I don’t think the internet gets enough props these days. I mean, just think of the rate at which we’re increasingly able to do unprecedentedly cool stuff. If you had told me even a few years ago that I’d be able to video call people from overseas for free, I’d have told you to srsly GTFO. Streaming TV on demand? Man, I remember downloading a two-minute punk song in around 40 minutes 10-odd years ago and thinking that was AMAZING.
In particular, I can appreciate what a vital lifeline the internet has become for someone like Jen - an expat American - to keep up with the world she left behind when she moved to New Zealand nearly three years ago.
Mostly, though, I love internet that is not New Zealand internet, as New Zealand internet is rather slow compared to what I’m sure many of you know and love. We also have rather Draconian “data caps”, which reduce our speeds to a slow crawl (worse than dial-up... seriously) once we’ve exceeded our pitiful allowances.
In these uncertain times, I’m even thinking of buying shares in the internet. Ironically, however, even Google (great site, by the way!) has been unable to advise on how to do so thus far.
Hot Water Music
Probably only a year or so ago, I’d resigned myself to the fact that I’d probably never get the chance to see my favourite band live. I was unable to attend the first time they came to New Zealand (I happened to live in the wrong island), and two years or so ago, they’d unofficially disbanded before making a return visit. But it was only a few months ago that Jen and I finally got the chance to see them play (with the esteemed Bouncing Souls, no less). It was an incredible and truly memorable show topped off with a riotous encore, with a mixture of members of both bands performing some of their most popular songs.
As a somewhat washed-up and jaded music journalist, I’m completely out of the loop with music happenings these days. So imagine my complete surprise only a matter of days ago when I learned that a new HWM e.p. (The Fire, The Steel, The Tread / Adds Up to Nothing) was available right then and there. As expected, I’m completely enamoured with it, and the only criticism I can level at it is that, at a mere two songs, it feels like the beginnings of a kick-ass new album... and then it just leaves you hanging. Still, it’s the first thing to come along in a long while to reinvigorate my currently dormant love affair with music (and certainly the first release from HWM in about seven years!). And the revelation of this e.p.’s existence brought with it the fact that the band is set to release a full-length early next year.
American fast food
I can’t tell you how much time I spent recently seriously trying to come up with a way that Jen could bring me back a grilled cheese sandwich from In ‘N Out when she returns to New Zealand. It makes me wish that, like Cristina Friday, I’d developed an interest in science, as I don’t think my “ice-pack and tea towel” method would quite cut it for the 12-odd-hour plane trip from LAX to Auckland. Also, like most other things here in New Zealand, Mexican food is ridiculously expensive and, obviously, not up to the standard that Americans enjoy. The list goes on, too. I’m super jealous of Jen right now, whom I hear has been making up for lost time ;)
So I’m going to steal Cristina’s idea and make Jen my final topic for Much Love Monday.
Fun fact: the very first time that Jen ever wrote me on Myspace, I thought she was a spambot for a second or two, purely because it would be in keeping with 99% of the times beautiful girls had attempted to write me at random on the internet.
At the time of writing, Jen has been away from me for more than a week - the longest time we’ve spent apart in I don’t know how long - and I miss her terribly. She’s my best friend and my favourite person in the whole world - and I’m not even saying that to encourage her to attempt my grilled-cheese international importation method!