Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks Giving...In Drag

Yo! So it’s been awhile since the last update and if anybody is still reading this here it goes! I guess I'll just start with the jist of what’s going on. Jay is back again working at the now newly opened Cafe Cortado. He is pretty pumped about that except for the fact that he now works like a dog, often doing ten hour shifts. Curt is also doing very well as he has had some trials, at the Cafe as well, and it seems he will be offered a job there soon. Good stuff, now we’re all pretty much employed.

Things are going well for me at compass charters. I get to work outside on the sound most of the time, and am learned to deal with my boss Arron. He's actually not that bad of a guy, he really likes me, he is just hard to work with. I am pretty sure he sees me as a younger version of him because he used to travel the world when he was younger. I on the other hand fail to see the similarities other than that. The other people I work with are pretty awesome and they keep me sane. Shirley is the sweetest woman ever. She basically acts like mom. She brings me fresh eggs every week, makes me kick ass sandwiches and makes sure that I eat my veggies. She has also offered to take us out on the sounds in her family yacht, a pretty sweet deal for three dudes that couldn't afford to get out on the sounds any other way. Jeff, the handy man, is also very cool. He never lets anything get to him, and makes work easier to deal with.

Ahh it’s been awhile! Three weekends ago we climbed Mt. Stokes, which is the highest mountain in the sounds. We didn't really know what we were getting into, but we wanted to do something wild after feeling like bums after a big night out. Well it ended up that the hike, which is only about 100k, took three hours to get to. The road was so contorted, like seriously unbelievable. We were all getting motion sick, and at most times the lane wasn't bigger than a bike lane, but we got there. It was a rough trek up, and instead of using the time tested method of cutting switch backs into the trail, there were none, we slogged straight up the mountain while going slightly insane. But the reward was great, with seriously serine views of the sound. It’s hard to imagine the labyrinth of bays and valleys that the sounds are without seeing it from an arial view.

I started surfing again last week (thanks mom!) in a magical place called Robin Hood Bay! The first day out was pretty interesting. There were spitting over head barrels just firing down the line with 30 mile an hour offshore. It was probably some of the most insane conditions I've been out in with the winds. When you were taking a wave it was like being shot in the face with a fire hose with the blow back. I have gone out a few more times since then in waist to belly high waves and totally flobbergobbined the jim john! It’s actually pretty cool. One of the bartenders at Seamus, Scotty, also surfs and he called to go with him on a session on Friday. Scotty is a seriously cool dude, he’s a professional artist, and also a well known bahrain player (Irish drum). He also was once a professional tree climber, and now teaches ceramic classes. Kinda a jack of all trades I guess, but it was really cool to be surfing with a mate again.

Last weekend I found myself in kind of a weird situation, as both jay and curt were working to get the Cafe ready to open so I had some alone time to adventure myself. I decided to go to two beaches south of Bleinham, Ward and Marfield. Ward was a geological surprise! On the beach were these big rocky bulbous mounds that happened to be petrified remains of ancient reef building sponges. It was seriously inspiring, and it reminded me that my geological journey actually began here in New Zealand. I am excited to do something with it sometime in my life...we will see when!

This weekend so far has also been quite the undertaking. With Jay working, Curt and I decided to hit the road and head to Nelson. And let me tell you what a day it was! We visited Nelson the most livable slash trendy city in New Zealand, we meandered our way up to Abel Tasman NP, stopped to take a dip, picked up hitch hikers, claimed an island, went on a hike and ate at burger king...twice!

I just sorta realized that I was blabbing a bit too much and now have a monster blog. Sorry about that. Nothing much more to add. We are looking very forward to Thanks Giving on Thursday. I made sure to get the day off and we will feast, drink and be merry...but not to hairy! Ha! We are inviting the friends we have made to come as well, so hopefully we won't be dining alone but we will have to see. It's kinda sad not being able to share this holiday with the people we love, but we are going to do our best to remember what it’s all about.

Other than that, life is slow. It’s really nice living in a town with a population of 1000. People know us around town as the American boys, everybody says hello to us when we enter bars, it’s just an overall just a very refreshing change of pace. Jay and I have played a few open mic nights around town, although I have to say Jay steals the show I just do the best I can to compliment him on the ole mandolin.

Alright, thats enough. Much love everybody.

Haha so I since I didn’t get to post this a week ago, when I wrote it I’ll add a little update. I got to go out on the sounds with Arron my boss on Wednesday. It was so sweet, the water was glass for most of the morning. It is a very different perspective being on the water. Oh yeah, and since Arron wasn’t paying us for it, we didn’t help him do any work! It was a treat to watch him scrape algae and mussels.

Thanks giving came and gone, and I’m not gonna lie, we kick ass at thanksgiving. We did our best and prepared great food, while dressed in drag. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

A glorious set of petrified sponges

A lonesome stroll on ward beach

T-day with the fam

Nothing too exciting, just a normal thanks giving

Before the madness

The best car ever

We just started to realize some of our habits may be out of control. But we have learned valuable engineering skills from it!

Sunset from our backyard


Dominating the summit of Mt. Stokes


Erotic Hippie Sculpture Fest

Abel Tasmen

Walking back from our island

Teeny Wave

Claiming island for america

The two most akward french people that we just happened to pick up

Friday, November 13, 2009

Buzz Aldrin Hates the Moon

Had some time here a just a few for the road off my camera. Real post WITH pictures coming soon!

Small sheep got stuck outside the fence, we failed to shepard it back in.

Jay and curtiepie looking epic atop Mt. Stokes

Mt. Stokes the highest mountain in the sounds


The snout

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

We are not chefs, just boys

Well I can't really believe its November, it came so much sooner than we thought. Its slightly weird that a month filled with cold, falling leaves (have they fallen) and thanksgiving is a sunny paradise here. I'm not really sure where we left off on the blog, so we'll start from last weekend. Curt is here and is fitting into the Picton lifestyle marvelously. Jay was working last weekend so I showed him the sites around the area. We had a delightful time together that included the discovery of Monkey Bay, which is a little wave cut bay that is a climbers playground. Seriously it has everything, caves, overhang and slab with no need for a crash pad because of the sand below. Pretty sweet.

Oh yeah very important! There are waves in Robin Hood Bay! This is one of two surf spots that we can get to without driving over an hour south, needless to say were pretty pumped to see some waist high splooger bombs. Although it is close, it is not easy to get to. You have to drive 10k on mountainous gravel road that pushes the chitlin to the max. For real, if you don't drive maniacally fast to get some air into the engine, the car over heats, and the 20k ride ends up taking you two hours. But that said, it keeps the bay very desolate, which is already is picturesque as is, with turquoise water wrapped in lush hills. Hopefully we will get a chance to surf it this week. I picked up a board in Kaikora on Sunday, and although its hard to justify spending a large portion of my net wealth on something that really has no practical application, nothing makes me physically happier than surfing. The board is also very me, it is a 6' 0" twinner retrofish, with a slightly ridiculous paint job. Can't wait to shed the gnar!

Actually, on the way back from Kaikora, two pretty incredible things happened. The first being witness to one of natures most bazaar events(well, we think its bazaar). We stopped off on the 1 to do a little hike to a waterfall, probably about a half mile in through the woods. We got there, the waterfall was spectacular, but we were more surprised by the presence of seals. In the middle of the rocky woods, a half mile from shore, the not so graceful seal had made the trek to play in the waterfall. There were actually more seals here in the woods, than at the seal colony we visited a few hours prior It was very fitting seeing that Jay was joking about mountain seals all day, but it was seriously an amazing event. Planet Earth would totally do a special on it.
Also on the way home, but not as spectacular, we visited one of our future surf spots. It’s a 500m point break, that is back dropped by snowcapped mountains. I really can’t imagine the mountains being any closer, it’s a unique place.

At home we are planting a garden, spearheaded by Mr. Romanchucks weeding. We are gonna try to grow the basics, beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers and basil. We already have some basil growing, so hopefully the others will come along nicely as well. We are also looking into getting some chickens, as they make delightful household pets! But really, we found a coup in the backyard and with a little work we could have a miniature farm in our backyard, very organic.
So the Chitlin unfortunately hasn't been fairing to well. It sounds like shes about to take a mechanical dump, kinda like Sean's Astro van before it died. But being the keen mechanics we are, we decided to get the oil changed...try to do it ourselves. Things got off to a quick start. It took more than 20 minutes for three of us to find the fucking dipstick. But once located, we found that the car was critically low on oil. And although we never technically changed the oil, because we couldn't get the damn oil plug out, we did add oil, and now she runs and sounds 10 times better. Raging success!

So yeah, I guess it seems we are really settling in here. At night we usually have some NZ brew and play music, and we work during the day. I hate my boss, hes a dick but thats ok. It’s starting to get really nice out, which I hear is the opposite of what is happening at home. I can't really think of anything else to write right now, but its probably a bit long as it is.

I miss all of you alot. Keep in touch amigos! I'll throw on the pictures tomorrow the library is closing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pie Overloard Sector Six

Howdy and hello. Hmm since the last little post a little bit has happened. Last weekend Jay and I took a lovely little trip to Kaikora, which is about 150k south of Picton on the glorious coastal highway. We really wanted to check out this area because we heard there was an abundance of marine life and surf. It was kinda a craptastic day, which we are kinda figuring out is common in the springtime here, but we departed anyways. On the way down we stopped in Ward to fuel up and get a meat pie. For those who don't know what a meat pie is, it is a little pastry filled with meat and cheese that is taking over our lives. They are amazing, we probably eat on average of 15 each a week. Its incredible they don't have them in the states. Further down on the coastal approaching two we were starting to pass some of the surf breaks including a 500m point break. Even in garbagy sloppy blown out conditions, it was producing a nice little, forever peeling, waist high wave. Pretty promising stuff.

We got to Kaikora, which is basically a peninsula jutting out into the sea (uplifted wave cut terrace if you wanna get technical), and headed towards the furthest point where we were greeted by seals. We did a little hike, which ended up going through a gull colony and more seals. Seals are really cool and adorable and such, but on the way back there was a lone seal on the track, that was getting kinda aggressive with us, so he had to climb as far up the cliff as we could to keep from getting mauled by a seal.

But yeah, it was a really refreshing to get out and travelling a bit again, we felt somewhat stagnet. The hike was great even though it was cold and windy, and we got the dibs on the local surf spots. Apparently the little bay thats only 20k from Picton called Robin Hood Bay, does get some pretty good surf, and were stoked about that.

On Monday nights we have made it a tradition to go to Shamus Pub, which is a little Irish Bar at the wharf in Picton. Its seriously freakin awesome, they have a irish fiddle jam session, and people show up all night with their instruments and join in. Last monday, I got to play a mandolin for a brief period of time and a shaker that somebody through to me across the bar. Sweet. There are also a variety of characters that frequent the pub. Probably our favorite is Jim. Jim is about 80 years in age, wears a handkerchief around his neck and looks like he is searching for gold. He is great, as a former surveyor, he loves talking to me about geology, as well as reading us poetry that his has written in his little black book of Jim thoughts.

Oh yeah big news! Curt has arrived safe and sound in Picton. We are very excited now to be a gang of three instead of a duo of two. Also with his arrival we can finally put finishing touches on our band. A few more band names have been thrown into the hat including Turd Johnsen and the Retards, as well as Single Steve and the Mixed Drinks. We are excited to make more music although we have been musically stagnant for the past week.

Work is going ok. My boss is kinda a condescending ass, but he really likes me and I’m starting to make some good money!

We have managed to create five paintings and paint them, below hopefully are some pictures of them that will shed light as to the meaning of our souls!

I miss you all, I have three days off this weekend so hopefully there will be some adventures to update soon. Much love.
Epic 1 (Sean coined this)

Epic 2


Art...and not the person haHA!

Epic 3


Sunday, October 11, 2009


Hello friends! It has been a little while since our last update and currently Jay and I have made great strides in becoming real people in NZ. We are currrently living in Picton and it looks like we probably will be for the next six months. I have have scored a job at a boat charter company called Compass Charters. Its a pretty sweet gig, I get to work on megayachts to which I will never be able to afford and get to work right on the water. I get a buck above minimum wage, which really isn't too bad at 13.50 an hour. Jay is starting a waitering job this week and the Corner Bistro, which also right on the water. Cool stuff, everybody wish him luck.

Hmm lets see...oh yeah, we have a house! Jay and I are renting a little bungalo thats only a 10 minute walk from town. It comes complete with shag carpet through out, and it looks like it was decorated by an older woman of sorts, maby even a grandmother! But me and jay are making it home, it has a really nice backyard and a sweet work shop and work area for projects. We have decided that we are going to decorate it with paintings that we paint, which might include such works of art as Dino Fighting Robot, which is my first piece I plan to create.

Life is good, I picked up a Mandolin to complement Jays guitar playing, and we have begun writing music again which is very refreshing. we hope to write and play some gigs soon, so Look for some neat tunes coming soon from the Rape House Family Band!

The Chitlin has been having a few problems, but nothing that can't be solved with a little love. She turned off the other day while I was driving to work which was neat, and then the same day the battery died, and we had to get a jump in the middle of a storm with gale force winds. Lets see, oh yeah and a big chunk fell off the inside of the car that came from under the steering column, hopefully that one can be fixed with duck tape!

We are really excited to be here, the town is seriously georgous, and we have good accesss to surf, hikes and bars. After living in a tent and a car for a month, it is really nice to have a place to go home to, and we get to shower and go to the bathroom indoors which is also a bonus!

In other news, I have decided to take it upon myself to build a kayak from wood, and am going to pick up supplies this week. I'm pretty sure this little project will push whatever crafting skills I have to the limit, but I guess I'll give it a shot> It would be really cool to get out onto the sounds and explore.

Anyways, I really miss everybody and home, and I am actually kinda bumbed that I am not going to get a fall which is my favorite season. I guess having two summers in a row isn't a bad compromise though! Keep in touch everybody, below are the long promised pictures with cheezy captions in really no particular order.
Oh yeah, I eat meat now.
What we do when there is gale force winds outside

Say no to duck rape

Ugly picture of picton

This is where we live!

Romantic walk in wellington

Twat a night!

Scrumptown USA


Church on the East Cape

The tsunami madness

Waiting for the tsunami slash relishing the view

This has happened more than once

Lyndle and Strat the radist musicians we have met on our trip so far

Top of the ridge with Mish and Ben

Yeah! We woke up to this!

Jasonian 5

The never ending pursuit of unhappiness trying to catch a fish

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Our tent got what was coming to it

Hello all! Sorry for the short update last time. I suppose I can elaborate a tid more. Last week/early this week we did one of the great walks around Lake Whaikaramoana. Besides being epically beautiful, i just really wanted to mention that we met some really great people on the trek. The first night we stayed in one of the huts on the tramp, which was basic but on top of the ridge overlooking the lake. Besides being with a hoard of cadets (boyscouts), we hung out with two kiwis Misha and Ben. These were two seriously rad dudes, who we ended up hiking with and sharing stories for the rest of the 5 day tramp. Misha is a PE teachers in a school bordering Auckland, and Ben is a radio journalist for Radio NZ. Besides being fun to hang out with they were extraordinarily generous.

As prepared as we were, we were definitely under prepared. We hitch hiked in to the trail head and were hoping to hitch hike out. We were hungry everyday and very cold. It was a good test run to know what not to do on some of the longer treks we want to do. Mish and Ben graciously agreed to drive an hour our of their way to come pick us up at the end of the trail, which seriously saved our butts as we were in the middle of no where. Not only that but they gave us a box of food that they had left from the tramp to take with us along our journey. We really can't thank them enough but hope that one day we will get to reciprocate their kindness and hang out with them again.

On our last night we also met a singer song writer couple from Australia, Lynda and Strat. Strat played the mandolin, and they shared songs with us as well as giving us mini mandolin lessons. Pretty cool. They were very nice and we hope to bump into them and play music with them again. The graciously offered there house to stay in if we were to ever visit Australia. The people we've met so far have been seriously great, it really makes your rethink how you treat others and want to be more welcome and open to people in general.

So yeah we are currently in Picton on the South Island. Its a very cool port town right off the Queen Charlotte sound. Its really gorgeous, think like Alaska or something, thats what it feels like to us. But yeah, we like it here and are trying to find jobs. I have an interview tomorrow at a boating charter company and Jay is getting alot of leads. It should work out. We have already checked out the surf spot, called Robin Hood bay, which would be where we would be surfing. Its super remote and tiny, and seriously stunning. I can't wait.

Unfortunately, our tent is not doing so hot. It got pretty destroyed last night in a windstorm, well its kinda shredded and the poles are bent and stuff. So yeah we are kinda homeless right now until we get this little fiasco sorted out, but we are living in the Chitlin which is really unbelieveibly great! Just a little more motivation to get jobs I guess. We've got to run the library is closing, but much love to all, pictures will be uploaded tomorrow and wish us luck...we need jobs!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Batman and Robin (A Love Story)

Alright, I figured I'd just start this off with the biggest news that has been on everybody's mind and put the rumors to rest. Yes, Jay and I are co-authoring a book titled Batman and Robin (A Love Story). It will be released in segments on this blog much like many of the great Authors of the past ( Dr. Seuss) released their master pieces in segments through periodicals.

Next biggest news. We survived the tsunami. Early yesterday morning Jay and I were cooking a breakfast of hardy proportions, when we noticed that there was a tsunami warning for New Zealand triggered by an earth quake off of Samoa. Since we were say about a foot above sea level in Naiper at the time, worry us it did! So after warning the camp host, we headed for higher land, well way higher, it was like a mountain in Lock Haven North over looking the Pacific. We'll the tsunami was supposed to come, and it did kinda. It ended up being less than a 40 cm high, so nobody could really see it from our vantage point.

Although the tsunami never really came, the bigger spectacle was how many people were on this cliff type thing with us. It was kinda like that scene in Independence day where all the people were on the roof of that building to great the aliens except not really because there were no signs welcoming the tsunami. But seriously, people left work, school, basically what ever they were doing to come and watch and be safe. Pretty cool stuff.

So since we last updated rounded the East Cape, stayed in Gisborne, went to the Scrumpy factory, did one of the Great Walks in New Zealand, met some great people, stayed in Naiper, laughed, sobbed and are now heading south toward Wellington where we booked ferry tickets for tonight, to go the South Island. We are truly excited to get down there, as neither Jay or I have been yet and we here there is work on the vineyards down there.

My time is running out the post is not finished yet so check back soon for more updates!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fish market folly

Hello all. Just a short update. We looked for jobs today as we heard there was work to be had in a fish factory nearby (yeah fish!). Unfortunatly it does not look like there is much in the way of seasonal jobs in the Bay of Plenty at the moment, so we are gonna head south towards the south island where we hear there is sheep shearing and vinyard work, or mabye a delightful combination of the two. We are going to go around the east cape near Gisbourne taking our time with the possibility of doing a trek on the way down. As promised, below are some pictures. Many go with the last blog!

Much love...

Sunset from our campsite in Whaiheke!

We hiked across the island and ended up at Onetangi beach

We harvested the freshest of cockle every morning

Peace flame in the Ostend market...we wanted to do the peace walk the next day...but you know, we had bigger fish to fry

Having a blast after hiking out of camp and waiting for the bus for two hours

Driving in the starship destroyer/chitlin

Kicking the chitlin


The little ones on the Mount

View from the Mount