All posts by mekayla

Work Work Work

For some reason, we keep getting questions about work. I don’t really understand, since we think that work is a much less interesting topic than all the adventures we’re having, but I suppose it’s time to satisfy the masses and answer some of the questions:

Yes we’ve been working.

No, we don’t think it’s as fun to tell work stories as it is to make you jealous of all the beautiful places we get to visit in our time off.

No we’re not shearing sheep or picking kiwi fruit (although I did consider getting a job as a bread maker at an organic bakery, mmm bread!).

Boring as you may think it is, we’ve actually gotten jobs more or less in our fields. I’m working at an insurance company and Greg’s designing websites.

Didn’t you know that’s what our specialties really are?

Greg gets to sit at home all day, messing around on the computer, and I get to go into a big traditional insurance company and help them learn how to do User Centered Design. Very similar to the type of work I was doing at IDEO, except that working with a team of people that’s familiar with the process, I’m working with a bunch of people who have never done this type of work before.

Turns out you have to spend money in order to make money. I don’t think they would have been too happy if I had showed up in the faded shirt I’ve been wearing hiking for the last 5 months. Especially since all the software programmers wear ties and shiny black shoes to work. Ah well, I guess I can save the hiking shirt for casual Fridays 😉 .

Time for me to go learn some more insurance terminology!

Toasty the Sandman

Toasty the Sandman
Was a jolly happy soul
With a fern-like pipe and a carrot nose
And two eyes made out of broccoli (florets)


Toasty the Sandman
Is a fairytale they say
He was made of sand
In a distant land
And he came to life one day

There must have been some magic
In that old dead gull they found
For when they stuck a feather on his head
He began to tramp around


Toasty the Sandman
Was alive as he could be
And the children say
He could laugh and play
Just the same as you and me

Toasty the Sandman
Knew the sun was hot that day
So we hit the beach
With a wine glass each
To celebrate Christmas Day


Up to the mountains
A walking stick in his hand
Tramping here and there all around the hills
Saying catch me if you can


Thumpety thump thump
Thumpety thump thump
Look at Toasty leap
Thumpety thump thump
Thumpety thump thump
Over the hills of SHEEP!

Happy (End of) Channukah

Nothing reminds you that you’re Down Under more than celebrating The Festival of Lights in the middle of the summer. We’re not even getting sunset until 9 o’clock, much less the first three stars. And when you’re lighting candles that late, it becomes particularly necessary to have ones that will only last an hour or two.

But where do you find Channukah candles in the lovely Christian city of Christchurch? Unfortunately, the one local synagogue never called me back. Luckily, there’s a listing for candles in the yellow pages. Unluckily, it led us to a warehouse.

“Do you sell to the public?”

We were greeted by a stare and a hesitation.

“Not normally, but what are you looking for?”

Hurrah for New Zealand, the land of small towns and friendly people. The lady sold us two boxes of excellent non-Channukah, Channukah candles. That only left us with the question of where to find a menorah.
Luckily, there’s construction on our road. This means that there’s a nice pile of rocks a few houses down. No one noticed us pillage the pile in the twilight hours. That, a bit of fossicking at the beach, and some colored wax from the birthday candles I bought just in case we couldn’t find Channukah candles, and we had a menorah!