24 February, 2006

Yep, I Live Here!

A link this morning to the MSNBC Travel page with an outstanding picture slide show of New Zealand and all it's beauty.

And while you're at it.... go to the New Zealand Travel and Tourism website


Plug your headphones in, sit back for a minute and take a mini holiday. The song is by Kiwi icon Dave Dobbyns, New Zealand's version of James Taylor.

And yes, this is what I am doing. Except I haven't yet had a bath in an outside tub. I need to do that too!

22 February, 2006

I promised Mom I wouldn't bundgy jump, but I didn't say nothing about the canyon swing

Recap of the recap, I was reminiscing to a friend about my ten day sojourn to the South Island of New Zealand over the Christmas Holiday and proudly exclaimed "and I climbed a glacier, a freaking glacier! Can you believe it!"

Ten days in the South Island. Ten days with intermittent mobile phone connections, with mountains and valleys as far as the eye can see and with views so green and so unbelievable you would think that this country swallowed a can of Kelly Green tempera paint from elementary school.

Somewhere around day three of my marathon trip the bedraggled group of ten and I landed in a small town above Wanaka on the West Coast. We stayed in a backpackers lodge that doubled as a pub for the oh twenty or so locals that lived within a fifty mile radius of nothing. A five minute walk up from the huts that we would call home for the evening, we stood in awe on a beach that was just beach. Not to be seen for miles around; not one single house, beach venue, hot dog stand, cable wire, or other living soul besides our group. Just teal blue waves, cool clean wintry white foam, fine grain white sand, sleek black rocks and sun bleached driftwood. With the song "Run" by Snow Patrol playing on my iPod and blasting in my ears, I heaved a sigh that could have been heard on the East Coast.

That evening we dressed up to the letter "P" at the pub and I the "Princess" was joined by my travel mates in their very inventive attire. One of them during the drip down the coast made a stop at the local version of K-Mart (here affectionately known as the Warehouse, or the WadiFadi in Maori) bought a roll of wrapping paper and dressed himself up as a "Present". I am sure that you can see the kind of creative thinking that goes into drinking games in the South Island. One among my group scored extra points for drawing lude pictures with marker as tattoos for his representation of "Popeye".

Two days later we landed in Franz Josef. A quaint town in the middle of the mountains and a must stop on the way to Queenstown. On either side of the RainForest Cafe; the backpackers lodge we stayed in, are mountains. And on top of one of these is the glacier. A glacier mind you in the middle of New Zealand. A country in the Southern Hemisphere. Something my East Coast mind still does not accept. And with my team of ten and my Mother's warning voice whispering to not do stupid things in my ear, I signed my self up for a hike. Up. The. Mountain.

The hike started normally enough. We had a guide. We were given crampons and cold weather gear. I even got issued my own pick axe. But I am still a bit gutted that we didn't get sled dogs. Sled dogs would have been cool.

And up the mountain we started. Our hike began with lush green things being intersected by cool running water coming off the glacier that loomed above us. The glacier is the size of ten football fields and is cold and blue white with a wicked wind coming off the peak.

Looking ahead I could make out workers using picks and shovels digging out stairs into the side of the glacier. I distinctly remember this being the first time since I signed my life away WITHOUT insurance, thinking "Heh, I am about to climb a glacier, this might be stupid". But no worries. I shoved it off and moved on. My group was in a cheerful mood. This part of the trip was all we talked about for the entire four days prior to getting here. We were excited. We were adventurous. We were going to make a personal moment in our lives mean something. It was like Everest without the extra oxygen.

So we climbed, and climbed, and climbed. And I took moments to look around. It was beautiful alright. Incredible even. But my mind whirled. As I looked down into the mouth of a crevice that dove ten miles below and started at the edge of my foot, I was nagged by one thought "I work in IT and hike on the weekends, what the FUCK AM I DOING UP HERE!".

Four hours later; tired and wet and cold and tired and hungry a small group of us came down off the mountain together. We had agreed we had seen enough of ice and would also like to get some hiking done in the rainforest as well. Hiking a glacier is about one of the neatest things I can say I have ever done, but after about four hours of ice, well that is what you are seeing, ICE. So onto the rainforest we went. Which is pretty darn cool as well, that I hiked a rainforest and a glacier in one day.

The next day I could barely walk and sat uncomfortably cramped on the bus ride to Queenstown.

And in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world, I felt like I was in my college home town. Queenstown is like college, except switch studying for adventure sports. Everything that you or your over adventurous teenage son could ever want to do is on the menu in Queenstown. Bundgy jumping, skydiving, snowboarding, skiing. And as all my mates signed themselves up for doing the bundgy at the largest bundgy in the world (a full 8 seconds of free fall), I stood there like a lump. Like an old women. I got slamblasted for my wimpy-ness and cried "But my Mommy said I couldn't".

And then with a glint in his eye, Greg leaned over and whispered in my ear "But she didn't say anything about the canyon swing" and winked.

14 February, 2006

if i ever met him face to face i may just stop breathing.....

because it's valentine's day and because i have loved the same song since high school, I am posting it here.

by depesh mode

i want somebody to share
share the rest of my life
share my inner most thoughts
know my intimate details

someone who'll stand by my side
and give me support
and in return
he'll get my support

he will listen to me
when i want to speak
about the world we live in
and life in general

though my views may be wrong
they may even be perverted
he will hear me out
and won't easily be converted
to my way of thinking
in fact he'll often disagree
but at the end of it all
he will understand me

i want somebody to care
for me passionatly
with every thought
and with every breath

someone who'll help me see things
in a different light
all the things I detest
i will almost like

i don't want to be tied
to anyone's strings
i am carefully trying to stay clear
of those

and when i'm asleep
i want somebody
who will put their arms
around me
kiss me

things like this
make me sick
but in a case like this
i'll get away with it

10 February, 2006

With The Song I Siiiiiiingggg, What the World Needs Toooodaaaay!

In response to a Tentative Meeting agenda:

Kala: Tentative!!!!!!????? What's wrong with you mate? It's CAKE!

Jamie: Yeah well... what kind of cake is it??

Kala: It's yummy and good and wonderful with stuff... And candles. And if you ever wanted an opportunity to hit Christian in the arm, this is it. I know I want to hit him everyday.

Jamie: Meh, I do that whenever I want already. What else you got?

Kala: I got nothin left. Except perhaps making the world a brighter, happier place to live in because we support each other every single day through the small things, like birthdays. Your contribution to Christian's happy birthday will give him the ability to one day raise happy and healthy children who will in turn provide your children with good friends.

Jamie: Arrgh! Sorry, got blinded by the sunshine beaming out of that sentence.

Kala: That, and maybe I'd like to buy the world a coke and keep it company.

Jamie: There's caffeine involved? That's all I needed.

09 February, 2006

Floating in the Palm of My Mother’s Hand

My marriage to my ex-husband. When it was good, it was very, very good. And when it was bad, it was ugly. I am finally dealing with it.

In the beginning I was hiding. I never understood the depth or the level of pain that I was feeling. I pushed it down and pushed it away and never looked at it straight in the face. Not the break up of my actual marriage; but the residual feelings it created and left behind.

Sometimes I think of him; a thought or a moment. Something small and insignificant, like the way his hands looked wearing his wedding ring; my wedding ring. I have missed that. How he looked when he spoke my name and the smile that would glint in his eye. I think of these things and then I cry. Not for the loss of him, but for the hole that it has left in my heart.

And for the first time in two years I am not filling it with anything. I have been lucky in some regard, I was smart enough not to jump into another relationship and fill that hole with someone else and perhaps their problems. However, over the last two years I have been filling that hole with other things; food, driving, self hateful thoughts, friends, my job, the ability to keep going and burn the candle at both ends all the time. But mostly I have filled that hole with my Mother’s love.

Tonight I longed for her. So deeply I can not begin to express my utter feeling of despair that I so desperately needed to feel her place her hand on top of mine and tell me that everything was going to be okay, that I would be okay. Her beautiful, long fingers giving me a great wave of love and support. Her capable hands that always knew how to make everything better. My Mother’s strength is unparalleled and has always had the ability to make me see the light of day. And now I have to do it on my own.

I have put physical distance between my Mother and me. Not because I don’t want to be with her, but because I can’t be. Her love is so powerful and so strong and so supportive that often she takes the burden of truth away from me and relieves me of the pain that I think I have to feel, that I need to feel, that I want to feel. For the first time in my life I am forced to stand on my own two feet. For the first time in my life I am forced to take a look at the greater picture that is my life and what I am making of it. I am forced to take the burden of responsibility and not allow anyone to tell me that I will be okay. Because the only way that I am going to be okay with the pain that my divorce left behind is if I come to terms with my realities and make myself okay again. I need to fill the hole with love for myself.

Tonight, I cried on the bus ride home and made a bit of a fool of myself. And then I smiled because I survived it. My Mother gave me all her love, all her support, so many years of teaching me how to be a person. All this I did not leave behind. I carried her strength with me over an ocean. I am using these tools to grow every single day. And like a boat of protection; even in a far off country, I am still supported by the love of my Mother’s hands.

08 February, 2006


I am rounding upon the end of month three working for the Kiwi Big Bad Software Company.

While sitting at work with one hell of a headache that was caused by Testing and Quality Assurancing this piece of big bad software I blurted loudly, across the room, across the hall so someone, anyone can hear me "I NEED A BEER!" and whimpered with a flourish of a finish.

To which my bunny slipper clad CEO walked from his desk to the fridge in the conference room, grabbed me a light beer and brought it to me.

Now that's service with a smile!

Not only do I get paid to do a job that I am crazy about but I get the heads of state fetching me alcoholic beverages, AT WORK, as well.

G-D DAMN I love this country!

07 February, 2006

Things Our Father's Didn't Teach Us

The three of us loaded into the car on Saturday afternoon to take one last trip to the Coromandal's before my mate had to hand the keys back to the owner. However, this short stint was a bit different; it was just us girls and we were WOMEN EMPOWERED.

Our 'girls only' weekend began when we got in the car and decided that the song "And I had the time of my life" by Patrick Swayze should be our theme song and proceeded to screech that song at the top of our ever loving lungs for the 2 hour drive to the batch. The theme continued as we talked about men, dreams and the cheesey movies that we grew up on, adored and secretly hoped our lives would emulate. Patrick and Jennifer were defiantly getting married in the future. They tango'd way to well together.

We agreed. We made a pact in blood. We bonded as women and swore till then end of time that we would not always need the men around. Gosh darn it, we were on a roll. We can do anything!

Until it came time to hook up the barbecue.


Foiled again. A good plan completely gone up shit's creek without a paddle.

You would think three smart women could figure out how to hook up a damn gas barbecue. You would be wrong. We tried mind you. We tried for an hour. We used socket wrench type things and cursed like real men. I think I even made up a few new swear words while not giving in to the plain fact that my father didn't teach me how to hook up a fucking barbecue. Oh he taught my brother all right. Sure, I think there was a bonding moment there when Ray was 12 and Dad taught him things like how to pick up girls, how to use electrical tape for everything and how to go three days without changing underwear, four if necessary. This is just stuff that guys know and girls don't and quite frankly I never would have thought I needed to know until this moment. I mean; men barbecue. Women make salad.

So there we are; three pathetic women, hungry and pissed that we are so sad. Finally I gave in and begged a neighbor to do it for us. Low and behold I now know that in order to hook up the gas barbecue you have to screw the screw thingy in COUNTER CLOCKWISE. Yea, because that should have been obvious.

Two days later I yelled at Dad from 250,000 miles away. "I want to know ALL the things that you taught Raymond, Dad! I want to know what you held back from me while you were so busy teaching me how to be a girl"

Dad's cowering response, lilted with a giggle "What's the password

03 February, 2006

Resurrecting my Oma in my feet

Last night I looked down at my feet and thought "Huh, hi Oma." This only because my feet had swollen into melony-grapefruit sized pudgy, Oompa Lumpa feet because the New Zealand sun spanked my ass on Sunday and gave me one hell of a burn. And my feet; well at this point they look EXACTLY like my grandmother's feet from a distant far off memory when I was five.

It is odd and strange and nostalgically wonderful and really sad as in a "I am never getting a date with a cute man ever again in my life" way as well.

My memories of my Oma sometimes make me cry. I miss that Oma so much.

The Oma that would stand with her hands on her hips, her palms folded to the back and look at you with that look that could make you do just about anything she said to do. Getting this Oma mad and breaking the rules was never a smart thing to do.

The Oma that gave wonderful and powerful and protective hugs so deep and hard that when you pressed your face into her neck you felt like there was no other place in the world that you would rather be.

The Oma that patiently taught me how to crochet a little shirt for my bear and when I was done made such a big deal out of my little accomplishment that I thought for ten seconds that I really was the greatest kid in the whole world.

The Oma that always followed up accomplishments and good behavior with cherry pie or anglefood cake with fresh strawberries and coffee. And I was ALWAYS served my own portion of coffee. This made my good dead TOTALLY worth it.

The Oma that trusted us to get the mail in the morning, put the garbage out at night, sit in Opa's study quietly, run around at the park, sit in the front seat and behave and eat a meal in a restaurant with good manners. I think that is one of the memories that I cherish the most. No matter what, she always excepted that she could trust us and therefore we never wanted to let her down.

And of course I did let her down when I was nineteen. Or perhaps she let me down too. I don't really remember or know how it had culminated and spiraled out of control until we no longer liked each other. Perhaps it was the expectation that our worlds and therefore our role within our relationship would always be the same. Somehow, I don't think that my Oma ever expected me to have an opinion. Which I find funny, because I was one hell of an opinionated kid. And when I did have a grown up opinion, somehow I think that I expected her to be open to it and respect it. Which she wasn't.

Over the years I have thought about picking up the phone to make the attempt to have a conversation with her. But I have also seen what other's have gone through in trying to patch up their relationships with my Oma. She is one hell of a stubborn women and is not so good at the giving of the second chances. So I never tried. I have always been afraid that the sharp tongue that will meet the other end of my apology would be far more than I can handle.

I have preferred to have an Oma in my memories instead. I know for a fact that she will never meet me halfway. I know that she will never hear anything that I have to say. And so I live with an Oma everyday in my own way. Like, looking down at my swollen feet and thinking "Huh, so I have a bit of her in me afterall.".

02 February, 2006

The 100 things you should know about me list.....Revised

I don’t have any regrets. I have a few “I wish I hadn’ts”, but no regrets.

I have thoroughly weeded through the “I wish I hadn’t” list and learned a great deal from not listening to my instincts and being to frightened of actually being right about my own future. I no longer make that mistake.

I will agree to disagree.

A Separate Peace by John Knowles has been my favorite book since high school.

Not kissing anyone is better than kissing a bad kisser. Bad kisser's can break your heart too.

I am currently reading work by Friedrich Nietzsche. I am not so fascinated by his writing, but more that I need to see what the big fucking deal is about.

I have a crush on a man. A big crush. When I meet him face to face, I may just stop breathing.

I don’t think I am any more of a pain in the ass then the next girl, but I am willing to explore a more realistic view.

My I.Q. is 145. It is not that I am bragging; it’s just that I took that stupid test and the fact that my I.Q. is 145 has never gotten me anything, nor has it ever landed me a promotion. So, at the very least I should be able to write that fact down on my blog.

I would love to pray in a Buddhist Temple in South East Asia. If G-d is to be found somewhere in this world, I have a funny feeling that he would be there before spending time in the local shopping mall.

I would love to adopt a child.

I love listening to other people curse.

I love lying in bed early on a Sunday morning listening to the rain.

By nature, I am a night person.

I laugh out loud, especially at myself.

I am never lonely.

I have been keeping a journal of sorts since I was in middle school.

I would love to travel the world.

Growing up I thought that being Japanese with long, silky blond hair would be cool.

The best day of my life hasn’t happened yet. And if it ever does, what will I have to look forward to?

The worst day of my life, I lived through and successfully put behind me.

My family comes from Germany, Italy and Greece.

I am a first generation American. I don’t really understand what ‘American as Apple Pie’ means.

I love the fact that I grew up eating deli for breakfast.

I look Mediterranean and it is something that I am finally starting to enjoy.

I love cheesy British, New Zealand and Australian Television Shows.

I can not stand Fettuccine Alfredo.

I am horrible at remembering names, but I never forget a face.

I have amazing night vision.

I would love to own a dog, a cat and a horse.

I want to run the NYC marathon.

I was kicked out of Brownies when I was in second grade.

I will never cut my hair off.

I adore my brother. Much more so than he will ever realize.

I am currently working on a novel.

My nephews call me Auntie.

I would like to learn how to scuba dive … well

My Mother and I are good friends. She is amazing, brilliant and so funny. I am pretty sure she is my hero. She has lived her life with such self respect, such an amazing amount of assurance in who she is. I envy her that.

My favorite place in the world is the beach in the rain.

I am very realistic about my world views and a die-hard romantic about my love life.

I finally have the guts to admit that I am not perfect, that I will never be perfect, that no matter how much I try to aim for perfect I will always let myself down.

I take learning from my failures very seriously.

I love to rock climb and hike.

My favorite colors are the blues that you find in the ocean.

But for some reason most of my clothes are black, gray and white.

I truly believe that most people lie all the time. I don’t have trust issues, I have liar issues.

I have many different religions. I love them all. They are beautiful in their creation; it is usually their execution by man that sucks.

If I fall in love, I tend to be too kind and far too understanding. I have been asking the Universe to send people who will not take advantage of this trait. So far the Universe has been having some fun with me.

Every once in a while I love to crank some good old ACDC, Boston, Journey and Foreigner and play air drums.

I can’t stand reality television. What is so real about it? I want the next TV Reality show to follow the Mom in the projects who has three babies to feed and has to make the agonizing decision on weather or not to go off welfare. If she goes off welfare and takes the minimum wage job, she won’t make enough money for day care and then who will take care of the kids. Now THAT is Reality TV.

I wonder, in 100 years what those generations will think of the horrible things that we did to our bodies in order to attain beauty?

I love Britney Spears. Don’t love her music and she can’t sing, but people like her make the celebrity phenomenon thing in the USA so much more interesting.

I had 27 part time jobs before my career started when I was 20.

I can wait tables like nobody’s business!

Personal favorite: Roller coasters.

Pet Peeve: The non-use of blinkers when driving in front of me, especially when you have the audacity to cut me off.

I loved my second grade teacher. She played the guitar and let me finger paint.

Two ways to tell if I like a guy. 1) I say nothing and hope to God he gets the guts to speak with me and 2) Make a fool of myself while words are incoherently coming out of my mouth and I babble like an ass.

I didn’t stop eating meat because I was being political about it. I stopped eating it because I just don’t like it. Although, I now eats the sushi. We loves the sushi.

It’s stupid, I know, but I get pissed off at the internet when my server is slow.

I have decided to throw my self full force, face first into learning to speak German like a real German. This may never be a boost for my career, but at least it will make my mother happy.

I never intended on becoming a Systems Engineer. In fact my intention was to become an Artist. A writer, a singer, an actor, a painter, a photographer. These are my passions. And when you met me, you will know within 10 minutes that this is what I should have done for a living.

I didn’t become an actor or an artist early on in my life because I was scared to DEATH.

I harbor a secret fantasy. That perhaps one I may just toss my hat in the acting ring. I just may. Only because I can feel it in the pit of my stomach.

I never go anywhere without; sunglasses, iPod, cash, cherry flavored Labello, the most recent book that I am reading and my camera. Reading this sentence just makes me feel like a spoiled bitch. God, you would think that I would never go anywhere without making a donation to a starving child somewhere and instead I am running around with a camera. Makes you stop and observe the world differently.

I could care less about labels and clothes and who’s who and what’s what. But I must admit that I love my iPod and I never go anywhere without it. So does this make me label conscience?

I trip over the cracks in the sidewalk.

I sneeze loudly.

I will always tell someone when they have food in their teeth. I figure it’s better to know as soon as possible.

I am not naive, but because I am open minded people think that I am.

I am very good at verbal bat mitten.

I am a picky eater.

I could give a shit about restaurants.

Favorite city: Berlin, Germany.

I love rock concerts and live music.

I will always think I am fat no matter how thin I am. And it will always hurt.

I enjoy being a woman. I never want to wear the pants in the relationship. This does not mean that I am not progressive in my ideas. It just means that men and women are different and I really like my part.

Biggest turn on: the way you smell and the shape of your hands.

Biggest turn off: narcissism.

I love the smell of; airports, Florida, Brooks Brother’s cologne, wrapping paper, rain, cut grass, a fresh clean shave, towels from the dryer, my bed in the morning, a musty barn, burning leaves in the fall.

Skydiving is still the most amazing rush of adrenaline I have ever had in my life and my brain is still frapped from it!

Didn’t love bungee jumping.

I sing commercial jingles. You would HATE food shopping with me.

I rock at gin rummy and batgamon and can play for hours.

I feel disillusioned by the American Dream. I feel like it has all been one big fat ploy on the part of the few to lie to the masses and make those few more money all the while the masses have higher debt.

I am still looking for an answer to “Why do all the homes in Bergen County cost more than $700,000? Even the little fucking cape cods cost $700,000! Is EVERYONE in Bergen County a FUCKING DOCTOR?”

If you snort beer out your nose while laughing, I may just laugh at you even if I don’t know you.

I am floored by people who constantly complain about the same thing and then don’t even TRY to change it.

I hate bugs in the house, they freak me out.

My biggest fears in life: Becoming lost for so long that I can not find my way out.

My father just may be my most favorite person in the world to: hug, tell jokes with, make fun of my Mother with, watch TV with, scream with and eat breakfast with.

I love flying. And I love airports. And I love traveling. I however am older and wiser. It is no longer an innocent trip abroad; there is conscious thinking there now. There is a holding of my breath.

I want to love so long and hard and honestly until I bleed and it hurts and I can not tear myself away from that person. Hasn’t happened yet.

I like wine and beer equally, just depends on the venue.

Don’t micro-manage me.

When I have anxiety attacks, I make lists. They make me feel better.

I am not okay with being single. I tell myself that I am. I tell everyone around me that I am. I really do want passion.

I am NOT willing to settle in order to NOT be single. I would rather live without the passion and keep my soul.

I am currently having issues with self-esteem.

I do get jealous. But not in a bad way. In an inspired way.

I am not like any girl you have ever met. I will drive you crazy, make you think, cause you to open your eyes, invite adventure, ask you to dare and push you to your limits.

01 February, 2006

This is gonna be about the stupidest thing that I have EVER done.

I am about to let my friends and family have access to my web blog. Yes, I know that this opens up a whole host of opportunities for those in my life to really have access to the thoughts in my life, a prospect that I find frightening.

And yes, I have not updated as well as of late; but I have been lurking and editing. And you will probably see that I have deleted a good many posts. Not that I believe in editing content mind you. I do however believe in sparing people's feelings. So a few of the posts were deleted because their content was either political or involved a personal opinion or a feeling or moment in my life that I quite frankly would rather not be so open and honest about. Funny, I can share all of my feelings under the guise of being anonymous, but when faced with the prospect of those who know me best REALLY knowing me best, I get scared and run for the hills. Perhaps I will consider a gradual invasion of my thoughts and rants slowly.... Very slowly.

And I have missed posting terribly. It has come down to the fact that I am either going to post and write about all of this crap called 'my life' here, or I am going to email. I can't do both. I don't have time. I would have no life to write about if I didn't get away from the computer, so I have to pick one. And until I pick one I will end up doing nothing.

I have a few posts that I also very much need to catch up on. You have missed my South Island 10 journey and the glacier that I hiked, my trip to Wellington, and now my trip to the Coromandels.... and well a whole host of observations, rules to break, dating exposes, friends, and all around killing myself to keep up with a daily routine of getting my fat ass back in the gym. See! Don't you feel that this is important crap to write about?

That was rhetorical, don't answer.