Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2006 – 7:00 pm

We took William out of school for the day, drove down to Auckland,
and went to Kelly Tarlton’s
(like the Monterey Aquarium) and then to a buffet for lunch.
Very luxurious, but you have to be on the ball when it’s the missus’s
birthday and Valentine’s Day. The kids had fun, but all that
driving (90m down, 90m back) took it out of them.

I realize it’s been a while since I blogged. We had a bit of
family drama over Christmas, when Dad’s business burned down in
Colorado. Lots of stress there, and ongoing visits to America for Dad
to pick up the pieces. I’ve had to think hard about what I want to do
in August when I stop working on conferences fulltime–I may have a
lot of dependents!

The fire brought on the lowest low we’ve had since we got here, but
around my birthday (Jan 18) we picked up and I started to feel on top
of it. I think the key was when Jenine went away for a week, canoeing
the Whanganui, and I took the kids for that whole week. I took
vacation time from the job, and learned how to be a Daddy. It was
awesome. I could do it again and again, and the confidence I have now
from knowing I can be super-Dad is great. End result is that
I’m now at peace and really enjoying being here.

The only remaining source of stress is the school, and we’re
managing that. The boy’s in a different class this year, with a
different teacher, and seems happier as a result. He still skips as
he walks, which is the only solid measure of whether he’s still happy
after vacation ended. We tried sounding him out about bullying and
other kids, but he just wants to tell us what we want to hear. So
we’re listening carefully to what he volunteers, and will be spending
the occasional lunchtime watching the playground. But in the absence
of any complaints, and the presence of a happy boy, we’re happy.

I’ve been looking into health insurance, as my O’Reilly-provided
American health insurance is no good to me here. It looks like full
tip-top coverage will be about $100/fortnight, or NZ$2600/year.
That’s not bad–I seem to remember paying US$3-5k/year when I was
self-employed back in ’98 or ’99.

For my birthday I asked for, and got, a Maori language book with
CDs. My spare time should now be spent with flashcards learning
nouns, but I’ve taken to spendin the time sleeping instead. Sleeping
and reading–I’m getting into Daniel Dennett’s “Breaking the
“. Sleeping, reading, and doing sudoku as I find them in newspapers.
Sleeping, reading, sudoku, and the crossword puzzles in the papers.
Ok, so I’m hard out here.

We’ve also had some good times with our neighbours, Jimmy, Jimmy,
and Jackie. The Jimmies have built a farnarkling course (or “sword”,
pronounced sw-ord) in their back yard, so we’ve had some great times
out there with a bottle of New Zealand Cabernet Sauvignon and a
croquet mallet in hand. The Jimmies also play guitar, so the drinking
inevitably leads to jamming. I’m getting pretty good at some Johnny
Cash songs.

You must be logged in to post a comment.