Thursday, February 24, 2005

Thawing Thursdays...

There seems to be a bit of a meteorological joke surrounding Thursdays! Over the last month or so, the weather has actually been quite pleasantly mild. Oftentimes, the temperature will climb to about 7 or 8 degrees during the day, and last week we even got to 17! :-)

So, on the whole, things are getting "warm" ... unless, of course, it's a THURSDAY.

I swear, for the last five Thursdays in a row, goddamit, it's SNOWED!!! It's as if a snow machine gets turned on just before midnight each Wednesday, and hey presto Thursday becomes a white wonderland again! It doesn't seem to matter that 24 hours beforehand everyone was wandering around in a T-shirt, and that 24 hours later it's magically balmy again?!

Of course, this Thursday phenomena happens to coincide with the ONE day a week I must brave the elements and stand at various bus-stops around town, at 7 in the morning!!! Grrrr....

Anyway, it's become the latest joke in the Courthouse office. Good old me stumbles into the room each week looking like the abominable snowman, and all my co-workers say: "Oh, it's snowing outside. It must be Thursday!" (NOT: "Oh, Katrina's here. It must be Thursday." hahahaha :-)

Fortunately one of the women in the office has taken pity on me and now drives by campus as she makes her way downtown. Unfortunately, Fridays don't work out so well for her to come by this way, and this week I am doing a double shift. :-(

So, I am just hoping like mad that the "Friday phenomena" kicks in soon(!) and that I can get by on the buses tomorrow in relative comfort. :-D

Saturday, February 19, 2005

My new toy!

I decided to treat myself to one of the new Apple iPod Shuffles that have just been released over here in the States. :-) I suspect that they will not have appeared in NZ yet, and for those of you who have no idea what the significance of this fantastic wee machine is(!) ... in essence, it stops me dying of boredom as I make the same old trek for the fourteen-hundredth time through campus buildings and construction sites, to and from my classes each day. :-D

Well, actually it has 1GB of memory storage space, which pretty much equates to 240 songs. There are a couple of different modes you can play the songs in, and the thing is so light and tiny I can't even feel it!

I can also use it as a memory stick though, saving files off my computer onto it. I have found this to be super handy because I don't particularly want to lug my laptop across campus all the time. Now all I do is copy whatever files I need for class onto my iPod, and plug the Shuffle into any one of the million computers waiting for me at College!

Since I am also such an exotic foreign creature over here (hahahaha) I have come up with another ingenious plan for putting my wee iPod Shuffle to work ... I loaded up all my pretty pictures of NZ onto it. This is truly fantastic, because now, whenever anyone asks me: "What does NZ really look like?" all I have to do is find the nearest computer to us right at that moment, and SHOW them! Genius. :-)

Oh, and this photo was taken inside my apartment room. As you can see, it is very, um, sparce ... and white ... and empty. But I did manage to capture one of the most important items in the apartment within the shot - that lovely boiler against the wall which works tirelessly day and night to keep me warm! :-D

Sunday, February 13, 2005

The Patriots prevail...

Ok, the Superbowl teams were the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. :-) The Patriots won ... again ... (for the third time in four years) but the Eagles definitely put up a brave fight, losing by the smallest of 3 point margins.

Anyway, I am having fun down at the Courthouse on Thursdays. Every time I step out of my office to walk down the hallway, I bump into a person decked out in a black-and-white striped pyjama suit and chains. :-) I always thought America dressed their jailbirds up like that for the movies, hahaha, but no, it's actually for real.

I have also noticed that they take a very 'practical' approach to the location of their prisons. Unlike in New Zealand, where we build them in paddocks out in the middle of nowhere, here, they figure that the best spot to build their local jail is slap bang in the middle of town! There IS a certain logic to it - as it requires very little transportation or logistical effort to get the defendant to their next court hearing across the road - but it IS a little unnerving sitting at the bus stop every Thursday, sandwiched between prisoners to the left of me and the Courthouse on the right!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Superbowl Sunday!

Today is "Superbowl Sunday" over here, which I guess you could think of in NZ as perhaps an absolutely gigantically mega version of an NPC final, or an insanely massive All Blacks test match!

... I can't even tell you the names of the teams playing yet (shame on me!) but I CAN tell you that it means there's lots of pizza and alcohol are being consumed at parties in homes all over the country. :-) Apparently, more food is consumed in America on Superbowl Sunday than any other day of the year besides Thanksgiving. And I would believe it, hahaha!

So, I am off now to see what all the fuss is about ... my first ever Superbowl party, hahahaha!

And by the end of it, I'll even be able to tell you the name of the teams. :-D

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Classes at UC Law!

I am into my third week of classes already, and they are GREAT! :-) The style is very different to what I am used to. Classes are way more interactive between the lecturer and the students, which brings the subject area being lectured on totally alive (in comparison to New Zealand's lecturing style as I know it).

And, for some strange reason, they are actually interested to hear about New Zealand's legal system! :-) So, since the style of teaching means we are always being asked to answer some or other question that has been posed, whenever I get stuck (and don't have a clue what the hell they are talking about!) I just go: "Well, the law on this area in New Zealand is..." and they love it!! Hahaha! :-D

Last week the College of Law gave me a surprise "welcome" by gifting me two fantastic American Constitutional Law textbooks! Someone from the media section of the university then interviewed me, and they are currently writing up a little story about my arrival here which will be published in their monthly journal. They also snapped this photo of me grinning with my books and standing underneath the impressively brass-embossed American Bill of Rights wallpiece. :-)