Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Have You?

I saw this over at Lisa's Eudaemonia. The idea is to put in bold the stuff you've done. Easy enough:

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
(not sure what counts here)
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community (I'm not counting seeing them downtown shopping)
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant

44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (I'm not counting my nose)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

I see a few I still have to do there (I think I'll try sky diving this summer) and I few I have no interest in (buying a new car comes to mind), but that was fun!

How about you?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Holy Mothafunkin' ShiZAM

Stevie Wonder came through Christchurch last night.

All I can say, the man can COOK!

I shook my groove thing so hard pieces began to snap off.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Growing Up

And what will you do when you grow up? :-)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Fishnets For Vigoda

There you go, Wayne... Fishnets for Abe Vigoda!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Young Love

I love doing portrait tattoos, and these two were just the sweetest couple! I especially like how he got her to sign her name below her image...

(Oh, for those who don't know, I'm a weekend tattooist...)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Strange Days

My friend JoJo rarely touches money. His paycheck goes straight into his bank, and he uses his EFTPOS card (like an ATM card that works at the register) to take it back out again. When he wants to know his balance, or pay a bill, online auction, etc., he can bank from his cell phone.

The other day, we were out and he felt like a Coke. So he pulled out his cell, and it told him where the nearest machine was! Even weirder, he used his cell to PAY FOR THE DRINK!

Now, those so inclined can also use their cell phones to pay the parking meters downtown. How freaking weird is that?

I don't know. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I miss the days when money rustled in the hand. I open my wallet, I see I got some, or I don't. And when I leave the house, I make the decision-- while I'm still in my living room and not blinded by *must-have* items-- whether or not I'm going to spend any while I'm out.

When the supermarket starts letting JoJo pay with his phone, people like me will probably be put in camps for 'reorientation'....

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tall Poppies

Over on my other blog I did a post about accepting criticism. It got me thinking about some differences between my home and the land of my birth.

What happens when cirticism is part of the culture?

Kiwis fascinate me. This little island nation, its population roughly the size of a single major city, has produced some of the world's best artists, athletes, scientists and inventors. In a way, it reminds me of the first hundred years of my birth country, the United States.

Of course, life in Another Land has a certain, Through the Looking Glass quality: any time something starts to look familiar, culture shock waits, a sting in the tail.

In this case, it's how my two countries treat excellence.

I grew up in America. We were Masters of the Universe, proud citizens of a land that stretched from sea to shining sea, and we celebrated every single one of our many accomplishments. Sometimes, we celebrated things that weren't even accomplishments, exactly. In my memory, we were too busy waving our index fingers in the air and shouting "We're #1!" to care.

Kiwis are... different. They have a saying here, "It's the tall poppy gets cut down."

And it does. From the time they're little kids, New Zealanders grow up knowing that to stand out is to court the cruelty of their peers. Those who grow to be outstanding writers, painters, dancers, athletes, etc. present a very, *very* humble public face.

Sports stars don't dance in the end zone. They put the ball down and trot back to their team. They don't say a word about going to Disneyland but instead compliment the other team and thank their fellow players. I find this refreshing.

Of course, this has its dark side. A lot of NZ's best and brightest go overseas to live. The money's better, there's more talent to work with, and their neighbours won't call them 'full of themselves'.

And it can be hardest on the only-slightly-tall poppy: the person who lost a lot of weight, or built a successful business, or completed university later in life.

I'm sure family and friends are only reinforcing cultural values by preventing those folks' egos from raging out of control, but for someone who grew up in a more... celebratory culture, it looks an awful lot like sniping, small and petty and mean.

But what do I know? Ten years in, I remain a stranger in a strange land...