Sunday July 26, 2015
It's been 150 years since Wellington became the capital of New Zealand, and in celebration, there have been several events around town celebrating government and Parliament. Parliament House was lit up with several projected images, much like how the War Memorial was done for Anzac Day, and under the clear skies of Wellington, we listened to the Kiwi tunes of Dave Dobbyn - so poignant was the moment he sang Welcome Home. I absolutely love the imagery that this particular lyric holds:
There's a woman with her hands trembling - "Haere Mai"
And she sings with a mountain's memory - "Haere Mai"
There's a cloud the full length of these isles
Just playing chase with the sun
And it's black and it's white and it's wild
All the colours are one
Standing with the half moon and Southern Cross clearly visible in the sky, with hundreds of other Wellingtonians and New Zealanders on the lawn of Parliament - where we gave women the right to vote, where we stood strong against nuclear policies and where we recognised equality for same-sex marriages - it was hard not to tear up and be proud of the country. Though there are still issues that divide the country, it was good to celebrate what we have achieved and what we hope to achieve in the next 150 years.
I was with Loic, Tim, Mana and Mike, and after Dave had finished his set on stage, we sang Happy Birthday and then left the ground of Parliament, slightly disappointed at the lack of cake. We ended up at KFC because of Hot n Spicy, then Espressoholic for dessert, and then JJ Murphy's to meet up with Kiel, who had been drawing there. We saw Victoria there too, whose boyfriend was part of the live entertainment for the night.
Today has been pretty manic for me, I need to sort out my life due to a very short notice trip to the US! This project I'm on has been codenamed "Enchanted Fixer", from Nic's cryptonym generator. Can't say too much about what I'm working on, but it's an opportunity I can't pass up. It does mean I will miss the ski trip next week though, which is a bit sad, but with a stunning weather forecast of 25C to 35C and sunshine every day, I'm not too disappointed.
Wednesday July 15, 2015
The weekend turned out to be busier than usual; we had a big party at Mexico to celebrate the "end" of our project - though we haven't officially finished, we decided it was a good way to get the team together for some sangria, margaritas and fried chicken. We ended up at Goldings for a bit, then to Pineapples for the rest of the night.
On Saturday, there was badminton in the morning, and then I met Jono and Karlyn and others at Strawberry Fare. I tried their black doris plum pie - the only item on the menu I hadn't tried before. It was a warm, hearty pie on a cold winter's day, without being too sickly sweet or overly rich. Yum! We had walked by the waterfront to the TSB Arena and had a squizz at the bookfair, but I was tired so I went home and napped for a bit. That evening, I was at Joe's house playing board games and party games like Quiplash over Steam. I had music on Sunday at Central, then went for yum cha at Big Thumb, then back home for a quick nap before heading to Beth's new place out in Newtown.
The big news in the gaming industry at the moment is the tragic passing of Nintendo's President, Satoru Iwata. One of his best quotes is "On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer". You can see in his work the passion he had for creating entertainment. He was a huge contributor to the industry and he will be sorely missed.
Wednesday July 8, 2015
Winter is definitely here, with a sharp cold front hitting the country and plummeting the temperatures to 3.1C. Thanks to the wind chill, it currently feels like -4C. It was hailing a few moments ago, but now it seems to have quietened down, however the forecast remains grim for tomorrow and Friday. There is a small chance we could get some snow flurries in the CBD like in 2011, so hopefully that eventuates.
It's been ludicrously busy recently, with my project expected to submit a gold master candidate this Friday. I've felt like freaking out a couple of times because I've simply been overwhelmed by several things happening at once. Sometimes it's difficult to juggle the needs of people as well as the programming tasks assigned to me, but I think that my ability to stay calm and rational (or at least appear calm and rational) has improved over the years. I think the project is in an okay position, and we'll make our deadline, but it wasn't easy getting here.
Last month, there were a few birthday celebrations. We went to Gasworks in Miramar for Phil's birthday, where Mana and I had all you can eat ribs. Dale had his birthday at Matterhorn on Cuba St (which I've written a food blog entry about) and James had his birthday at his new place on Tory St. Lizzie had her birthday with some drinks at Goldings and karaoke at KZone, naturally. Rob had an "old man brunch" out in Elements at Lyall Bay last weekend, and it was so glorious and sunny that I was in shorts, in the middle of winter. I've been sightseeing with the guys too. We've been to the Brooklyn wind turbine, the Miramar gun emplacements at night, and the Wainuiomata Coast during the day. I tried the Flaming Dragon pizza from Hell Pizza, watched four workmates do a 1kg burrito challenge, had a massive pork hock from Grill Meats Beer and got some Moustache cookies delivered from Auckland. I also caught the Venus Jupiter conjunction, though not at their closest. It's amazing seeing the planets come together like that, two of the most prominent night sky features in clear view.
Last weekend was busy too. We went to Mishmosh to try out their food and see if it would be a worthy destination for Wellington on a Plate (not bad, would recommend!), then went to Fringe bar and sang Hakuna Matata at the public karaoke. On Saturday I went to two flatwarmings and watched the Hurricanes/Highlanders game. This weekend is going to be busy too, with the end of project celebration, a lunch at Strawberry Fare, and music at Central.