I love this piece of music so so much. Is it too late to learn the Cello? Can you teach yourself the Cello? Maybe not.
I never stuck with an instrument for longer than two years, and the one I stuck with the longest was the flute. Not to insult any flute players, but what a dumb instrument to decide to learn the longest.
–Me and some friends skyping, because I always skype, because I miss people.
Hello, Djinous here. It’s been about a week since I last wrote, and a couple of things have happened and I know how much you all care about what I do so here comes my second installment.
I got my dog-walking job! At first I thought I hadn’t gotten it and I fell into a very cynical anger-slump, sulked around at home and cursed this cold dumb city that wouldn’t give me a job. You could accuse me of being childish (a big baby) but there’s nothing quite as disheartening as thinking you nailed an interview, feeling that you’re sure to get it then not hearing anything. ESPECIALLY when the job requires next to no skill. But I digress. I woke up on Friday morning (read: midday) to a phone call from my new boss telling me I had gotten the job and I would have my first walk the next day! I felt quite happy and hopeful which was a nice change, but it was a bittersweet day. My friend Zack and I had been sharing a bed for a whole month, and he was leaving for the West Coast, then home to New Zealand. We had brunch with all the New Zealanders plus a couple of new American friends, went home for Zack to pack and for me to watch him and I felt sad. I cried when he closed the door on his way out.
So I am now employed, which is a good start. It’s part-time hours for now but should increase to full-time within a month. It’s been going well so far, and I have four dogs I walk every day. There’s Gizmo the Shi tzu, Daisy the Miniature Schnauzer, Clancey (have you ever heard such an American name?) the Weimaraner and Ollie the French bulldog. The Shi tzu is a moody little bitch who growls at everything and everyone, the Weimaraner bit my hand and the bulldog won’t do anything I want her to do, but she is joyful and I appreciate that. I have fallen absolutely in love with Daisy the Mini-Schnauzer and I have to say I wish she was my own puppy and if I ever get a dog in this city I will be getting one like her. She has the face of an angel and the temperament of one too.
Aside from the poop cleaning, it is quite a lovely job. It’s so good being outdoors and walking for money, dogs bring joy and I’m actually learning how to utilize the public transport like a real human being, but I think it’ll be about a million times more lovely when it’s not winter. It was negative 5 degrees today and I didn’t have gloves on and I wanted to literally die. I thought I was good at coping with winter weather but I feel like no amount of layers could protect me from the bitter wind that feels a lot like needles. At least it hasn’t snowed. Yet.
I have a few friends here, but when I think about it, they are nearly all New Zealanders, except for my roommates. Going from having a lot of friends to only having about 3 is pretty unusual, and I’ve never actually thought “Hey, i should try and make friends sometime soon”, but I have started thinking about it. It’s weird to actually think about making friends. How do these things happen organically? I don’t meet many people through my job. Perhaps when I earn some real money that I can use to actually leave my house and meet people I’ll make some. Now that I’ve started thinking about it I’m scared I’ll be all nervous when I meet someone I think I like. I’m insane.
On a “culture difference” note, girls here talk about dating A LOT. Just an observation. It’s quite strange for me to listen in on. My experience at home was that girls talk about guys they are seeing/dating/fucking a lot but girls don’t actively talk about how they WANT to meet men and date men and “find someone”, but it seems to be a fairly normal topic of conversation here. I like to think I am headstrong but it does fuck with my head a bit. I have never looked for a boyfriend and I never felt I needed to- I have been in love thrice in my life already and have always felt quite lucky for that. What’s the rush right? It’ll come around again? And surely it’s nicer when it happens while you’re not looking? But listening to girls chatting non-stop about dating starts to make my brain panic. I opened an OKCupid account when I moved here because apparently it’s totally normal to internet date here (I know… what the fuck) but I am yet to reply to anyone- except one guy who I drunkenly (and very rudely, but I think I thought I was being funny) responded to, because SO OFFENDED WAS I that he was wearing a deep v-neck t shirt in his profile picture, I felt I had to tell him what I thought about it. When I type things like that I realize it’s no wonder I don’t feel like I fit in here sometimes.
Things of note:
I went and saw Mykki Blanco perform in Manhattan for 10 dollars and it was a blast. He was an amazing performer, and while his support played he stood in the crowd and roamed around as if he was just another party goer. He is a very beautiful man.
I visited Ground Zero, it’s really close to a couple of the places I walk pups. It was strange being there in real life and imagining what it would have been like when it happened.
Visiting “Enchantments” in the East Village. It’s a Withcraft/Goddess store and they sell some really cool things. There are two big cats asleep on the counter and chairs and books there, the staff were lovely and the smell is amazing. It made me want to get into it all. I don’t know much about any of that kind of thing but the candles they had were amazing.
I saw Zero Dark Thirty. It looks very “American-pride” and intense but it is really worth seeing. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.
A 14 year old boy got his dick out in front of me on the subway. He was showing off for his friends and I was the only non-high schooler in our section. I felt really awkward.
I saw a man drop his iPhone down the crack between the platform and the subway. He looked so angry. I had to hide my face as I giggled.
I promise more excitement next time as I am now EMPLOYED and will be able to buy stuff and actually do things. Proud of me?
Until next time! I miss New Zealand, I miss a lot of you, Bye-bye.
I have written a couple of posts about my experience so far for my friend’s site ALWAYS SOMETIMES ANYTIME, and I thought I should post them here as well, as I would someday like this to be MY site where only MY things are written.
-Me and Zack, drinking FourLoko like idiots
Djinous here. I usually write Friday Favorites for A/S/A, but now that I’m living in Nooooo Yaaaawk, I’m going to be writing this little New York Diary for you to read. I might not always be as light-hearted and flippant as I may have been when writing about famous people who do stupid things, but it’s honest and from the heart, and it’s hard to write that way, so yeah. I don’t know what I’m asking you…be kind, or whatever. Here we go.
I’ve been in this big, scary, amazing, loud and beautiful-yet-ugly city for a month now. For the few who don’t know me who might come across this and decide to read, I came here with no particular purpose, because my life doesn’t have a particular purpose right now. That sounds pretty bad but it’s the truth – I left university before finishing, I like writing but I don’t know what I’d like to write yet, I’m not sure which skills I have that I’d like to hone or should hone…so why not travel. In fact I started to think it might be stupid not to.
Friends who have moved overseas have talked to me about being homesick, and I always naively assumed that this was mostly to do with missing your family. I’m not overly close with my family so I truly didn’t think this would be an issue. I wasn’t very prepared for the intense missing of my friends I was going to be doing once I got here, but I’m learning to deal. It’s really, really hard leaving your support systems, and I had a lot of these in Auckland. I never thought I’d use Skype as much as I’ve been doing since I got here. I also never thought I would miss Auckland as a city, but oh lordy I do. It’s weird not knowing your way around anywhere, not having a favorite place to hang out…but these things come with time, and considering just how much of a fucking baby I’ve been, I can’t help but think this is all probably the beginning of a much needed “grow up you fucking baby” phase of life.
I’m living in South Williamsburg in my friend’s apartment while she’s back in New Zealand. It’s a huge, lovely apartment and really close to everything. There’s a man who lives above me who has a (massive) pet pig. He takes him out twice a day to do his business and he grunts and pants quite alarmingly coming up and down those stairs. His (the pig’s) name is Emmett and because of the wintry temperatures, he wears a PUFFER JACKET. I nearly died when I saw it. I’m slowly beginning to get the lay of the land in Brooklyn, and it reminds me of a much bigger Wellington. It’s “suburban” and “urban” at the same time and I love it. One street with be filled with Latina girls snapping gum and yelling at dudes drinking out of paper bags and smoking weed, and you’ll take a left turn and be onto a street with a bazillion vintage shops and dudes wearing Carharrt jackets with fluoro orange beanies who all have beards and bird-like girlfriends with glasses and tattoos. Oh, Williamsburg.
It’s been a blur so far. There is SO much to do in this city it’s insane. I knew it was going to be mind boggling-ly busy compared to my home but it’s definitely still a bit of a shock. The options for food are innumerable and simultaneously amazing and disgusting. There are things to see and do every single day and night of the week, until whichever hour you decide to walk (or crawl) home. On that note, I have been doing a lot of crawling. The drinks are “free pour” here and much cheaper, and I keep getting scarily drunk before realizing JUST how scarily drunk I am. One night I spewed into my handbag in a taxi. The taxi driver yelled at me “ARE YOU SPEWING IN MY CAB MISS!?!” and I kind of laughed and said “No, but I wish I was”. Another night my phone was dead (NO GOOGLE MAPS) and I walked the wrong way home for a long, long time and ended up in an extremely Jewish neighborhood where none of the Hasidic men would talk to me even though I desperately needed directions. ‘Twas a laugh.
Here are some notable mentions of things I’ve been up to so far:
Nitehawke Cinema in Williamsburg. They serve you cocktails and meals while you watch your movie. Words cannot describe how much this pleases me.
Five Leaves Cafe. It’s Australian and they have real bread with real grains and everything.
The Museum of Modern Art.
Seeing Grizzly Bear, The Cults, Sleigh Bells and The Antlers at a show at Terminal Five for 40 dollars. Suck on that.
Rockefeller Centre and seeing the Home Alone Christmas Tree.
Crazy drag-queen shows at dive bars.
Ending up at drinks with Aziz Ansari at a bar in Manhattan and dancing to Jay-Z with him and his friends. He is tiny and dances just like Tom Haverford does on Parks and Rec.
The Subway! I love riding it. Non-stop eccentric people sightings and awkward eye contact.
The snow. It’d been a while.
Tomorrow I have two job interviews for full-time Dog Walking jobs. This is sounding a bit like the perfect job for me at the moment despite the cold, and I’m really hoping I get it. After getting a job, I find a house! Then I should probably buy a bed, and some… other stuff. What do you need for a new room? Bleargh. Real life stuff can be so exciting and also such a drag.
So I leave in 9 days. I am not greatly prepared. I probably haven’t saved enough money, haven’t organised insurance and I’m fairly sure that my American passport only arrived in time because of magic. Also I am sorry I haven’t written in this in around a million years. I don’t know who I’m even apologising to, I’ve told about 2 people about this blog so far. Anyway, I figure that my life in Auckland is kind of boring so not much point writing while I’m still here doing the same old shit.
I’m excited though. How much money is enough to live off? Considering I am not paying for my lodgings and allowing myself 1 month of not doing anything, what will I need to be spending per week in American dollars to have a good time but not a ridiculous time? Argh
My dear friend Zack arrives 2 days after me, and we have been chatting about how we are going to be sharing a bed and a room for a whole month. We have never slept in a bed together before and we’re wondering how weird it will be (Zack is into dudes, so I don’t mean it in that way, I’m talking more about personal space). After sharing a bed with someone for nearly 3 years, I actually prefer having someone else in the bed for some strange reason, so I’m not too bothered by this. Hopefully he isn’t either.
So far I have confirmed that I will be going to see Grizzly Bear, Sleigh Bells, Cults and The Antlers on the 14th of December (for 40 dollars. What the fuck eh. I saw just Grizzly Bear in Auckland last week for 80) and then hopefully Solange Knowles on the 18th of December for 20 dollars. 20 DOLLARS! 20 dollars is worth it just to see “Losing You”.
It still hasn’t hit home for me that I’m leaving really. Feeling oddly detached. We’ll see what happens at the airport I guess.
I just image-googled “emotionless” and lots of photos of Kristen Stewart came up. Hahaha.
Until next time.
I used to read a lot. My dad did some things right, and one of them was reading to me every night when I was a kid, and as soon as I wasn’t painfully slow at it, he started buying me books and talking to me about what I thought about them every day. I need to say a big thank you to J.K. Rowling for creating the best thing from my childhood/adolescence and also for beginning my love of books, and I’d also like to thank the universe for not inventing laptops early enough for me to have one from age 5.
I’ve gotten lazy. We live in a mental world full of way too much internet, too much shit on TV (which I for some reason really love to let myself get caught up in), and everything you could ever want to watch is extremely accessible.
I realised the other day while listening to the Great Gatsby on audiobook (my job at the moment is reasonably mindless and at a desk so I can do this) that I hadn’t actually read a book in nearly a year. At least, not a book I hadn’t read before.
I’m proud of myself for not just going back to university to “learn things” when I don’t know what I want to learn (at least not for over 30,000 in student loans), but I really need to keep my brain working and although my passion and dream might lie in good television and film, I need to get back to basics and read some fucking books. School was good for me in the sense that it FORCED me to read, and it’s probably the thing I miss the most about “structured learning”.
So this is my new project. I’ve sourced two lists, one I found on the Guardian and one from the Telegraph. Both are lists of 100 Books Everyone Must Read. The Guardian one is quite cool in the way that it takes the form of a “Consensus Cloud”. Here is a cool photo of me holding it up. I shall start with this.
It has sourced the hundred on the list from: UK’s most borrowed Library Books, Desert Island Discs book choices, Pulitzer Prize Winners (1948-2010), Askmetafilter.com Books Everyone Should Read, World Book Day Poll, Goodreads.com, The Guardian and The Telegraph. I have highlighted the ones I’ve already read. As you can see it’s not very many, ha ha. Even though I like the way this list is presented, TWILIGHT is on there. Luckily for them I’ve already read it.
The other list is big and long and you can read it here.
Obviously there is some ridiculous stuff on there- which I might attempt one day, but I’m sorry to say I probably won’t try anytime soon and definitely wouldn’t write about it here (…. War and Peace, The Grapes of Wrath, Crime and Punishment).
And it begins! Just got given these to start. Will keep updating where I think necessary.
(in case the first picture is confusing, every time I want to feel motivated to learn or remember what is great about reading I think about Stephen Fry)
I made this decision for a number of reasons- some of which are kind of awkward, but oh well that’s part of what writing is about right? Talking about things that are hard to talk about. I was actually going to move there when I turned 18- I left high school a year early you see, and my plan was to work fulltime for a year and save and then get out of here.
A few things meant this didn’t happen, the first being that my parents ended their marriage (for the third time) which meant that I went to live with my weird and emotionally unstable father in a small apartment in downtown Auckland with his 29 year old girlfriend. Sounds fun huh. For obvious reasons this was a really fucking weird situation for me and was fraught with fighting, lying and all that other wonderful stuff that makes you wish you didn’t have a family. 🙂
Second, my mom got a lot more sick after the break-up and throughout this divorce. When I was a kid my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis or MS for short. Stress and/or a big upheaval in your life can aggravate it, and my mom’s walking went from just “alright” to absolutely terrible in a matter of weeks.
Thirdly, I met a boy who I ended up staying with for nearly 3 years. For the most part this was a pretty dumb and “destructive” relationship but I think learnt a lot about priorities… and other stuff. Maybe. I hope.
Through those three years of staying here when I think I should’ve been in the States, I have attempted university (to horrible results, both grade-wise and my mental state-wise), worked several different jobs, just recently (and happily) seen the end of my parents’ awful divorce and had a really terrible break up.
(Jesus I just read over what I’ve written so far and I’m really living up to the name of this blog. MY LIFE ISN’T ALL BAD! I’ve had a really awesome time and have great friends and a great mom and lots of nice things- I’m OKAY!)
In December last year when my big long relationship ended, I had a real think about things. What am I doing here? Why am I doing it here? I really want to get away from all of this. Why am I so angry and negative all the time these days? Why didn’t I leave when I was younger?
And that’s when I decided to go. Yep.
(Which some have pointed out to me looks a bit like running away. And to them I say I am all for running away, as long as you’re not leaving destruction of your own making in your wake. If you can, why NOT leave a weird poisonous environment? I’m fucking 20? I can run away if I want?)
This move has been an exciting light at the end of a bit of a grey tunnel for me. Maybe I need to “live in the moment” more, but I’m enjoying the anticipation at the moment.