Archives: August 2003
Sun, 31 Aug 2003
The week that was
Scenes from my week:
Matthew looking at me in jeans and saying to me "Mummy, your thighs are bigger than mine and Daddy's". And Michael looking at him and saying "Son, I'd stop right there if I were you. You know not what path you tread."
Having a very nice coffee with Marc from marcandvic.com. Marc is a fellow Wellingtonian blogger. Go visit his site, he takes wonderful photos, including some of his adorable 7 month old son Max. Hope to catch up with him again.
Work.... sitting in a four hour meeting thinking "What the f... am I doing here?" Doing performance agreements. Getting to the grunt stage of the redevelopment project where we actually have to deal with content migration. In geekspeak, "content migration" is a euphemism for having to tidy up hundreds and hundreds of documents and html pages. In this case, renaming, adding metadata, and stripping html tags. One by freaking one. Yee-hah.
My doctor's appointment which turned into a real pain in the ass. Literally. See previous entry.
Joshua finally saying new words and Matthew trying to get him to repeat words. "Josh, say Matthew, say Matthew!" "Maf-hoo"
Taking Matthew to swimming lessons, and stressing out completely because he doesn't really want to be there, and doesn't pay attention to the instructor, and basically goofs off and finds it all too hard but me insisting that he's going to learn to swim if it's the last thing he does because I don't want him to drown.
Getting my hair cut and discussing the next colour, and whether I go permanent colour or semi-permanent. Light copper-orange, or just copper-red. Decisions, decisions.
Taking Matthew to the after hour's doctor in the middle of the night because he had a very bad earache. Turned out to be an ear infection and he's on antibiotics.
Having a lovely Sunday morning, including a relaxing hour and a half coffee with my friend Sarah, sans children, of course. Well, I did say relaxing.
Right now, listening over the baby monitor to Matthew playing in the living room with his new plastic sword.
Time to go get ready for the week to come....
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Sat, 30 Aug 2003
The Back Streets
I've been out taking photos recently, wandering around the urban back streets, the industrial areas, factories, delapidated buildings. They appeal to me.
Here's a new gallery to show some of the pictures.
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Fri, 29 Aug 2003
Tide coming in, Seatoun Beach
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Never believe a doctor if she tells you that you will not need painkillers, and she's holding a scalpel in one hand and needle and thread in the other. Okay?
Repeat after me: anything that requires stitches will need a painkiller.
I had a mole removed from a rather, ahem, sensitive place. Just above my bum, as a matter of fact. Funny thing about the human body — it happens to bend in that very spot whenever you sit or pick something up off the floor. So everytime I do one of those two things, which is more often than you might think, it pulls the stitches and hurts like flipping heck.
In addition to that, I had a little skin thing removed from my neck, and although that did not require stitches, it did require a local anaesthetic and sharp scissors. So now instead of the little skin thing, I have this huge bruise on the front of my neck just above the collarbone, which looks amazingly like... you guessed it — a hickey!
Now, I know that in my old age I may be regressing to my youth, but give me a break! I haven't had a hickey since I was fifteen years old! I've been walking around work with a scarf wrapped around my neck.
"Cold?" people keep asking me.
"Nah, just covering my hickey" I reply. They laugh, thinking I'm joking. Little do they know.
Yeesh. The things we women do in the name of beauty.
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Thu, 28 Aug 2003
The Very Hungry Pilla-pilla
Joshua had always been my quiet boy. At almost 18 months, he still only had 4 or 5 words that he would say regularly — "Mummy, Daddy, kitty, bye, hello". These were the same words that he'd had for the past six months, with no sign of developing new ones.
His caregiver would shake her head with a worrying little look. "He doesn't say many words." she told me. I wasn't worried, though. Joshua was a bright boy. He understood everything that was said to him and I knew that he would start to talk when he wanted to, on his schedule, not anyone else's.
Sure enough, this past week, he has virtually erupted with new words — milk, down, book, car, Matthew, butterfly, water, shoe. It was as if he had been storing them up for just the right moment, and this week was as good as any to set them free.
My very favourite, though, is when we read to him The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. "Pilla-pilla" he'll say, pointing to the picture. Caterpillar. Not bad for 18 months.
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Tue, 26 Aug 2003
by Naomi Shihab Nye
If you place a fern
under a stone
the next day it will be
as if the stone has
If you tuck the name of a loved one
under your tongue too long
without speaking it
it becomes blood
the little sucked-in breath of air
beneath your words.
No one sees
the fuel that feeds you.
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More pictures from the beach
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Sun, 24 Aug 2003
One hour north
So what do you do when you have had a long hard week, seven days of cold wet weather and cabin fever? Throw the kids and a bag into the car and drive an hour north to the beach, sunshine and blue skies.
It always amazes me how the climate is so completely different just a relatively short drive away.
A couple pictures from the day:
Matthew and Georgia playing. Matthew is looking unhappy because Georgia won't let him have the stick she's carrying and she stole his seashell. Women, eh.
Kapiti Island in the distance. I have never visited Kapiti Island, which is a wildlife reserve. I keep putting it on my list of things to do.
As you can see from the photos, it was a stunning day - hard to believe that it's still winter here.
I came back feeling tired, but relaxed.
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Mon, 18 Aug 2003
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Keeping Things Whole
by Mark Strand
In a field
I am the absence
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.
When I walk
I part the air
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.
We all have reasons
to keep things whole.
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Sat, 16 Aug 2003
Late Afternoon at Oriental Bay
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Fri, 15 Aug 2003
Are we talking about the same child?
We had our first parent-teacher meeting this week to discuss how Matthew has been doing since he started school two months ago.
I have to confess that I was a little nervous as I wasn't at all sure how he was really doing at school. I was worried that he might be carrying some of his "unsociable" behaviour into the classroom.
I guess it is the plight of the working mother that I feel a little alienated from his school experience — Michael usually drops him off, and his caregiver always picks him up. So I spend very little time actually in the classroom, talking with his teachers.
And Matthew is not very forthcoming with information about his day. A typical conversation over dinner will go something like this:
Deb: Matt, how was your day?
Deb: So, what did you do?
Deb: Nothing? Who did you play with today?
I know that this is clearly not the case, but he is not a child to give much away.
So, the morning of the parent-teacher meeting arrives, and we all perch around a little table on teeny chairs, and the teacher begins talking to us.
"I just want to tell you how delighted I am to have Matthew in my class. He is such a happy, out-going and enthusiastic child. Always willing to give things a try. Very thoughtful of others."
She stops. Michael and I are looking at her like she is from another planet.
"Uhm... are you sure you're talking about OUR Matthew?" we enquire.
"Yes, he's a great kid."
"You mean, he doesn't whine?"
"No." She looked surprised that we'd asked.
"You mean he doesn't give up in frustration and cry?"
"No, not at all."
"He's not agressive?"
Michael and I just looked at each other. It's like he's a completely different child at school, saving up his worst behaviour just for us. I guess I should be grateful that he's an angel at school, but I do wish a little more of that angelic behaviour would continue on after 3:00pm.
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Mum, what's an anti-christ?
Matt has finally begun listening to something other than Bob Dylan. I'm not sure, though, if I should be grateful that he has at last moved on from Blonde on Blonde, or worried that his latest musical obsession is the Sex Pistols.
We have this punk compilation, and Michael happened to put it on one day. The first song was Anarchy in the UK. Matt absolutely loved it. He now listens to this CD all the time.
Cool though it is, there is something a little disturbing about a five year old screaming "I am an anti-christ, I am an anar-chist."
Worse, next week is Music week at school. Each child has to bring in music that they like to share with the rest of the class. Guess what Matthew wants to take.
Man. I can tell that we're going to be flavour of the month amongst the staff and parents. Nothing like music that incites a little violence and mayhem to liven up a classroom. Gah.
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Wed, 13 Aug 2003
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Mon, 11 Aug 2003
One Year Old Today
Slipstream is one year old today. It's hard to believe that I've stuck at it for so long.
This was my third attempt at starting an online journal. The first two attempts failed miserably after a month or two. When I wrote that first Slipstream entry a year ago, I had no reason to believe that this time would be any different. But for some reason it has been different this time, for which I am very happy because writing and sharing photos here has become important to me.
This journal was originally going to be a mother journal, recording milestones and anecdotes from the lives of my children. Early on, though, I realised that I wanted it to be more than that. So it has become a work in progress, evolving. It's almost taken on a life of its own. It has even withstood my occasional attempts at destroying it.
I've met some wonderful people through this journal, and I'm grateful to all the readers who, for some crazy reason, continue to want to come here and share in my life.
Thank you, and here's to another year.
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God or Mammon Part II
God or Mammon? Part II. Saint Mary's of the Angels dwarfed by The Majestic Centre office building. A follow-up to my 26things authority photo.
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Come Fuck Me Boots
Last week I was looking at power tools with a female colleague from work, and I mentioned to her a quote that I had read somewhere. I don't know who said it, but I remember it to this day and it has stood me in good stead. "There are three things every woman should own: a good lipstick, a little black dress and a power drill."
Well, today I discovered that I would add another item to that list of essentials. Every woman should definitely have a pair of come-fuck-me boots. I saw a pair today that I would die for. Not that I'm in the, ahem, market, because I'm not. But ooooh, these boots.
My lunchtime shopping expedition started off innocently enough. And then I saw a skirt by Veronika Maine, an Australian designer. Black linen, just below the knee, a nod to the 1950s with a slight flare. In the bottom left hand corner of the skirt vanilla silk leaves were appliqued in a pattern. God, it was beautiful. Then I looked at the $250 price tag, and thought, egads, I can't. I really can't just at the moment.
So I reluctantly put it back on the rack, and shuffled out of the shop dejected. I meandered along to the next shop, which happened to be a shoe shop.
It was there that I saw The Boots. Real honest-to-goodness come-fuck-me boots. Sumptuous black leather, tight to the calf, zip all the way up, a not quite spike, 4-inch heel, squared off toe, and a lovely little faux belt at the bottom around the ankle. Such a nice sleek line they created on the leg.
These boots just screamed "Hey, I'm not a dominatrix but, baby, if you really want to get down there and unzip these with your teeth, I won't stop you."
And the thing is, they would go perfect with The Skirt.
Yeah, Boots & Skirt fit really well in that essentials list, right after the Black & Decker.
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Sat, 09 Aug 2003
When a woman loves a man
by David Lehman
When she says Margarita she means Daiquiri.
When she says quixotic she means mercurial.
And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again,"
she means, "Put your arms around me from behind
as I stand disconsolate at the window."
He's supposed to know that.
When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in Virginia
or he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading,
or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he
is raking leaves in Ithaca
or he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolate
at the window overlooking the bay
where a regatta of many-colored sails is going on
while he is stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway.
When a woman loves a man it is one-ten in the morning,
she is asleep he is watching the ball scores and eating pretzels
and two hours later he wakes up and staggers into bed
where she remains asleep and very warm.
When she says tomorrow she means in three or four weeks.
When she says, "We're talking about me now,"
he stops talking. Her best friend comes over and says,
"Did somebody die?"
When a woman loves a man, they have gone
to swim naked in the stream
on a glorious July day
with the sound of the waterfall like a chuckle
of water rushing over smooth rocks,
and there is nothing alien in the universe.
Ripe apples fall about them.
What else can they do but eat?
When he says, "Ours is a transitional era."
"That's very original of you," she replies,
dry as the Martini he is sipping.
They fight all the time
What do I owe you?
Let's start with an apology
Ok, I'm sorry, you dickhead.
A sign is held up saying "Laughter."
It's a silent picture.
"I've been fucked without a kiss," she says,
"and you can quote me on that,"
which sounds great in an English accent.
One year they broke up seven times and threatened to do it
another nine times.
When a woman loves a man, she wants him to meet her at the
airport in a foreign country with a jeep.
When a man loves a woman he's there. He doesn't complain that
she's two hours late
and there's nothing in the refrigerator.
When a woman loves a man, she wants to stay awake.
She's like a child crying
at nightfall because she didn't want the day to end.
When a man loves a woman, he watches her sleep, thinking:
as midnight to the moon is sleep to the beloved.
A thousand fireflies wink at him.
The frogs sound like the string section
of the orchestra warming up.
The stars dangle down like earrings the shape of grapes.
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Fri, 08 Aug 2003
Capturing the Moment
This is not the best photograph I've ever taken. It's not the best composition ever. But I love this photo of Gail cutting Matthew's hair.
The two of them are having a great chat about music. Matt is trying to impress Gail with his knowledge of Bob Dylan, and he is doing a fairly good job of succeeding. I love the little smile in his eyes. He is such an imp.
I love the reds and yellows. The bright colours and funky lamp on the wall are so Gail.
I like the sense of movement in the hand and the scissors. I like the diagonal line that carries your eye from the lamp down to the white of the cape in the lower right hand corner.
To me, this photo captures the moment and the atmosphere so well.
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Wed, 06 Aug 2003
The Parliamentary Library
A view of the impressive building which houses The Parliamentary Library. Taken from Molesworth Street, Wellington.
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The 'I'd Never Be Bored' List
There is never enough time in the day for me to do all the things I need to do. Always there are trade-offs - do I do dishes now, or leave them and go to bed early? Do I go to sleep now, or stay up and write an entry?
I honestly do not know how people get bored.
I was discussing with a friend recently how I would fill my days if I did not have to work or take care of small children. So I made a list. In no particular order, I would:
- Try to be a real photographer, not just a wannabe.
- Cycle every single day.
- Get incredibly fit and toned.
- Write more often.
- Make my own bread.
- Soak in the bath in the middle of the day and read House and Garden magazines.
- Create beautiful photo scrapbooks.
- Learn how to:
- sew a quilt
- sail a boat
- ballroom dance
- speak Spanish.
- Go to Germany to trace my genealogy.
- Finally clean the house the way it should be cleaned.
- Heh. Who am I kidding. If I had the money, I'd hire a cleaner. Hooray for cleaners!
- Paint my toenails a different colour every day just for the fun of it.
- Improve my French.
- Go to the afternoon matinee and eat popcorn.
- Have more sex.
- See every goddamn film that I want to see at The International Film Festival.
- Figure out how to take my bike apart and put it back together again.
- Volunteer at the local Women's Refuge.
- Bake chocolate cakes and lemon cheesecakes and give them away.
- Plan my Christmas tree decoration theme each year.
- Read more poetry.
- Read more everything.
- Go swimming more often.
- Book in a spa at least once a week.
- Did I say have more sex?
- Spend more time doing and make fewer lists.
- Probably still work, since I enjoy what I do so much.
So, what would you do if time and money allowed?
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Mon, 04 Aug 2003
The Park Royal Hotel
I have walked past the Park Royal Hotel many times in the past ten years, but on this particular day I happened to look up, and saw it in a way that had never struck me before.
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Sat, 02 Aug 2003
The Lines on my Face
After my last entry about my period, a reader very kindly wrote to tell me that menopause may not be the deliverance I was hoping for. She has been having her period every day since June.
My reply: Arrrrggghhhh.
Let me live in blissful ignorance until my time comes, and then bring on the hormone replacement therapy :)
As for the "old and wrinkly", well, I hope I did not offend. I have plenty o' wrinkles myself at the tender age of "almost-40" (thanks, Ralph).
I quite like my wrinkles.
I'm getting some lovely little crow's feet around the corners of my eyes. Those are my smile wrinkles. They crinkle when I smile.
Then I've got a short deep vertical one right between my eyebrows, above the bridge of my nose. That's my scowling-frowning-don't-fuck-with-me wrinkle.
Then I've got a rather strange one, above my left eyebrow on the far left, curving upwards. That's my raised-eyebrow-you-must-be-joking wrinkle.
I've also got a few long but not-very-deep horizontal ones along my forehead. Those are my I'm-way-too-old-to-be-doing-this-mom-thing wrinkles. I expect those to get much much worse over the next few years.
Of all the parts of growing old, I guess the wrinkles are the things I mind least. They have happened so gradually that my face looks natural, lived-in, comfortable with them.
Rather like a tree, I can count the years out in the lines on my face.
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Fri, 01 Aug 2003
Introduction to Poetry
by Billy Collins
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
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Lights in Midland Park
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