Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sydney, Here We Come

posted by Kris Ardent @ 5:23 PM

We're leaving for Sydney this afternoon, and I still haven't posted the pictures of my last trip! I'm a terrible blogger. They should take away my license.

I got my underwater dolphin pictures developed, and loaded all my digital photos to my laptop, so what's stopping me? I totally should have blogged as I went, per Clodagh's instructions, but I'm so rebellious! And such a great procrastinator.

Joe and I will be gone until late Monday night, so I will leave you with one dolphin photo to tide you over. We're going to be doing the Master Cleanse fast starting next Friday, so I should have plenty of time to catch up on my South Island posts.

Going to Sydney

posted by Joe Ardent @ 5:11 PM

Hola, amigos, it's been a while since I rapped atcha. Things have been very quiet down in the En Zed ("zed" is the crazy moon-language term used in New Zealand for the letter 'z'; this leads to things such as a video rental chain being called "Video Ezy", which, if you're not a barbaric savage, is pronounced "vid-ee-oh ehzz-ee", but here it's how it's spelled to pronounce as "vid-ee-oh ee-zee"). Or, if not quiet, at least uneventful. Sure, Kris had a birthday, and Francisco arrived, and Christopher got back from yoga-camp, and the weather has begun to truly reflect the season in this nightmare mirror-world of Winter-in-June, and our cat is still at-large. But little in the way of actual excitement has transpired.

That is, until now. Or at least, a few hours from now and continuing through to next Monday: Kris and I are going to Sydney, Australia for a long weekend. I'm not sure exactly what all we'll be doing, though Kris has a detailed itinerary laid out that includes attending the gala opening of a skate park, and something involving water (she wants me to pack a swimsuit, but the forecasted highs are in the mid-50s; that's about 13 degrees celcius for those more comfortable reckoning in crazy moon-measurements). We'll also be having lunch on Saturday at Tetsuya's with our friend Mel from Weta and her brother and his wife. Tetsuya's was ranked last year as the fourth best restaurant in the world, [20060705: corrected rank of Tetsuya's from 'fifth' to 'fourth' -- Joe]so HUGE thanks to Mel for letting us share her booking, which Kris and I were too retarded to make in time to get an actual reservation. We'll report on that when we get back. Aside from Tetsuya's, the only thing I really want to do is see the new Superman movie, which is why I'm not in charge of figuring out what to do on vacations.

Everyone keeps telling me what a great time we'll have there, and how envious they are of us taking this trip. I was pretty excited anyway, as I've wanted to go to Australia ever since I was a kid, and my dad talked about how great it was, based on the time he was there during his tour in Vietnam. So all this encouragement from folks that have been there has only stoked the fire of anticipation. But really, the reason we're going at all at this time is that it's so easy to get there. I think it's less than a four-hour flight, and the tickets were pretty cheap. It would have been criminal to NOT pop on over to Australia while we're in New Zealand.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


posted by Kris Ardent @ 4:22 PM

I accidentally celebrated my birthday a day early. You see, technically it was the 21st in New Zealand yesterday. But, as Aimee pointed out in a Happy Birthday Voicemail, I was born in AMERICA. I don't actually become a year older in chronological time until today. So now I'm left with the awesome responsibility of celebration it all over again! Drat!

The first celebration: grilled cheese, tomato soup, and The Jazz Singer. Last night we all went out to Eric and Lucas's house in Breaker Bay. They're both out of town, but they have the most incredible movie watching set up, and were kind enough to let us make use of it while they're away (in exchange for 1 chicken burrito and some cheddar cheese - a fair trade).

Christopher brought back two blocks of authentic Tillamook cheddar (sharp and mild) and two giant cans of condensed Campbell's Tomato Soup, from a U.S. Ralph's, in his suitcase last week. These were prepared side-by-side with the New Zealand versions, for science. I'm not exactly sure what's "wrong" with the New Zealand versions, but something is. Totally wrong flavor. And the cheddar cheese here isn't even colored orange, as it should be. So sad.

Also, there was sparkling wine from our South Island trip (more on that later), and The Jazz Singer on the largest screen I've ever seen it on. As always, Neil was amazing. I made lyric sheets for those new to Mr. Diamond's finest piece of theatrical work, so everyone could sing along. As usual, Francisco and I sang at the top of our lungs, while the rest laughed at us. Tony! I missed you! We'll have to have a special screening next time you're around this neck of the woods.

Thanks to everyone who made my fake-birthday so great. Joe was especially fantastic, bravely weathering the dishes while missing out on singing with Neil. What a trooper. So brave. So giving. :D

Okay, now what should I do celebrate my birthday TODAY?!

Friday, June 16, 2006

so far, it is all about the duxton.

posted by drspam @ 11:17 PM

it's my happy place. especially the bath.

and i dig this mirror in the hotel lobby. tomorrow: the breakfast buffet!



posted by drspam @ 10:57 PM

Coming to you from the Duxton, which faces north, where the sun is. The photo was taken from my 7th floor suite. Mmmm.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

South Island Journey Completed! A Triumphant Success!

posted by Kris Ardent @ 6:54 AM

We got back on Monday, but I've been clutching the bed and trying to get back into my hermitic routine since then. Tomorrow I'll go get the UNDERWATER PHOTOS OF DOLPHINS developed (disposable waterproof camera) and see if I can get them into a digital format.

Here's a short recap which I'll follow up with detailed accounts and pictures over the next couple days:

Tuesday: Made and sold 40 burritos, got on a plane to Christchurch, met up with Clodagh and drank a lot of wine.
Wednesday: Rode the hangover trolley around the charming town of Christchurch, took a tour of the charming Fudge Cottage, took a ride up the charming gondola to view charming Christchurch at sunset, got lost driving to charming Akaroa.
Thursday: Brunch by the sea in Akaroa, drove to Hanmer Springs, had bad Indian food made by non-Indian Asian people, watched bad Edward Norton movie with foreign strangers. Was so much fun despite all this badness!
Friday: Had bad massages and facials at the hot springs, but good dip in the mineral pools, followed by the best hot chocolate in all the land, drove to Kaikoura, had fancy restaurant dinner, tried to eat bad lobster/crayfish, but had to send it back.
Saturday: DOLPHINS. 500 OF THEM. LIKE RATS WITH FINS. COOLEST THING EVER. Raced the train on the way to Blenheim to watch Ireland vs. NZ rugby game...ZzzzZZzzzzz...wha? Um, what? Drove to Picton, watched Robocop with strangers (this time American and English).
Sunday: Private tour of Marlborough region wineries, capped off with short run around a small chocolate factory and then a 12 hour nap.
Monday: Choppy, southerly wind-fueled ferry trip back to Wellington, by way of Ice Age 2.

Hey Clodagh! Did I forget anything in the outline? You were right. I really should have been blogging from the road: but I'm so LAZY!

Now you know. Other things happening: Francisco arrived last Monday (just in time for me to abandon him). But you knew that. He'll be moving in after his stay at the lovely Duxton. Christopher gets back in 6 hours, and I hear he may have real cheddar cheese and Campbell's Tomato Soup with him. Allen returned yesterday from the U.S. WITH PRESENTS. Saturday, we have a party for them all.

And lastly, I've applied for a trainee position at Weta doing texture painting (whatever that is). I have no qualifications, aside from my affinity for mastering obscure computer applications, and my great enthusiasm for working in general. So we'll see if that's enough. If not, I'll go back to doing what I do best: reading the internet.

Monday, June 12, 2006

an impostor arrives.

posted by drspam @ 8:30 PM

when i described the duxton to my friend luke, and pointed out that when i ordered room service i had to specify whether i would take it in the living room or the bedroom, he said simply:

"wow. you have arrived."

yes, yes i have.


Monday, June 05, 2006

A The Cheat update (drugs!)

posted by Joe Ardent @ 8:41 PM

I called the woman who's been feeding him, to see if she would be in a position to nab him. As it turns out, she had a "measure of last resort": kitty valium! She had some because her own cat had been prescribed it recently, so it's appropriately dosed for cats. I told her that that sounded awesome, so she's going to use it as more a "first resort" tool. She says that she wants a little more time to build a trusting relationship with him, so that she can abuse it to grab him after drugging him. So, hopefully he'll be in custody within a couple weeks. Huzzah!