Adventures in Data Display: 5 months in New Zealand

Hello, Internet, today is Saturday, March 9th, and I have been in New Zealand for 5 months… and 3 days.

I have spent 3 of those months not updating this blog, which has left me a little bit twitchy, actually. Some people have caffeine, or cigarettes… I have writing, apparently. I like writing. And while nobody has been nagging me to get back on the wagon, there is something fundamentally incorrect about being a writer who doesn’t write… so back at it, now.

What has kept me so busy (and happy) is actually pretty mundane. I found myself a nice, stable, 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday job with the federal government, so I’ve been there for quite a large percentage of my waking hours, and while I do have access to the internet while I’m there, I don’t actually need it to do my job most of the time, and I’m actually quite busy overall, and my overall internet activity is monitored (in megabytes, as opposed to browser history… internet is paid for by the MB here), so the temptation to flick onto Facebook for a little while in the middle of the day isn’t huge. I do have a smartphone, and there is wireless in the building, so I have regular phone-type access to the internet, which is fine for reading things, checking messages, writing back short emails, and the like, but it just doesn’t do for writing several-hundred-word blog entries.

What’s surprising is how much I actually enjoy my Office Job(TM). It’s a relaxed, productive place where stuff gets done and I’m not in charge of anyone else. I use a lot of the skills I picked up along the way while producing theatre and other arts events for a living, but I also have gotten SUPER GOOD AT MICROSOFT EXCEL. Like, I know way more about Excel than any artist need ever know. Which totally feeds my love of learning things. MAN, I love learning things.

Back-at-it-blogging brainwave: because I make so many graphs at work, I have begun to think in graph and chart form, so let’s see if I can show you some of the generally mundane aspects of my life in at-a-glance images, so that we can get back to the fun stuff.

Here is a pie chart of things I have learned since moving to New Zealand:

Things I have learned since moving to NZ


This is a comparison of my normal life in Canada vs. my working holiday life in New Zealand – by time distribution:

Percentage of time by activity

And here is an area chart of places I want to go to, arranged by status:

Places visited by status

Yeah, all right, area charts are just an excuse to use all the colours. But that’s based on real information, yo! *coughcoughNERDcough*

Ok, last one: music listened to while walking around enjoying the unbelievable beauty of New Zealand

Music listened to while enjoying New Zealand

That’s right, Ian, Andrew, and the once. You guys keep me sane when I’m homesick. Oh, and Geraldine, Andrew & Phil, congrats on your win at the ECMAs! Well-deserved… obviously.

And that’s the last 3 months in a nutshell. I’ll come up with some more specific stories for next time!