[mood| ready to go]

[music| The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Waltz Limp]

Hello, all three of you who stumbled here by accident! It sure has been awhile since I’ve screamed my useless thoughts into the Void, and it feels good to be back.

…So where have I been?

Mostly holed up in a quiet suburb of the Auckland supercity called Manurewa, about 17 miles or 40 minutes by train southwest of the city center itself.

What have I been up to?

Resting, mostly.

This leg of the journey was always designed with that aim in mind, but the jetlag and epic amount of upheaval preceding my flight here seemed to have taken more out of me than I anticipated. I’ve never slept more deeply in my life. A return to REM, which I’ve been direly missing.

I also made quick work of trying to see everyone here who I know and love. And that is not a small number of people.

There was the rock show the night of the day I landed, a bit of scheduling serendipity that allowed me to see some sweet friends on tour from California take on a perfect venue in the wonderfully seedy part of town. And the 30th birthday blowout bash the day after that, where I got to catch up with a number of old university mates, ask a bona fide rocket scientist how much longer it will be until there are more satellites circling the planet than space for them, sample some accidentally-as-strong-as-Absinthe gin home-distilled by the birthday boy himself, and even have a pre-made ‘Quick Fuck’ shot, an intentionally-ironic offering as a noted drink of choice for 21-year-olds, thanks primarily to a funny name that can double as a pick-up line in times of desperation. It tasted like college. Sad irony achieved.

Then there was the dinner the following weekend. More old mates, these some of my closest, from the days when I spent more time on the outskirts of the North Shore in a huge rented house nicknamed ‘The Palace’ than on university grounds. A notable party establishment in its heyday, The Palace had featured a ‘Wall of Fame’ and ‘Wall of Shame’ art exhibit-cum-photo collage, documenting all of its wildest and weirdest events. I had featured on both, as had most of the others who came out that night. We reminisced about these sweet old times and so many others, and caught up on where everyone was now, ten years later: Excitedly pregnant with child number one; being groomed to run a multi-national corporation; designing the future of Internet infrastructure in New Zealand; designing the future robots of the world; and me.

There were also a few roadtrips thrown in for good measure. One, along the Queen’s Weekend, which took me to the gorgeous Coromandel, a strange jut of peninsula due east of Auckland, rightfully noted for its remoteness and beauty. And another, a week or so later, with one of my closest friends from New Zealand days, a southerly tour that included hometown stopovers, another big party, and the chance to explore some abandoned gold mines from the 1800s.

Between all this, I’ve also been trying to reinstate some semblance of schedule. Pockets of time where I can rest assured work will get done, exercise will be enjoyed, sleep will be had. Maintaining balance is my forever struggle and this first month in The Land of the Long White Cloud has decidedly weighed more heavily on the side of sloth.

But one can only take so much taking it easy, or maybe all that rest has worked its magic after all, and I feel myself ready to start participating again. Actively.

Among things not previously shoehorned into these lazy days was much time for reading and writing, something that’s going to change. (New goal: finish the 601-page tome The Great Shark Hunt: Gonzo Papers Volume 1, Strange Tales from a Strange Time, a nearly-complete collection of works by one Dr. Hunter S. Thompson from the years 1964 to 1978, a totally deranged and completely necessary thing to pack when both size and weight of a bag are of paramount concern, so I may part ways with it before I go in order to return my overstuffed sack to some impression of stasis.)

I’ll be here for another month, filled, hopefully, with more personal work, a few quiet adventures, and spending as much time with friends as possible.

I love this country. I have been here many times and been fortunate enough to see very much of it. And I know I’ll be back many times more before my time here is through. What concerns me now is not sight-seeing, but seeing the ones who knew me when, and for some questionable logic or total lack thereof, still love me despite of that.

As for the work, there’s a lot cut out for me. This blog is still very much in a pre-natal state. Entries are scattershot at best, in terms of timing, tone and text, and I have no idea what I want this to be, or, more importantly, be about. And I especially have no idea why anyone would want to read these mad ravings. Dear reader, your presence is as appreciated as your motivations perplexing.

For now, at least, there is the sweet caffeine, and the return of motivation.

So hopefully as these last few weeks in Aotearoa wend on, I will find some surer footing as I populate this thing with the 10 or so diatribes on the nature of travel that have been jangling around in my skull. (Stay tuned for only the finest in ham-fisted self-exploration!)

Then it is off to Australia, for a bit more relaxing to the tune of a different accent, before heading off to see the rest of the world at a bit more of a sprint. Future schedule: TBD.