Saturday, May 10, 2008

Where have Peter and Roni gone?

Peter's decided that when he meets new people from now on, and they ask where he's from, he's going to tell them, "The Internet".  This isn't because he spends all of his time on the web, or because we are tired of the accurate-but-long response of, "Well, I'm originally from the US but now I live in Auckland," which usually begins a tired and predictable Q&A session ending in a small but nonetheless awkward silence as all parties recognise the absurd formality of what just happened.  "The internet" is an answer that bypasses this sort of bothersome exchange, true, but it's also a handy way of pointing out that geographic location is an increasingly small indicator of a person's heritage these days.  We're all mobile, whether we globe trot or not, thanks to a shrinking world economy and culture.  The internet is how we manage to connect to the human communities that help to identify who we are.  

That being said, if you've checked this blog within the last few months we seemed to have disappeared into the ether.  So if we're from the internet, is that where we've gone to?

Not exactly.  We're still hiding here in Auckland.  I've been buried under a pile of work as deep as my knee (I measured the other day with a co-worker during our shared non-contact period) and Peter's buried himself in the more existential task of how to time, manage, and prepare for the big career shift.  Three weeks ago my wonderful parents came down from Montana for a much-needed family get together.  I had two weeks with my parents, all to myself, and I didn't want to waste a minute of it on blogging, emailing, uploading pictures or any of that admittedly considerate stuff.  We had a fantastic time and I hated to see them go last weekend.  I'll sort and upload pictures soon so you can see all of the mischief we managed to get up to.

We're now back to a partially regular routine.  I've already had two late nights at work; exams are looming and essays are changing hands faster than is comfortable (for all of us).  This will likely be my life for the next 5 weeks so bear with me if there's another dry spot in the blog.  To break up the monotony I'll be helping out with an Aikido club that another teacher is setting up at school.  It will only be one night per week but it should get me out from behind the desk and moving around a bit.

Saturdays are now "Lost Hobby" days around here.  I've picked up music again and joined a samba group with a friend of mine.  It's nice to pick up a drum again and I'm having a great time getting to know the other band members.  We're a diverse bunch, with one Kiwi, on Pole, a Scottish woman who has adopted Canada as her homeland and two Americans.  The best part is that my sense of rhythm is still intact after all of these years.  Peter is fixing up a bike so that he has something to toddle down to the ferry on.  Bike parking is limited, and typically outside where bikes are pelted by sand and salt spray all day.  He doesn't want to leave anything worth money down there, for good reason, so he's found a junk bike under our friend Mark's patio and they're fixing it up together.  When all is said and done they have rebuilt a sunny yellow hipster bike.  And then they can get on to the next batch of homebrew.

This friend Mark is also the cause of much merriment around our social group lately.  He's just been published in Geology, the world's leading scientific journal in that field.  Mark's masters thesis on how those peculiar cenospheres, normally a sign of industrial civilisations, made it into the fossil record at the time of the dinosaurs' demise, gained some recognition and now he's all over the news.  The analogy we've come up with is that this is much like being voted an MLB MVP while still in the minors.  It's been a joy to see him, a very modest Kiwi, get some recognition for genuinely good science.  I've never seen a widely accepted scientific theory called into question before and it's exceptionally cool to get to see this process from up close.

And that's life in Auckland.  We're plugging along, looking forward, and enjoying today.  Photos to come of our first trip down to the South Island, along with mom and dad's adventures on the bottom of the planet.