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Monday, March 28, 2011

One week to go

Well I just thought I would write a little something today since I have one week to go. I checked into Base Hostel for a week and it cost me 185 NZD! That is crazy expensive for sharing a room with six people but to be fair I haven't paid for accommodation in a while so it is ok. I got a bottom bunk which is nice but the sun shines on my eyes in the morning and there is this dude (yes a dude) who plays the flute REALLY loud on the street right below my window for cash. (He is making me nuts because he starts at 7:30am!) who does that?! My roommates seem nice and one shares a name with my dad and one of the girl's is from Germany and she shares my birthday!

My passport and bank card stuff should be resolved by the end of the week as I have called and confirmed on both. Ben and I sat down and made a plan and semi budget for South America and I have requested some CS hosts in Chile so pretty much all my loose ends are tied up and now I will just enjoy my last week. I had too much stuff to send home so I ended up giving a lot of my clothes to a random homeless dude. He needed them more than I did. So that is my good deed for the day.

Tonight is my final movie/pizza night and we will be seeing Limitless about that guy with unlimited brain power (until he stops getting his pills) it looks really good. Tomorrow is also my final drink night :( Ben is in Sydney now for 6 days before we leave. I have a bit more research to do for our trip but everything seems to be slowly coming together. I will be sad to leave for sure but it has to happen :( I will miss it here. Trying to soak up the time I have left.

Oh ya, my yahoo messenger totally crashed so I had to get a new yahoo messenger addy. If you had me on your list or you want me on your list let me know so I can add you to my new name. I guess that's it for now yall take care,Tyler

8 days left

So, the time is fast approaching... I have 8 days left in New Zealand :( I really will miss it here a lot I have so many great friends here. I will work a bit more before I leave but nothing super serious just try and enjoy myself before we head to Chile. Ben and I sat down and worked out a rough plan and a rough budget today so at least we knocked that out and hopefully I will have enough cash to make it all work!

The Brazilian Embassy said they should be sending back my passport this week and I should get that last bit of information from my Aussie bank so hopefully everything will come together before I leave! I am not to worried yet, just tying up my loose ends. Trying to save money and not spend it :P

On Friday night I went to a birthday party of my friend Julia and it was a lot of fun! It was a "smart and sexy" theme so I had to break out the nicest backpacker clothes I had haha. I managed to pull it all together and look fairly nice actually. I really had a great time with great friends and by the end of the night we did manage to give the birthday girl a chippendale-ish birthday surprise haha :P it was a great party :)

Saturday night I planned to have a quiet one and I managed to get about half way thru it just relaxing and resting and then my friend called and she said "get ready the taxi is coming to pick you up" haha so I was forced to go out with them but I did manage to have a really good time so I really can't complain too much lol

I want to give a huge shout out to Laura Blake,Windee Wallace and Anna-Marie Scroggins. These three amazing women have managed to make me super happy! Laura and Windee have allowed me to stuff myself full of awesome American junk food that I haven't had in 18 months and Anna Marie has just cooked me the best home cooked meal I have had since Nov 2009! Thanks ladies :)

I guess that is really all I have for now, I will be doing a little bit more planning for South America while Ben is in Sydney for a week but all the big stuff is out of the way now. Yall take care and I may only write a few more times before South America but we will see. I am looking forward too it and I already have some connections there so we should have a great time! -Tyler

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Time flies when your having fun

I believe I last left you after Paddy's Day ya? well since then I have recovered physically and mentally haha. I managed to have a great weekend camping and enjoying life. It was great to get out of the city one last time. I leave on 5 April for Santiago so that is quite soon! You know its funny because when I first got to New Zealand I didn't like it at all but due to all my great friends here and my good times here I will be extremely sad to leave :( Such is life though gotta move on to different things. I will be back though!

I went back to working construction near Britomart (The Transit Centre here in Auckland) and we are about two weeks away from opening so I am just doing last minute things really. Cleaning etc. It doesn't pay great but it is better than no money and sitting at home bored. I enjoy working with my hands. This building is going to be the Headquarters for WestPac (A bank) and it is really flash! They spent north of 300 million on it so it has a gym and showers and Ipod docks at every desk and automated everything and it is really high tech. I have been really proud to see it come together since I started there and to be part of it even if I just do little stuff.

Now that we are close to opening day all the big wigs have come touring and it amuses me to no end to see them come into our dirty half way functioning service elevator (which is not really what you think of when you think of a lift at all lol) It is basically just a wooden box attached to elevator cables to get us up and down the 14 storeys. Nothing flash but it works. So these people in their perfectly pristine never been used hard hats and $5,000 dollar Armani suits get in and look so terrified! haha it makes me laugh. It is even better when the lift is packed and they are forced to stand close to us dirty sweaty guys lol. We are the ones creating what they will make all the money in so I think I deserve a little satisfaction in bringing them down into reality for just a little bit LOL. Yesterday I saw a 20-ish girl who was with the big shots and she showed up in Knee High Boots! I almost fell over laughing! who comes to a construction site in those?!

Anyway I am almost done working for good and it will be an odd feeling not to lace up my steel caps or put on my hard hat anymore. I will be sending that stuff home though, its good gear. I have a busy weekend ahead of me! Today I have birthday party to go too and going with my friend Laura to a North American food shop I am so freaking excited for some pop tarts! :P tomorrow I will be working for a friend for the day helping on his boat and Sunday I am visiting some friends and getting a home cooked meal from an awesome friend of mine!

Next week I will be wrapping up all my last loose ends, I have travel insurance now. I need to get some more contacts, meds are squared away and I (almost) have my bank situation all the way resolved finally! (it has been a serious mission)  I got my  superannuation check from Australia finally though. I will be expecting my passport back next week too. Well yall take care. That's it in Tyler Land for now.- Tyler

P.S.  My best mate Ben is doing ten days of totally silent mediation north of Auckland (I think he is crazy) but he really wanted to do it. So I am wishing him the best on his 9th day already. I will see him when he is back. He leaves for Sydney soon though for a week and he will come back the day before we leave. Anyway his birthday was on Paddy's Day and he couldn't even celebrate so I celebrated for him haha. Happy birthday mate. Hope it was good 24th :)

Late Edit: I want to give a huge shout out to one of the coolest Canadians in all of Auckland! Laura Blake from Toronto you are amazing! She took me to the American/Canadian food store and I loaded up on pop tarts,cereal,candy,mac and cheese and Dr Pepper and I am soo sooo soo excited. I even got chips and cheese it and gold fish! It is sooo sooo sooo good! I haven't had any of this in 18 months! I am also supposed to be receiving another care package from a good friend of mine soon but I wanted to buy it here just in case her package gets stuck in customs or something. It has been a great day! mmmmm

Late Late Edit:  Movie review time, we saw Hall Pass on Tues. and had Domino's as usual. It is quite funny because we have been going there for months now and my friends always place the order under my name every time even if we do separate orders haha. For some reason they just can't spell my name right there. It is kind of a running joke now lol  I keep the misspelled receipts just as tradition. This week they actually messed up my order but I got a free drink out of it :)

As for the movie, it was made by The Farrelly brothers (who made Something about Mary) so it was funny of course and it was pretty good. It was about two guys and their wives who take a week off of marriage. We saw a preview for a movie called Limitless about a guy who gets a pill to unlock 100% of his brain power (since regular humans only use about 10%) but then he stops getting the pills. That is all I know but it looks great and it is the plan for next tues!-Tyler

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Paddy's Day/ Camping weekend

My Paddy's Day here was pretty awesome, as was my last Paddy's Day in Australia they really do it big in this part of the world. I had a lot of fun having drinks and partying with friends. I really do have some amazing friends here and we always have a great time! I woke up with a head ache but it was self inflicted. Other than that I was no worse for the wear and really enjoyed it. It was also the birthday of my best mate Ben. But, he is doing 10 days of totally silent mediation and some retreat somewhere away from everything so I had to celebrate for him haha. He is the big 24 now! :P

A few days after Paddy's Day on Weds I went camping one last time with an awesome group of CS'ers to the Coromandel a beautiful region here about four hours north of Auckland and we were blessed with perfect weather. I have a great group of core friends here and we can just hang out and have fun. I even mooned my friend from a moving car, I haven't done that in years haha. It really is liberating just to act stupid sometimes haha. The thing I love most about my friends here is we can be so open and honest with each other and have deep discussions about God and Religion and Politics (which we did lol) or we can just shoot the shit and talk about nothing in particular (which we also did)

So all in all a really great week/weekend for sure. It really made things better because they have denied my visa to Brazil so I wont be going there unless I can get in at the border. I will give it a shot though. They are supposed to be returning my passport/money from the embassy in Wellington. I have decided if I can't get in Brazil I will take an immersion Spanish course/home stay and use my time productively while Ben is in Brazil. I can always get there another time. So while I was depressed about this I will just go with it and stay positive and have fun. In 16 days I will be in Santiago Chile! One of my CS friends will be there too :) It is my goal to go home knowing Spanish. I may be back at work on monday though :( Not fun but I will get the extra cash.

New Zealand is one of the first countries on this planet I have visited that I will come back to for the people not the places. I have had some good friends leave recently and soon I will be leaving myself so it sucks :(  I really will miss it here as my time draws to a close. My good friends here know how I feel about all of them though and actually one of my best friends here just applied to Texas State Uni in San Marcos so if the cards fall right I may be down there with her for a while :)

All is as well as can be here in Tyler Land. Yall take care,Tyler

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Connecting the dots

I recently heard a speech online that Steve Jobs (co founder of Apple Computers) gave at a Stanford college graduation in 2005. He told some stories from his life about connecting the dots. He was really inspirational and basically just said that usually you don't know it at the time but almost every choice you make in life leads to others. He never graduated college yet now he is a multi millionaire. His birth mother gave him up for adoption on the condition that his working class adoptive parents promised to send him to college.

He started college but quickly realised (as I did) that it wasn't for him. So after spend all of their life savings on college he dropped out. But, he stayed on as a "drop in" (I don't even know if you can do that anymore) and he studied classes he was actually interested in. He picked up a calligraphy class and enjoyed that and years later he used what he learned in that class for the typing fonts on the Mac computers.

That story got me to thinking about my own life. Almost directly after high school I went to college. I had no idea what I wanted to study so I randomly picked computers because at the time that is what I was interested in. But, after spending my parents money and wasting my time I realised it wasn't what I wanted. So I dropped out. Then I started working a lot of random dead end jobs. Finally I made it into a job a semi enjoyed doing vendor services at Home Depot. But, I wasn't truly happy I was just getting by.  

Then in Oct 2009 I lost my job. I got laid off due to the economy. I was really depressed for a while and had no idea what I would do next or how I would find another job or anything. It was then that I made the decision to come away traveling and I moved to Australia to start working there. It was by far the best decision I ever made and I have learned so much about myself and grown so much as a person not to mention all the amazing things I have seen and all the places I have been and all the great people I have met. Not to mention I now know that I want to get certified to teach English in a foreign country so I have chosen a career path while I have been away!

So at the time I thought losing my job was the worst thing that could have happened but looking back on it almost 18 months later and I would consider it one of the best things ever to happen to me. Funny how your perspective changes. I don't regret my choices so far. Actually tonight we saw a new movie called The Adjustment Bureau. It was with Matt Damon and about a congressman and his path in life and the choices he makes.

It really makes you think about your own choices in life and what you do with it. Freedom and free will to make your own choices are privileges and not rights because not everywhere in this world are people allowed to make their own choices. So be thankful that if you are reading this you are probably in a country where you are allowed to do what you want within reason. So just remember that almost every choice you make in life is interconnected to something else and while it might seem bad at the time, looking back on it months or years later and it may not seem that way anymore.

Recently I have seen No Strings Attached and Unknown and King's Speech. The King's Speech was a great British movie about the King of England back in World War Two who inherited the throne after his father died and his brother advocated due to him wanting to marry an American woman. Well he actually had a really bad speech impediment so he had no desire to be in the public spotlight but it was thrust upon him. He got a great speech therapist and eventually he was cured.  Geoffry Rush and Colin Firth are both great actors in this movie as is Hellena Bonham Carter. I would totally recommend it.

No Strings Attached is a cheesy romantic comedy (it was the girls choice 2 weeks ago) it has its funny moments though and it isn't all that bad. Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher star in it. I would recommend it but it isn't a MUST see. We also saw Unknown with Liam Neeson. It was a thriller that was about a guy who is in a car crash and loses his memory then someone is impersonating him. It was pretty good but in a way it was also your typical thriller so it could have been better. I would still recommend it though. Next week I think we might see the new Owen Wilson movie called Hall Pass which looks funny.

Well that's all I got for now. Yall take care,Tyler your traveling Texan :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Work is all over!

So after a full month on tour traveling almost everyday and doing gigs all over the north island on this winery tour and then directly after that starting a 10 day build for a one day festival (Pacifika) it is all over. I had a really good time working with great people and making some good money. But, I had to get used to working insane amounts of hours and running on no sleep.

I have already blogged on the winery tour so I wont touch on that except to say that it was great to work with everyone and really feel like I accomplished something in building that stage and doing production load out (and setting up the lighting) for the bands. It was also really cool to get to know the bands and meet famous people. As for Pacifika that was a mad house! We started working 10 days before the festival started setting everything up. It was at a MASSIVE park called Western Springs Park next to the zoo here in Auckland (so I didn't have to travel far). It was a ton of work to get it all done, but on show day everything managed to come together :)

I was super busy running around everywhere (and driving on my golf cart feeling super important with my radio haha) but then it got to the point where there was really too many people there to drive around (it was a free festival with 200,000 people!) so I had to hoof it. In the morning before it started when the vendors were getting there setting up all their stalls it was pretty insane! It didn't help matters any that I had a name badge and orange hi vis on that said "God" on the back haha. (I nicked the hi vis from a bag but it turned out that it was my boss's boss, his hi vis haha. Basically he owns the company so apparently he is "God" but I got to wear it feeling all important haha. It just back fired on me because all the random people expected "God" to know EVERYTHING and I certainly did not! :P

But, after the vendors got all set up the festival was actually from 9am to 5pm. Once it got started it went smoothly. I had to deal with some really frantic mothers who had lost children. One woman couldn't even talk to me! I asked her what her son's name was and what he was wearing and all she could do is scream. It was frustrating because English was also not her first language but I am happy to report that by the end of the day all the lost kids were reunited with their parents.

About 5:05pm tear down started and we ended up working a 17+ hour day with just a break for brekkie lunch and dinner. Then we slept for 4 hours and woke up again to do more tear down. All in all it took us 3 days to take down everything we put up. It was alot of work just for a 1 day festival haha.

But, I had a really good time on this job and I will remember it fondly. in 22 days I will be in South America! yall take care,Tyler

Friday, March 04, 2011

The last day on this tour

So right now I am currently right in the middle of the last day of this current tour I am on stage building for the bands and I haven't had much sleep lately but soon I will :). It has been really good and I have worked with great people, my boss is awesome! But it is long long hours and hard work. That is what we get paid good for though. We managed to make it thru the whole tour almost with no rain but for the past two days it has been pissing down!

It is soaking wet and they almost canceled the gigs but luckily they didn't. Luckily I have some rain gear so while I am all bright orange I am still bone dry and not soaking wet. We get one day off then we start back on Pacifika on monday and back for just over a week of work there for another festival. After this is all over I am going to sleep a long long time haha.

That's all I got for now yall take care,Tyler

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

First day back

Well since I had my one horrible day where nothing went right at all things have improved thank God. I have started back at work again which is good for the money situation and for staying busy. We are setting up for a festival called Pacifika (a cultural festival here in Auckland) we are working ten days building stuff and setting up fencing etc for a one day festival so it is going to be huge! (hopefully fun too) I am also leaving today for Hamilton because we have 1 show left to do there for my original MoreFm Winery Tour and then one last show on that tour here in Auckland. The end is nearing! 

I have had a good time and a good break so far :) Got to catch up with friends and have a good time. Recently I have had some friends leave so that is always sad and shitty and I hate goodbye's! Soon it will be my turn though :( I only have 1 month and 2 days left in this country! Today I finally applied for my Brazilian Tourist Visa and I am not 300 dollars poorer and I hope and pray they approve it so I can go! Fingers crossed I will get my passport back from Wellington in one piece :(

Well I don't have much time left here before we have to leave for work so I am going to end this for now but my job is pretty good and things are pretty peachy right now on my end I hope on your end too (wherever you are and whoever reads this lol). Yall take care,Tyler