June 8, 2006

Dispelling the Myth

New Zealand is not a tropical paradise. I can't count the number of times I got asked how I was enjoying the warm weather and all the beaches when I first left home and came here. At the time, admittedly, it was October so we were heading into summer. Summer in New Zealand is fantastic. Hot and sunny with clear skies. But I have to point out that summer in Edmonton is also fantastic. Hot and sunny with clear skies. Patio weather, you know. The only difference is that in New Zealand Christmas is in summer whereas in Edmonton it's buried under heaps of snow.

But when the summer fades and the wind begins howling through Wellington from the south and the months peel off the calendar in increasingly cool succession... April, May, June... winter arrives. Autumn and winter in New Zealand are bitter things, my pretty mortals. Purge the tropical paradise fantasy from your mind. It's cold, damn cold, and the reason it's so cold is because they don't believe in central heating here.

I'll repeat that for those who are scrolling to the point. There is no central heating in New Zealand homes.

Today in Wellington it is around 11 degrees outside and as I sit in our lovely flat bundled in three jerseys (that's "sweaters" to you North Americans), it is around 11 degrees inside too. Whatever it is outside, it is inside. And that makes everything so very much colder. The next time some smart-ass Kiwi tells me I should "be used to the cold" because I'm "from Canada", look out. We Canadians don't sit around reveling in the cold, throwing open our windows to the wintry winds and swirling snow, sitting barefoot and frozen in our own living rooms to prove how hardy we are. We HEAT our homes and we heat our cars too and we have remote starters to get us from one heated location to the other with a minimum of interaction with the outside bluster. But here they seem to be made of sterner stuff. Space heaters and hot water bottles are the order of the day. Central heating is for pansy foreigners.

If you want a tropical vacation, do take one. I hear the Caribbean is lovely this time of year. Fiji too. But by god if you're planning on trekking Middle-earth, pack layers. Elves don't feel the cold but trust me, you will.

June 5, 2006

Torch did it first. Blame him. Him and his damn internet memes.

Music shuffle
Directions: Put your music player on shuffle. Press forward for each question.
Use the song title as the answer to the question. No cheating!

I have a lot of music. Most of it is what music snobs would call "crap". But I have always proudly admitted to liking pop music. I also have a lot of non-crap music. I'm a jazz baby at heart. And I didn't cheat! If I did, Nick Carter sure wouldn't have made the cut. *dies*

How am I feeling today?
"Fur Elise" - Beethoven

Will I get far in life?
"Feuer Frei" - Rammstein

How do my friends see me?
"Charade" - Harry Connick Jr.

When will I get Married?
"Personality Goes a Long Way" - Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta (Pulp Fiction Soundtrack)

What's my best friend's theme song?
"Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone" - Glass Tiger

What is the story of my life?
"Spectacle" - Velvet Revolver

What is/was highschool like?
"I Stand For You" - Nick Carter *oh the humiliation

How can I get ahead in life?
"Playmates" - Marc Shaiman (The Addams Family Soundtrack)

What is the best thing about me?
"Volare" - Dean Martin

How is today going to be?
"Star Wars Main Title" - John Williams (Star Wars Soundtrack)

What is in store for this weekend?
"I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" - Tony Bennett

What song describes my parents?
"What It Feels Like For A Girl" - Madonna

What song descirbes my grandparents?
"Angel Sigh / Sway" - Spiritualized (Lazer Guided Melodies)

How is my life going?
"Vivire y Morire" - Enrique Iglesias

What song will they play at my funeral?
"Bitter Pill" - Gina Gershon and Lovedog

How does the world see me?
"A Whole New World" - Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle (Aladdin Soundtrack)

Will I have a happy life?
"Save the Last Dance for Me" - Harry Connick Jr.

What song describes my relationships with my friends?
"Danger Zone" - Gwen Stefani

What song describes my romantic status?
"The Difference" - The Wallflowers