27 September 2008

In the Art Deco City...

Well, I have settled in to Napier for a couple of days, otherwise known as the Art Deco City because of it having to be rebuilt after an earthquake in the 30's. From what I saw last night, very nice, but hope to get some more sightseeing done today, then perhaps off tomorrow or here for another day. Have not decided yet, but that is one nice thing about all this. I really don't have to decide :) Hope everyone is having a great weekend and will have a great week.


24 September 2008

The Cape

I promised I would have something more substantial about my journey to Cape Reigna...

Sometimes there are poems you wish you never had to write. In the deepest part of my heart, I feel this is one of them. While necessary and a bit liberating, it still was tough, and I hope those that read this do understand. Regardless, I do think the piece puts some issues finally to rest, and given the light of recent events... it had to be done. Anyway, I hope I have done some justice to my heart and for the future in this regard. The rest, dear reader, is for you and the world to decide...

'The Cape'

Toward this end a world awaits,
Fading in vacant thoughts of quiet days.
Words dissolve in nascent twilight,
Within a heart that cannot stay.

From a tender hope a moment falls,
Into a realm devoid of waking dreams.
Longing drifts upon her silent tides,
Amidst a heart that might have been.

Her waters caress a distant end,
Beyond her shore this memory weeps.
Our words dissolve in fading twilight,
Beneath her shore this promise sleeps.


The Cape and Bay of Islands

I should have some more later regarding my visit to Cape Reigna, truly a visit to the end of the world, at least that is how it felt... empty and wonderful all at once, and really a perfect day for it. Some other thoughts and ideas crept in regarding the Cape and I still have not sorted it out. Later in the day, I stopped in Paihia and the Bay of Islands and have settled there for a couple of days. Quite amazing natural scenery and a really quaint town(s), though I hear it becomes rather touristy in the summer. In any event, just a quick update before I head off to Russell, which is one of the older settlements in NZ, and has something of a history as a hard-drinking whaling town.

'Til next time,

22 September 2008

Night's Dawn...

I am certainly not attempting to sound ominous in this entry, for the title has less to do with me but with the Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton. At 3600 pages, it is an epic read, and can be dizzying even for the most hardcore of hardcore sci-fi fans. Hamilton does an amazing job creating a breathing universe with excellent characters and characterizations. If he has one flaw, it might be his overtelling of the science, but I believe his background is in physics, so I am willing to give him some leeway there (as if I am giving advice to prolific sci-fi writers :) I also think the books are a bit more graphic sexually than most sci-fi novels, but most of the time, the sex serves an end. Regardless of what surrounds the novels, at their heart is a simple philosophical tale, at least to me. And I fully admit, what I find simplicity might drive others mad, so take that as you will.

The novel revolves around the dead coming back to life and possessing bodies through a quantum mishap, and the series of events spiral out of control until everyone from Al Capone to Fletcher Christian are taking over bodies. It sounds a little out there, but is excecuted quite well and really takes an interesting tack on the standard back from the dead stories... quantum zombies? Sort of... In the end, it all boils down to the nature of the soul and how humans (and other races) can deal with the end of their own existence, and the existence of the universe. I think that is why I really connect with this author and the novels. I sort of understand combating the nature of the soul. I can see the end of existence as well as the continuation thereof in what little glimpses I have been afforded, and what little I have been able to impart to others. The novels, while grand space opera, reach into something simpler, and that is also the essence of good storytelling as well.

In any event, reading the books again has made me ponder our attempts at existing and continuing to exist. We take a lot with us on our journeys, and we do not want to leave it all behind, though I think we must. Well, we can leave it all behind but one emotion, and I will refrain from the obvious in that regard. I think the trials and travails of this life bind us to an existence we may not want when we pass on, and maybe that is why so many of us keep returning lifetime after lifetime (or however you ascribe an afterlife :) Perhaps that is why I am so calm about that one thing at least. Sure, I have plenty of issues, but I think I can face the twilight of my existence with a calm acceptance... a serenity of a sort (thank you, master Yoda, lol) that can govern the remainder of this mortal life. Again, I could be full of it... but I can think of worse fates.


19 September 2008

Thoughts and Ruminations...

As I promised... this time a little more philosophical... so take it as you will :)

Being in Auckland reminds me of some of my time in Sydney back in 2004, though with certainly a fresher perspective, if not somewhat jaded from the experiences of the past few months. I admit to some trepidation in that regard, and I do try and ignore what I can as I can. Every so often, I feel it, and while it may not be fair, it is terribly human. These same emotions that cause me to remember, to drift now and then (more then than now these days, but...) are the same that I use in opening myself to the words... the same heart that beats in tune with the what Dante wrote 'L'amor che muove il sole e l'atre stelle.' (The Love that moves the sun and other stars). To discard such love might be a fate worse than death... I can only be true to my words, to my instinct, right or wrong, good or ill.

I think I have found people on my journey to be receptive to most conversation, including my weekend in California, and I still am warmed by such good discourse, though it has only been but a week. In the end, we all want to be heard, whether the talk runs from the lastest sporting news to lists of things to do before you die or to the very nature of the cosmos. It matters to someone... to you, to me, to them. Maybe it matters to what we cannot see, or hear, but can feel at the edge of self... not quite hidden, waiting to be revealed. All it takes is a willingness to understand each other, to look with another set of eyes, listen with an open heart. Admittedly, I have touched on this before, but concepts like these often bear repeating. They are seminal in understanding each other... keys to a future worth sharing. Or... I could be full of shit. But then most philosophers do that, shovel their own brand of shitand hope it smells better than the rest. I guess, at least, I am a little realistic... but not too much. If I weren't idealistic, I doubt I would have left the States.

Now, I am about to embark on another stage of the journey, driving the countryside of New Zealand for a little while. I will see where the days take me... who knows what they will bring? Not I, and I am ok with that :)


P.S. A little strange thought about the term hopeless romantic... which I am, and I have met a few in my life. I suspect the term must be a bit misleading. To be that type of romanitc implies more hope than the rest... it is inclusive of hope. Anyway, just an odd thought.

16 September 2008

The Zoo, MOTAT and IMAX

I promise, I will be a little more philosophical soon... had some interesting thoughts on the bus, so...

Well, I must say the past two days have been fun and I know I have not done a lot of things most might do, but I am not most people... something all of my reader might be thankful for... or not : ) Seriously, it seems discounts have been dropping into my lap from the day of my arrival and kept on hitting me... which is good. First, I get one free night and moved to a private room for a couple of days at my hostel due to a minor error. Then, a fellow American buys me a beer because he found out I was a Cowboy fan (while watching the game). Today, I get my student discount at the zoo and MOTAT (the Museum of Transport and Technology) with my ancient student ID. At that cost, the zoo was barely worth it (while pretty, a little small, though they do well with what they have) though MOTAT was great, especially the aircraft restoration hangar... awesome. Later, I decide to see what is playing at the movies and get told IMAX is discounted because Dark Knight has been playing too long. End result, I pay about 5 dollars US (less than a matinee for a normal film at home) and the combo meals are half off too... so a large drink, popcorn and ice cream for about 5 dollars... not bad, plus Dark Knight is amazing in IMAX... trust me on this :)

Well, tomorrow off to the Domain and Auckland Museum I think... hope things continue their run and hope all of you are doing well while waiting with baited breath about updated to my adventures :) (or lack thereof, lol)


In Auckland

Well, made here to Auckland safe and sound, though still a little tired and sore from the flight, even after some sleep. I did get to watch the Cowboys prevail at a local pub with some fellow Cowboy fans, so that was fun and relaxing, to say the least. Today, off to do some more sightseeing, and maybe an entry that might actually be more profound than me updating my status : ) Of course, I will do what I will, so to speak, and I am sure I will have an entry or two upcoming that is more than just me listing off what I did today, or the last couple of days... or something.

Anyway, take care all... another day awaits.


14 September 2008

In LA...

Well, visiting my sister this weekend before I leave. Actually, I leave tonight at 10:30 PST and get into Auckland at about 6:30 on the 16th (so about 12:30 pm CST on the 15th, for those of you at home :) I've had a wonderful visit, though I am most certainly ready to take my leave. Really, it has been a great way to start the trip and most auspicious, so nothing like a lot of good energy to take with me on a long voyage.

In any event, just a little update. Suffice to say, I am in good spirits regardless of everything, and am ready :)


10 September 2008

One Last Thing Before I Go...

Technically, I do not even leave the city until Friday morning, but I have to spend Thursday tidying up some issues regarding work and will not have good Internet access until I get to my sister's on Friday night. From there, I spend a couple of days with her in LA and I get on a plane Sunday night for a twelve hour sojourn that will put me in Auckland very early on the 16th, meaning I lose a day of my trip already. Such are the travails of crossing the international dateline. And while I will use the Internet on my trip, my main goal will be to use it to update anyone who wants to know if I am alive or have been mauled in a tragic sheep farm accident. I suspect the latter example might be a bit extreme, but one never knows... I hear sheep rule the country with an iron fist... or hoof, or something.

Some might feel it is convenient I am skipping town just as many of my friends are having to endure the brunt of a hurricane bearing down on them, most of you know I did not exactly use my crystal ball to foretell this scenario... hell, if I could see the future, well, probably best not to delve into such things. I understand many of you have a lot on your mind, and I suppose it is par for the course on my end. Regardless, I am leaving and while I might wish to quote 'LA Story' here and reference weather and life-changing and all that... such stories are for another time and for no one that wants to remember save this old fool, and then only peripherally.

Many of you might wonder why I am doing this. Others do not have to. Some may not care. Well, aside from concern, the only feelings in this that should matter are mine. To that end, I must apologize. If I am impractical, regardless of me going out and taking what I want, then so be it. If I am unsettled and unable to cope with certain things, then you truly do not know me. I have been practical, I have settled, and I do have coping mechanisms. Some of you knew me when I was married and mostly settled, others knew me as a wanderer abroad, and some met me later while I was still trying to regain what the world had stolen from me. I was willing to give and to settle once again, and gave until I could no more. And yet... it was not enough.

Therefore, I simply go because I must and because it is the right thing for me to do. It may not be right in the eyes of some, maybe even some wiser than I. All that is pointless. It is right for me... Do I have some regrets? A little... but no doubts this time. For me, the path is clear. I have no idea what awaits, but I am fine with the mystery. Story of my life anyways :)

In the end, you should all know I am not running, not even from myself. I am well past that... I am beyond so much I have difficulty explaining it. I have tried in previous installments and entries and I hope I can offer a glimmer of understanding for all of us, really. Maybe more of that understanding waits for me. Or, perhaps just a little peace... I know I have earned that at least.

So, for all our journeys, present and future, I offer an old Egyptian blessing: May God stand between you and harm in all the empty places where you must walk.


08 September 2008

Gonna miss this...

I finally made it in from Realms Con, and it was far better than expected, in a lot of ways. From the usual money point of view, we did pretty good, about 40 percent better than last year, but we had half the dealers and slightly more attendees. A good formula for success, I think. At first, I was a little skeptical (especially when the IkkiCon staff decided to crash in my room), but things turned out fine, especially when we settled on the costs of alcohol and how much we needed. In short, most of my staff/dealer/actor friends I have known over the years (and a few new ones) decided to throw a couple of parties and help send me off to NZ right. Of course, the parties happened to start in my room and strangely, both nights ended with a lot of excellent stir fry. In the end, I had a marvelous time and am going to miss them all... really, it's going to make leaving all the tougher.

But, they understand what I have to do... it's just time. So, all I can tell them is to expect me when you see me, more mysterious that way anyways :)

Now, to do a lot of packing.


01 September 2008

The Final Countdown...

Not that I am referring to the movie, though I did love it, and think it helped inspire many an alternate historian... simply the days are getting closer and time is starting to run out in a sense. I really started feeling it this weekend, saying goodbye to a few anime friends, though some of them will be at the last show I do before I leave, Realms Con in Corpus Christi. So, that will be fun I am sure. I suppose some of my friends did see the glint in my eye when I talked about it, how they know I could stay, or not stay, depending on how things work out. In the end, the choice will be mine and mine alone. While I appreciate advice and concerns, this is my show. I hope everyone I know can respect that at least. I know I have had some difficulty respecting myself in this matter... the only opinion that I should trust is mine. I have given a lot to many of my friends, to family, to those I have loved. I hope they can give me this solace in return. Time grows short... and I have yet another world to explore.