November 3, 2004

My Birthday.

So yesterday was my birthday here in Middle-Earth New Zealand and today is my birthday back home in Canada. Either way you look at it, I am being fully and rightfully celebrated by one and all around the world. Go me!

What did I do for my birthday here? I went to the ballet Coppelia here in Wellington. In true classical ballet style, it's a fairytale about a toymaker (Dr. Coppelius) and his gorgeous life-size dancing doll (Coppelia). When the village Romeo (Franz) starts flirting with Coppelia as she's seated on the toymaker's balcony, his sweetheart (the fiesty Swanilda) takes revenge by trading places with Coppelia to make Dr. Coppelius believe his creation has come to life and to show Franz who his true love really is. Done in traditional dance style with lush symphonic orchestration and exquisitely detailed sets and costumes, Coppelia was everything I could have wanted in a ballet and more. The more being the perfect way to spend my birthday.

What am I doing for my second birthday? My back-home birthday? I'm reading email and trying not to laugh at Homie Bear's repentent newfound respect for my ability to pack five pairs of shoes around foreign countries as a backpacker. I AM VINDICATED!! *admires one of the five pairs currently gracing her feet*

All you pretty mortals who sent me birthday wishes are fervently thanked and summarily crossed off my list of Mortals Who May Double As Dinner for another year.

November 1, 2004

Wellington. Capital city of New Zealand. Famous for, in no particular order, the Te Papa Maori Museum, being the culture hub of NZ, the location of the Embassy Theatre where Lord of the Rings: Return of the King premiered, and temporary home of Craig Parker, Orlando Bloom, Marton Csokas, Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, David Wenham, and Karl Urban during filming of the trilogy. Of the things I just mentioned, probably the claim to fame that Wellington itself is LEAST interested in playing up is the host of hotties that once graced this pavement. Though Lord of the Rings is a proud legacy throughout the whole of the country, there is no longer a giant Gollum nor a giant fell beast overtop the Embassy Theatre nor are there golden footsteps marking everywhere the LOTR hotties once trod. Clearly this is why, should I ever get it in my head to run for foreign office, I would never be elected except by people equally as delusional as myself. (Liz, Selkie, stand up and be counted my loves!) Aside from all that, however, Wellington is a lovely city. Despite the glaring lack of Elves and Nazgul and hot actors, Wellington boasts a wind-swept hilly locale that looks over a sparkling bay. It is host to a vast number of eclectic shops, art houses, museums, and theatres of all kind. It is a friendly, accessible city. Smaller than Auckland and more personable somehow.

There's a funny story told by Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan about the time they lived in Wellington. It goes something like this: One night after filming they went pubbing and got a bit drunk. Sometime during the wee hours of the morning they were stumbling around Welly's city centre and decided, for reasons unknown except to them (and men in general), to take a piss in the fountain. Which they did. They must not have been as witness-free as they might have liked, however, because the next day on set they received a VERY STERN LECTURE from Peter Jackson himself who objected to, among other things, the defiling of any part of his home town. Sheepish (or as sheepish as rowdy young actors can be), they agreed never to use any of Welly's fountains as toilets again. While this story is good for a chuckle at any time and in any place, when you are me and you are actually IN Wellington it takes on a whole new significance. I had previously assumed Welly to be a bit smaller than it is, having a single centre with a single fountain. This simply isn't the case. It's a bustling little metropolis in it's own right and has more than one fountain laying artfully about the well-kept streets. So now, thanks to Lij and Dom's indiscretion, most of my musings around Welly's fountains consist of "Is THIS the fountain they peed in?" instead of "What a lovely fountain." *sigh* I either need to have less of a brain for pop culture trivia or more of a focus on things other than Ring-lore. *ponders* On second thought, scratch that. I'll take a picture of every fountain just in case. *giggles*