End of the Year Chili Feed.

I made chili today. It was damn fine. It was taken advantage of by only 3 people: Myself, Leon and Laura. To all others: A shame that overtakes you when you realize you won't have eaten the 4th best chili made in the world this year. The top 3 all won county fairs in Texas and are either named Junior or Bubba. Or both.
This chili thing was about the only thing I felt I've done since I got back from Napier. Sure, I made dinner from friends, drank my holiday-gift-from-my-ex-work bottle of bubbles, watched a bunch of DVDs and found out how you feel the next day after consuming an entire holiday-gift-from-my-ex-work bottle of bubbles, but I still don't have anything to show for it.
I suppose I feel this way after reading Morgan's blog. I had planned to write a light-hearted account of how great chili is when it's rainy and cold and football is on TV. But the re-hashing of things important by Morgue made me think about my yeat in review. And then I thought, my last year wasn't defined by dates and times so much as definite ideas and major, nay, historical choices. My coming to NZ was a start, and will have a finish soon of an important block of time in my life. The choice to start my own buisiness with my friends is another. So when these things pass into time/history from me, then that will be the most important definition of time for me.
I hope I didn't lose anyone with my thoughts there. I am unwilling to go back and make sure they make sense, as I have to get ready to party in celebration for 2007 being one of the best, exciting and financially scary years in my life.

So with that said, Happy New Year and le'chayim!


Hawkes Bay

I decided to get out of town by myself for a couple of days, and when the weather guy says, "the only place in the country that will have nice weather the next couple of days is Hawkes Bay." He also added that Taupo, where I had planned, was going to drop 14 feet of snow in 3 hours. Or something to that effect. So my plans changed- flexibility is one of my endless character strengths.
The Hawkes bay area is known for it's warm weather and fine wines. It turned out to be in a lot of ways like Napa valley. All these wineries having cellars to purchase wine at- which I didn't take advantage of. I was there for one thing: produce.
To some it may sound odd, but as it is berry season, I was all about taste-testing all available. I consumed 2 pints strawberries, 1 pint raspberries and one pint boysenberries. All were choice.
Not forgotten in my eating were peaches, golden kiwis and tomatoes. The former were so good, I ate them out of hand like an apple. Summer. Good food. Screw root veggies to all y'all back home.
Napier is the biggest city in the region, and had some really cool art deco buildings . Iris and Mark: I though of you when I was looking at the buildings; they were right up your alley. I guess Napier is second to Miami as a representative of this style, and the city holds a big festival every year.
Some pics (not mine, which are still on film)

And some quick videos of León, El Rey de los Bogans Piñatas. He was the entertainment for the massivly successful Boxing day Ranchero Brunch. The first is "Ben Davie, piñata punisher" (I swear I watched that show in Mexico last year!) and the second is entitled, "demise."

And yes, I am wearing boots with jeans.


end communication


Holiday Whirlwind

It's over...or so it seems....
ok it's over.

I had a christmas that was a combo of the classic-family type stuff with this summer time love. I sat outside, wore shorts and jandals. I threw a frisbee. But I had the heavy winter meal. And lots, and LOTS of sugar. I didn;t cope well with the sweet-as I get older, I've become less accepting of the sweet.
After the food, gifts and presents, I took a heavy nap. I awoke to attend a party, and questioned people on their power animals. Among the responses was "red panda."

Boxing Day Ranchero Brunch was an overwhelming success, to say the least. Great food (I'm not bragging-I'm keepin' it real), great company, and my 1st cricket playing. I can womp 'em one, but my body won't allow the straight arm bowling. It says, "NO. That hurts and you can't be accurate! Stop!" So I cannot bowl. But I did somehow get one wicket on Morgan....

And then an absurd amount of time on the phone. It hurt. I am lying low tonight; resting up for a trip tomorrow to the North. It'll probably be a couple days until the next post. Have fun.


More Brains Please!

My first ever christmas eve down under was spent out of doors, at a park in the dark. What turned into a hike at night/Aaron sees glow worms and a giant weta in a cave/drink whisky, turned into a turn into zombies/scare people. Not only was the zombie banter incredibly witty (a whole zombie -written menu. Brownies ala...BRAINS!!! Maybe you had to be there.) but we scared some random, stoned teenagers. It was great. In the end I got everyone, after waiting in the shadows for a few minutes. It was good, adolescent fun.
It was followed by an indecision of DVD choices, so we ended up watching the first 5 minutes of a whole bunch of movies. Most notable: Peter Jackson's first movie: Bad Taste. It needs to be seen to be believed.


Take this job and shove it.

As MLK said, "free at last! free at last! free at last!"

Yes, the darkest chapter in my life is over. And I only said, "serenity now!" about 800 times....

I did shots of cointreu in the parking lot with Morgan. And had god speak to me through a sculpture about doing what god?!??...Burn the Skyline down?!??! No I couldn't do that!!!.........could I?


Anyways, I am finally in holiday spirits, and it's only 7pm Sunday Eve. Took me long enough, but when you're cooking for other drunken people, and getting lavishly cursed at, it's not so festive. So here I am, paste on my shirt from León the Bogan Piñata, awaiting 10:15 tonight for "X-Mas eve mystery mission. Bring flashlight and holy water." I made a cross; I'm so handy.
Flashback to last night real quick. There was this woman at the bar who I wanted to talk to, and she left, but then came back, and I sprung at the stroke of luck/opportunity. We were talking about the usual random things, and me being my funniest (in my head anyways...) and then I find out she's a married. And has kids. She was a hot Momma. Literally.
I pretty much stopped the conversation there, but for the record, I have now moved up from constantly meeting great women who have boyfriends to great women who have husbands. And kids.
My shite luck...

Happy Festivus, for the rest of us. And may you win all your feats of strength!


In the spirit of giving....

I think it speaks for itself....


Sweet Home Lower Hutt

Lynard Skyard is a beast. He now has a shrunken head (done in an obscure and ancient barbarian fashion) around his neck of Yurg Arnak, whom, as Morgan pointed out got "owned".

The thing I've become most, er, fond of D&D is that this chracter is just an amplifier for my own personality/passion. I now can be louder and more extroverted. Sorry to some, and no appologies to those who die at the flaming blade of Lynard Skyard, RAWK!

I love it all, and want to play forever. And I mean that.

Got my christmas shopping done, mostly. I have a couple of pieces to pick up, and one of them is going to be a classic gift. The one everyone talks about forever.....ok maybe not.
Tomorrow I am making a paper mache Bogan piñata for the Boxing day Ranchero brunch, which will be an epic failure if my package from my mom doesn't arrive before then. BTW, the bogann piñata will have a name: León. He will have a sombrero, perhaps an orange Tui one that I've seen around/wore one night at Karaoke....

Lot's of good stuff to do tomorrow it seems, but in hindsight it won't seem like much. Nevertheless, I am excited for small reasons tomorrow, and that's great.

All hail the New Pavlova King!!!!! (that's me-I have no shame.)



I am so over work. It is a great thing I'm leaving soon. I just finished the toughest day of the year, and had no help really in doing so.

Oh well. Enough griping.

Not much else to say, except I hope you're prepared to go down Yurg-Arnak.



I give notice

I gave notice to my work today. It was liberating, but didn't garner as much "shoke and awe" as I'd hoped. I am sick.
It does really muck up the owners plans- everyone working today in the kitch will be gone in one month, except for one guy-who I told needed to leave, and he does want to, but the owners got to him 1st and gave him a raise.
And one might say, "there's a message for those idiots to be had!" (i'm one, and you're two) but guess what?!? They're IDIOTS so they've decided no changes are the way to go.

Anyways, not my problem.

I'm currently watching the FIFA World club championships and drinking beer. Productivity is my name!


I've booked plans

I am going to the South Island with Mr. Davie on the 10th of January. He will be in on the mayhem until he flies back to Welly, while I tool around for a few more days. Then I come back to Wellington late January 25th. I will head out from here to Auckland to pawn my car off to some Jafa having seen Lake Taupo and the Waitomo caves. Then I fly to Hawaii on the 5th of Feb, arriving in HI on the 4th. I'll spend a night in Honolulu due to scheduling and fly into Hilo the next morning. I get to go insane with Trever for a week, and will be back home on the night of the 12th, so let's start making plans for my birthday on the 15th.

Aki/CP/Wachter are invited to join in on Hawaii.
Encouraged and/or slightly demanded.

Home for the Holidays!

I'm back out in the Hutt for the holidays, and am spinning it that way to parental figures on all sides of the Pacific...
It's good to be back out in the Hutt for some reasons. Like those of you who grew up here, they're more "feelings" than tangible facts. Just the comfort of being around a family is excellent.
Anne Davie finally decided to make the weather good. It's been sunny and warm-ish the last couple of days, but there's been a light haze coming in from Austrailia due to the fact that pretty much all of Victoria is on fire. As Sam said, "that's all dead kangaroos." Er...nice sunsets though....
Today is a bog day, as I'm planning all my South Island road trip and Returning's details. Tickets for ferries and planes should be bought today. It's all gonna firm up today, and make going home "real." Which is bittersweet. I really feel the desire to stay in Wellington- I love the people I've met (except who I work with) and the city itself, but if one believes in omens, and I kinda do, then this place keeps giving me signs confirming that I gotta go home to cook food like this.

It's so amazing.

Actually, I cannot wait to try Dustin's "Alpine Herb Ricola (Cough Drops yes) ice cream. Melted pieces of the cough drops in the ice cream base. Think an herbal version of peppermint stick ice cream. With cough drops.

Kiwis are freaking out right now.

Well, I gotta go pick up my car from the shop-it's in great health and Damon's dad Anton of Anton's Autos (full endorsement) said it'll get Morgue and I around easily.
Love your life, I am.


My flatmate is a dickhead

He texted me Wed night at 11pm as I was walking home and declared, "we have to move out by Sunday night 'bro." I had heard his grumblings 2 days before, but what I had heard was that he was trying to resolve issues with the landlord- ones that I accept due to the fact that A) I was going to only be living there for another month or so, and B) Anybody that saw my last place knows my standards of acceptance of crapiness have been lowered. So as I see it, if the landlord wants his investment to go to shit, let him. It's his ultimate loss when the roof needs to be replaced because it's all rotted.
Anyways, this stupid anouncement came at literally, THE WORST TIME OF THE YEAR. I am working 55 hours this week, and have my longest, toughest days always in the first 3 weeks of December. I cannot have a life these 3 weeks. I cannot move easily by any stretch of the imagination, even with minimal stuff like I have now. I don't need this right now. So I told him he was being a dickhead in more or less terms.

4 days notice.

But it must be said that due to the informality of things around these parts, I never signed an agreement, it was all verbal, so I am at his mercy. That is something I'd never do back home, but was ok with not having a document, as I didn't know how long I'd stay. But it should be noted I'd give more than 4 days notice!

And now something to cheer me/you up:


End of Weekend wrap-up

Yes, another weekend gone.
Highlights included mostly Sunday night D&D, which is something I wanted to write about after it happened, but I wrote the earth-shaking news instead. Yes, that was sad in some ways to post, but it's the right thing to do.
ANYWAYS, again I thank Morgue for including me in this game; it is damn fine. I've been impressed with many things, including our creativity with dealing with problem, our lack of a glaring hole, and how much Lynard Skynard can rawk the asses off of the evil doers. It came to a point on Sunday night that I just could plain intimidate people into surrendering.
Then Leon couldn't bluff worth shite, and I ended up shrugging off an attack of opportunity (disputed!) with a flaming sword attack that left the enemy dead as.

I also spent all day today working on my holiday gift for back home. Not much, but it will be appreciated. Cannot say what it is, as for some reason they're reading these very words with great interest.....
...let's just say I'm attempting to make the All Blacks squad...


This is what I'm doing.

It's official here I suppose.

I will be returning to the US and A in late january/early February. I will begin thinking about making my realization of opening my own place a reality. I won't have left NZ without seeing the South Island, and some of the North Island as well. Morgan will hopefully be involved in most of it, but perhaps, not all. And that would be sad. I will continue at my job until I have enough money to fix my car to the proper roadtrip shape. I also want to stop in Hawaii to see T-World, aka Trever Edwin Santora.

This is what I believe, and is my decleration.
I have your support.



I don't have anything to write.
I am going bogan tonight.
More on my day off!



I loved it. I thought that the imfamous wrestling scene was un-necesary, but it did what it was supposed to do: make you amazed.
I was shocked at some thigns the Kiwis around me didn't get, and laughed at things they didn't think was funny. My perspective was different than (probably almost)every other person in the Embassy theater.
I recommend it, but only if you really want to ask questions about what kind of person you really are.

Now I know how Aki and Kenji felt at my party...


The Best So Far

The period starting Sat night until now, wed noon has been the best time I've spent in Wellington so far.
It has been fun, crazy, new, productive and possibly most importantly, decisive.
As previously stated all the Thanksgiving stuff rocked. The Swedes rocked. I went on an insane date that put me in a surreal environment (at least one that Dustin dragged me into) and I realized what I want to do next with my life.
For the past year, I was asked repeatedly what my plan was, and it was always the same: Go to Wellington and get a job and live there. I never thought beyond that, as my mind sets attainable goals that can be reached in a year or so. I always get what I set out to do. So I had this epiphany that, "hey, it's time to think what's next! What's it gonna be?!?" And I thought what I wanted, and what my role is here in NZ?

I decided: 1st, look for a new job. 2nd, my last day at my current job, if not sooner for whatever reason (I hold the power to quit- and it scares me.) is going to be the Friday before X-Mas. That is how long I need to work to make the money I want/need to roadtrip the South Island. 3rd, if I can't find a job that fits, then what?
And my last question was the most important. I have come to the conclusion that my coming to NZ is the answer of what I want. I have realized that I want to do the cooking thing for my own gain. I want to be my own boss. I need my friend Dustin to be in this project to elicit my best cooking ideas. This is I feel pretty major stuff.
So, I called Dustin and told him, "I'm ready and you're ready. Let's start thinking about this." He agreed.
I have little idea on where to start/what I need to do. I have to start reading, and putting ideas on paper. I'm fueled though.

So New Zealand has delivered me the answer to a question I realized had been nagging me deep down. "What next?"

More on this later.....


My Speech

Note: This was my working draft, so there are plenty of errors and problems with tenses changing. Dad: please accept this. (also edit language for grandma, please.)

Story of Thanksgiving, as told by Aaron Andrews.

There are many great things about being an American. They are mostly in theoretical idea form, unpracticed in day-to-day life. But sometimes an idea occurs in real life that deserves merit and remeberance. They become celebrated as a holiday. Most of these days recognize a miserable, terrible event that occurred, with America coming out on top, 'cause we kick major ass and the American people able to continue in the pursuit of freedom, happiness, and the "American Way" of life. But sometimes, the day is remembered for the fact that is was a notable day; that people came together, like us, to celebrate life and friendship. These are the things I feel many lack in our daily lives, so I am delighted, and honored that y'all could make it to my most favorite of holidays: Thanksgiving.
This speech is designed to inform the great peoples of where ever you're from, where Thanksgiving is non-exhistent and/or lacking, such as Canada, of this "sweet-as" holiday's history. Due to the importance of this tale, I decided that it would be best to tell this story based on my memories from what I learned in school. I had to think back to the first grade for this one- we start young on creating historians in America. Another great example of why we're on top....
So here we go: This is a tale of two peoples, the Pilgrims and the Native peoples of North Eastern America, or for our purposes, Indians. I have no idea what tribe. That was never taught, but more on them later. We start with the Pilgrims. They are English, and Puritans, and are basically so religiously crazy, they get kicked out of England (another not taught fact!) and they go to live in a new land. Can anybody guess?
That's right, they naturally go to the Netherlands, because everyone knows that if you want a conservative nation that fears God, you go to Amsterdam. Great museums I've heard.....Anyways, they quickly realize that Holland isn't a god-fearing place, and that it's full of potheads and prostitutes or something. And they miss Blackpool and the BBC. Not really, but the bottom line is that the Netherlands doesn't want them, and they don't want it.
So they decide to build a boat called the Mayflower and sail to a newly found place, America. It was claimed mostly by the English, as a colony. It was December 11th, 1620 when they arrived, and as a side note they'd intended to go to Virginia's Jamestown, but they weren't the best sailors really, and ended up 1300 Kilometers away from there, to a place outside of Boston, Massachusetts on a rock. This rock is a very important New England historical land mark. It's named Plymouth rock. The only reason I can guess is this group of religious wackos were originally from Plymouth in England.
They build a crappy group of shacks, and they were horrible at wilderness survival. They came un-prepared and un-equiped. They had no animals, and little food. 46 of the original 102 people died during the harsh New England winter.

This is where I introduce to you the other people of our tale: the Indians. Like I mentioned before, I have no idea what tribe they were, and really I don't think ANYBODY knows that one. There is really not much to be said about them from the 1st grade point of view, and their tale is not often told with accurate details; like most indigenous peoples who get invaded by the white Europeans. Anyways, the next summer, the Indians emerged from their caves, or where ever they lived with central heating during the coldest months the next summer to see this pathetic band of whiteys barely keeping on. They took pity on them, and taught them how to grow crops, where to fish, and how to play baseball. In exchange, the Pilgrims taught them how to build casinos and steal retired people's pensions. And god.
So it was such a fun summer, with all the no limit Texas-Hold 'Em Poker, and the endless singing of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game!" (Morgan will perform this later) that at the end of fall, when all was gathered that they had a big-ass feast. Turkeys are the tradtional center piece of this holiday, and were most likely, I reapeat, MOST LIKELY eaten at the 1st dinner. Pumpkin was eaten as well, but not pie, because the Pilgrims eaten all their flour straight out of the bag when they were going mad in the cold. They had lobster, corn, fish, Moro Gold Bars and L&P soda too.
Basically, Thanksgiving didn't catch on totally and regularly until one woman's 40-year obsession with creating this holiday was declared by President Abraham Lincoln in the 1860's, That part is totally true. She was her day's version of Martha Stewart.
And so there you go, the completely accurate and historical version of the greatest of American holidays, Thanksgiving. Think of it as Christmas without the presents or the birthday cake. And if it had fireworks, it would become a super holiday, known as literally, "the greatest fucking holiday in the world!" Anyways you translate it, even in Swedish, that rocks. Hard.

So lets drink: To Us, to Them, and to friendship!


Best. Thanksgiving. EVER!

Sunday was great. Incredible. It was better than I imagined it to be. All the planning and thought and boasts came together for a time that will be remembered by all forever.
My morning started early (and tired, as I was out late with the Swedish girls drinking and hearing GREAT music at the Matterhorn) and started cooking straight away. Pies had to be made, and stuffing had to be made too. Also, things had to be delivered to the party house. So I was driving around crazy-like, stressing as I usually do un-necesarally. I went to work to get the birds, picked up the Swedish (birds) and went to the house to start.
Firstly, I had planned "paper crafts" as an activity, which was embraced by all. Soon, we were pilgrims, but mostly indians. Some of the creativity and effort was great indeed. Football was (taped) on TV. And people were quickly making friends and having conversations.
Then we ate.
We had the perfect, I repeat, perfect amount of food. We had everything we could ever require from this meal. And there were 31 of us on a long banquet style table.
We placed all the different things in bowls, on plates, or even in jars on the table for people to help themselves. I ate the most, and was the only one to undo a button on their pants.
I had a speech that told the story of Thanksgiving in a slightly satirical way. It shed light for the people whom more or less had no idea what the holiday is about. And then, for slightly unknown reasons, Morgan, my flatmate and I sang a rousing rendition of "take me out to the ballgame."
And then we ate more.
And said what we were thankful for. I was thankful for the fact that even though I was away from everyone I've ever spent the holiday with, I still had this event happening with people I've come to care about. And reading what I just wrote doesn't begin to explain how happy I was. I don't know if anybody noticed, but I was very close to becoming "emotional." Seriously. I was happiest.
Then we digested, eventually had dessert and pumpkin pie that I made not following a recipe and it came out pretty good considering I had to roast my own pumpkin, which is a stupid thing to do normally. Then it was deemed a good idea to go outside, as it wasn't too bad outside, and some people ran around and wrestled. Then Leon (King of France) Verrall was awarded the first bi-montly Most Valuable Bogan Award.
Then the day concluded with people resting, talking or playing pictionary.
Or so I thought.
Johnny Cash was put on, and I showed them suckers how to line dance, and we had a ho-down. After everyone was done with that, it was well and truly over. We started at 1:30 and went to 8:00-ish. It was a great run, and I know everyone had a good time.
Thank you very much. I will post pics online as soon as I get them. Lots were taken.
It felt right, and again it was perfect.



My morning was shite: I forgot my chef clothes, and had to wear the fat chef's dirty ones, had a massively busy brunch that made me annoyed, then I put a big dent in my bumper of my car when I went home to get my clothes.
And then my day got really good.
I had a fun night of cooking. That is what it's all about, right? And so I'm off, and tomorrow is the big party.
We're gonna rock out.


Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgivings back home. I am in some starnge place that doesn't know about it. I will spread the 'gospel' of it on Sunday...

I hate to make the theme of this blog "Aaron hates work" but I have started looking for a new job here. I am misreable where I am, trapped in some strange place where I have now been sat down for being "un-approachable" to some. Seriously. I am now a "mean" person. Me. Everybody loves me. I had a show on TV named after how people feel about me that Ray Romano did.
Ridiculous. Morgan wants to pray for me, and he (more or less) doesn't believe in God.
So I'm going to be outta there. I have set a timetable though. It was realised very early this morning while I layed in bed, wanting to sleep, but unable (again) that I can only take a little more of this. So I am going to look for something else, and if I cannot come up with alternate employment by X-mas, then I quit before new year's eve, and spend January camping around NZ. Then what happens is TBA.
There is this parable in NZ about a tree that grows higher than the others, and is cut down to size because it had ambition. They don't like people for sticking out here I was told by a local, and I feel it at work. Hard work and desire to become better are being frowned upon by everyone I work with.
So Fuck Em.

Anybody want to join me for a January summer road trip?


In the dark

Out in the Hutt after a good spa. Relaxing.
Note to parents: Please send one hot tub to my room for a gift. It can be a 4 person tub, as 6 people is A) too big. B) would cost more to send me & buy, and C) The odds that one other guy would be in the tub with me and the ladies goes WAY up.

Anyways, I've deemed that heat+H2O=yes, I'm in.

The buzz is in the air about Thanksgiving. Genesis sang a song about it.
Some people are like, "damn. what's a green and how do you collard it?!?" And other's are like, "Do I get to have AMERICAN pumpkin pie?!?" (I added the emphasis on 'American.' Because I CAN.) Or the best yet, "Mashed potatoes and gravy?!?! Whoever heard of such a radical combo?!?!?" I made that last one up. I do think it is going to be funny seeing how people cope with a day of such extreme eating. This is a nightmare for people with eating disorders, and I just realized this. Sorry in advance. Or something.
My father beeged me not to play "nails." He doesn't want his holiday mis-interpreted.

And finally, my power has been cuy from my flat for the weekend. It's (mostly) the company's fault, and it sucks reading in the dark. I had a weekend of video games planned, and that didn't happen, unfortunately for the ladies....


It's rainy

Good thing my bosy is expecting winter, 'cause it sure is acting like it here. At first all the kiwis were appologetic about the crap weather, but now, they should be!
Freak showers, gusty winds that shake buildings, and I even had a bird fly into me today.


To steal from Samuel Clemens, "one of the nicest winters I ever had was a summer in Wellington."
It's begining to feel that way.
In other good news: Thanksgiving is coming up, and I am excited. I'd like to think it's gonna be the opposite of class as my going away party, "but let's face it," it's gonna turn into me yelling at people "to sink my nail, or I'm gonna make you drink (Insert explitives)!!!"

Can't wait.


It's been a long time.

Since I posted anything on here.
It's not that I haven't anything to say, it's that I've moved from the Hutt into the city and don't have internet at home at the moment...
My new address is 27A Ohiro Rd, Wellington. There's no postal code for it I think too....
So I have a flat in town, which is nice, and I can walk to my work in 20 minutes. Which is nice, if I continue to work there.
All I will mention here is that work is awful and frustrating and if it continues on the same path, I will look for other options. I don't have time or the desire to be unhappy during my stay in NZ.
That said, I am pumped for Thanksgiving coming up. I am holding a dinner on the 26th, and as you might expect from me, it's gonna be a big event. I have just hashed out details of the dinner, and it will be a potluck style party for 30 people or so.
I have a speech prepared, which will be posted online after the dinner (I don't want to ruin potential suprise to local readers) and if I have my say, we'll play nails. And get messed up.
I am going to attempt to buy a car again today, so I am going out to the Hutt, which is where I was last night, and will be tomorrow as well for D&D. That place oddly feels like "home" in NZ, which I think is funny, strange and slightly depressing all at the same time.
And lastly I think I found a good karaoke bar in Hataitai for Thurs nights (aka Player's Holiday) so that's good. Choice barmaids yeah? That last sentence was pure Kiwi...
Anything else.....I don't think so at the moment, as my life is just a grind.


More random stuff.

I played some netball today, and got absolutely wiped out. My lungs were fire, my mouth felt like it was sahara's dry season, and I played down to a level not often achieved with motor functions intact. We barely lost, and you can blame Mr. Ice Man. You know who you are.

I also got my key to my place, but I'm still at Pohutakawa St, as it's A. Where my stuff is, and B. more comfortable until I get a truck/van to help move some of the Davie's assorted garage furniture to my flat.

Dungeons and Dragons was played last night. I have been unable to think of anything really since it ended, it was rather epic-ly amazing. I may sound dorkish and nerdy to some, but I laugh at you, in the face, for not having creativity and being unwilling to see the fact that we're creating our own unique adventure tale. I digress, and become less defensive, the Dungeon unleashed a terrible foe of incredible strength and power, and after it nearly killed one of us (and not me, as I was flying with cursed boots that made me uncontrolably jig, thus rendering me unable to fight effectively if the flight was not in effect) we sunk it in muddy water, froze the water, and then paved over it with a stone spell. We lived, barely, and it's still not dead. We need to have a solution. Thus I have Christopher Allan Panado, a Boeing Engineer, doing a physics computation to figure out what would happen if we created a stone block on the roof, dissolved the connection with the roof 50 feet above, and dropped it on a really slow Iron Gollum. Exciting!

I didn;t get a car, the auction lasted about 20 seconds, and it was out of what I was willing to pay rather quickly. Too bad, it was a great option for a car, but there's more out there.

And finally, I meant to post this a couple of days ago. It was sent to me from my step dad, Paul Marshal Parker (we're using all middle names today, when you reply to this, include your middle name), and it's a great thing on YouTube. Here it is:


The Royal Sampler that is my Thursday

I've found a place to live. It's in Aro Valley, which is in Wellington proper, perhaps 20 minutes walk to the center of the business area. And it's about 25 minutes walk to work, which is nice, but it's all uphill to work, and there's nothing better than being sweaty and worn out when you get to work. Ask Dustin.
I'm moving in with a guy born in Hawaii but has lived in NZ since he was 11. A Kiwi by nationality; an American by accent. The place is perhaps more than I'd hoped to originally get into, but when I saw the places that were going for a good price in the area I wanted to live, they turned out to be student slums. If you can imagine a WORSE place than where I lived in Seattle (Shelby Slums), yes, much worse is what I found. But cheap.
So it will be bittersweet moving from 71 Pohutakawa St in the Hutt. It's treated me well. When I move in, and get the proper address, I'll let y'all know.
Also, I found a car to day I want to buy at Leon's work. He works for a massive car auction operation. It's a Suburu. Exciting, we'll see about that on Monday as well...

Work has been going fine. I've been wrestling with the fact that the place is run poorly, but I've realized/been told flat out by the chef that the idiot owners more or less don't care, except about getting money from people. Yes that's important, but making the system faultless so that the customers are happy/people want to work there because it's not stressful is also important. The chef basically told me to give up, because he's already tried, and as long as our food is good, it's all we can be in charge of.

I'm having a hard time with the not caring aspect, but if that's what it takes to keep from stressin' out, then that's what I have to do. I still get paid, and I 've learned another valuable lesson: How I won't my future place!


Halloween Fright-Fest

Halloween doesn't exist here in NZ. Definitely not like I'm used to, seeing masses of kids seeking weeks of sugar-fueled hyper activity. Nothing like dressing up in death-bringing monster and being rewarded with a Baby Ruth (Funsize though. And don't get me started on THAT oxymoron!) and tootsie rolls. It's a little depressing that Morgan reminded me that it was, indeed, All Hallow's Eve, and then I realized I hadn't put much thought into the whole dressing up thing. Which I should have done, just to show the Kiwis how much of a bad-ass I really am.
I did have "festivities" to attend, in the form of a fright movie fest. The guy who's house we were at, Pearce, has what can only be described as "a mind-boggling" amount of choices in the horror genre, from your mainstream picks, such as "Friday the 13th" to some ones that most normal people wouldn't ever dream of being filmed. Like cannibal-horror. As far as I could tell, the point of flicks like that is just to gross people out.

We watched 2 movies, the first being "Bubba Ho-Tep," a movie that was about Elvis (who's ALIVE in an East Texas rest home) fighting a mummy. It's billed as "the King vs the King of the Undead!" Funny stuff, especially the scene were Elvis explains how he switched places with an Elvis impersonator (who died on the toilet) and the real Elvis Aaron continued on, living the life of the impersonator. And then blowed up his trailer. It's absurd, and great, and low budget. I recommend seeing it, just because of the ridiculousness.

And then we got down to business. And watched easily the most graphically violent (but in a really unreal and cheesy way) flick I've ever witnessed, "Demons". The only words I can use to describe the film are: awesome, ridiculous, fuck!
Created by Italians, filmed in Germany, and in English, this 80's movie had some stuff I closed my eyes for, but the best scene is where the 2 heroes are riding around a movie theater on a dirt bike with a samurai sword chopping down Zombies. Whilst The Scorpions are blasting. Yes, you read that correct, the movie had a metal (and some hiphop) soundtrack. And if that didn't fucking get you, as soon as that's over (discontinue reading if you want to watch the movie) a helicopter falls through the room, saving them.
And that's not even the ending, which is really suprising!

So happy Halloween!


Camping at Putangirua Pinnacles

This weekend I saw a new part of NZ: the Wairarapa. It's predominately a wine growing region nowadays, but historically it was dairy country (if I'm not mistaken..) and either way it's green. Most of NZ tends to be anyways. "Good on ya" for that one guys.....
This weekend was also Leon the King / God's 30th+1 Birthday celebration. See the proof he's a god here. That's why he dragged us, er, 'invited' us all out to the Putangirua Pinnacles for the night. After losing sight of the convoy, my car and one other drove about 20 minutes past where we needed to be. We were thinking, "what the fuck did the others do to us? Where are they!?!" when Leon furiously drove up to us, and informed us we had passed the turn-off the aforementioned 20 minutes back that-a-ways. We were literally at the end of the public road, so there was no more road to go down, and we were long out of cell coverage, so for him to meet us was nice.
We then went hiking (after bacon and egg pie- thanks Cal/Edmund's!- and embarked on a journey to one of the locations of LORD OF THE RINGS. The caps was to get all you Americans EXCITED & PUMPED! It was a great hike, but at no time was I thinking, "man, over there is where 'this' happened." We did have some jokes about looking for the undead army, as that is the part of the movies that the pinnacles were filmed.
After a nice 2 hour-ish walk, we set up camp, got bit by sandflies (those a-holes!) and had a grilled meat caveman dinner complete with salad and creamy avocado and black pepper vinaigrette. We were roughing it indeed. Then the fun started: I brought out my fifth of Fighting Cock bourbon, and we played nails. "The drinking game from my party that was such a smash hit," nails.

We had fun and hit shit. And Morgan bounced the hammer off his head, and then caught it. It was the funniest ever.

Then the fire, and stories of how we all met Leon. There were some damn good ones too. Morgan gets the award for best speech (I attribute it not to his eloquence, but to the blow from the hammer to the head) and I got to tell the story of Leon's sand sculptures being inappropriate. It was all good times.
Then the wind came up, sending us to attempt to sleep underneath a rain fly that at times sounded like a flag in a stiff gale. Heavy gusts kept up all night long, making rest elusive. In the morn we had another impressive spread, which included a pineapple(?) and an attempt at French toast.
Then homeward bound, with impressive amounts of water falling from the sky.

Happy birthday Leon. You are indeed a king/god among men!

Your 1987 NBA Assists leaders:


Magic Johnson 977
Sleepy Floyd 848
Doc Rivers 823
Isiah Thomas 813
Terry Porter 715

Assists Per Game

Magic Johnson 12.2
Sleepy Floyd 10.3
Isiah Thomas 10.0
Doc Rivers 10.0
Terry Porter 8.9

Your 1987 MVP.


Self Explanatory

For all those wondering if the Swedish girls were really real, I'm not a liar- here's the proof:

And there's plenty more girls besides that coming to Thanksgiving. 6 more actually.
That's a lot of fucking Turkey.



I have downloaded the newest Roots album. I like it. It's fine. But it's very similar to the last couple efforts by the hip hop group. Their first 2 albums were somewhere in between "Legendary" and "Classic" in the genre, in many people's opinions. They were innovative, spoke about issues and life, while the majority of rap has always been the usual "bitches, money, power" kind of thing. (I know the argument that money/sex/power are major issues in a lot of lives....)
But this album, like I mentioned, is the "Roots sound." The music style which made them popular & stay in the scene. Although innovaters, they've made a living ultimately re-working their thing.
So I ask you: Is it better to keep on keeping on, so to say, with what got you there (read the Stones) or do you change up your style with the option of failure ("Wierd" Al Yankovich)?
That's tough for a popular musician, or really for anyone to change, so does that factor come into play?

I'm just musing out loud.
A true American Genius



I went to see Leon's friend's band Kora last night. They rocked the house down. Hard. It was the most energy in a performance that I've seen in a long time, because there were probably more than a few people in the audience that they knew, and it's their hometown.
The group consisted of a bunch of brothers, whom according to Leon (the God btw), decided that they'd form a band and become BIG. Well, they kinda have it seems.....
It was a dub/reggae/house/rock-ish affair, which was good, but my complaint is they bring out the white dreadlocks. I hate them. They think they're cool, but really we all know they're lazy and dirty! And they were coming in to the show in PACKS!

Would you wear the same hairstyle as all your friends.


A good time had by all.

Kora's Site


It Fucking Sucked

Work tonight was plainly put, a joke of organization for the front of the house, which in turn fucked everything up for me. And I was in charge. Alone. The chef was off on my 1st big night.

To make matters worse, the place is either A. Not set up at all for doing a wedding fuction (which is 99% likely) or B. There's something that I completely MISSED (less than 1% likely, and I'm accounting for polling errors...)

Basically, I hit a point where I imagined "what if I just walked out of here." Really.

But then I took comfort in the fact that I knew that at least I knew there was a much better way to do it. And then I realized that was crazy talk. And then I left when so I could catch a train, when I should have been there for at least a 1/2 hour more.
But I'd been there for 10.5 hours, after the same amount yesterday, and I get to work 10 days straight until my weekend.

Not a good way to start. Tomorrow will be better though.
I've vented.


Started My New Job

Today I went in and did my thang. I felt strange in the new kitchen. I've realized that my last job was the shit when it came to ingredients and working with Dustin & David, but this is a new & different experience.
We'll see how it goes; it'll be good once I have a routine.

I left work pondering this: what is it with Kiwis and fucking MERINGUE? Not the music style, mind you, but the fluffy, relatively tasteless egg foam. The Pavlov is their National dessert and all.....but sorry, there's not tons going on there. And we had 2 different form on the banquet tonight....


Sorry that's all I have. Going to bed and waking up early-ish to watch Barça play Chelski.

¡Força Barça!


Back From Down South

I had a great weekend until my ferry ride home across the Cook Strait. In the words of our friend, John Ulmer, "The Cook Straight is one of the most miserable stretches of water in the world." It is THE most miserable as far as I'm concerned.
The party at the Swede's house was crazy, with lots of drunks, a great haka, and some obscene Swedish drinking songs (once translated to me). Sunday was a laid back day, as I wasn't really in the correct state to hike 10 miles, so the girls and I drove to Rabbit Island, and hung out. Then I made them Swedish meatballs for dinner, and we watched the 40-Year-Old Virgin. They enjoyed greatly, as did I.

Monday was a perfect day for a hike, that took me much less time than advertised, because I'm a bad-ass when walking. I keep up a furious pace indeed. The weather was great, and the views highly memorable. I ate my lunch on the sand (which was nicer than Fiji's, but the water was ice) and got eaten by the sandflies. I was told they sucked, but wasn't told what they do. For those not in the know, they are a fly that bites you like a mosquito, but there's a tad more blood involved. Then you itch.

I came back this morning, and like I said, the water sucked; high seas. I'm back in Wellington now, and start my new job tomorrow at 2pm.
I'll wish myself luck for you!


On the South Island

Since I don't have to start work until Wed afternoon, I figured I'd get of town for the weekend. I tried thinking of what I wanted to do and where to go. I thought, "let's go hiking in Abel Tasman Nat'l Park!" And then I looked on the map, realized that the road passed through Nelson. I know Swedish girls in Nelson.

I am going to their house party at 7 tonight.
I'm a lucky bastard I know. But somebody has to do the dirty work, as they say....

I took the ferry over the Cook Straight, expecting the worst, but it was only bad for a a bit, as I got a good 1 hour nap in. When you go into Charlotte Sound, the channel is pretty narrow, and you're in a massive ferry as wide as a 10 lane road I figured out! The hills surround the channel, and it was very cool indeed, and even better, the water was glass. The wind was strong, but it came from the south, so it was rather warm.
I had slight problems getting a rental car, and spent the night in Picton, where the ferry landed. It was pretty dead on a Friday night. I drank a bottle of Sauv Blanc (the top varietal in this region by far) and struck up some good conversation in the hostel. As usual, the Canucks had the best stories...
Woke up, and drove over here to Nelson, where it's nice. I hope to do the park tomorrow, and do wine tasting on Mon. Back on Tuesday.


I obtained 3 things today.

They are:
1. A job, or I should say I accepted one that was offered to me. I am now a salaried Sous Chef. ....How far I've come........

2. The requisite ticket to go to the South Island on the ferry. I am going to see Charlotte Sound, some wine country, Abel Tasman Nat'l Park, and Nelson. One might ask, why would you go to Nelson? What's there? Answer: Swedish girls. Whom I met in Northland. And they're throwing a party on Saturday. But not in my honor. Yet.
As Kool would say to the Gang, "Celebrate Good Times!"

3. The last are my pics from Fiji. They already are making me miss the sun and sand.....the city is Wellington, and the last is Orcas Island earlier in the summer.


I've gotten work. Or been offered it anyways.

Today I was offered my second job in as many days. Last night I worked a shift at Shed 5, a top NZ fish house. They're ultra busy & on the waterfront. The food isn't fine dining, but it's very solid and definately respectable. It was listed as one of NZ top 25 restaurants by the top food rag here. The other place is called The Skyline, and they have a restaurant there that they're trying to create a seperate identity from the common perception of the Skyline being a functions center. It would be my first Sous Chef Position as well.
I thought I was going to have a tough choice, but after meeting the Exec Chef of Shed 5 today after my trail at The Skyline, I realized I could not work for a guy who has, shall we say, "little-man syndrome." He was a stand-offish prick in my opinion, and had a hard time respecting the idea that it was important for me to know the background of my potential boss. He also couldn't see why I'd want a night to "mull my options." He's not used to anybody turning him down when they're offererd a job.

As my Grandma would probably say, "It's his loss, Aaron."

So tomorrow morning I'm going to call the Skyline's chef, and accept. It'll be best for me because not only will I make more money, but the chef there realizes that I want/need to have a life outside work, and that I'm here to see the nation as well as work. Actually, I'm here to see the country while I work is how I look at it. My schedule will be pretty regular, with Sun night off through Wed afternoon. I can get other days off/switch with the chef, and he can do the same with me.
And besides, it will be, like I said, my 1st Sous position. That is pretty cool. I feel I'm ready for the step-up....and most importantly, it'll be more of my food going out-having a connection with what I'm cooking is highly important to me.
So anyways, I've gotten that part of my life taken care of. Now I need to find a place in town to live, and that shouldn't be too hard.


Guru Josh. Infinity.

Just to beat Morgan. Although he'll get more views!


This is a game that comes from the early days of basketball apparently. It was considered "unlady-like" to play standard hoops once upon a time, and so netball was created. Please note: It was also considered "unlady-like" to smoke, so they did snuff instead.

This game is indoors, surrounded by a net, which is in play. You play with a ball that is called a netball, but is in every way, a volleyball. There's a basketball hoop, extended out from the net perhaps 2.5 feet, but there is no backboard. You can't run with the ball, have 3 seconds of possesion with the ball to do what you like (shoot, hold, pass) and CANNOT leave your feet to shoot. So if you've played basketball your whole life, time moves with a glacier-like pace, and to shoot and not leave your feet seems akward at best. I got the ball at one point and had to jump in the key-like area at one point and came to a two footed stomp. I instinctively jumped up to shoot. As soon as I left, I thought "NOOOOO!!!!!" and closed my eyes. I thought I missed every shot I took (like 3) but I was told later I made that one. And that I looked good in doing so.

My gameplan quickly went from "domination" to "not look like a fool" then to something like "if I hustle, don't try to shoot and make good passes to the girl who is shooting UNCONSCIOUS, then I look like I'm not making my international debut." All in all I did well I feel, and will play again definately. I have a few sporting desires: to start dodgeball up this summer, play some cricket, watch an All Blacks Rugby game, and I might play on a basketball team as well.....
But I have to remember one thing with netball:To slow things down....

Don't try this at home kids. Or at least in netball.


I got killed. Then he made me do the dishes.

So I am trying all sorts of new things here in Wellington, as I feel I should "acclimate" asap. One thing I had never really experienced was Role Playing Games, or RPGs. My host, Morgan, and a seemingly good deal of his friends enjoy playing them. The most famous of all is, of course, Dungeons & Dragons, or D&D.
I was asked if I was interested in joining in on a new game, one that was an "old school style dungeon with lots of traps and monsters." I said, "sure, why not? It'll be interesting." Indeed it was.
First I had to choose what type of character. Where do I stand in the spectrum of fighting and magic? I didn't like the appeals of magic, didn't want to be sneaky, or be a dwarf. I chose a Barbarian. I named him Lynard Skynard.

Since this was a new adventure for everyone, and either the other guys were new as well, or it had been a long time since they had played this style of game, everyone created new characters with a pretty advanced level. We needed all the help we could get. This dungeon was described by our dungeon master Morgue as "Dangerous. Like the opening of Indiana Jones!"
After rolling dice, equiping him, and figuring out numbers, I was set. Lynard Skynard=Beast+Rawk. An out and out destroyer. Who's illiterate. And that was listed under "skills." But man, can he cut shit up with his flaming greatsword!!! (which I secretly named "Freebird.")

Synopsis: The merry band has to go to a castle that has been abandonded. It was formerly occupied by EVIL wizards. Uber-evil. We go through the back entrance, and after turning into mist/vapor we go under the crack of magically sealed doors, and find a glowing chalice. When we take it, some bad guys come. I am in front. One looks at me with a "death-gaze."

I die.

Like that, out of nowhere, before I get to do the one thing I was meant to do in this adventure. After a sometimes amazingly thorough and cautious journey of maybe an hour or more, I die in the blink of an eye. So I did what anybody would have done: left the room silently in shock. And got dinner.
After an amazingly long battle with 4 "basically-zombies" the other emerge unscathed and victorious. But note: NOT DEAD.

And here I am. Apparently, I'll be back the next session, after some stuff happens which I know not much about. Morgue assures me the concept of death in this game is often not really permanant. Lynard Skynard never got to rawk out.

And the worse part is now Morgan feels terrible, because since it was my first game, and I literally died out of nowhere. I didn't have the proper fun experience he feels. And the guilt is setting in......

But he forgets that Rawk never dies!

what killed me.


Rugby. The Sport of Choice in NZ

Last night was my first real exposure ever to the game they hold in the highest respects in NZ. Rugby. And to make it more complicated, there's rugby union and rugby league. For all purposes, union is the game that everyone in the US will know as rugby, and it's the popular one here- think All Blacks (because they're so dominant).
Anyways, it was a match on TV happening down the tracks about 15 minutes, in the Air NZ Cup, which as I can figure is the big trophy to be won. See how much I get this game?
Wellington was hosting Canterbury (of Christchurch, and they're pretty much the Yankees in terms of historical dominance) and was expected to lose. The Lions of Welly were up to the challenge and simply put it to the....I didn't catch the mascot of Canterbury. They did were red and black uniforms though. It was a "barnstormer" as my friend's dad put it. Huge upset, the town goes crazy. Kind of. It was awfully cold out last night, so the prospect of reveling into the wee hours lacked warming charm.
But as far as the game goes, I figured out what the purpose was, but I am far from seeing the subtleties that get people excited. The possibility that there aren't any, and that really fans just love seeing 250 lb beasts run into each other is the point is highly probable. Actually, that's the point. There is no blocking allowed in the game (which I think would make for a MUCH better game) and so men are forced to run through each other or pass laterally. I will give it more chances ultimately though, as it's such a part of the culture. And not sporting culture I think, as there really isn't something like that even comparable to the US, but just the culture in general. This is really an outpost in the world that was populated by only the heartiest (and reclusive?) souls.
But what scares me the most is that one of the best players of recent times, and former All-Blacks captain looks like "Predator." I wouldn't want to make him angry and be alone with him.....he'd rip my head off or something. In fact he probably wears a suit at home that can make himself invisible and runs around in trees!


Welcome to the Jungle Baby!

Hey Everyone. Welcome to my new, fantastical blog full of adventure and mystery. I will bring you the best bits of life in Wellington, New Zealand, and a lot (mostly) of shite. I've enjoyed the city mostly, but John Ulmer, damnit you were right about the f-ing WIND. Seriously, now I know why my brother always bitched about the wind (I always thought he was a pussy too about it.....) in Flagstaff. But enough of the southerlies.

I've gone looking for jobs- OFFICIALLY! A true bum no more I am. I have some good, solid leads, and feel like I'm a biggish fish in a smallish pond. I offer new vitality to an otherwise frigid scene. Perhaps.

Anyways, I'm gonna keep it quick, as I have to go Bogan hunting in The Hutt. Watchout!