Entries tagged as ada
Sunday, October 14. 2012
Ada continued her record of leaving me perplexed as to what scares her in movies; Mulan was declared “too scary” after 20 minutes, with a request to switch to Star Wars. Because the tale of a girl who becomes a soldier to save her father and will ultimately lead the armies of China to victory over the invading Huns is scarier than one with torture, genocide, and the killing of all the parental figures.
Still, it warmed my heart on two accounts; afterwards Ada spent some time perfecting her C3PO arm-wave so she could be “Ada Robot” for the rest of the afternoon, which gave me a certain amount of geek pride. More importantly, though, she sat down and explained seriously to me that she was disappointed that there was only one girl character in Star Wars, that this seemed unfair to her, and that she didn’t care how cool Leia is, she thought it should be half each girl and boy characters. This made me especially happy because she appears to think it normal that she should she a decent range of female characters in her movies; it’s a great natural assumption for her to have, and it’s on the back of a considerable effort, in the face of the overwhelming norms of kids’ movies (and let me offer a hearty fuck you very much to Pixar, and your fanboys who assert you’re the finest film studio in the world, on that particular front), to present her with enough female-lead films that she’s got a counter to the boy-with-maybe-a-token-girl-on-the-side norm.
Friday, September 7. 2012
Ada’s school assembly ended with a bit of a surprise today: a visit from former All Black Josh Kronfeld and boxer Shane Cameron as part of the “Choppers for Child Cancer” initiative; it’s a group of riders who have been touring parts of the country raising funds for the Child Cancer Foundation. The group spoke at the assembly, outlining what the CCF does and warning parents they’d be hit up for donations on the way out; in the school playground, the bikes were parked up and the kids allowed to roam over them. Kronfeld and Cameron signed arms, papers, clothes, and various other bits and pieces thrust at them.
When they entered they were greeted with a waiata; Josh missed some of it because apparently he’s a complete sucker for a toddler pulling faces at him to get his attention. Cameron, on the other hand, was rapt with it, and made mention of how impressed he was with the display when it was his turn to speak. Kronfeld noted that one of the things the CCF does is make bead necklaces for kids undergoing cancer therapy: every treatment is a new bead, and during his trip he’d met kids with over 2000 beads. Two thousand. For a child. It was something that had made a pretty obvious impression on him.
Josh Kronfeld speaking at Roseneath
I lined Ada up for his impressive orange and bronze bike; he’s great with kids, helped her onto the bike and up to reach the handlebars. She enjoyed it mightily, although she was a lot more interested in the bike than one of the great All Blacks, and she was bemused by the autograph-seeking. All the guys—there were 5 all up—were very patient with the kids and happy for them to clamber over their inordinately expensive bikes.
One other thing that struck me during the visit was how Kronfeld is. I’m not small myself, but he’s bigger, and still has big, solid arms on him. Seeing someone on TV in the company of other similarly-sized sportsmen leads one to rather underestimate how large and solid they really are.
Sunday, June 17. 2012
In 2009 I had a real “Living in the Future” moment; at a conference in Brisbane, I ducked out of the last presentation a few minutes early, found a quiet spot in the lobby connecting the hotel’s conference rooms, popped open my laptop, and videoconferenced with my daughter in Wellington to say good night to her. It hit me afterwards that this felt like such a “golden sci-fi moment”.
That feeling was probably heightened by my experiences, 30-odd years before, when my father had been travelling on business. He would head off to such then-exotic locales as Kuala Lumpar or Tokyo for a week at a time, perhaps more, and from the time he stepped on the prop plane at New Plymouth airport until the time he came back with t-shirts, Air New Zealand hard-boiled lollies, or, on especially extraordinary occasions, Nintendo portable games (impossible to get in New Zealand), he would be out of contact. Timezones weren’t the problem; we couldn’t afford to call overseas, what with calls being in the ‘many dollars per minute’ bracket, and travelling didn’t allow for such fripperies as phoning home. This was the bad old days, now alleviated by cheap ubiquitious Internet access and webcams providing the option of making the stuff of my childhood sci-fi (well, the bits about video calling, not so much the bits about interplanetary travel) a simple thing indeed.
Continue reading "The Bad Old Days"
Sunday, June 10. 2012
A much belated note, but there you are:
Rosa Cecelia born 7:12 am 20/05/2012 at Wellington Base Hospital, almost 5 years and six months to the day of her big sister. Hospital midwives were superb, and frankly an infinitely better experience than we ended up having with independents.
Rosa weighed in at 4 kilos, bigger than her big sister, but otherwise her resemblence to Ada is striking. Ada is delighted by her little sister, and Lias appears to be profoundly pleased at having another half-sibling.
After 3 weeks to the day, Rosa is going well, Maire is tired, and Ada is still delighted; on the day we took Rosa home, we picked Ada up from school early and when her teacher signalled to the class Ada’s little sister was here, Ada announced, “Don’t you wish you were me?” in a tone of happy pride. The difference between the old delivery suite and the new one is amazing and delightful, as was Maire having a room to herself during her post-delivery stay; moreover our experiences last time taught us to camp out in hospital until a couple of difficulties that recurred this time were cleared up, rather than heading for home.
I’m delighted. I now have two wonderful girls to chase after.
Saturday, July 30. 2011
Ada was at her friend Jar’s fifth birthday party today and discovered water pistols for the first time; she was quite delighted.
(I know, I know, I’m most remiss not to have introduced them before. As penance I allowed myself to be shot several times by an initially nervous but quickly gleefully transgressive four year old.)
Most of the play consisted of rather tame use of said pistols: Jar was washing the windows of the house when we arrived; subsequent adventures tending to consist not of soaking each other and squealing, but rather squirting balloons, streamers, and other inanimate objects. At one point, Ada and a trio of the boys came upon a pink flamingo statue, and squirted it. “We’re cleaning it,” announced one of them.
A gimlet gleam came to Ada’s eye, and she positively danced with excitement at the thought: “Let’s kill it!”
Three small boys shuffled back very quickly. Ada relented upon seeing their rather horrified reactions.
I put this in the same category as her fairy-mermaid games, which feature Ada, the fairy, with her fairy sword and armour, which are made of “the hardest metal in the world”, killing monsters which have the temerity to menace the mermaids (such as her mother, Lias, and from time to time, her father). Either that or I’ve been reading doo much Dahl and Fleming to her.
Fuck you, gender stereotypes.
In more fuck you, gender stereotypes, last weekend, she got to indulge her interest in cars; the folks from Independent Prestige had set up shop in a storefront to show off some of their Gallardos, Bentleys, and Aston Martins. Ada was taken by the yellow Gallardo, delighted to discover she could almost see over the roof, the matching stitching of the upholstery, and the marching yellow of the brakes; she was enraptured when one of the Prestige team opened the door and ushered her in. She clambered around the driver’s seat; sadly, it’s the closest she’s likely to get to a house-price sports car.
Turning (eventually) away from the Gallardo and its white Spyder twin, she gave the Astons a cursory glance, but was fascinated by the Bentley Flying Spur, with its vast interior, wooden trim, and the separate air conditioning controls for the passengers, an amentity she requested, a week later, for our next car. I was forced to explain that “I would like us to have a car like the Bentley” is a request incompatible with my wallet.
In between she’s been attending the excellent Capital Kaizen school program. She was quite overawed by the occasion and the quality of the other kids (most of whom are at least a year older) on the first morning, but hit her stride after an hour or so, and hit the ground running the next day. The coaching team, from Stu through to his younger assistants, were absolutely fantastic with a little girl who’s desperate to reclaim the simple fluid joy she had for the first 6 months she played. Really well-run, heaps of fun for the kids, and Ada’s keen to go again.
Saturday, December 25. 2010
High points of Christmas:
The Vivitar camera doesn’t fucking talk to Windows 7, or Windows XP, or Linux. So Ada’s 15 Christmas photos are lost. Off to Dick Smith’s tomorrow to roundly abuse them for selling the product that ruined my Christmas evening. And then buy her a non-Vivitar camera, because not only does the camera not work, their site has no driver downloads, manuals, or information about any of their products. Fuck Vivitar.
Sunday, November 28. 2010
Ada a faire du foot en deux matches aujourd’hui; le match premiere avec équipe normal mais le match deuxième a la faire avec les enfants âge.
Après faire du foot nous allons le jardin botanique à nourriture pâture les carnards at j’ai fini le après-midi dans le jardin avec la tronçonneuse.
Saturday, October 2. 2010
I took myself on my first-ever trip on the Johnsonville line to fullfil a long-standing promise to Ada to go on a train with her; a perfect day for it, given the clear, warm day and blue skies. I was surprised how pretty they trip was; as well as the appropriately exciting tunnels and bridges, the views across rich green gullies to a fantastic harbour were superb. Not quite superb enough to make me move to one of the suburbs on the JVille line to enjoy it every day, mind.
Saturday, July 10. 2010
Ada veut faire du foot. Je ne sais pas; mais toute façon papa, je aide.
Aujourd’hui nous faisons du coursé; nous sommes rentré avec protege-tibia et beaucoup petit les chaussures de football.
Saturday, April 24. 2010
“Shall we if there’s good music on the radio?”
“No. I want Nightwish.”
“I see. Which Nightwish song do you want?”
“The one where he is running away because they think he has done something wrong.”
Daddy’s little metalhead.
Also, Up. Ada likes it. I found it verging on the harrowing. Good, you understand, but, my, that’s a pile of emotive in a kid’s movie.
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