start with this week, the haps - my sister Rebecca was in town. Great to see she could get over here, her first international trip in a long long time. I remember when I was a kid, she went to Europe with her then-beau Les, I remember cos she brought me back a London Dungeon souvenir book, still have it somewheres. Anyway, she was in Tuesday, after phone tag, we met up for lunch ( Monsoon Poon), I worked the rest of the day while she rested up, then we went into town for Cinelounge. Wednesday she went driving up north, I worked a packed day, and flew up Thursday morning to meet her in Rotorua (drama with a missing parking stub!). Went to Te Puia - geysers and Maori Village, then we drove out, stopping in Taupo and Palmerston North for a bit (longer drive than I'd thought, didn't get in till evening). Had a bad sushi experience at Kazu (though they did have okonomiyaki!). Friday was Interislander wine country trip to Marlborough. Fabulous deal - round trip on ferry, guided tour (which happened to be a personal tour, we were the only 2 people on it), and visits to 4 wineries with 5-8 free tastings each - all for ~$75 US. Got a few bottles on the way.

Saturday was hanging around town - Te Papa, F69 ship; rugby @ Chicago's and Loaded Hog; Cuba St & Tattoo Museum; decided to catch 'Bewitched' at the new fancy Empire Cinema in Island Bay, then went to a Weta party, a few people's collective birthday celebration. Hell Pizza in Hataitai on the way back (kumara chips for Bec, yum). Sunday she was on the way out, but we decided to hit the Botanical Gardens, which was an adventure to figure out how to get in there! Spent too much time getting bad and hostile directions, only went to the greenhaus there...

Overall, fine time and good to see her out. Sunday after she left was a visit to Sandip's spectacular house atop the hills of Island Bay for his party, nice Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Week of 29 Aug to 4 Sept

More work, not a lot to shout about. Personally, but of course the huge news was Gulf Coast in the U.S. It was a scary proposal, watching the news reports about Hurrican Katrina hitting New Orleans. In the days leading up to it, reading how the experts were saying the cataclysmic damage that could happen. And as the storm hit and the days rolled on, all the things they predicted coming true to a 'T'. So many ignored warnings, ill preparation, disregard for what could happen. Then, when it did happen, the ineptitude and overwhelming lack of compassion for human need (but a strong concern for law and order) by 'the authorities'. And the suffering, the loss without aid, the bodies out in the open, 3rd-World style.

Back to my news... Met up with Dave, who had just gotten in, caught part of the rugby match on Friday, then we wandered around town. Bec will be in town this coming week, so next update will have reports of our NZ adventures.