31 October 2005

Back at work

Most of this morning has been spent catching up with workmates and what their experience with the hurricane was. Although many have had their power restored, some haven't (including myself) and it actually shows. I made a fairly good effort to make it look like stuff was normal by shaving this morning and this has fooled people into thinking that I have power back. It is taking me a while to get any sort of intelligent thought back into my head though.

I've got drinkable water back now in the house but it looks like I'll be eating out for a while until power comes back. I must say though I don't mind not having electricity so much as I've been occupying myself with other things like playing guitar. The great plus with having electricity though is that I could edit and post pictures I've taken online, but in the interim you could always look at these pictures of destroyed major transmission lines from the Florida Power and Light website. Oh and it's not like I'm the only person who's taken pictures of Wilma's effects.

28 October 2005

In Orlando and out of south fla

I've just arrived in Orlando for a halloween festival and I must mention just how glad I am to be out of South Florida. Hurricane Wilma was the first real hurricane I've experienced. From watching amazingly stong winds blow down trees early Monday morning to living without electricity, phone or drinkable water until I left this afternoon, it is something I don't really want to experience again. The experience was worthwhile, yes, but that's enough thanks. One of the most dangerous things I've had to do is drive around without working traffic lights. The traffic lights weren't working not only because there was no electricity, but because in a lot of cases they just weren't there anymore. Trees everywhere were down. Powerlines were strewn across roads. The scenery changed so much that I drove past an entrance to a street because I didn't recognise it anymore - and of course a lot of the street signs had been blown down. There were massive lines for car fuel at the few pumping stations that were working (there was no power to pump the fuel so some stations had to get backup generators in). The only time I really bothered with a car was to visit friends and to find reception for and to charge my cell phone. All the other times I travelled about was on a mountain bike to pick up water or get cell phone service.

Forget all the rest of the hurricanes I've been through, they were nothing compared to Wilma's effects on South Florida. For the photo curious I have lots and lots of pictures but I don't have the tools to post any of them yet to my flickr account.

So now I'm looking forward to a hot shower, decent water, hot food, working traffic lights and no curfews... and hopefully when I return to Fort Lauderdale Sunday night I'll at least have some of those little conveniences back.


24 October 2005

Riding out the storm

Hopefully I'm able to hit "publish post" before the power goes out this time...

Wilma is nearly upon us (as in, the worst is yet to come) and not long ago I was woken by the howling winds outside my bedroom window. It's still pretty dark outside. I added another notch to my belt of experiences in the US, that of putting up hurricane shutters. I was able to convince my flatmate yesterday that this would be a good idea so we spent a few hours figuring out how the shutters got put up. That was a downright pain in the arse but we got the big windows on the bottom floor shuttered up as well as a top floor window that was pretty large.

This hurricane is also pretty interesting as it's the first strong hurricane that has come through these parts since I've completely moved to the US. So, my feelings about hurricanes are a little different this time. I'm not as excited about them this time around because I'm living in my own place (well, I rent) and I have my own car which I worry about.

I did get the opportunity to have a hurricane party with a couple of friends Saturday night. We had lots of good food and drank a few hurricanes. It was a fantastic night and I even learnt how to dance a bit of salsa and meringue as the host of the party was also a latin dance teacher.

Wow, it's getting really windy out there now. I can hear debris being blown about and when it was dark before you could see a massive flash of light as a transformer blew and the power cut out. The power always seems to come back on though.

This is the 6th time I've attempted to post this update due to power problems. I'm going to hit that "publish post" button quick smart as I think power around here ain't going to be on for much longer.

21 October 2005

Friday morning therapy

Ok, so I've just arrived at work and I'm feeling a little better this morning, but I think I need some music medicine to get the rest of the bad demons away. I'm going to see if this little concoction will work:

Writing to reach you - Travis (to match my mood)
Easy - Faith no more
I feel loved - Depeche Mode
Sweetness and light - Itchy and scratchy (classic track that one)
I still haven't found what I'm looking for - U2 (awesome, awesome song)
Last train to trancentral - KLF
Anything but you - Way out west (awesome dance track)
No leaf clover - Metallica
Hold your colour - Pendulum (wickedly awesome DnB from some Oz guys)
Feelings - Shy FX and T Power (nice DnB track)

Yeah, I reckon that'll do quite nicely.

20 October 2005

Florida Panthers, Hurricane Wilma and other stuff

I've just gotten back from another Panthers game, and this time they won! This doesn't happen that often when I go to watch a game. It seemed for a while there that I was not going to see a Florida team win in any of the baseball, basketball, college football or ice hockey games that I went to watch. One thing I was hoping to see was a bit of fighting action. Call it the neanderthal in me but there is a saying that goes: "I went to watch a fight and a hockey game broke out" - and a bit of a fist fight always adds a bit more to the game. Yes, how primitive of me. However I must let it be known that I do not enjoy watching boxing. Not in the slightest.

Onto other stuff, hurricane Wilma apparently has its sights set on Florida. There is a lot of talk around work about this one. Maybe Wilma won't amount to much but I can say this: I really hate the name Wilma. Anyone who names their child Wilma should get some therapy in my honest opinion. I can't take a hurricane with the name Wilma seriously. I'm really getting sick of the whole hurricane thing as well.

The whole blog thing. Originally this blog was created to update people back home with my journey to the US. This journey was only supposed to last 3 months but it of course ended up lasting a lot longer and now here I am living in the US. Newsflash: That was my original intent. At some points I really wanted this blog to be a venting spot for things that frustrated me. Relationship oriented. Work oriented. *whatever* oriented. But I have a fair idea of who reads this so I don't feel compelled to write down everything I want to because at the end of the day I'm a pretty secretive person and I really don't want people to know me that well. Maybe I want to keep up some sort of illusion that there really is more to me than it seems.

But you know, that's where music helps out because right now I'm going to go play the piano and then play the guitar and then perhaps I'll sing a song about an ex-girlfriend from a couple of years ago who really screwed me around. I've got like heaps of other songs in various stages of being completed at the moment. I just need more skills to get them to a point where I can say "I'm happy with that". The thing is, they range from classical to house and I don't really know how to finish them. Yet.

Now that I've been writing a while I feel compelled to hit "Save as draft" or maybe even just close the page to delete this whole post. But you know what? I'm just going to hit "Publish post" and let the chips fall where they may.

Whatever and ever, amen.

PK is still in da house

It's 12:20am, I'm in a writing mood. I actually went to see Santos Renuentes play at a place called Hoy Como Ayer in Miami. The section of Miami this place was located in is known as "Little Havana" and it lived up to its name as I was surrounded by Cubans and the place had a very Cuban-like atmosphere (well, that I could imagine anyway. I haven't actually been to Cuba yet). But hey, the DVDs they were playing before Santos Renuentes began sounded a lot like Buena Vista Social Club. Santos Renuentes were good again of course. So I won't elaborate any more on that.

I did get a bit tipsy at the start of the night before Santos Renuentes came on. They were supposed to start at 8:30pm sharp - that's exactly what the flyer said. I got there 8:30pm sharp, got let in at 8:45pm and then they didn't actually start until 9:30pm. I had to fill in the time with a couple of beers of course... on an empty stomach. Hello PK!

Anyway, Omar the bassist asked me to send a message to his girlfriend who could not make it to the gig. So I wrote this:

"¡Hola! ¿Como estas? Anyway, it's PK here. Not Kristian. Kristian left the building a couple of drinks ago. Truth be known, I ordered a presidente but they gave me two. Maybe they heard me say "duo presidente". They couldn't understand the accent or something. Hope your study is going well and all. Damn, Cubans have no concept of time. 830 sharp my arse."

But, it makes me a little sad. People actually prefer to see and talk to PK than Kristian. PK is more fun apparently. Whatever.

DISCLAIMER: I really don't have a split personality or anything else like that. I just use the alcohol as an excuse so I can act like I really want to without people raising their eyebrows *too* much. Really, it's true! :-p

13 October 2005

Coldplay in Adelaide?

Nah, just messing with ya. I think it unlikely that Coldplay would visit the fine city of Adelaide for one of their tours in the near future. I thought there was hope though when I received a Coldplay newsletter stating more shows in Australia, only to find that they were scheduling more shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.


At any rate, I'm not in Adelaide and I got to see Coldplay a month ago. They were pretty damn awesome of course and I don't know why I didn't mention that fact on my blog. Perhaps I did... I dunno. Here are some shoddy pictures from the concert taken with my phone camera:

and would you like to see a picture of a wankerchop? Here is one:

Pre-coldplay (during the Rilo Kiley set) this guy was more interested in playing a game on his phone than talking to his girlfriend. I award the "tosspot of the month" award to the wankerchop above.

09 October 2005

Congratulations Steven and Carrie!

My long, long, long time friend Steve W called me from Australia just before I was due to leave for New York to inform me that he was now engaged to Carrie. This didn't come as a shock to me at all of course. But heck, it does make me smile a bit when I think back a few years to a particular pub crawl... Steve did you really know what you were getting yourself into? Haha! I kid, I kid :-)

Again, congratulations!

Updated photo sets

I've been going along and updating photos in various photo sets, mainly because I've visited those places more than once and I've been hauling my trusty DSLR along with me. Sets that have been updated are:

Around Florida

The Keys
The Everglades

Oh, quick point about the Everglades, I noticed this story a couple of days ago about a python taking on an alligator. Wow.

Sailing boat along Key West waterfront
Originally uploaded by daecks.

Performer in Key West
Originally uploaded by daecks.

New York City roundup

All I can say about New York City is "wow". What a city. I found myself not wanting to return back to Florida after spending time in NYC. Here is a quick summary of what was accomplished:

- Helicopter flight around Manhattan
- Boat cruise around statue of Liberty
- Saw an off-broadway production "Slava's snowshow"
- Saw a lot of of the districts in Manhattan - Soho, Meatpacking district (nightclubs are big there), Harlem, Times Square, Chinatown, Financial district... the list goes on and on
- Walked across Brooklyn bridge
- Saw comedy acts at Dangerfield's club
- Jazz at a place called "Smalls"
- A funky salsa-like band at a place called "Cafe Wha"
- Museums including the Intrepid, Guggenheim and museum of modern design.
- Walked though Central Park
- Went up the Empire state building
- Tour through NBC studios
- Whilst travelling on the subway, saw the following: some guys doing flips in the middle of the car; some mexicans playing some mariachi-like music; a guy with a bass guitar playing "my girl"; a preacher woman telling us all to repent.

I did not in fact get to see any of the shows like Dave Letterman, the Daily Show nor in fact did we get our mugs on the Today show (that turned out to be way too early in the morning). The shows actually required a little more planning to see. There is always next time I guess, and there definitely will be a next time. Hopefully for an even longer time :-)

Photos have been uploaded here