Posts Tagged With: blog

The long drive, Hobbiton, and NaNoWriMo

Hola amigos!

Yes, once again it’s been a while since a blog post. This time, I lay the blame on NaNoWriMo – or, as it’s known to n00bs, Nation Novel Writing Month. I’ll get to that in a minute.

So, since last time, we decided to drive from Auckland to Christchurch for some reason – about fifteen hours.

On our way, we accidentally stumbled into Middle Earth somehow. We took two hours and explored Hobbiton, then got a drink at the Green Dragon Pub. Here are a few photos:

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(Check out the full album here.)

After that we continued our long drive (long, but nothing compared to my Yellowknife or Bust adventure), stopping in Wellington for the night. We took a ferry the next morning – it was pretty big.

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Apparently it holds about ten thousand people, which is a lot of people.

The rest of the drive was pretty boring, except for the cool scenery and one time where we almost ran out of gas in the middle of the desert. I saved us, though, by continuing to drive until I found a gas station.

So we’ve been settled in our new flat for a while now. I’m back at the pallet factory and Kylie is done school finally. We’re going to both work until her graduation on December 19, and then explore all that New Zealand has to offer.

In the meantime, though, I am hard at work writing.

November is National Novel Writing Month – a challenge where tons of people across the world attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days. I tried this last year and only got about 13,000 words, but this year is different.

I was already well into my attempt at a novel, and I’m using NaNoWriMo as a push to finish it. Currently, I’ve written 96,547 words for my manuscript – my goal is 100k, but it looks like it will finish off closer to 115k – and 26,975 of that has come in the month of November. By the end of today, to stay on the pace of 1,667 words per day, I should be at 26,672 – thanks to a fevered writing session last night where I wrote two day’s-worth, I was able to take the time out to write this blog.

Soon, I’ll be posting stuff about the novel, like asking people to edit it, or how I should go about trying to get it published, etc. In the meantime, you can check out the synopsis and prologue at the following link:

TWIN KILLERS on Tablo

Any feedback is more than welcome! I have another 25 chapters already written if the prologue piques your interest.

Thanks for reading all y’all, follow me on my social media things!

Twitter: @CamMParkes

Instagram: cam_parkes

Love,

CP

Categories: Adventure, Auckland, Blog, Christchurch, Holiday, New Zealand, Novel, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Livin’ it up at Gold Coast

Well, that was quite an adventure. We’re now safely back in New Zealand after a whirlwind trip to Gold Coast, and a long-ass drive back to Christchurch. The days have been so jam-packed that it was impossible to keep up with posting, so I’ll try to remember everything as well as I can for your entertainment.

I’ll deal with the next half of our trip to the land down unda’ in this post – we just did SOOOO much that it wouldn’t fit into one post, you know?

So Monday was our first full day in Gold Coast. Luckily for us, our guide and host Mikayla managed to get out of school relatively early so she could chaperone us around. Of course, we headed straight for the beach, because what else is there to do in Australia?

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For lunch, we went to a sushi restaurant that had a sushi train. I’d seen these in movies and whatnot, but never actually experienced one.

The food comes to you!

The food comes to you!

It’s a brilliant strategy. Basically different colour plates cost different amounts, and they send through a lot more pricey ones than cheap ones. So you’re sitting there waiting for a cheap plate of your favourite sushi to come by, getting hungrier and hungrier, until eventually you cave and grab the next plate. Cool!

When we returned, we saw to our – mostly Kylie’s – delight that the trees out front of Mikayla’s place were the favourite hangout for some lorikeets.

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We chillaxed for the rest of the day, and then spent three hours watching a movie – 1h45 for Who Framed Roger Rabbit after 1h15 of Kylie and Mikayla insisting they were strong independent women and didn’t need no man’s help to set up the DVD player.

Two strong, independent, DVD-less women.

Two strong, independent, DVD-less women.

Spoiler: they did.

On Tuesday Kylie and I wanted to check out the Niagara Falls of Queensland – Surfers’ Paradise. Although we were warned by literally two people that the walk was a long one, we decided to undertake it anyways.

I learned a lesson on Tuesday. When people say they “love long walks on the beach,” they are full of shit. Long walks on the beach are not pleasant. They hurt your legs and your butt, and make you really hungry and thirsty. We almost didn’t make it. But, after an hour and a half of Bear Grills-esque survival, we arrived in the tourist centre of Australia.

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And lo and behold, we had only been there five minutes or so when a long-lost friend found us!

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Karley. It's Karley.

Karley. It’s Karley.

We three hung out and explored Surfers’ for a while, checking out the shops, getting lunch, and playing at Timezone – one of those super-fun arcade places where you win tickets and can get little prizes. I won an Australian keychain, thinking that it would be the perfect gift for my loving landlord back in Auckland.

After that, Karley’s flatmates gave us a lift back to Mikayla’s. We had to hurry inside because it was time for the daily bat hunt.

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Bats come out during the day here. Yup.

After the bloodthirsty winged-mammals had disappeared (until that night) Kylie, Mikayla, her mom and I went to Q1, which is some sort of tower thing. We had a meal on the observation deck, which is the highest point in Gold Coast – about 72 floors up, I think.

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After dinner, we took a nice walk along the beach you can see on the right there, through a giant market. I didn’t buy anything.

The next post will detail our trip to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Kylie’s birthday celebrations, and the hardest sport you can do on water (not surfing). Follow me so you don’t miss out!

Twitter: @CamMParkes

Love,

CP

Categories: Adventure, Australia, Blog, Gold Coast, Holiday, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

North Island and things

Hey all!

Well, it’s official: Kylie got her placement confirmed at a school in Auckland, and we’ve booked our flights (plural needed due to a large excess of baggage…between the two of us…).

I’m excited, as not only do I get to see a new place, I get to start the countdown for leaving the pallet-making company. Surprisingly, the job isn’t bad at all. It goes quickly, builds strength, and isn’t very difficult to comprehend. That being said, I don’t want to do it for like seven years or anything.

I made a comprehensive to-do list of things I want to, well, do, while I’m on North Island:

  1. Check out the Lord of the Rings sites
  2. Other things too, probably

Other than that, things are pretty much the same. We’ve kind of settled into a routine: I get up at 6:30, go to work to pay the bills, then collapse in bed around 10:30 and pass out. It’s been winter here for almost three weeks, and I bought my first new “coat” since starting university back in ’08. It looks kind of like a peacoat, but is nowhere near as warm. However, it’s still too warm for the “winter” here.

To pass the time between finishing work and going into my nightly coma, I’ve been playing the guitar a bit. I’ve been posting 15 second covers on Instagram – they’re perfect because I can sound good for 15 seconds. That being said, I did create a soundcloud for longer covers, and just posted the first one – you can check that out here if you so desire.

Exciting things are on the horizon. Follow along so you don’t miss out!

Twitter: @CamMParkes

Instagram: cam_parkes

Love,

CP

Categories: Adventure, Auckland, Blog, List, Music, New Zealand, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pictures of Queenstown trip

Hi all!

Not too much to update at this moment in time; I did the extra job on Monday and it was awesome, but that’s really all I can say about it. You know, vows of secrecy, blood-oaths, the whole deal. However, I have uploaded the full albums of our trip to Queenstown! I made them public, so anyone should be able to view them (you may have to be signed into Facebook, not sure). The links are below, enjoy! (Click on the album title, not the sample picture!)

 

The trip to Queenstown

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Queenstown gondola and luge 

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Milford Sound trip

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Arrowtown Autumn Festival 

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Bungy Jumping off the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge 

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Queenstown Gardens and waterfront 

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Thanks, and enjoy!

Connect with me:

Twitter: @CamMParkes

Instagram: cam_parkes

 

Love,

CP

Categories: Adventure, Arrowtown, Blog, Holiday, Milford Sound, New Zealand, Queenstown, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New title, new look, new chapter

Some of the more astute of you may have noticed a change in the title and look of my blog. It’s a new chapter in my life, where I’ll have a new home, new job, and new adventures, so I figured a new look to the blog would go well with it.

It’s finally time. Tomorrow, I board the first of three planes that will end with me in Christchurch, New Zealand. I’m sitting here watching probably my last Leafs game of this season, and the first tendrils of excitement are beginning to squirm through me. That’s not to say I haven’t been excited about the whole process – I’ve just been very busy doing things like finishing up at work, moving my stuff, creating and completing a checklist of stuff I have to do before going overseas for nine months.

This morning, there were two things left on my list: write a blog post (currently in the works) and pack.

Pack. Easier said than done.

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I took over the living room in order to lay out all the things I would possibly need over the next nine months. I’ve backpacked through Europe before, but that was only packing for two weeks, and that was tight. I had to really plan out what would go where, and make some cuts too.

Since I don’t want to pay the exorbitant fees that come along with extra bags, I was determined to fit everything into the one bag, one carry-on, and one personal bag allowed. That meant my giant backpack, duffel bag, and laptop bag.

The carry-on was my first task, and that was easy. My camera, a change of clothes, some things to do and some snacks to eat went in there. I also threw in some deodorant and a toothbrush/toothpaste combo just in case I have a spare moment at the airport to use them.

The electronics all went into the laptop bag. It has a remarkable amount of previously-unexplored pockets, and I used every single one. Laptops, Nintendo 2DS, external hard drive, speakers, headphones, and more which I’ll be able to have with me. Awesome.

Then the big task. Fitting eleven t-shirts, four long-sleeve shirts, two blazers, a pair of jeans, two pairs of shoes, a bunch of socks, and one or two pairs of underwear, into one backpack.

It took two hours to do this. Most of this time was spent rolling the clothes as tightly as I could, and then shoving them as far into the bag as they would go.

The end result is pretty good.

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Now all I have left to do is get to the airport tomorrow. My boarding passes are printed, routes mapped out, everything else taken care of. If you want to follow along with me on my journey, make sure you follow me on Twitter:

 

@CamMParkes

 

The next update will hopefully be from the airport.

Love,

CP

Categories: Blog, Holiday, New Zealand, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Just when you finally learned the days of the week…

My girlfriend, Kylie, left for New Zealand today. She’s off to start a new adventure, taking teacher’s college in Christchurch. It’s a ten month program. Obviously I wish her the best and send my love over the 18 hour time difference, but I’m still a bit sad in the feels department.

Fortunately, I’m at my parents’ house. Since they became empty-nesters-of-sort (during the school year, anyways) they’ve eliminated most of the good food from the house, so I can’t gorge myself in order to crush the aforementioned feels under an avalanche of chocolate and candy.

What I can do, is write.

On the topic of food, you’ve all probably, at some point or the other, heard the Subway commercials where someone says something like ‘oh that report is due on Tuesday’ and then some moron replies, “Tuesday? Oh you mean Ham and Swiss Day!” or something to that effect. Stupid, stupid commercials. Trying to rename the days? What a travesty, I would think. But apparently it is more common than I thought.

Because our days of the week DO have alternative names – well, most of them, anyways. That’ll be addressed in this post as well.

As always, a tl;dr at the bottom, and also if you’re interested in learning how to write a segue like the amazing one I just did, go back to high school, pay attention in English, join the newspaper club, then major in journalism. Anways, onwards!

Man Crush Monday

This delightful day was only introduced to me recently, actually. I had never heard of it until Kylie brought it to my attention. I then confirmed it with my co-op student and found it was, in fact, a socially acceptable day. The point of this day should be fairly obvious: you decide who your man crush is (usually a celebrity, but others have been known to make appearances. In fact, for those of you with a boyfriend, this may be a good way to inflate his ego a bit if you know what I mean), then make a post on [insert favourite social media site here] and then watch as everyone else posts there’s. Mine is this guy:

Woman Crush Wednesday

Sticking with the theme of matching the letter of the corresponding day of the week, Woman Crush Wednesday is essentially the same as Man Crush Monday, except this time, would-be posters pick their crush who happens to be a woman. Simple, no?  I found out about this day the same time as Man Crush Monday. Here are my two:

Note: Wednesday is also referred to as “Hump Day”, presumably because it’s in the middle of the work week and, should you make it through the day, you’ve crested the “hump” and are in for easy cruising the rest of the week.

Also, sex.

Throw-back Thursday

Oh the joy/horror of Thursdays. This is one of the more popular ones – and admittedly, the first on this list I was familiar with before a couple weeks ago – that even has its own Twitter hash tag. #TBT is where you post a picture of the past – the more distant, the better. Also, the more embarrassing the better. This is the one day each week where you can unabashedly share a glimpse of you when you were that cute kid (what happened, by the way?) or, if you’re feeling particularly brash, posting that goofy snapshot of you just as you hit puberty. Either way, a butt-ton of people will comment on it with variations of “aww” and/or “lmao” depending which route you take. I have an ultra-cheesy one because feels, and a classic #tbt.

The last selfie we’ll take for a while, taken at 5 o clock this morning.. OH SHUT UP LET ME SULK

The former is one in which I was presumably asleep since it was five in the morning. Yes this isn’t much of a throwback but SHUT UP OKAY. The latter is a true throwback to a time when my brother (right side) and I apparently not only liked Toy Story, but matching, and my sister was trying out a new dance craze in which you look like you’re a marionette.

 

Follow Friday

This bad boy took me a while to figure out. Every Friday I’d scan my Tweetdeck (it’s a program where you can run multiple Twitter accounts –which I have – at the same time – which I do – so you don’t miss anything) and see tons of people being all like “LOL #FF @soAndSo because they’re hilarious!” although they’d probably put “there” or some shit. Ugh. Anyways, using the journalistic skills I fine-tuned in college, I discovered #FF meant “follow Friday.” Basically, this is where, if you follow the merit of the day, you can tweet to all your followers the name of someone you deem deserving, in the hopes that some of your followers will become their followers as well. What most people – myself definitely included – probably do, is FF someone on their list who’s relatively well-known, in the hopes that they’ll see the mention, and appreciate it enough to say “thanks for the #ff lol” or something.

Selfie Sunday

This should be pretty self-explanatory, but for those of you who don’t have a dictionary under those rocks where you’ve presumably been living (yes, “selfie” is officially in the dictionary. I think it was also the word of the year, too, so…that’s something), “selfie Sunday” is when someone takes a “selfie” (a photo of themselves, duh), posts it, and makes some comment about how they look bad or something. This is usually accompanied by hash tags including but not limited to: #selfiesunday; #nomakeup; #nofilter; #Sunday; #weekend; and so on so forth. Although it is not Sunday, here is my favourite selfie of all time, for you, beloved reader:

 

Now. The more astute of you have, of course, noticed I skipped Tuesday and Saturday. That is because, to the best of my knowledge (read: no one has thusly informed me) they don’t have a cute meme-day-name. So, I shall come up with them now. On the spot.

Settlers of Catan Saturday

What do you MEAN you don’t know what Settlers of Catan is? I advise you to finish this blog post, then Google that shit and learn to play. If “nerd” started with an “s”, it would totally be in the title of this day as well. Warning: do not play with friends you want to keep, especially if you have to see them for the next little while.

Runner up: sleep-in Saturday. I dismissed this one because not everyone gets to sleep in Saturdays you assholes.

And finally:

Take a fucking break already, will ya? Tuesday.

Look. You’ve just posted your woman crush; a picture of you when you were two years old and naked; a plea via Twitter for people to follow your OTHER account (this happens. Also, guilty) so that they can get your posts of you as a naked two year old; a picture of you as a Settler of Catan; a blurry selfie of sleep-deprived you; and your man crush. Take a goddamn break will ya? Tuesday will be devoted to doing nothing except regular internet stuff.

So essentially, looking at catz.

It isn’t Friday but IT IS IN NEW ZEALAND AND I NOW OPERATE ON THAT TIME TOO, SO FOLLOW ME:

@CamMParkes

tl;dr:

Man Crush Monday
Take a fucking break already, will ya? Tuesday
Woman Crush Wednesday
Throw-back Thursday
Follow Friday
Settlers of Catan Saturday
Selfie Sunday

Those are the new days of the week. Get on board or you’ll be left in the dust of the interwebs.

Love,

CP

PS. If anyone knows any good chick flicks and a flavour of ice cream that will mask the taste of tears streaming into it, let me know.

Categories: Blog, Feels, Satirical | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s 5 a.m. I must be lonely

YES THE TITLE IS A REFERENCE TO MATCHBOX TWENTY’S “3 A.M”, GOD

As I sit here in the almost-unfathomable early hours of a Saturday morning – okay, it’s after 9:00, which isn’t too terrible, but I’ve been here since 5:00 a.m. – I can’t help but feel that this time of day is under-appreciated.

Getting up before the sun is up on any day sucks ass. When it’s extremely cold out, it’s even worse. When the reason you’re getting up before the crack of dawn is to go to work, your life sucks. And if that’s on a weekend? Oh, the humanity.

The only possible reason one should be up on a Saturday before noon is if they’re taking a page out of Calvin’s book:

And even that’s pushing it. I – or my body – made the decision long ago that more sleep was better than cartoons. And eating breakfast. And getting shit done. And seeing friends and family. But I digress.

Now, through my sleep-crusted eyes, I’m looking at things in a different way. Many bloggers (or, in my case, people who occasionally write stuff down and it happens to get online) consider themselves experts on everything, for whatever reason. Perhaps some of them really are. I always spout of crap that I shouldn’t really have any say in – did you see my New Year’s article? I’m not a scientist or anything, I just listed a bunch of stuff I thought based on common sense and not being an idiot (actually, remember my contributor Laura? She has a blog now! Check it out here). But this…this, my friends, I know all too well.

The Saturday morning 5 a.m. shift.

Most of you probably cringed, and maybe let out a low whistle followed by a “man, sucks to be THAT guy.” You probably did this while still in your PJs, nursing your second cup of coffee for the day – oh, and despite the fact I’ll probably post this sometime between 8:30 and 9:00, it’s almost certainly noon or after when you get around to reading this.

Well, guess what loyal readers? I LIKE early morning Saturday shifts. And on this, I AM an expert – I’ve worked at 5 a.m. or earlier every Saturday – with a few exceptions – for seven months. Now, let me explain.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a social butterfly. I love interacting with people – which is good, given the nature of my job is to interact with people. However, everyone needs their alone time. If you say you don’t, you’re a liar. My alone time is from Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon. I’m the last one to leave the office Friday, and the first –and usually only – to come in Saturday. And there’s something about that I like.

Early shifts during the week aren’t the same. There are always a few other people burning the midnight candle, or going in early to catch up on work. As the day wears on, other people come into the office and the normal hubbub begins. Not so on the weekend.

While every other sane person is tucked under their covers – or, many times during the summer, just getting home from the bars – I’m hauling my ass out of bed to the jangle of three simultaneous alarms. I make the trek to Tim Horton’s faithfully – the poor kitchen worker, who definitely probably wouldn’t agree with me liking Saturdays, knows me well enough to give me a tray without asking – and head into work, the world still quiet and peacefully sleeping. The majority of these days that Tim Horton’s worker is the only person I see. There’s a serene feel to the world in the early hours of the morning, and it’s something you can only find at that time when you’re in a city.

Besides the beauty of being able to ponder the meaning of my existence uninterrupted, there’re more perks to working the Saturday AM shift. For one, that means I get a day during the week off. Basically, I work for two days, get a day off, work for three days, and get another day off. I’ve found I like this a lot more than working five straight days followed by a weekend off. This, in turn, makes it easier to see people who work jobs that involve working weekends.

Working 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. leaves the entire rest of the day open. Most Saturdays, granted, I’ll take a nap after work – but I’m still up and kicking by late afternoon. This leaves plenty of time for a well-rested me to haul ass to a chum’s place for beers and the Leafs game, should the invitation be there (it is sometimes). Or, if not, I have the entire evening to do what I want. This mostly involves eating and playing Halo, but sometimes I clean or do laundry or get my haircut or shave or something.

It actually makes for an easier Friday. I can’t speak for all jobs, but Saturday at the radio station is kind of a neutral day. During the week I gather stories, but on Saturday it’s just news casting. No new stories go into rotation, barring any breaking news. This means stories I gather on Friday don’t need to be completed until Sunday evening, to run Monday. So as long as I gather interviews, I can write a story or two on Saturday, or even Sunday, should I get busy Friday. Personally I like to write them Saturday, as I have a bit of time to spare (as you may be able to tell).

I have a bit of time to spare. My responsibilities on Saturdays are to news cast for four markets. Once I’m done that, I have to monitor the stations and change anything that needs changing, but other than that, I have all the time in the world to finish stories, crush candy, or write blog posts. Or sometimes, watch cartoons. In fact, a Saturday morning shift was how I discovered Adventure Time, and The Marvellous Misadventures of Flapjack (post to come on these hilarious cartoons).

Sometimes I do chat with people via Facebook at 5 a.m. Some friends of mine live across the world, meaning the wee hours of the morning here are prime time to talk with them; also, local friends who have just finished work sometimes want to rant before going to bed.

Basically, here’s a tl;dr: sometimes isolation is good. It’s entirely possible that I go Friday from about 5 p.m. to Monday morning without interacting face-to-face with anyone, and sometimes I like that.

In fact, if I didn’t literally talk for a living, enjoy singing in the shower, yell at video games, or talk to my lovely lady friend daily on the phone, I could go that whole time without saying a word.

Saturday: the day I put in an eight-hour shift, beat probably like ten levels of Candy Crush, read a hundred comics, get a haircut, shower, shave, nap, and wake up – all before you get your lazy ass out of bed.

You really should try to be more like me.

(A good start is to follow me on Twitter to…uh…observe me?

@CamMParkes )

CP

Categories: Blog, Early Saturday, Satirical | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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