Sunday, July 30, 2006

Learning to skateboard

posted by Joe Ardent @ 8:19 PM

I've always wanted to learn to skateboard. When I was little, I must have been too uncoordinated to learn, because I never advanced past the technique where you kneel on the board, like so:

my youthful technique

As a child, I could get away with such retardation, but as a grownup, such indulgences are inappropriate. Also, my knees would start to hurt pretty quickly.

As it so happens, Wellington has a really nice and new skatepark, here captured in prententious black and white glory by Francisco:

Fortunately, I was not alone in my desire to learn to skateboard. Allen has also recently been bitten by the bug. However, he had had some informal lessons the weekend before, so here he is working on some sort of "stand-on-the-board-and-jump-and-make-the-board-flip-then-land-on-it" trick:

In another stroke of fortune, some of our friends who already know how to skate came out to give encouragement and tips, provide social company, and in Ken and Brenda's case, to take photos. Here's Ken, photo by Allen with Ken's camera:

Brenda also had a camera, though it was the barbaric, non-digital variety, so nothing from her here. But here's a photo of Brenda and me, being blown by the wind on our boards:

For completeness, since Brenda and Taisuke are an item, here's Taisuke talking with Oberon (Oberon is Kevin's three or four-year-old; we'll come to them momentarily):

As just mentioned, Oberon is our friend Kevin's little boy. He and his wife Lesleigh are expecting a little girl in about a month. Kevin used to own a tattoo shop; that's how he met Lesleigh. Lesleigh likes to paint Oberon's face:

And here's an unflattering picture of Oberon's dad (click here for a nicer picture of Kevin, who in reality is actually quite handsome):

And that was basically our skating posse this past weekend. Here's a couple more shots of me skating, photos by Ken:

and more wind-skating:

Oh, and I didn't fall at all at the skate park. My goal had been to learn to stand on the board and kick, which I achieved. Of course, when I was skating home, I did fall on my ass while trying to stop by kicking the front of the board up and dragging the tail. An older couple witnessed this, but somehow, they could tell I was fine. Probably because I got right up and bowed.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

the universal appeal of flea and gnarls

posted by drspam @ 3:54 PM

wellington fun fact!

boy do new zealanders love the red hot chili peppers.

there is some pretty fantastic radio to be had here actually. well mostly it takes the form of one station: radio active. and part of what makes it all so good is that they actually recognize the value in musical variety. "theme" stations aren't as prevalent here, but even those are pretty good when it comes to deviation from the standard.

that said, basically every station i have listened to has played the red hot chili peppers more than once. in fact, for the first few weeks i was here, i never once heard a song repeated except for a handful of red hot chili peppers songs, which i heard over and over again, in venues of all sorts.

and, of course, "crazy" by gnarls barkley.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

The South Island: A Retrospective - DAY ONE

posted by Kris Ardent @ 8:27 PM

Last month, I went to the South Island. Here begins the tale of my journey. I hope it's not too late.

The flight to Christchurch was silly. I've never seen flight attendants move SO FAST. They were like doctors. They had to be, because the flight was the most diagonal I have ever been on. Up up up, level for about 30 seconds, and then down down down.

Clodagh picked me up from the airport in Christchurch and we headed off into town. She'd been on the South Island for two weeks already (mostly in NELSON). Clodagh was driving our Honda, because the South Island is no place for Vanessa Speed (Christopher's BMW). We've recently named our Honda "Francisco" or "Cisco" for short, cuz why not. I hope someday to have a car named after me. It's the ultimate honor.

Before leaving Wellington, I had emptied our first aid kit (to thwart potential thieves) and filled it with electronic gadgets like my NEW VIDEO IPOD (thanks Mimi!), chargers for the phone, iPod and camera, an iPod adapter for the tape deck and other sundry items. I used these devices during the trip, to maximize torture of Clodagh, mostly with Neil Diamond songs. Te he.

I had recently heard about the HELLHOLE I had booked us into in Christchurch, and I was worried. Here is said HELLHOLE:
Nightmarish, isn't it? I liked it. It was cheap, warm and clean, and they sold bottles of wine in the lobby and you could order food for delivery from the local Italian place. So the first night of our adventure, we stayed in, drank a lot of wine, and plotted our course for the next week. Here's a still life of our planning tools. Notice that "vacuum" was left undone on my to do list. Also, drinking wine from mugs is rad. Thanks for the notepad, Pillsbury.
After two bottles of wine and some pappardelle with roasted peppers, Clodagh put a bra on her head. I bet she's happy she did that now, and even happier that I thought to record the moment for posterity.
Soon after (okay, more like 3 hours later, and after being told to move to the backyard with our wine so as to avoid violating their liquor license), we passed out. Day 1 complete! Such an adventure!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

wellington art, part 2

posted by drspam @ 6:28 AM

this week's installation: the tripod monster of courtenay place! built by weta workshop last year! wooo! it's lit up in the middle! it's like 20 feet tall! or whatever that is in "fake" units! (i.e. meters) it has little gameboys sculpted into the legs! ha ha!

the beginning of a slow recap

posted by drspam @ 6:17 AM

let's start a month ago, shall we?
o the halcyon days of the duxton, all pillow nests and living rooms and shit.

i mean, check it. A PILLOW. NEST.

Monday, July 03, 2006

A Burger King By Any Other Name Would Still Be Nasty

posted by Kris Ardent @ 6:59 AM

Fun Sydney Fact!

Burger King is called Hungry Jack in Australia (or at least as much of Australia as we saw). Same font, same bun-around-words logo. Can't vouch for the flavor, but they seem to be doing a brisk business, and they're EVERYWHERE in Sydney. Constant Hungry Jacks jokes during $1300 LUNCH at Tetsuya's. More later, after the long sleep.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

it's like american graffiti only cheaper

posted by drspam @ 9:42 PM

wellington fun fact!

burger kings in wellington are decorated all 50s americana. including sparkly red vinyl booths, pictures of james dean and marilyn monroe, and an old style jukebox.

behold our legacy, people!

okay the joke is over now.

posted by drspam @ 9:34 PM

As promised, many shots of the breakfast buffet i enjoy daily (or rather, DID enjoy daily, until i had to move out). Check out those pastries! Good thing yoga is the mortal enemy of pastries!