Do it for the poor

I was told recently that ‘poor’ is no longer a PC term. I always used to call myself that, and I fling it around without care. ‘Low income’ is the correct term, but it doesn’t really encapsulate the same feelings in myself. Oh well.

So I work for a charity. This morning I have some time to kill because I just got a nice new camera and I need to take photos of all our shops–one of them is right down the street for me so I’m getting a late start.

I always wanted to work in the non-profit sector–which I guess university is supposed to technically be a part of. But what I mean is I wanted to make a difference and help the poor. Perhaps make it so there are less poor, or the poor at least can jump a bracket into the slightly impoverished state. In the western world even the poor have¬†#firstworldproblems. That makes my job more interesting. It doesn’t change their status, their pain and suffering, but its not quite as exotic.

Despite my post a while ago saying the honeymoon was over–it doesn’t mean I want a divorce. It just means I’ve got to work at this and find the balance.

Now that I realize that I can quit my job, change my career and do whatever its become a matter of fine tuning. Life is too short to be angry, upset or hate your job. I do feel some dread at the moment, but the good still out weights it all.

On the plus side, my celery plant and ginger plant are growing. I should learn from them…

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The world hasn’t stopped spinning yet

You know how when you are little and in school, and you miss a day–you think to yourself, how could they possibly carry on? What were lessons like, and how did everyone not feel the gaping hole left by your absence?

If your school was anything like mine, you quickly learned that it did go on, because the catch up homework was insane. Everyone else had theirs done, knew the lessons and information except for you.

Last year as a teacher I learned that it can actually be quite lovely to miss class and set an assignment for someone else to oversee. I didn’t even mind the extra grading.

The world never stops spinning it seems.

Well, I had stopped blogging for a while and the world kept on. I stopped because I finally managed to get a job. That big magical J-word that should somehow complete me, give me an identity and pay the bills. Well, one step at a time. It is just for 6 months, and it is not my identity, but it will do.

Then I went to my sister’s wedding which required 2 weeks off ūüôā

At school, you know how to catch up, as a teacher, you pre-plan your missed days, but in the normal work force, your own little corner actually does stop spinning. Its an odd game of catch up that I’m playing now. I don’t hate it, its just a new experience. Perhaps it finally is satisfying that inner self-centered demon we all keep telling us only I can do that job…well, for the moment because you are the only one assigned to it, but lets end on a happy note.

The magical flying beast and Matrimony teaser

After 2 magical weeks in the USA, we are back in New Zealand. The process always feels so magical to me. Chris commented this time that it messes with his sense of distance. When he drives somewhere you have to physically see each tree, stone or house that passes you by. Perhaps it effects me slightly less as a passenger in the car, but his comment really struck home with me. I can tell how far I went in a car, and I know I can retrace that journey. In the air plane I am dependent on others.

We spent most the first week with wedding prep, and the second with a sort of detox that only those who have done DIY weddings can understand. In the end the wedding was absolutely perfect. And by perfect I mean it had little hiccups that make it unique along with tears of love and sparkles. The main pictures won’t be out for a while, but I wanted to just post one action shot taken by my uncle.

Laura and Dawson Van Pelt

Its been about a month since my last post which can only mean one thing…I’ll tell you next time.

Out for the lols

Sometimes, for no reason, I just get sad. I figure this is pretty normal, and especially when I have lots of time on my hands to contemplate my existence. Chris suggested that I missed my family and the day-to-day bustle that I know I’m missing out on by being half way around the world. That is possible.

But he came home yesterday amped about going to a comedy show he’d read about on an obscure website. It took some convincing for me to leave the house, but eventually I did, and it was worth it. It was at the Fringe Bar.

Of course we got there stupidly early, but we got a comfy seat on the couch and proceeded to laugh for the next two hours solidly. I never realized before that Chris liked to analyse comedy. Had it been any form of music, I would have been right there, but unfortunately all I could say was that I loved it. Which is odd since I’ve worked often with ancient comedy. To shock and surprise and push taboos is what I always read about, why did it take me so long to find it interesting in a modern setting?

I was also hit by a revelation when the MC commented that the people backstage were nervous. I wished I could go back and tell them, “don’t worry, I am an easy laugh, and I want to love you.” Thats what I wish people would say to me when I’m on the other side (not the laugh bit, that would upset me since I’m NOT funny). Audience or performer, we are all these separate little entities wrapped up in our own little lives.

We’ll be going there again…maybe next time I’ll keep the camera handy.

The Holidays

Its hard to write when you aren’t alone. So I guess it is no surprise that over the past two weeks I’ve written nothing at all. That doesn’t mean I was uninspired or out of ideas, but I need solitude to actually make something come out of this brain of mine.

It was our first Christmas just the two of us, and while I think Chris was sad and a little lonely for family, I’m still excited by new traditions forming and slow relaxed pace. I did miss the chaos and noise, but I guess next year we will more than make up for it all.

For New Years we went down to Dunedin–the city where Chris and I met. We spent the evening apart, as he had a stag thing to do, but the rest of the trip we wandered around reminiscing about where it (meaning our love–queue sappy music) all started.

In terms of tourism, I feel like Dunedin could probably occupy about 2 days of your time just wandering around the city (although I use that term loosely) and using it as a base to look at a few nature-esk things.

We had fish and chips (the fish is under there I swear)

up at the top of Signal Hill like we had previously.

Chris told me the first time I was polite, and the second time I told him I hated nature. It was a lovely day (actually Dunedin played a nasty trick on us by being warm and sunny for our entire trip) and I enjoyed the company and view.

If you make it down, the only pub I can recommend you go to is Inch bar. I love this place so much. It feels a bit like a hobbit hole, and they have a new owner since I was there. They have also expanded to have a stage. Yes–electric violin the night I was there. Pure bliss.

The reason for the trip was really our friend’s wedding. It was stunning. Nature was their main decorative theme, and we gathered around in this basen-like-hill place (I’m sure there is some technical geological term for it) in a place called Karitane (just 30min from Dunedin) and watched them hike towards us to a German singing over the rainbow on the ukulele.

It was stunning.

The food later was amazing.

Don’t mind my pissed off face, I didn’t know what Chris was doing with my phone…

Also, this is New Zealand, so it wouldn’t be complete without a visit from SHEEP. I love sheep so much.

I couldn’t think of any good New Year’s resolutions. I tend to not have any, but I’m still thinking…

Working and Spending

I feel like I must have read this article about how we work and consume a few years back when it first came out. If you have read Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed, please take a second to. It really changed quite a bit about how I think and helped me to prioritize what is important in my life: i.e. spending time with family, having fun rather than being overtired, stressed but rich. As a naturally very stingy person, but also someone who wants to be comfortable and live in the world I was appalled by the contrived nature of the entire system.

Anyway, the article in question was making the rounds on my facebook feed and so I read it again and have been re-thinking it all. One thing that has changed now, is that I finally managed to get a job. It doesn’t start until January, but it is going to be one of those all consuming jobs. I’m excited, and elated, because as you know, I really struggled with finding self-worth in myself, and needed it in the form of some stranger willing to dole out money to me. So rational, I know!

Combine the new job with the Christmas season, and my little 1-year don’t buy any retail is so far out the window. I’m sure it will return soon, but I realized Chris and I were currently undergoing exactly what this guy had. The long time travelling, scrimping budget because there is only a minus number every month, suddenly you land a job and POW, you should buy starbucks–cuz I love it. Also…gingerbread frappuccino¬†(cuz its summer here baby!!!).

The first step to anything is being aware of it. How you spend and why. I want to take back this consumer drive that I feel pressured into from global economies, and buy only what I need (not what they want me to need). I hope this is something I can start/maintain this next year. I’m not saying don’t spend–that is impossible. I’m saying think. There are some things like living which are so much more important (if you can even figure out what those are–I’m still working on it).

The Lemonheads in Wellington

One of the reasons Chris and I decided to settle in Wellington was that there were so many more opportunities to go to gigs (whatever bands actually make it out this far). So last night, we went to Chris’ all time favourite band’s show the Lemonheads at a really fun little venue called the Bodega. I’m sorry there are no pictures, I seem to have lost all types of cameras. Chris had seen him twice before, the first time he told me was terrible, and the second time was absolutely amazing, so I wasn’t actually sure what to expect. I only really knew 2 songs (into your arms, and being around), but both of those made the playlist, so I was very pleased.

In Chris’ words, he had a great time hearing the songs and having ‘a bit of a boogie’, and when Evan smiled (although it was rare) it looked like he was having an amazing time. The problem was, all the things I’d read in Amanda Palmer’s book kept bouncing around in my head. He looked quite tired most of the time and the only time he really addressed the audience in terms of a little speech was when he forgot the words to one of his songs. I loved that because I got to see him as human, relating to us other humans in dark, sweaty and slightly stinky floor beneath him. I wanted to know him, why he was here singing to us what motivated him. It is that divide between the famous and the normal. Was he here because he loves playing or he needed the money? I should probably leave such questions unasked. And I think he just had ‘resting grumpy face’ which is totally a thing. I wonder if it is awful to be famous.

I’m glad we went, and I can understand a bit more now why Chris loves the Lemonheads as they have those¬†quirky, random lyrics that keep you on your toes yet still relate to your life. I did, however, find it slightly odd that they played Smells like Teen Spirit by Nirvana as his entrance song. Chris that I was over-reading into things (he dated Courtney Love who was previously married to Kurt Cobain) but then, I also heard someone in the audience go “waaa :(” (not quite a boo) when the song ended prematurely for the show to start…I’m just hypersensitive.

In other news, while at the gig, Chris commented ‘Wow, I forgot how short you are, how can you see anything.’ Well, the truth is I couldn’t, so we scrunched at the front and it turned out a bit better. Also, the opening band was nice–Brave New Void–who are apparently local so I’m sure we will be seeing lots more of them.