Friday, June 27, 2008

Today's the last day of my voluntary unemployment. If I don't get work starting next week it will cut into severance that I'd much rather put away for our move. But if there's no work, what else can I do except start packing and sifting through all of my junk? (I can justify ANYTHING).
We're off to Chicago on July 30 to look for apartments. That's, like, almost a month away. *Gulp.*

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Crowded House

I have a very special affinity for Crowded House. Firstly, they made their debut in the US when I was in high school, and I spent many hours riding the subway or moping around like a typical teenager listening to their self-titled album. To this day it would be one of my Desert Island Discs if ever asked.
Second, when I look back now, it seems that the lyrics of one of the songs on the album - Mean to Me - would foreshadow a path I would take 20 years later:

She came all the way from America
She had a blind date with destiny
And the sound of Te Awamutu
Had a truly sacred ring...

Thirdly, and sadly, my favorite Crowded House member (and sometimes Split Enz-er) in high school - Paul Hester - took his own life a couple of years ago. While it had been many years since my teenage adoration of him/them, it was still quite a blow. What made it even more profound was that I was living in Wellington at the time, and attributed their band to the beginning of my love affair with NZ. They introduced me to this faraway place called New Zealand, and in essence, are partly responsible for bringing me there.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

NZ Music, Part II - Split Enz

Here's the classic, old school, quintessential NZ band - Split Enz. Fronted by the Finn brothers, who each went on to success both as solo artists and in Crowded House, this was perhaps the first big band out of NZ. And if you're like me and spent your formative years in the Eighties, these will definitely sound familiar.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Fly My Pretties

Since I've had some time to myself, I've gotten a little nostalgic and gone through Youtube watching videos from some of my favorite NZ bands. I thought I'd share some with you. Today it's Fly My Pretties, a band made up of all sorts of NZ musicians like the Black Seeds, Age Pryor, Tessa Rain, Hollie Smith, and Module. I was introduced to them sort of late in my time in Wellington, but they've left a lasting impression:

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Mike's Photos from Peoria

Here is our trip to Peoria from Mike's point of view...

at the airport

Mike's mom

Mike's dad


Mike's folks' house

Wildlife Prairie Park

There's a 4-mile walking track through the Peoria "bush"

Are we lost?

I yam what I yam...

Checking the fantasy football stats, I believe, at the wedding.

Mike's cousin Joey

Mike's aunt Jan

dad Terry, uncle Ellwood, and uncle Tim at the Memorial Day cookout

If you look close enough, you can see the carpenter bee

Digging in

Bud Light with Lime - Peoria's the test market for this new beer

Mike's mom and dad at the airport (before our epic trip home. Thanks Northwest!)

Me mid-trip home (compare to photo of me at beginning of trip)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bye bye Bear

Today's my last day at the Bear. It's weird and eerie and anti-climactic, but life goes on.