Thursday, September 28, 2006

Memories of this

I realised somewhat after I'd posted this with a link to Orisinal that I'd already done that before, here. I'd blame this failure of memory on motherhood except... well... you see... um... let me tell you the story of an embarassing incident that happened to me long ago.

Once upon a time I had a very nice boyfriend and after we had gone out for many moons I broke up with him. I tried to do it not too unpleasantly. Afterwards though something festered in my angsty teenage mind. I felt I hadn't told him the "real" reason I'd dumped him. I agonised about it. I wrote letters and ripped them up. I tormented myself about it on and off for a long time. Eventually I didn't rip up the letter and I sent it to him. It started something like "I'm sorry I never told you this but...."

And when I saw him a short time later and I asked him if he'd got the letter do you know what he said?

He said I'd told him already - I'd sent a letter before.

Posting the same link twice may show a certain lack of recollection and originality but at least it does not have the same cringeworthiness as forgetting you have bared your Soul (with a capital S for extra melodrama).

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Movie review - An Inconvenient Truth

Yesterday I went to An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary about Al Gore, the presentation he has given hundreds of times about global warming, and global warming itself.

Al Gore is the hero of the film and it presents him as larger than life (and not just because we were sitting near the front of the theatre).

It is aimed at a non-scientific, American audience and occaisionally that grates - I wanted all the graphs to have scales and titles, I wanted to read all the words on the slides and I wanted his "we" to include me.

As Helene Wong wrote in the Listener:

By all accounts, he’s got the science mostly right, though it’s a bit bemusing to hear that rising waters have led to the evacuation of Tuvaluans to New Zealand, and to see on the world maps which appear at regular intervals that, alarmingly, sometimes we’re there and sometimes we’re not. Or maybe it’s just their way of making a point about the tides.

It is a great movie and I recommend it to everyone except particularly pedantic, scientific kiwis who are sceptical about climate change.

It is a powerful message well presented. It made me go home and change what I do.

(For what is really happenning in Tuvalu you can check out this article or this longer more recent one. Sadly from these I learnt that what I'd read about NZ offering to take everyone from Tuvalu when it sinks is not true.)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Three mumecdotes

On Sunday I tidied the coffee table before some visitors arrived. I cleared away books, toys and random objects that small people had been playing with. I failed to clear away an apple core. I'd like to think I was very focussed.

K's preferred method of finding a toilet: announcing in loud, clear, bell like tones "I'm starting to pee." It's effective.

Yesterday, everytime I got stuff out of my handbag, a small pink and white sock made a break for freedom. I had to rescue it from the floor of the lift, under my desk and I probably would have dropped it at the bus stop but I was wise to its rebellious ways by then.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Template update in progress

Please do not adjust your set.

I have updated to a new beta-Blogger template (which naturally I am trying to make look just like the old one).

The sidebar is still a little odd and I want to sort out the font spacing (some of it is a bit cramped).

Normal transmission will resume shortly.

10 lies about me

I enjoyed writing 10 lies about Wellington's weather so I thought I'd use that meme again.

  1. I got pregnant accidentally and I was horrified when I found out. Having children was the last thing I wanted to do with my life. I'd always expected to be an aunty but never a mum.

  2. My tall, thin, angular build has earned me the nickname "Grasshopper" from many different social groups all of whom think it is original. I've always been an athlete as you can tell just by looking at me.

  3. I believe in Jesus Christ as my personal saviour, and every word of the bible as the inspired word of God. Intelligent design fits the facts and the bible so I don't see what the fuss is about teaching it. I am trying to instill the fear of God into my children as that is the only way to make sure they grow up to be moral adults.

  4. Global warming doesn't bother me. I think it is all a storm in a tea cup. A new fear to replace nuclear armageddon now the cold war is over. Face it, nearly everywhere that matters would be nicer if it was a few degrees hotter and Africa will need millions of dollars in aid whatever happens.

  5. I find parenting easy. The time I spend with my children is the easiest part of the day. I'd give up working for money and become an at home mum if D would let me.

  6. I believe science has failed. If we stopped spending vast amounts of public money on scientific research, western medicine and technology and instead invested in spiritual communities where people lived more holistically and listened to nature we would be happier and healthier. Homeopathic remedies, herbs and crystals provide us with safe, natural, effective healing.

  7. I make a point of always being immaculately presented. I never leave the house without makeup, ironed clothes and a handbag that matches my shoes. I usually buy designer clothes and so I have been paying close attention to New Zealand Fashion Week and expect to buy several things I've seen.

  8. I don't read. I think reading is good for children but you grow out of it. I can't understand why anyone would spend their time doing something so boring when you can learn anything you need to by surfing the web and watching documentaries on TV.

  9. I'm the alter ego of a 16 year old boy called Marcus. An experiment in writing convincingly from another's point of view. I (Marcus) chose to impersonate a whimsical middle aged mother of twins because she is the character most different from me in the novel that I am planning to write.

  10. I don't care if no one reads this.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Alarm clock calibration

My alarm clock is particularly difficult to reset at the end of daylight savings and tends to malfunction in Spring. At the moment it often goes off around 5:30, an hour earlier than it is supposed to. It has many other features that I am very fond of - no annoying electronic beep, a funky patterned furry surface, high fidelity sound quality and it keeps my lap warm in the evening. The calibration routine involves putting the alarm clock into the laundry if it wakes me before 6am and feeding it when it wakes me at an acceptable time. Occasionally it delivers dead rats to the bedroom door - I'm not sure if this is a bug or a feature.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Why can't IT be easy?

I was going to post something about how on earth are normal people supposed to use modern technology if I, with a computer science degree and 14 years experience working in Information Technology, find it takes over 3 hours to get my new wireless router set up (and I'm still not happy with the security).

Then I spent over half an hour trying to get any one of three identical nightlights working with either one of two brand new bulbs and I thought maybe I'll just post on the orneriness of technology.

Then I chased the neighbours cat outside and locked myself out.

Do doors count as technology?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Attack of the cute animal games

Warning - may be dangerous to your productivity.
More ways to procrastinate than you can shake a stick at.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The allure of the new

Yesterday when I got home H & K told me very excitedly that there was a parcel. I opened it and it had their new pyjamas inside. They were in them in two seconds flat.

Maybe we should get new pyjamas delivered more often :-)

I don't have new pyjamas but I do have a new computer. I'm not so bouncy with enthusiasm but I have shown it off to everyone in range. I'm going home to play with it soon and I expect I'll post more about it later (and show you too).

Monday, September 18, 2006

Found humour

At lunch time I saw sign which said:
ANGER - keep out

Pohutukawa springing


Today I walked to work and it was absolutely, positively Spring. I'm not sure if it snuck up on me while I was obsessing about my operation or if the lovely sunny weekend we've just had tipped the balance.

For a few weeks the early signs have been out - first fleshy pink magnolias, then all the leaves gone from the kowhai trees replaced with yellow flowers and the Botanical Gardens becoming ever more tulipy. But suddenly today lots of unimpressive trees I don't usually notice were covered in blossom, the blackbirds were flirting and one very early pohutukawa was out.


When Europeans first settled in Wellington there were no pohutukawa trees here, they were only found further north in New Zealand. Then between 1930 and the 1970s the Wellington City Council planted 30,000 [quoted from memory from Bob Brockie's excellent book City Nature]. Wellingtonians also planted them in their gardens and many self seeded. They are now very common here.

The interesting question is why had a tree that grows so readily in Wellington not spread here naturally? Some scientists believe pohutukawa did used to grow in Wellington. It was only during the last iceage [or mini-iceage I forget which] that it got too cold for them. If we had waited long enough they would have spread back south of their own accord. The problem with proving this theory is that pohutukawa pollen looks so similar to northern rata pollen that the identification of pohutukawa pollen by some experts is questioned by other experts.

I like the idea that the spread of pohutukawa south was inevitable and only assisted by generations of Wellingtonians.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A hysterical tale

Warning - contains gynaecological details - my disturb some readers.

Once upon a time there was a very nice uterus. Unfortunately she had terrible neighbours, the ovaries, who didn't do their job properly and didn't give her the right hormones at the right time. The nice uterus tried to cope with the hormones that the ovaries threw at her but sometimes she needed help. Mostly she needed help when the hormones wouldn't bloody stop. Fortunately when she had some pills the ovaries would stop causing trouble for a while.

One day two tiny, tiny embryos came to visit the nice uterus. The nice uterus loved them. She took very good care of them and helped them grow and grow and grow into big babies. While they were staying with the nice uterus everything was all right.

When they decided to go the nice uterus knew it was the right time and she tried very hard to help them. After trying for a long time she was told that for the good of her babies something terrible would happen to her but it was okay because she'd get better. The terrible thing happened: a huge hole was ripped in the nice uterus and her babies were pulled out. It was hard but she healed.

After a while the problems with the neighbours started up again. This time they were worse. She had the pills again but they didn't work. She had more and more and more of them and eventually it was okay for a while but it didn't last. Some other things got tried too but they didn't last either.

Now she has been told that for the good of the whole neighbourhood something terrible will happen to her and that this time she'll never be the same again. She has been told that she might never bleed again. She won't be like other uteruses. She'll lose her nuturing skills forever. She'll never have any more babies.

She's been told she has until 10 October to get used to the idea.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Diggers are one of H & K's favourite things and they were absolutely delighted to visit W's J at work and ride on the digger he's been using. They got to ride on a dump truck too.

The title of this post comes from a story S told me when she was teaching three year olds. She asked a small boy, who was dividing the world into things for girls and things for boys, "What is something for girls and boys?" and he thought very hard and said "CONSTRUCTION!"

[K is closer to the camera in a turquoise jacket, H is in purple.]

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Remembering the dead

On Friday while H & K were eating dinner K asked me "Where did your watch come from?" and I replied that it used to be my Grandma's (her Great Grandma's) and after she died it became my watch.

K asked "Is she at the dead people place?" and I explained that she isn't at the dead people place we normally go to (the cemetary we walk past or through when we walk to my parents' house) but, yes, she is at a place for dead people.

Then H chimed in "Can I give her a flower and a leaf?"

I was really touched.

So on Saturday H picked daisies from our garden and K picked a pink azalea and a leaf from our cape gooseberry. We drove out to Eastbourne and put them in the memorial wall next to the niche with my Grandma's ashes.

H & K didn't know it but Saturday would have been Grandma's 93rd birthday.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A love poem

It is too trite
to write
about love.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Blonde thoughts

The other day I had my hair bleached white blonde. I have had a lot of positive feedback and I am very happy with the change but when the umpteenth person said, "So do blondes have more fun?" and I replied, "I'm not sure but they certainly get more inane remarks," I didn't mean it as a put down - just a statement of fact.

Now I use it as a put down.

[Orginally published with a request for advice from punctuation pendants, especially I. Updated after that great goddess of punctuation provided her advice.]

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

An ode to shoes

I wear Merrell Jungle Mocs,
I wear them all the time,
I've persuaded myself they're corporate enough
to wear them on work time.

I like the way they're comfy,
I like the way they feel,
I'm delighted that work doesn't bat an eye
since I hurt my heel.

My toenails aren't making holes
in my socks anymore
but all my other shoes are getting dusty
on the wardrobe floor.

[Insert standard doggerel disclaimer here.]

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A link is worth a thousand words

A very quick post most suitable for people whose brains have been addled by computer science.

First the explanation then some examples of silliness and more silliness.

Monday, September 04, 2006

New Zealand idyll

Yesterday was Father's Day in this part of the world so I asked D what he wanted to do (while cooking him breakfast) and he said "Hokio" somewhat wistfully. So we went.

H&K went barefoot to the beach, climbed sand dunes and played in the river. D enjoyed a quiet break with his book.

It was lovely.

[K is standing, H sitting.]

Friday, September 01, 2006

About penguins

And Tango Makes Three arrived last night from Amazon. It is a lovely, well written, positive, children's story about two male penguins who fall in love, are given an egg to hatch and do a a great job of being parents.

It nearly made me cry.

I am saving it up as a present for K. I have got Heather Has Two Mommies for H. I want the books my children read to reinforce that lots of different kinds of family are OK.