Fashion failure? It’s not an option.

I may have had fashion failures in my life so far, but it doesn’t mean I have to CONFRONT them. I have a technique. We both know they happened, but I will stare you down, until you look away first. I’m like a frog. I don’t always have to blink.

Let’s first consider this notion of fashion ‘fails’. Failing means to fall short of success or achievement, or to be deficient or lacking. I don’t think there was anything deficient or lacking, persay, about my sartorial choices. I don’t think my outfits over the years have lacked anything, persay. I threw myself right in there, just like Madonna threw herself in to that pointy bra. I didn’t look good. I’m not claiming that. But I was on-trend, I think. So while looking back I look laughable, I was actually mixing it up in the milkshake blender of trends that were the 80s and 90s, cos God only knew MY milkshakes as actual EUPHEMISMS weren’t going to bring any boys to the yard, pancakes that they were. Maple syrup jokes are SO unfunny, teenaged boys. I could talk about pizzas, but I am a sensitive soul who knows who the Pixies are, even though it’s the NINETIES. So ner.

Apologies. I went somewhere for a moment. Fashion is a funny thing, and highly subjective. You can be so fashion forward you are actually backward (a la Celine Dion’s tuxedo at the 1999 Oscars, winning her a hallowed award in the ‘Worst dressed’ hall of fame), or you can rock it like Madonna with the lace and fingerless gloves in Desperately Seeking Susan, and WIN. With attitude to burn. And attitude is something I had in plentiful supply during my teenaged years, so, fail or no fail, I shall guide you through my cheeky 80s popped collar ensembles to the more moody 90s ‘I have no body under here and if you look at me or take a photo I’ll stomp on you with my BIG ANGRY GRUNGE STOMPY BOOTS! COS I’M IN YEAR 11 AND NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME!’

In truth, these are not the worst photos in existence. I am not being photo-ist and vainly flattering myself. I truly cannot find them. It seems they may have disintegrated in self-disgust, or spontaneously combusted from the attitude within. I hated having my photo taken, cos I looked horrible in photos (Duh. I was always scowling), hence I always looked horrible in photos. This is the song that never ends… it just goes on and on.. I can tell you I used to crimp my hair, and wear T-shirt crop tops, and later checked stussy pants with Docs. I went through a patch in year 10 and 11 where I put Glintz $3.50 rinses through my mousey brown hair to turn it a majestic shade of OH MY GOD THE SUN’S UP NEED SUNGLASSES! Or, ‘sunburst’ or ‘copper’ as the box described it. Or Wilma Flinstone, if it caught the light.

I feel my parents were blessed to have us turning 18 in the age of grunge and flannie shirts, because instead of going out in body-con dresses and worrying about undercarriage on display, ours were more concerned about us looking like something that had been sleeping in the bus shelter for the past week. Denim shirt, long skirt, hiking boots, OH and some leggings underneath, just in case there was some skin on show. They must have HEAVED a sigh of relief as I remember year 10, wandering the streets in skimpy denim cutoffs, singlets and bare feet, wondering what all the fuss was about when cars drove past. Ah – the innocent youth of yesteryear.

Without further ado, I bring you… my shame.

A plucky young lass in the 80s, Kim was fond of popping her collar while reading World Book Encyclopaedia.

 

Oversized sunglasses? Check. Chic? Ba-Baum. The flap hat helps keep the attitude off the back of her neck while she writes important postcard missives. Later she’ll have you know she had her hair stylishly braided island style, with beads etc, and was severely sunburnt along all of the part lines on her head. Hot.

Who is this dude in Madame Tussaud’s wax museum? Kim is nonplussed. And too cool to bother finding out, because she is wearing HER TRUSTY DENIM SHIRT and giant culotte-style black pants with clogs. She is in Year 11. She KNOWS EVERYTHING. But not who this man is. He must be unworthy of a photo.

In a place in the English Cotswolds, disguising her bum that has ingested far too much clotted cream, is teenaged Kim in her ‘dress’ leggings and cranky stompy boots. Ironic, then, that she LOVES Shakespeare and is absolutely busting to get to Stratford-Upon-Avon and see his birthplace.

The worst part of all this is, we’ll look back on our photos with our gorgeous kids, and all we’ll be able to see is our frightening sunglasses and scary hair. It all looks so normal, now….

Linking up with THE LOUNGE today, to share my shame…

the-lounge-logo

What do we want? A brain dongle! When do we want it? NOW!

All has been quiet on the Face First front. Apologies. I was felled like a big tree with one of my ‘speshal’ migraines. They make me speshal indeed. Can’t talk (except in gobbdleygookese), can’t walk, can’t think… and being a doozy, I’ve been out now for a couple of days. It’s ok. The recalcitrant left leg and hand are making a slow and reluctant return, and the brian fog is lifting. The neuro said to embrace the couple of days of stupidity and take things easy. So – here I am – sharing with you the insights and flights fantastic of my stupid mind! Sharing is caring, and I care, so, so very much about ewes all.

So join me on an adventure into post-modernism, wishes as horses, and fleeful fanciful flits into the things that we WANT. That would make our lives EASY. That we want NOW. Listen up inventor-people of the world! Today I’m a futurist. My mind is cast adrift, floating in a a sponge cake sea of sherry-soaked trifle. My words are likely to be PURE, UNADULTERATED BULLTWADDLE. And 10% inspirational (if you live in New Zealand and like clouds, as I’m writing from my castle on one).

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First up, we all need brain dongles, like they have in Avatar. You know, those ponytails of tendrils they hook together to make ‘connections’? I believe to Avatar-nerds they are actually called ‘neural queues’, but I’m sticking with brain dongle, since I’m lazy, I’m not an Avatar nerd, and a quick google turned up some weird kinky Avatar stuff that would BLOW YOUR DONGLES. If we had these though? Ahhhh. Communicating by simple plug-in would be so much easier than it currently is by, say, SPEAKING, which is ridiculously hard, and open to so much boring misinterpretation. For example, exhibit A: ‘I laugh you’. ‘OH, it’s so good to hear. I love you too!’ ‘Oh. Um. No, I mean I laugh you. Like, I laugh at you. You funny. So sorry. My english not so good yet.’

Also, sidebar please, HOW VERY GOOD is the word dongle? Dongle, dongle dongle. It’s in my top ten desert island words. (Here is my excuse to insert a gratuitous picture of John Cusack, because he was all about his Top 5 desert island everythings in High Fidelity, and ‘obscure’, ‘gratuitous’ and ‘digression’ are my first, middle and last names today.

I know I’ve been here before. But you, Kim Face First, are in my desert island Top 10. I had to come back and offer you a scotch. Rocks?

Exhibit B: If we had brain dongles, we could just plug our thoughts in to each others’ ponytails, and there would be NO confusion about the point I’m actually trying to get to in this waffling wandering post here. You would FEEL ME. Even without my obscene overuse of capitals. At a more mundane level, there would of course also be shopping list by dongle. Look at your pantry. It’s missing? It’s replaced, next time your shopping is delivered, because you clocked the item’s absence.

Do you know what else I want what I really really want? I’m gonna tell you what I want what I really really want. (It’s not a zigazig ha – because nobody knows what that is). It’s an eye makeup machine. Have you seen the Fifth Element? With Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich? I loved that movie so much I almost called my daughter Lilu till I was overruled. Leeloo (the ‘official’ spelling) picks up a machine like an old-fashioned viewfinder, and POOF! She has a face of makeup on. You will note, it’s CHANEL makeup in the future, daaahling.

Leeloomakeup

Just imagine the possibilities!! Well, there’s only one possibility really. We could walk out of the house with perfectly made-up eyes, without having to sacrifice 15 minutes of precious sleeping, sleeping, or sleeping time! Simply genius! I’d like one in every colour please! Wrap them up! Put them on the account! It looks like they haven’t quite mastered the instant hat on colour-job in the future though. There’s a bit too much Wilma Flinstone going on with Leeloo for this particular girl. Instant hair though? I would like that too, please. Hanging out in the salon with an alfoil head is pretty ok, but I’d rather have a flat white at the beach with the dog if I’m taking a ‘time out’ (with added sprinkles of being choosy).

I know some things are better slow-cooked, and the enjoyment comes with the wait. Lamb, for one, and coffee. I don’t want instant coffee, thanks, or a pod-injection of caffeine to the eyeballs. Don’t want my meals by capsule. If some of the mundane can come out of the hurdles and hoops of the everyday with a little creative invention and fantastic bioengineering then, clever people GET TO IT. I want a brain dongle, NOW, please.

Am I the only one with Top 5 desert island words? And tell me, what is the must-have invention that will make your life easier? 

[Image source: Avatar image - www.pandorapedia.com]

I can’t believe it’s not Better

I should be better at everything by now. I’m a perfectionist. That’s the way it works. I should at least be better at walking, and not be covered in bruises from not seeing tables and walls that throw themselves at me. In particular, though, I should be better at this domestic goddess thing. But guess what? I’m NOT. So, house. It’s YOU that should be better. Why can’t you do more? Why aren’t you adapting? I can’t believe you’re not better. I can’t believe you can’t at least buy butter, or order milk, or do SOMETHING useful other than sit here bumping into me every morning.

I’m getting quite perturbed by the house’s audacity, the way it just lolls around, parked on its hefty foundations, expecting me to keep doing all the things, while it never lifts a finger to better itself, or get a little fresh air or exercise.

Seriously. I’ve been managing my own living environment for twelve years now. I can conclude I’m fairly adult and responsible in most areas. I pay bills on time, have never had credit card debt, shopped around and selected the most cost-effective mortgage, hunted and bought real estate, travelled alone to foreign countries with only the clothes on my back, and successfully brought two healthy children into the world. I think this cements my status as ‘grown up’ in this housing relationship.

However, meal plans, preparing dinner at lunchtime, having designated washing days, organised pre-printed holiday packing lists, lists of service-people, drawers for cords and kids’ birthday presents pre-wrapped and labelled? Such things make me want to SLIT MY WRISTS. The house, on the other hand, has never once said thank you for my efforts to make it look pretty, brushing its hairy floors, or washing its face. It just doesn’t appreciate me. I’ve tried for so long, but I think, now, there’s only one conclusion I can draw. House? I’m just not that into you.

So, house. HOUSE yes – I’m talking to you! Pay attention, and look at me with your windows. Why aren’t your whitegoods good? Why are they so bad and lackadaisical, forcing me to do things like putting the dishes inside them, instead of being good and self-stacking? Why is the fridge continually getting empty and not self-replenishing? Why is the washing machine not able to put on a load of washing and wash? Why the HELL won’t my dining table fold up all of this washing? Doesn’t it know I want to eat some dinner there sometime this century???

Now – for some evidence of my house’s disappointing ability to adapt to its inhabitants. Here is my dining table. All laid out, ready for some feasting. On clothes. Lazy, lazy table. Call yourself Susan why don’t you.

The lazy table.

Here is the kitchen. It reminds me very much of the movie The Sixth Sense. The cupboards, particularly. Paying close attention to cupboard closure won’t enhance its beauty. No cordon bleu cooking happening here, people, can you believe it? It’s not very inspiring, despite the woodland setting of faux-trees-on-panels. I am a pretty good cook. No slouch. Give me the tools, and the space, and I’ll cook you a three-course gourmet bonanza. Here? Well… you get what you get and you don’t get upset. But come ON. This kitchen? Why hasn’t it thrown off its wallpaper in shame? If I was wearing that flowery dress I’d be walking around naked in preference. Why isn’t my wall? Have some PRIDE, wall. Take. It. Off.

I see … *whispers*.. dead wallpaper ….

Perhaps things will change one day, when I awaken to find myself in a beach-side abode of pure white, an enormous kitchen at my disposal and a hibiscus tree growing through my back window. We may then be in true love, my house and me. I don’t actually want to break up though. Happy things happen in this house, with my family. I’ll keep doing all the work, I guess, if it just remembers to be big and strong for me every now and again.

Sorry, house. I love you really. I’ll try harder ok? Promise.

xx

Linking up with The Lounge over at Musings of the Misguided, because confessing to strangers in the dark is so much easier than making them coffee in your horrendous kitchen. 

A case of the Mondays

Is it still Monday? STILL? FFS. I’ve got the doubts. It sounds a bit like a stomach complaint, doesn’t it? The doubts. If only it were that simple. Throw them all in the toilet, then flush them away.

But noooooo. These little gremlin buggers are clinging on to my undercarriage. Do I have an undercarriage? I do today, because even though I look nothing like an aeroplane the little gremlin buggers are making damn sure my landing gear doesn’t work.

There’s nothing terribly wrong. I’ve just lost my mojo, you know? I’ve got the go slows, and the oh noes, and the nose blows. I have a cold, but it’s a pretty poor excuse for one. I’m not even doing that properly. I’m just not feeling on top of my game, because, these days, I don’t really HAVE a game. Mumming is not a game.

I can’t be on top of the ‘chick in the bar being hot’ game, cos that’s just sad and lame and hello… I’m married and ‘old as f*&ck, for this club, not, you know, for the Earth’ (to quote a memorable line from ‘Knocked Up’). I can’t be on top of the career game, trotting off as I once did in my click-clack heels with my pencil-skirted arse feeling all powerful and in control, making good strong decisions all day, because I’m not in control of anything. Oh. And I don’t seem to have a career. I do have dribbles and drabbles of great and fascinating (no sarcasm here) work trickling in, but this doubty sickness has me quavering until I can slap it away with some good strong caffeine and plunk down some reassuring words on the page. Only then at the end of a solid work day do I sigh with relief and contentment, and only when there’s a constant river will the doubty disease stop plaguing my worker head.

I love you Mann. No, I really really love her. Even if she is old as F*%Ck.

I can’t be on top of the blog game, because, hell. I can’t even write lately without trying to cross out the next word I write before I’ve managed to write it. Not funny enough, not deep enough, not witty or shallow or clever or silly enough. Not. Enough. And lets face it, this one is a game that’s not for winning, and I’m just a wee little tadpole who likes to wiggle her booty in the fishy pond.

I can’t be on top of the social butterfly game, because a) I’m not a butterfly, and b) social? What is social? I think it’s been two weeks since I left the house at night, and two weeks since I was out of my PJs between the hours of 8 and 7 (the dark hours… there’s something). When I try and make conversation I want to rewind my words sometimes. I feel like there’s another mini-gremlin hiding inside my brain poking all the wrong words out. I need a mini-gremlin on the OUTSIDE with a rewind device, and another with a word-poking-back-in stick to help me along at my next social event. Do you know where I can buy one of these?

Mumming is not a game. Mumming is serious. I can be ok with the other wibbles and wobbles, but they bleed over like watercolour into the decisions I make on the important stuff. I need to trust my mum instinct. I need to trust that when I say ‘no’ it’s the right thing. I need to not be second-guessing whether I’m doing a good job. I know I am with this. But, on a Monday, with the doubts and the go slows, it’s a bit too easy to start asking the questions.

Do you get the doubts? How do you kick them out?

xx

Pop quiz – What’s your drinking curse?

You may not realise this, but every one of us is cursed. I will attempt to esplanade. The wicked fairy godmother came to our cots when we were wee sleeping bairns, and placed a curse on each and every one of us. A curse which will only emerge, revealing its wicked and evil cackling head, once we have imbibed well above the recommended 2 standard drinks per day. The curse, ye who be damned, of the drinking. What’s yours? If you don’t know, ask your partner or your bestie. They will be sure to tell you, in lurid, shameful, embarrassing detail. Here I’ll outline some of the more common profiles of the drinking cursed.

The singer

You’re in the bar. You spot the stage. You spot the microphone. You’re awesome. You need to be heard. You have songs to sing, of love, and loss. Of power, and glory. Oh yeah!  You reach the stage. You grab the microphone. It’s not karaoke night. It doesn’t matter. You’re in the moment. Reaching. Ever reaching. It must have be loooooove, but its oooover noooooow. Then falling. From the table.

This surely could not be me. It’s some random person called ‘Bride’.

The Lover/Flirt

A normal person by day, the curse turns this one into the ultimate seducer/seductress (in their own mind). Some do have remarkable skill, honed by years of practice, while others, blinded by the light, blink once, blink twice, and hope for words of grace and allure to slip forth from their gilded tongue. It sounds something like ‘blah blah me blor I me blor’. They shut up, and dance. They’re good. They’re really good. Nevermind that nobody can tell what good looks like anymore. Things start to look better for the lover.

Social warrior

A superhero without a cape, out to avenge the underdogs of the world and right the wrongs of the community, starting at a micro level, this cursed drinker needs EVERYONE to be on board. Are you listening? Are you? That’s ok. I’ll tell this person instead. OH NO! That poor guy is over there with his undies hanging out and hat on. He’ll NEVER get a girl looking like that. It’s your social – nay MORAL responsibility to do something about this, for the good of our future children, and our children’s children. And what about those bottles left out there? They’ll make their way into our oceans! And what about the whales? And the  orphans? And why can’t we adopt them? The whales? And the orphans?

 Fighter

The antithesis of the lover, they’re sure you looked at them. You did, didn’t you? You looked at them funny. You must have meant something by it. What do you want? You got a problem? Paranoia lives here, in this sadly cursed drinker. If they’re not a lone wolf, fighting  out at shadows, they’re in a couple, bickering and lashing out at perceived slights. You looked at that girl with the tiny arse over there, didn’t you? You’ve been staring at her all night. You may as well just get it over with and deliver her babies on the dance floor already. Hurry up.

Various Dwarf-named type people – Sleepy, Happy, Dopey, Floppy

Sleepy

Speaks for itself. Sleeps a lot. In most places. Head on table, on bar, on hands, or back, looking up at the sky, mouth catching flies.

Happy

The goshdarn cheeriest, smiliest, giggliest person you have EVER seen touch a drop of alcohol, ever. Like a rainbow of colour, or a bowl of Skittles. In fact… I’m not sure this one is even a curse, except that it usually seems to have an antithesis, the following morning, when the ogre from hell arises from the bed-swamp with the hangover of 20 men.

I would never, ever dance on a table in heels. That’s just silly. It’s that person called ‘Bride’ again.

Dopey

Don’t play cards with this one. Dopey drinks the drinks, then is rendered generally unable to focus on fixed objects, follow general conversations, dance sensible dance moves like ‘the sprinkler’ or the ‘ring on it’ move, and can utter only one monosyllabic word: ‘Huh?’

Floppy

Like a foal with newfound legs, this curse often strikes the long-limbed newborn drinking cursed among us. They can be found tottering and teetering in skyscraping heels, and rendered jelly-like by the rubbermaking effects of alcopop number three.  You could offer your steady arm, or you could just point and laugh.

 

You regularly see these out in heels on a Saturday night

Which one of these are you? Which one of these am I? (Note: I’ve made this really, really difficult for you.) Are you extra blessed – with a happy super-combo of curses – are you in fact a happy-sleepy-flirty fighter?

Stay tuned. I’m going out this Saturday night for a LONG overdue escape from the kid-factory. I’m sure nothing untoward will happen. And if it does, I’ll be sure to not write about it. Ahem…

xx

Being a perfectionist is a bitch – AKA cookie dough is not a real flavour

Finish. The. Job. Please!

I can vouch for the fact that being a perfectionist sux. And cookie dough ice cream? Not a real flavour. There. I said it. Shoot me. It’s LAZY. Cook the cookies. FINISH THE JOB, PEOPLE. How can you make a flavour out of something that’s not even finished? All the half-finished, half-baked stuff being marketed and worshipped is pushing all of my control-freak buttons.

I have numerous examples. Magic Mike. A half-finished, half-baked movie plot that was filmed and dashed off to screen as good enough because it looked pretty. (Really, really pretty – even though Matthew McConaghey should earn some kind of award for personifying perfectly the creepiest of creepy old-dude strippers). I don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t had the pleasure yet, but let’s just say, people with drug-related issues at the end still had them, had not developed any maturity, and were headed relentlessly on a path to destruction. As a sub-character, I guess this didn’t matter. The lead character? Well, if you get a girl, I guess your financial woes and existential crises and future career direction also needs no hint of a resolution. But, NAKED. And PRETTY.

Magic Mike – a half-baked movie… not that it matters.

Cookie dough? A flavour that is marketed and sold in icecream form even though it’s RAW DOUGH and not a real flavour, un-cooked, un-finished, just because it tastes good. Fifty Shades of Grey? Two cardboard cutout characters, undeveloped and unedited, sent to market because the market was ready, because it was a book about naked, and we buy naked. FINISH THE JOB, PEOPLE.

Ooooh, actually – I think I’ve just disproved my own theory, for marketing purposes anyway. Don’t finish the job, because naked, unfinished, sells really, really well. Perhaps I’ll stop getting dressed each day and my family will start to worship me …

Perfectionism’s a funny thing. Perhaps funny’s the wrong word. It makes me very hard on people, and even harder on myself. Not much is amusing there. The strange part is though, that it picks and chooses the parts where it strikes. Domestically, I am the antithesis of a goddess. A god-thesis? There’s a threshold, and when the house hits it, I’m like a dervish until it’s back together, but trying to work and sort the kids and do it all, something has to give or I’d combust. I do, fairly regularly, but I realise I can’t bake cakes in an apron as well. So, no Bree for me.

In other areas though? My work needs to be literally, to the letter, PERFECT. I’m an editor. Writing for me though is like a freefall. I’m not an editor when I do that. The perfectionist is in the kitchen making coffee (for someone else obviously! Bitch! Why didn’t she bring me one?!) Sometimes I think it would be such a relief to let it all hang out, and then I go back to being cranky at the people who don’t bake their biscuits. You wouldn’t eat your popcorn raw, would you?

I am alone in my crankidom? Is crankidom even a word? Do I need to chill out – are some things just better left unfinished?

You know you’re tired when…

I can sing this with my eyes. Yes – really. My eyes are like lasers. Tired broken ones. That don’t work. And are asleep.

I’ve had millions of forehead-smacking moments over the past few months and years so I thought it was time I shared. If you can nod and agree to similar acts of insanity, it may be time that you, too, found yourself the nearest bed. Get thee horizontal. Stat.

I’m so tired right now I feel the need to say it again in italian, for emphasis. Sono stanco morta. Got that? That man and I are going out on a date tonight – which is VERY exciting, given it’s about the first night out alone in close to two months. The best part? Sleepovers, which mean we get to come home and have sleep, which, as you know, is sex for married people.

I know things are reaching critical mass when any or all of the below top 10  WARNING! WARNING! moments occur:

1. You meet someone on the street and get trapped in the conversation greeting loop. Awkwardness ensues:

‘Hi, how are you?’

‘Good. How are you?’

‘Pretty good thanks. How are you going?’

Oh. Oops.

2. You have a shower. You wash your hair. You get out. Oddly, your hair feels gross all day. Either:

a) you forgot to wash the shampoo out

b) You washed your hair only with conditioner

OR: you wash your hair, then you try to comb it and get stuck with a comb that you can’t remove from your matted seaweed kelp-like tresses. Classic error. You shampooed twice instead of conditioning.

Hopefully it doesn’t quite come to this …

3. You put on your kid’s dressing gown that was hanging behind the bathroom door because it looks just like yours, and instead of realising you’re an idiot, you get really upset at yourself for shrinking a whole load of clothes in the wash.

4. You sprinkle coffee instead of brown sugar on your kids’ porridge. You will pay for this.

5. You put stinking dirty gym clothes into the dryer instead of the front loader for washing, and wonder why they smell so very bad when they come out all hot 30 mins later.

6. You do a Kelly (from Handmade Tears and Triumphs) – thanks Kel! and wear your undies inside out. You may or may not notice this before the end of the day. Are you wearing your bra backwards too? Then you are REALLY in trouble. You might need some kind of retreat or holiday.

7. You throw the clothes in the bin instead of the washing basket.

8. You put the potato and carrot peels in the dishwasher instead of the bin.

9. Finally, you are OUT. You’ve bought a coffee. You are sorely disappointed when it tastes horrible. You return it, claiming the milk must be off, though they promise it’s within date, and your friend’s tastes fine. Ten minutes later, you realise you’ve added salt, rather than sugar to your beverage.

Big mistake. HUGE.

10. Laryngitis. You know that song ‘I can sing a rainbow?’ Listen with your eyes, listen with your eyes…. In this case, however, you parent with your eyes, and dance everything you feel. This works AWESOMELY – like crap. Should parenting really be a verb anyway? Blah blah, polka dot polka dot, chocolate doona.

Parent with your eyes, and dance everything you feel …

I have done all of these things (except the bra). I’m not ashamed. What’s more important is that we hold our heads high, own our face-falls, and know that, “I may be indigent in name, position, and in appearance, but in my own mind I am an unrivaled goddess.”

We are all gods and goddesses. We just need a little more sleep.

xx

[Quote – Muriel Barbery – The Elegance of the Hedgehog]

[Photo credit: Patricia Alvarez in Kath Fries’s art installation, 'Clothe the Wold and Meet the Sky' 2011; CNN.com - Eatocracy; Pinterest]

The naked post

Some of us bloggers write naked, (metaphorically… I hope), no holds barred, in a raw and passionate way, while others have a kind of ‘character’ who is funny, creative, and in some ways protected under a few layers from the interwebs. I love to read both of these kinds.

Me? Well, I guess I’m closer towards the blogging ‘persona’ side, and I keep a few protective layers of clothes on, to keep from getting sunburnt. I have very fair skin. There are some things I want to explain though, so just for today, I’m naked. Before I do me, I want to do you guys. I want to say thanks. I love that you read this page. You are such warm, giving, welcoming and supportive people in this community, and I’ve got a feeling of guilt that I’m not giving enough myself. Some of my life is hard, and sometimes I’ve run out of give. My intention and desire is there, but my time and physical capacity are challenged.

So. Doing me now. When I started at uni, I was painfully shy, dreading the tutorial breaks where we’d hang out and chat with other law students. They were (and I generalise) a fairly dry bunch, and one day I discovered the beauty of the old ‘fake it till you make it’ approach. I pretended to be the joke-cracking, sociable, party-loving girl until finally, she melded with the real me and I WAS her.

There is a form of this girl living here on my blog. I don’t actually drink as much as it may appear (because, looking back on recent posts, my gosh it seems like a lot! Don’t call AA just yet!) though I do love a tipple. I do love to make people laugh, but I can also be very shy, and there are days where I cry. There are other days, like today, where a neurological condition I have makes me go to bed all day, or if it hits me in public, makes me want to crawl under a rock with embarrassment. I don’t blog on those low days. This is all me you’re getting, but the one that goes to BBQs on the weekends, smiling and made-up, because I cope much better regaling a group with the story of my latest disaster than having them listen wide-eyed with sympathy.

Today I’m bare though, because my stupid condition forced me to be so bare in public. I left my husband’s work Christmas lunch after 5 minutes and a glass of mineral water, because I felt my hand go numb. I get hemiplegic migraines, a rare neurological condition that makes me become temporarily paralysed down one side of my body, and I lose my speech or speak in double-Dutch and become confused and unable to walk or do simple things like drink water. I sometimes lose the ability to swallow too, or partly lose consciousness so my eyes are open but I don’t remember what’s happened after. It looks a whole lot like a stroke, but in a pub restaurant at my age, it looks a whole lot like drunk. I was vaguely aware of the stares and a comment or two on the street as my husband dragged me out of there and parked me on the couch at the office.

Little L knows how to make a phonecall now, and I’m blessed with a great neuro who’s stretched the episodes to about every 3 weeks instead of every 2 days, as they were 3 years ago when they began, but stress and tiredness are huge triggers and there’s no chance of eliminating those elements from my life. Right now I’m frustrated, humiliated, embarrassed, and angry at my stupid draggy leg that I’ll be dragging around probably until I wake up tomorrow, just like a person post-stroke. I am lucky that I’ll regain full function, and I’m also lucky I have no pain with these migraines. I get the other ‘normal’ kind, with aura and splitting pain, only about twice per year. Manageable!

So there’s that. And then there’s little L and her diabetes, and my extra fears that I’m going to conk out and not be able to care for her one day she’s hypo, and little 3-year-old A will be here with two semi-catatonic jellyfish wondering what to do. That’s a very worst nightmare scenario though, and hopefully I’ve thrown just enough coins in the karma jar to prevent it.

About the image thing. While I may say that when I blog I have a few layers on, a friend on the weekend said this is a myth (perhaps one I tell myself to make it easier to write?) and I am, in fact, putting it all pretty much out there. The thing is, though, we never do really, do we? We only put out the person we want the world to see.

Look at Lana del Rey. She’s been somewhat pilloried for being very ‘contrived’ and studied in her image and her approach. She’s a singer, and gorgeous, and I’ve a clip of her below in case you’re unfamiliar with her, and also because I just love love love this song. I did have a giggle when I watched the Little Mermaid recently and realised Lana’s hair bears a striking resemblance to Ariel’s, and that the name of the evil governess is Marina Del Rey. Hmmmm. However, when she was just plain old Lizzy Grant nothing much happened for her. If her image and stage name giver her the confidence to perform, then I say ‘Go Girl’!

 

So, guys, I want to visit all of your blogs and comment and share the love, and I am doing it all in my head. I’ve recently been nominated for a bloggy Sunshine Award by Mumabulous, and a Liebster Award by Kelly at HT&T. I’m beyond tickled because these guys are among my favourite bloggers ever, and I’d like to start preparing my blog-logie speech right now (that Blogie to you). But, when I’m not around, this is why. Plus the normal stuff… Working, running a house, running small children, blah blah.

I’m trying to give you my best, and give you the BBQ Kim – the one that keeps her clothes on.
Off to get dressed now.

Xxx Kim

‘Auspicious’ dates – heralding a load of crap?

The 12th of the 12th of 2012, what have you done for me lately? Apparently you were supposed to be some mystical karmic oooh-ahhh date of significance. All you brought me was a day of shitpoo.

I’m sorry I can’t express it more mature terms. I could try, but it would sound like ‘on this day of December, in the 12th year of the 21st century, I was arraigned with torrents of excrement, metaphorical in origin, which may or may not have been borne of a cosmic nature, heralding impending doom and the end of our time, or in fact may just have been another ordinary day worthy of flushing’. Utter rubbish.

So the Mayans stopped making their calendar. Maybe they just got bored. Seriously, if you just had to keep writing down numbers, over and over, wouldn’t you find something else to do and stop? Just because the calendar on your wall runs out at December 31, 2012, doesn’t mean there won’t BE a New Year’s Day. Of course there will be, full of headaches and regret. You just need to go down to Westfield and buy your 50% off 2013 calendar, as soon as your vision clears. It’s not the Mayans’ fault they didn’t have Westfield.

Source

This was my flushable day. It started with the dentist (again. If you want to see why this is AGAIN – see here). This is something of an ongoing saga for Little L, so some backstory: I hauled little L away from the last dentist who was about to extract the hurting tooth that had recently had baby root-canal, in the chair, telling me ‘every anaesthetic takes your child one step closer to the grave’ like she DIDN’T HAVE EARS. She was so traumatised from his treatment and ‘tap tap – yep I have to pull it out – here 5-year old girl, swallow a tablet goodbye’ I had to carry a sobbing child into this gorgeous children’s dentist last visit, while they gently coaxed her trust back. Too scared to be treated, we had to go back again today, while they did some safeguarding of some early decay on the top and had to put a filling in. Diabetes can TRASH your teeth. Who knew?! Not me.

Anyway, that done gently and nicely, we got on with the day. It went on in the usual as can be sometimes crappy fashion. Mini-fights, complaints, Mexican standoffs, whingeing etc. but then this afternoon playing up the road at a neighbour’s house WE LOST THEM. Little L and her friend took off out the front door which I hate them doing but they’ve done before to be cheeky, not telling us before they took off. I grabbed my bag and went to follow, knowing they are pretty careful when they cross our quiet road, but prepared for my ‘don’t do that!’ rant when we caught them up. We were chatting, saying goodbye while they had gone at 5-year old speed, so by the time we’d arrived in my front door and found nothing, and no answer, then raced back up the road to their place to see if they’d ducked around the back to trick us, hearts were pounding and parents were yelling. We were asking neighbours, yelling in the vacant lot, looking down the easement, and running breathless, of course thinking the worst… There have been reports before of cars trying to lure kids in the neighbourhood.
More frantic yelling, and they emerge, blessedly, sheepishly, from my house where they’ve been hiding in my bedroom. Hilarious. Starting to yell, instead we hug, so very relieved.

Recourse came later, and remorse, but little L’s remorse was extreme, and hysterical, with sobbing and screaming. Emotional outburst? Blood glucose check. Sure enough, she’s quite hypoglycaemic (very low blood sugar), and forgot (again) to mention she was feeling bad. Yay. Diabetes strikes again. Topping off a great day!

Just as she’s slowly climbing back towards the safe zone, above 4 and safe to leave unattended, a holler comes from the bathroom from little A: ‘muuuummmeeeeee the bath’s overflowing! Quick!’

Blessed I am. My cup overfloweth, as does my bath. The river in the bathroom was not too dire, and finally, all is peaceful as I lap my gin. I’m a spectacular human specimen today, and I’m high-fiving my superior and intelligent mothering skills. Not. Which is probably a good thing in light of what follows.

I watched a Stephen Hawking doco the other night suggesting that it would be a super-great idea (he didn’t use those words obviously, he’s a bit smart and sounds like a computer) if we looked for somewhere else to live other than Earth, what with the likelihood of it being smashed to smithereens by an asteroid, or being nuclear irradiated.  As he sensibly pointed out, INTELLIGENCE is not so important to survival, and may in fact be the key to our downfall. Amoeba and microbes have been getting by just fine for millions of years without intelligence, and yet dinosaurs with their tiny brains couldn’t make it through a little sauna time.

Potentially the key to our survival on this planet.

I think there’s something in this for all of us. Perhaps we need to get back to our petri-dishes of gin, and soak away our intelligence. Maybe then we’d stand a better chance of survival? I don’t know about you, but I’m not keen on a red-hot life on Mars in a spacesuit, living in a bunker on dehydrated peas. As far as theories go, this is probably not quite SBS-standard, and I suspect Stephen Hawking may poke a couple of holes, but it’s good enough for me after today, and I’m off to soak it away with a tonic or three, splashing in gin.

A woman of no virtue

Also useful as a wake-up device when boredom rears its ugly head

Because patience is one, right? And I seem to have misplaced mine, quite thoroughly. I’m not sure if it’s something to do with the fact that I’m a fairly controlling, perfectionist type of personality to begin with, or if it’s more to do with the fact that my daughters and I are quite similar (in the strong and the will departments). Either way, I’m finding mothering at the moment is making me take so many deep breaths I’m close to passing out from hyperventilation.

Discussing patience as a notion over a few wines the other night, a very wise friend of mine described it like a rubber band. Sometimes it’s really stretchy, and those little things the kids do that push those buttons just bounce off. Other times, however, the band is short and stretched tight, at capacity, and one more ill-timed wail of ‘Mummeeeeeee’ or melodramatic display of crocodile tears is enough to snap the band.

I know that staying home and mothering is a noble and incredibly important job. I just feel like I’m utterly crap at it unless I can re-stretch my band by engaging my brain in a way that feels meaningful to me. I am not a naturally patient person, and have to work really hard to bend myself into being her, because that’s what my kids need from me. I’m finding it tough.

This wise woman I know is naturally more patient, but equally, she knows what she needs to do to keep her rubber band stretchy. She always stays one step ahead of her kids, and doesn’t allow herself downtime, because they’ll catch up and overtake her. A very smart approach, and one I’d like to follow. Whether through laziness or extreme tiredness, I’ve so far found myself unable to follow in these footsteps, possibly because I abhor schedules and waving away the daily monotony of catching the 7:14 bus, with the same grey and unsmiling faces, was one of the most victorious things about leaving my full-time job. Flying by the seat of my pants is in some ways what keeps me sane in the groundhog dayness of mothering, but at the same time what engenders the insanity, because I lose the control I’m so fond of.

So where’s the happy medium? Where do I find my patience? It’s the main thing I need to work on in Me Version 2.0, because I don’t want to be Cranky Mummy anymore. I suspect the key is organisation. I’m probably going to have to go back to basics and draw up a timetable, building in 15 minutes before every engagement to allow for infuriating child-isms like changing into different outfits instead of just going to put their shoes on, or deciding to rip off a complete set of clothes to jump in the shower with me, because I feel too mean to hold the door jammed shut and say ‘NO’ for the 50th time after we’ve all only been awake an hour. Then there are the exactly right princess bandaids to be selected and applied for the little clumsy one who somehow manages to injure herself at least ten times per day. It’s all the small stuff I’m sweating which brings its own healthy dose of guilt.

I’m pretty sure, though, if I could be an ethereal calm-mama who still somehow managed to turn up places on time without half-naked children, my kids would not only appreciate my patience and serenity, but I’d feel more in possession of virtue.

If there is any advice on which rock to turn over to find the stash of patience, I’d be most grateful for the map. Anyone?

x