Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Mama!

Mama turns 22 today. Birthdays with our crew are usually a mix of bitching about getting older and giddy excitement about getting presents. I think this year, though, the aging aspect isn't quite so dramatic because it's quite hard not to feel old all the time when lugging around a child. (Yeah, yeah, I'm sure that sounds hilarious to some of you fossils out there, but you must remember that I was never meant to grow up.) Still, that's a pretty big item ticked off the bucket list rather early in the game, right?

Bean got Mama a sewing machine for her birthday, which was really quite thoughtful of him. It's a bit fancy and is going to take some learning, but considering how into her crafty stuff Mama is these days it should be an invaluable addition to her arsenal. Not being anywhere near as considerate or generous as Hunter, I made do with a gift of comics, records, and cross-stitch paraphernalia. More treaties to come tonight and at the party on Saturday I suspect.

Slow, boring days otherwise, so let's just make do with some new pictures, shall we?

Here we have Bean getting a little European with a bare chest look, a cheeky hint of bubbles forming at the mouth; this look is all the rage in Paris presently.

This is one of my all-time favourites, even if Hunter does have a completely bewildered look about him (just wish I would remember to take those ugly time stamps off the camera.)

I don't know what he's looking at off camera, but he seems to be filled with a mix of delight and mistrust. So it's probably Nick.

For whatever reason we seem to have decided to dress our kid up like Blossom. He gets 10,000 po-mo points for referencing a show that ended over a decade before he was born.

This is Hunter in his bouncy thing. Sometimes it elicits yelps of joy from the little guy, as above, but mostly it just seems to piss him off - I don't think he likes to be strapped down (and fair enough.)

When simulated by his many brightly coloured toys, Hunter's eyes will bludge wide and his movements take on a frantic twitching quality, as though experiencing a seizure that he's really enjoying. This state has earned him the sub-nickname Crack Bean, because it's never too early to teach your kids about drugs.

Her name is spoken in whispered tones late at night, most believe her to be little more than an urban myth, but here I have photographic evidence of Hunter's enigmatic Aunty Steph. Also pictured; Lucy, who constantly complains that there are no photos of her on my blog.

A hard day of being waited on hand and foot really takes a lot out of you it would seem, what with all the feeding, pooping, and gurgling.

...and a big ol' close up to go out on. Not really sure what the crazy little guy is doing there, but he sure does look cute.

That's it, nothing more for you here ya vultures, go home to your friends and families. If anyone is in the vicinity tonight, stop by our place for a birthday drink; otherwise we will see you on Saturday for the party proper, yes? And for those not catching up, take care y'all.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Standing in the Shadows

Mr. Hunter hasn't been up to anything especially noteworthy of late, mostly just quietly connecting neural links and staring at his hands a lot. The little guy seems to have come to grips with this whole existing thing and spends his days basking in it. He's growing really damn fast; his unfortunately named Moses Basket is about to burst at the seams so we're on the brink of moving him into a crib... as soon as we get one.

Last weekend Hunter attended his first (sort of) film festival, Terrible-fest - We screened a collection of four of the trashiest looking New Releases of that month for an intimate audience of drunken friends. When I told a friend of mine that I had a baby his first comment was 'Congratulations, I expect him to have developed a full appreciation of zombie films by age five.' Those unlucky enough to know me well will be fully aware of my passion for all things cinematically undead; so it's appropriate enough that Bean have his first experience of the shuffling menace at an early age. While I would have preferred to show him the classics first, I suppose they can wait until such time that he might remember the slightest thing about them. For now two thoroughly atrocious zombie flicks (and a pair of hideous alien films) will have to do.

Mama is currently shaking the bucket on Plunket's behalf; their annual appeal is just kicking off so it's all volunteering hands on deck. She's hawking raffle tickets at $2 a pop which could win you all kinds of fantastic prizes that I've completely forgotten about, so if you've got some shrapnel to offload keep her in mind (or you can just donate online, but Mama would much rather have the kudos.)

The appeal's theme this time around is 'Be a Superhero', which I dig because I'm a total geek. So I'll be doing a little panhandling next month on the 18th to help raise whatever we can. I can't overstate how amazingly great Plunket have been to us: If you haven't had a kid it might be a little hard to imagine just how completely and utterly overwhelming the experience is from one second to the next, simply having a place exist where people know what they're doing and are happy to help is about the biggest blessing your addled new parent mind could conjure. They say it takes a village to raise a child, in our times Plunket is most of that village. Get in contact if you think you could spare some time to do some collecting or whatever else.

It's been a rough week, a lot of drama I don't feel like tainting this blog with and none of it relevant to Bean, who has just been an amazingly good kid of late. Here's hoping for less stressful times to come, everyone take care.

P.S. ZOMG!! Michael Franti is coming to New Zealand next month! I hope I can get the scratch together for a ticket, he and his band are truly fantastic. Check out their new album 'All Rebel Rockers' if you're so inclined, it's great.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mama's Boy

I said I was going to post more often and then I up and disappeared for over a week; and I bet you were foolish enough to believe me, too.

We attempted to force a new milestone upon Bean the other day, with poor-to-disastrous results. While he can be a rowdy, contentious little man, Hunter is actually a pretty chilled out baby; it's all juts bluster and attention seeking (insert obligatory Winston Peters reference here,) he seldom seems to get genuinely upset.

Naive fools that we are, we took his relaxed predisposition to mean that perhaps the little guy was up to his first night of being babysat. He'd had plenty of time without his mother in the past and never seemed too perturbed when it was juts he and I, so when our friend Pat's 30th birthday celebration rolled around we figured we would flick Bean to (not-Grandma) Andrea and go make some mischief for the night.

All seemed to go swimmingly for the first half a pint; we were relaxing at Galbraith's Ale House, talking to other grown ups about proper grown up things, and generally enjoying ourselves. Half way through my first delicious Grafton Porter, however, we get a call from Andrea almost inaudible above the cacophonous screams of Hunter in the background. Crap.

We raced back home (thanks Luce) to discover the little guy bawling inconsolably for no readily apparent reason. Evidently he had been fine for a spell, but upon casting about the room and not seeing or hearing his Mama he launched into a Tasmanian Devil-like fit. The diagnosis was confirmed when Mama reached down and picked the little guy up; instant silence. Oh well, maybe later on down the road.

As your television, radio, billboards, street posters, internet, and hovering blimps probably informed you, it was recently Father's Day. It's not the kind of made up day of consumer-bration that I usually go in for, but Hunter was too young to know any better I guess. He wrote me a lovely card (inexplicably emblazoned with 'To a Wonderful Son"?) and bought me a nice new addition to my collection of Star Wars stuff that I really don't need (I already have way more toys than he does.) Mandated event aside, it was a lovely warm Sunday and we spent the day strolling about town and eating well, it was just what I needed.

We don't have a great deal of excitement lined up for the coming weekend; Lucy has invited us to hang at her new abode if the weather is ok, and I'm going to attempt to attend my first show since the little man arrived (Missing Teeth's final show - boo! Though 9.5 years isn't too shabby.) Since we can't leave Beanie with a sitter yet, Mama has very kindly volunteered to watch him while I go have fun, boasting that she's seen Missing Teeth play way more times than I have anyway. So everyone should come to that and hang out, because who knows when I'll get out again.

For now I bid you farewell (or shall I first make up some more lies about swearing to post more often?)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Bean Chronicles

Hunter has been quite busy in recent weeks, which means I have, by default, also been quite busy and so some of these events went completely un-blogged. C'est la vie, we can catch up now.

The little man had his first round of immunization jabs a few weeks back. After reading up on the whole immunization debate I found that I had not really landed on one side or the other in the argument - at least not passionately enough to object to Mama's plans. While I'm not entirely sure it was/is the right way to go, it does not seem to have had any immediate negative effects of Das Bean, except for causing him to make this face for a good 48 or so hours:

Hunter also had his first party a little while back, thrown by Andrea (I was going to say 'his Grandmother', but none of the grandparents have decided what they want to be called for fear of sounding old, narcissistic lot.) Some of the more traditional attendees had delusions of this being some kind of christening *chuckle* or 'naming ceremony'. Apparently 'it's just a party' doesn't fly for some people.

But just a party it was, and a pretty decent one too - lots of booze and filled with people I didn't know at all. Andrea assures us that she was familiar with almost everyone there though, so that's nice.

Unfortunately Hunter wasn't in the party mood, overwhelmed almost instantly by the swell of well-meaning unfamiliar faces, he quickly descended into full-on spazz mode. Whisked away to an unoccupied bedroom, he spent the duration calming down, feeding, and sleeping. This left much of the revelers without a child to coo over (although I think some of them mistook another baby that had turned up for the child they were supposed to be celebrating.) Most were easily consoled with drink and food and promptly forgot why they had come in the first place.

On the whole it was very successful first party for everyone but Hunter. He's got the memory of a goldfish though, so I sincerely doubt this will colour him against festivities in the long run; we'll give it another shot down the road. You're all invited.

Last weekend Hunter also attended his first protest; a march down Queen Street as a show of solidarity for those arrested in 'Operation Eight', the ridiculous terror raids of October 15th last year. While the attempted charges under the terror act had to be dropped due to sheer absurdity, many people don't realize that those wrongfully arrested are still far from free - unable to abuse our reactionary terror laws, the police are now attempting to charge 20 indigenous and peace activists with arms charges; an achingly slow process that began on Monday.

(photos via Indymedia)

The march went well enough, a decent turn out with no trouble from either protester or police. I'm sure the event succeeded, to some degree, in its intended goal - to raise awareness and show support. But being there amidst the chants and hyperbolic speeches it was hard not to feel a little detached. The same old faces were there; hagged old Socialists handing out their crude propaganda and Big Daddy Minto barking on about ninjas (?) and 'police states' (as the cops helpfully made sure no one got hit by traffic as we marched.) It all felt so old and tired.

There were glimmers of the new buried under all that old timey bluster, however. Some of the younger TÅ«hoe supporters brought a great deal of energy to the party; so impassioned was their whooping that it seemed positively out of place amongst the drowsy '2-4-6-8' sloganeering of the shuffling SWO warhorses. There were also a bunch of young purple-clad anarchist kids (from Radical Youth I guess,) who brought along my absolute favourite part favour of the day; the wheelie bin sound system:

More of that, I say; action should be as much a celebration as it is a duty.

Finally, on the Sunday Hunter attended his first craft show. The inaugural Kraft Bomb seemed an incredible success - a handful of wonderful vendors crammed into a small room at Grey Lynn Community Center were completely swamped by attendees. We arrived at what was apparently a bit of a quiet spell and it was still nigh impossible to move. Mama bought herself a very swanky apron with pistols stitched on the pockets - I was hanging out for cupcakes but they sold out within 45 minutes of opening. Damn.

Well done to the lovely City for organizing the show, it's going to be a reoccurring thing so come by and check it out on the last Sunday of every month.

Now you're pretty much up to date; good for you. I'll try to stay on top of posting a little more often to avoid monster posts like this in future. Thanks for coming, take care now.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Camera Obscura

My digital camera has finally been returned from the dread swamp Hamilton (thanks Dad,) so we now return you to your regular scheduled viewing (rather than obscure Coppola musical soundtrack images I dig up to inject colour into otherwise bland prose.) Check out ye olde Flickr for more images of Bean in action or, for those averse to links, here's some I prepared earlier: