Monday, September 5, 2011

Good Times, Bad Times

It's been a Dickensian past few days.

The Best of Times:

It was my lovely Mother's birthday on Friday. After the lazarus-type event earlier in the week we postponed the champagne breakfast we had been planning for her but it was too late to cancel the ten dozen oysters, so Friday night found us tucking in without any of the usual polite hesitation (despite having protested ten minutes before their arrival that we were all stuffed). Dad kept asking me when I thought I'd get to eat oysters like that again and made me wonder if I'm going to be pregnant or dead soon but I realised he was referring to the fact I'd had about a dozen.

Because of my lovely Mother's birthday, my wonderful little niece was down for the weekend, and I got to spend time with her, my excellent six-year-old niece, and my cousin's four-year-old son who is one of the sweetest little kids I've met. I love being with my family (most of the time!) but having children around is a whole other thing.

Yesterday Vincent and I bought tickets to the Samoa vs Wales game in Hamilton. On Saturday I had watched this (and other clips) on youtube and had to fight back tears; it's funny how patriotism in other countries can be so vomitous but when it's your own it's beautiful and bloody emotional. I'm now completely in the spirit; it's hard not to be when you live in a country of immigrants who are totally amped about their teams - one Tongan fan on tonight's news: "It doesn't matter if it's one hundred to zero" on the Tonga vs All Blacks game, from his car with a clothesline of Tongan flags from his back bumper to his front bumper. Cars everywhere are flying flags (five Tongan flags for every other), but my parents' neighbour took the cake yesterday when we were outside waving off our Far North family and he casually drove in with the most enormous flag on a flag-pole attached to his tow-bar. He is a fan who has a large flagpole outside his house which flies a Chilean flag except on game weekends when the All Blacks flag is raised without fail, and before the last game his parents wished mine luck. I've been such a grump about an invasion of tourists and the prospect of picking my way through piles of spew to get to work in the morning, but right now I can't resent something that has people so happy and excited. And come Friday, the official opening at the waterfront, I am going to be there, with bells on, drinking my first (through twelfth) beer in about a month.

The Worst of Times:

This update on 3 News on Saturday night, which shows thousands and thousands of people waiting in line after travelling miles and miles, starving. After being with my nieces and nephew the night before and seeing what a happy, healthy child is like, I couldn't bear seeing these children; I could feel my heart breaking. I just read here that an entire generation may be lost.

"The future of an entire generation hangs in the balance," stressed Ms Migiro at the African Union summit. 
"We will be asked how we stood by and watched a generation die, 
how we allowed a crisis to become a catastrophe, when we could have stopped it."  

Please, please watch the clip, and give. Especially if you have a kid in your life whom you love; it's harrowing, but imagine if they needed something that you couldn't give them, and then you had to watch them suffer because of it. No-one deserves that, and every child deserves to be well, and to have a chance to grow up. You can give here.

It's pretty pathetic to list having strained/possibly cracked ribs from all my coughing, and I'm glad to be reminded of that. I've been in a lot of pain and I've been struggling, physically and mentally, and I hate myself for being so weak. It's been unnerving realising how unsettled I can be, but I'm working on it. Hopefully I'll nail it very soon; doctor says ribs can take several weeks to heal. Whoopee.

Other Times:

This afternoon I watched The Royal Tenenbaums. I've seen it a few times before, but the mood I was in (strange - I cried, like full-on cried, at the end when Royal dies) meant different things stuck out to me. One was that love is the only thing we really have. (I know. Imagine being inside my head.)  And the other, from Royal's story, was that is's never too late. I was talking to some friends last week about persistence, and how one man's wore down my cousin so she married him, and watching the movie today made me think that if you want to make a change, be someone different (I would hope better), or make something up to someone, the key is not giving up. It can't be about how your efforts are received (Chas, completely understandably, won't have a bar of Royal for a long time); it has to be about being committed to what you've decided to do. And then if you keep doing it, you have to win; you have to. It's totally cheesy, but I remember Justin on Brothers And Sisters (I said it was cheesy!) saying of his recovery from drug-addiction "Fake it till you make it" (it's probably well-known but I hadn't heard it before) and I've never forgotten it. It might feel like an effort, and unnatural, and maybe even not quite genuine at first, but the more you do it, the less it is. I'm fully aware I'm probably trying to convince myself of something here. Now I just have to figure out to what it pertains.

Lastly, I listened to this, from the soundtrack, after the movie finished. Do you think about how you fit in to everything and what you can do? Sometimes I don't know if I'm insane or what. Anyway, I really believe Yoko was the perfect thing for Lennon. What he did after he left The Beatles was beautiful and significant, and while I know he had it in him, I think it was she who awakened it.

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