Saturday, October 28, 2006

Help me in deliberating.

Should I try to throw a frisbee today?

I'd usually ask Sean but he's at his parents' with the kids.

Factors -
I've been sick since Tuesday and haven't thrown a frisbee since Saturday, when I did it badly enough I felt like curling into a small ball for the kids to pour sand down my neck and I was well then. Now I am probably significantly more feeble than usual and it's windy again.
Assuming the weather would be bad again I've arranged to go to Brick if I'm not going to the practice.
Is the practice even on? There's this huge rugby thing at Ian Galloway Park starting tomorrow and I have a feeling it's closed for ground preparation, if that's true is there a practice at Martin Luckie Park instead? I suppose I should wait until a little later in the morning before trying to find out by phone.

But if I don't go will I ever go?

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Disconnected, sick, I watch web videos in bed.

Feeling a bit more perky and interactive: Build a kaleidoscope, shave a yeti, throw a ball.

Then go to sleep.

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Sick woman.

Splat, splooosh whoosh, drippity droppity and all. Rushing to the toilet, farting, glad it's a false alarm as the children have used up all the toilet paper in the house.

Sean heroically looking after children, making drinks and buying toilet paper.

But do I have any mid-void urges to use the Swiss ball? No. I think I might take another nap though.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Drizzly Labour Day at the zoo.

The bear's learnt to throw things; he balances bark chips or small chunks of lichen on his front paw, sniffs at them a bit and then flicks them off. I think he thinks it's funny. He seems more interested in the people than before, perhaps because his mate is busy. She's sequestered in the den with their month-old cub.

There's a cool primate exhibit near the lions: the more energetic ones disport themselves impressively all over some rounded concrete formations while the older more staid ones merely make vocalisations to each other and do some little enrichment activities where they have to get food out from containers before they can eat it. They look very happy and natural. I think it ought to have a Homo Sapiens sign.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ta. I should have asked you to wish me good weather.

Today is windy in a way the US wasn't, so my upwind throwing was much worse than I expected when we were just practicing that, and then everybody melted like they were made of sugar when it first got a bit damp despite the fact the wind dropped. So we didn't even start to play a game.

All that stage fright and rehearsal and the play was postponed.

I guess (with the slightest encouragement) I might try to play on Tuesday as I don't suppose weeping will help with throwing in the wind as much as keeping on trying will.


Friday, October 20, 2006


Get up in front of a crowd of 70 people of any age and entertain them with a story? Sure, I'd happily hop up and start making it up. You want to get married in a week and you'd like me to write and perform the wedding ceremony? I'd confidently start typing. Do the section on baby-feeding for your ante-natal class? I'd be there, breast in hand. Write 200-5000 words on a topic of your choosing? Oh, yeah. Run a creativity centred team-building exercise? Love to, I've got some ideas I'd like to try. Sing acapella in front of a group? My voice would waver, but I'd have a go. Need a brave friend to deal with a white-tail, challenge your basic assumptions, or tell you an uncomfortable truth? I'm your woman.

But I have been a craven girly dweeb when it comes to sports.

You might not remember but my new year's resolution this year was to enjoy playing backyard sports for a healthy body and to avoid passing my sporting neuroses on to my kids. That is, I decided that it was time to get over my fear of organised physical games with rules and success conditions and I started off okay.

And then, this winter, Sean was invited to come along to Ultimate by Housemonkey, Fraser and Mash. They and a whole group of role-playing friends that we've been wanting join played in Karori and practice on Ian Galloway park and it all seemed so nearby and friendly, and I felt like I could imagine the team, with its clever and argumentative women, including me and not being a strange and pitiable token feeble wierdo they'd taken on as some kind of charity mascot. And they're all so encouraging yet blackly humourous, just the kind of people I like.

So I started working through some stuff to get to a point where I could join in a practice. I played tag with Hazel while they were playing (I can run where people can see me do it), I watched bits of games and helped my kids keep score (I can follow the basics of what's happening in a game, even without commentary), and we threw a frisbee to each other almost every day of our holiday (I can throw and catch).

So tomorrow, weather permitting, I'll have a go.
Wish me confidence.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

We've journeyed

And now we are home. Moab's ears and me are the only ones awake and I think it'll be down to just the ears pretty shortly.

We've journeyed. We've walked and run, we've jumped and hopped and skipped, we've square-danced in Pennsylvania and mermaid-danced in pools all over the place, we've even been taught how to curtsey by Disney Princesses. We've been in 4 cars, 7 buses (single and double decker), 10 planes of vastly varying sizes, several subway trains, 3 hansom cabs, a canoe, and a zillion different Disney rides.

And now we are home.

Last night our plane was delayed because one of the passengers didn't turn up, apparently she was arrested for being drunk and disorderly in the LAX terminal! So then her luggage had to be found, dug out and got off the plane in case it missed her so much it exploded.

This morning we left one of our four checked-in bags on the carousel (by the way, those big merry-go-rounds with the plastic ponies that go up and down are called carousels in the States) when we rushed through Bio-security and all the way to the Domestic Terminal at Auckland airport to almost make our connection but Hazel and Sean had to run all the way back for it. We made it onto the next flight and got to Wellington only 45 minutes late, and I'd even managed to phone Anne, who met us at the airport.

We were away 28 days and we crossed and recrossed an ocean and a continent and 45 minutes was the latest we were for anything.

And now we are home.


Monday, October 09, 2006


I just discovered that in August my friend Catherine Sweeney's team (Australia) won the Ladies Elite Underwater Hockey World Championship! I don't know if she's in this photo, but I wouldn't be surprised if that one in the centre on the bottom looking at the camera was her, she always used to be the fastest to the puck. I'm not absolutely sure what "Elite" means in this context but they've got Under 19s, Masters, and Elite, so I guess it means they're the Women's World Champions. Wow.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Perhaps someone braver.

My cake was almost finished when Gabriel slid onto the bench opposite me, dropping a satchel at our feet, eyes rolling to the cracked ceiling of the old coffee shop and I knew it was couple trouble.

"I'm so had it with Taylor! Going on and on about wanting me to have babies. You'd think I was some kind of stay-home frumpy earth mother!"
"Wow. Taylor's so ambitious I thought they'd be planning to do it both ways simultaneously and you'd be staying home with the twins." It's old ground but I'm compelled to cover it anyway, "Maybe they're sick of you going to clubs and shooting darts into strangers."
"Hey; I wouldn't let anyone knock me up who didn't love me."
"Yeah, but I don't know how much Taylor cares about that when there's probably half a dozen little Gabriels running around that you don't know about," very old ground.
"Hah! We met at the Lactuca, Taylor so knows we all use birth control. No-one wants a club baby, such a hassle and no idea whether the father has any talents besides slow dancing." Gabriel's beautiful mouth isn't smiling but the bright brown eyes are crinkling in the way that every partner, from me onwards, has found so addictive.
"Baby'd slow your dancing down for sure." I get a sharply amused glance, and a jab of alertness to the pulse. I flush and remind myself I have too much to lose. I take a long sup of my latte. By the time I look up Gabriel's looking out the window, watching the old river flowing past. Above the curve of the cheekbone I can just see where the fine lines of a crow's footprint would be if they were still smiling. I lick my finger and pick up the delicious last crumbs with surface tension.

Still examining the optimistic fish rising for the orange leaves that drift past on the river's current, Gabriel asks, not quite lightly enough for the line,
"You think I'd be an okay Mum?" and turns to look at me. Why do you care what I think? What is the right answer here?
"... with the right person as a Dad, you'd be fabulous."
"Do you think Taylor's the right person?"
"Oh, I don't know. I do think you need someone who'd look after you and the children. Someone who would love them because they were yours as much as because they were theirs. Someone who would stick by you when you were sick and grumpy and all touched out for a couple of years."
"Someone like a best friend?"
I can't not meet those brown eyes, they light, and the question between us burns my words away.

(In Tim's loo there's a copy of Science News with an article about Nico Michiels' research on internally fertilizing, simultaneous hermaphrodites. It tells how, as Nature usually favours the parent who puts less effort into children and has more of them, if you were a hermaphrodite you'd want to be the sperm donor rather than the mother in any given sexual encounter.)

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Friday, October 06, 2006

She's so cool.

Hokio is still the softest cat ever there was, she caught a garter snake today, we all looked at it, sniffed it, let it twine around our fingers, and let it sine-wave off into the flower-bed.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Today was a good day. I fell in love with a polar bear.

The polar bear was swimming in Central Park, huge and beautiful beyond belief. It likes to push off the glass with its perfect feet.

Iris was sticking her bottom out and pointing at it despite a polite request not to,
"Put it away!" I yelled at her across the park,
"She doesn't know where it goes!" said Hazel.

We threw the frisbee to each other once we got to Sheep Meadow. We were totally outclassed by three groups of frisbee throwers close by. I was totally outclassed even by the return throw from the poor bystander I almost hit with it, but I'm feeling pretty good about my catching, and Sean reckoned my throwing wasn't bad. On Gillian and Dave's lawn in Pennsylvania I caught it after having slowed it down with the bridge of my nose (now slightly bruised) and bouncing it off my head. Today I slowed it down with the end of my nose but didn't catch it. I don't know which was better. I hope I won't make a lot of experiments trying to determine this.

I came to New York City eleven years ago and twelve years before that. It's a lot cleaner now. The Brita pitcher (water filtering jug) only has a few dots of black when I go to refill it. My skin hasn't got a tiny black dot where each pore is. This is a big difference.

I bought a DVD today, there's a guy hawking them outside the movie theatre on the corner. He directed, produced, and starred in it apparently. I bought it for luck for The Great Snail Chase (the movie my cousin Edward's making at the moment.

I also bought Anansi Boys again, and some other things, including the DVD and more new sandals for Iris, but no birthday or wedding presents. It seems that one night we set off to drive from Gillian's to our hotel with one of Iris's sandals on (rather than in) the car. The replacement sandals wore a hole in her heel, despite their beauty and Manhattan requires a lot of walking.

I wonder if I'll do some of the driving tomorrow. I've not done as much as I thought I would. It's been more like going back to being a beginner-driver and less like trying to drive while balancing a cup of water on my head than I expected and I've found that a bit nerve-wracking.

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Monday, October 02, 2006


We drove to New York today. I didn't know I'd miss them, but there really are two great big missing things in the skyline. It looks like this:

We went out to dinner, the people who sat down behind us were from Hamilton and Te Awamutu. Now we're in a two bedroom apartment with 9 people in it. We're four of them, Michael and Kahn live here, Michael's parents, and Kahn's girlfriend's over. Fortunately, for Manhattan, it's huge. The Empire State Building is just out the window.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Best woman.

Yeah, so there's this wedding today (this took a while to post), and I'm going to be the person who holds the ring with white knuckles until the bride needs it to give to the groom. That person gets to give a speech. What does she say? Maybe she should write a first draft and find out...

Gillian's special, everybody is of course, but I know why Gillian is special. It's because she likes me. That's probably a surprise to most of you because you know why Gillian is special; it's because she likes you.

Gillian thinks about everything, takes special care with each sentence, listens as if we'd been doing the same, and still likes us. I sometimes find that humbling, about once per conversation on average. I certainly think harder and speak more carefully when Gillian is listening.

Dave is special too. When Gillian and Dave were newly a couple, I sent Gillian an email from New Zealand:
"Don't get married on less than 4 days notice unless I'm not invited."
I still don't know how I knew Dave is special, but I did and I feel a bit smug about that.

I wish them as much love, lust, and laughter as their hearts can hold, and these are big-hearted folk.

Well, that went all right. We arrived. The celebrant was better at saying what he meant than any other I've heard. I didn't drop the ring. It rained, and that was okay because the Navajo blessing at the end explained that rain washes away fear and goodness me isn't matrimony scary.

Gillian's family make words; one is even a storyteller, they toasted and toasted, my speech's simplicity stood up well in the company. Though I will admit it's possible that Nancy (mother of the bride) had the best line with "Dave is a person who does not want to be summed up.") Dave's family make music; his sisters and mother sang The Rose in three part harmony, then there was oodles of music, it seemed that two thirds of the guests performed something and then, for a rest, we did square dancing and it was fun.

Now there's a party but someone has to stay with Hazel and Iris who went to sleep in the car, and it's my turn, which is fine because I've had plenty of party level conversations now, what remains isn't really possible: I've finally met Gillian's sister Molly and I'd like to get to know her, but I don't think we could do that at a party. I'd like to bask in Steve's kind company again but if I were there I'd try to steal him away for a walk in the woods and that wouldn't be very kind to the friend he brought, especially when she spent the day amusing my children off and on. I'd also like to take Gillian away from her groom and guests, watch her throw sticks for a dead dog and listen to the happiness in her voice. So I let Sean go to the party, and I thought I might have a different kind of conversation but I guess it's a nice day in Wellington tomorrow because no-one seems to be on-line there now.