A rave, a rant, and how to look jaunty in a tie.

Have you got my goat? I’m sure I left it around here somewhere. No, really. It’s the perfect day for a rant by the stark-raving mad, as I was caught having a little chat to myself this afternoon while working away in my home office. After putting in a 30-hr week by Wednesday night, I no longer seem be able to keep my thought processes contained inside my brain or confined to the keyboard. It is FALLING OUT. So I’m glad I’m here, blurting and bleating in the Lounge with REAL EARS to listen. Don’t cut them off ok?
The unhappy thing is though, I’m zen. I’m trying on a whole calm, unbothered, glass-half-full persona full of positivity that tries not to indulge in negative thought processes. It’s working out really well. I’m completely exhausted by it. Oh, what the hell. You asked, right?

Because it’s been a long week already, here is my list of things that get my goat, in no particular, or indeed remotely sensible order.

1. Why is Eloise peeling Patrick’s sweet potato?! (Sorry. One for the Offspring fans only) Oh. Ooooooohhh. It’s ok. It’s all ok. We don’t have to worry about that one anymore.

2. Ties. Not generally, obviously. They are very practical accessories, and add gravity and jauntiness to any outfit, particularly in yellow. I rock a tie. Want to see?

You have important business thoughts to tell me? OK. I'm listening.

You have important business thoughts to tell me? OK. I’m listening with a business-like point of face.

Hmm. That's a very interesting business point you make. I will go and give it due and grave business thought.

Hmm. That’s a very interesting business point you make. I will go and give it due and grave business thought.

 

 

 

And a tie on a man? Mmmmmmmmmmm. One more time. Mmmmmmmmm. But, and I REPEAT, but, on a 5-year old?? Girl? School, excuse me, are you trying to ruin my every day, EVERY MORNING? I notice the boy on the UncleToby’s porridge sachets ad isn’t wearing a tie. I bet he’s on time, too.

I’m a good tie tier, (because I’m awesome – see important further point below), but 5-year old necks are not good top button wearers. These sloppy floppy top buttons are incompatible with the wearing of ties. Whatever, details. STOP THE TORTURE! JUST STOP! Tracksuits for all! (Me too – please?)

 

3. Tuna. You taste nice. You are a good fish. You’re a spectacular swimmer. You are really best raw. But why do you keep smelling afterwards, forever? I like to eat you, even out of tins, so I have no untoward bias. But truly, you should never go to work or school. Ever. Know your place please, and stay there.

 

4. Pants. Pants in pants. Washing inside out pants inside inside out pants. Even the big man person thing here does it. Then extricating the whole mess. Oh ho ho! And even better? If someone wees inside the pants inside the pants. JUST STOP WEARING PANTS OK? Wow. That feels so much better.

 

5. Goats. Goats get my goat. For sounding like real children. And for letting their small versions be called ‘kids’. Have you ever been to a ‘farm day’ with small kids (yours, not the goat version) and spent the whole day in a panic thinking they were crying out for you because of the stupid goats? Oh. Just me then.

 

6. Earrings. What’s wrong with this picture? It’s one of those tricky ‘spot the difference’ ones. I didn’t know I’d lost it until I’d walked around all afternoon like pirate Captain Jack Sparrow with just one. Nobody told me, which makes it a bit worse. I really liked these ones. Not sure what to do with just one. Grrrrr. Arggggh.
Exhibit B. Embarrased ear, sans earring.

Exhibit B. Embarrased ear, sans earring.

Exhibit A. Ear avec earring

Exhibit A. Ear avec earring

 

 

7. Me. I get my goat. For being so very extremely awesome and able to do everything. I’m so capable and amazing I can work, cook, look after kids, wash, cook, shop for food and do double pickups and dropoffs. I hate being this amazing because the more I do it, the more I need to be able to do it. Inside, I would like to eat marshmallows and have a bath, inside a bath shop, because we don’t actually have a bath. I really make myself mad for doing this. I must stop. IMMEDIATELY.

 

8. People that say ‘you look really tired’. If you’re not also saying ‘are you ok?’ or offering to help, then keep your interesting and CAPTAIN BLEEDING OBVIOUS thoughts to yourself, and your unthinking mouth inside the vehicle at all times. See the point re awesomeness above. Awesomeness requires superpowers. My eyes also have superpowers, and I may sear your mouth off with my extremely tired laser eyes. They still have super stinkeye powers, you know.

 

8. Fairies. You piss me off the most. You make me mad as hell. Where are you? Here I am, working my hardest at being totally completely awesome, while children are raised with the expectation that you exist to plug all the gaps, and YOU DO NOT EXIST. Why not? I need you! I asked for a twitchy nose like Samantha on Bewitched and wasn’t given one, so I need to delegate. I have pets, but they are good for nothing. In fact, they’re worse than that. The rabbit needs antibiotics, twice per day, plus wrapping in a blanket at night, in case giving food and water to a fish and cat and dog weren’t already enough. Shoosh about the fish. I don’t know if they drink water. Do they?

 

I don’t know. I’m tired. And we had tuna for dinner, and I can still smell it. And I don’t have fairies to do the dishes or fly my covers up to cover my weary body. Grrrrrrr. Goats.

 

Ahhhhh thank you, Lounge, for listening. That feels so much better. A little bit like after a migraine, when it’s as though the inside of my head has been superjet sprayed out by a guerney. Clear and fresh. I’m going to go and fill my glass half full again now.
Xx
 Linking up with The Lounge at Robomum’s place, and Grace for FYBF.
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I used to be a round window girl, but now I’m not so sure.

Time changes all. As a girl, watching Playschool, I always chose the round window. Who would choose the square one? We had them at home. The round one had nice soft edges that appealed to my childish sentiments. The arch? Too many places for a bird (me) to get stuck on the way out. Looking back on the girl I was later, as a late teen embarking on her 20s, she seems like somebody I used to know. Gotye would have broken up with her too.

You can get this on a T-shirt. I think I want one.

You can get this on a T-shirt. I think I want one.

Who was this girl that thought those thinks? That wore those ways? That said those words?

I used to think that marriage was the end of the line, like death. I believed a relationship must become so snoozy once you were married, with nothing new once you’d been through the excitement of being young and engaged then travelling and working, that once you had kids you may as well just lie down and stop breathing, to mimic the excitement your life was likely to bestow. Hilarious! Slap that girl silly. I am knocked down with a fresh (albeit not always pleasant) surprise each and every week by That Man, and by my kids. The intricacies of a human relationship are ever unfolding. Try explaining that to an 18-year-old who is, like, so bored.

I used to think the Lotto girl on TV had an awesome job. There is still some merit to this theory. She turns up for a 5-minute stint on TV at 8:30pm, has a locked-in contract that likely pays quite nicely, and has no need to do her own hair, makeup or wardrobe. In the day she needs to focus on going to the gym or the hairdresser, or perhaps the beach. In the depths of winter on a rainy night as I type this after having just put kids to bed, this idea is now quite revolting. Having to get out of my yoga pants, smile, and say the SAME thing to the camera, night after night, when you may be missing out on a birthday, a wedding, or a family illness because LOTTO WILL WAIT FOR NOBODY would suck. Big hairy balls. (See what I did there? So subtle. Maybe I could do standup… in yoga pants).

I used to think my dream job was in a publishing house, editing fiction novels by big-name authors. Now, I am Amy Winehouse’s protegee, singing NO, NO, NO. Fiction editing in publishing houses is a tough gig. Long hours, small pay. And big-name authors? Must be treated with big-name kid gloves. Editing content where writers are less vested in the placement of their apostrophes and commas makes things calmer for me.

I used to think people over 35-40 were sad/washed-up/had stopped trying. Now, I understand they (OK FINE WE) are relaxed. Comfortable in our (snake) skins. Know there’s a time to live (summer), a time to die (winter, where we curl up in balls of ugg boots and wine). A time to turn, turn, turn, or something something something (I think there was a song my parents liked). It is the time, anyway, now, for drinking wine. That is all.

I used to freak out each year I discovered a celebrity or tennis player was younger than me. Say, when Britney hit the big time at 16 and I was 19. This is not strictly factual. I’m certain our age gap is wider… I am just too lazy to look her up right now, and also a little scared of what I might see of Britney on Dr Google. I’ve seen a dog use carpet as toilet paper today. My eyes can’t take much more. The source of this aging fear at NINETEEN (!!!!) was somehow that I was running out of time to be significant, make my mark and rule the world. Amazing, shocking fact coming … I grew up to NOT RULE THE WORLD. Horrendous. But not, actually.

Sadly not my place. This is Macedonia. One day.

Sadly not my place. This is Macedonia. One day.

Because I rule my world. My small, insignificant world. And now I choose the arched window, because it’s the most interesting of all. Who knew?

xx

[Image source: www.redbubble.com]

Linking up with The Lounge, hosted by the glorious RACHEL at The Very Inappropriate Blog the-lounge-logo

 

Oh what a night …

And a day, and a night… I’m sorry for the silence on the Face First front (if you’ve noticed?) but I’ve been living large IN THE REAL WORLD what!? It seems June is the festival month of births. Everyone who is anyone (i.e. my husband and friends) is born in June.

There has been a June bonanza of birthdays, and upon waking on Tuesday morning, I was slapped with the rude realisation that we’ve not all just turned 21. Thursday night – 1am. Friday work from 6am. Bed -10pm. Saturday night – 12pm. Sunday – BBQ at ours from midday – 1am. Monday – husband’s ACTUAL birthday, start-time, 7am with BOUNCING CHILDREN. I have learned something from this experience. Celebrations are bad for your health. This week? I will be holed up in my monastery, behaving like a monk, doing monk-like things. I will be drinking water (broth? holy water?), making friends with salad (gruel? vittels?), and going to the gym (err… kneeling for 5 hours? Ugh. I’d pick the stairmaster over that). I will sleep. And sleep, and sleep. (But it won’t be fun, cos I’m a monk).

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Oh what a tangled birthday web That Man weaves

It seems most of my friends are born in June. Why is that? What is it that happens nine months before June? Is it the springing of spring? Couples, walking around, see a baby lamb and a daffodil, and say ‘Oh! New life! We must procreate! QUICKLY! Give me your SEED!’ Or was it the irresistible music topping the charts in September 1976, when most of these friend-babies were conceived? In late August, early September the Australian no. 1 single was ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’. Ah. It all becomes clear. Young and sweet, only 17. That’s the music of LOVE, right there. Are you cringing yet, friends of mine?

In any case, preceding the festival of husband on Sunday, we went out in Manly Saturday night to celebrate a close friend’s birthday. It was a quiet and sedate night. In the cab on the way home one unnamed male party offered the cab driver a cheese stick from his pack of 12 he’d picked up from Colesworths, and the other asked the cabbie what he does for work. It turned out there were in fact TWENTY-FOUR cheese sticks. They were on special, so it made sense to buy two packets. We ate them all by the time we were home.

Girls out in the the REAL WORLD drinking … water.

Girls out in the the REAL WORLD drinking … water.

The lunchtime BBQ Sunday was a day full of friends, family, and kids going crazy. A wonderful fun day that ended in the night with a bonfire and toasted marshmallows. That Man is SMART, I tell you – having his party the day before. I awoke to excited kids, tiptoed away from Sleeping Beauty, and faced wine glasses that had procreated and had wine glass babies while we slept. Wrapped presents, blah blah YAY YAY IT”S YOUR BIRTHDAY  YOU’RE REALLY OLD YAY YAY then I crashed out and slept on the couch for two hours. AHHHHHHHH. Job well done me. Then I cooked a gourmet seafood dinner. The only thing he said that was missing from his birthday? A cake with candles. SERIOUSLY. I’ll give him candles.

This is how you occupy kids for HOURS. My technicolour  chalk path and bricks look gorgeous.

This is how you occupy kids for HOURS. My technicolour chalk path and bricks look gorgeous.

In any case, I had fun too. My festival of living in the real world was wonderful, connecting with friends and spending proper quality time with them. If you need me this week though, you’ll find me asleep on my stationary bike in my monk cell at the gym.*

*An update: it’s raining, a LOT. I can’t possibly go to the gym. Therefore I’ll just sit quietly and think repentant-type thoughts.

Do you still ‘do’ birthdays? Or do you let them slip by quietly like I do? 

xx

A desert island Top 5 of flotsam from a commitment-phobe

Something you may not know about me is that I find it hard to commit. I need to be sure before I do that I’m making the absolutely, really, truly, beyond-reasonable-doubt correct choice of sandwich filling when I’m confronted by a shop’s ‘Top 10 combos’. Mistakes are bad. They can be defining. Me? I like a more fluid approach. A bite of my sandwich, a bite of yours. The best of both worlds. Don’t tell That Man. He thinks he gets to eat his own lunch.

Hence this weeks’ Lounge topic was difficult for me. How to choose my Top 5 books, movies or songs? They shift with the tide. With my mood. On the current. With the jetsam and seaweed. As Patrick would say, I’m ‘Like the Wind, through his tree’. So, I’m going to give you my ‘at this moment in time’ favourite movies. See if you spot any of my ‘not-favourtite-but-very-well-liked song’s’ lyrics on the way through.

1. Donnie Darko – Love this. Baby Jake Gyllenhaal and his big sister Maggie in the same movie, fighting at the dinner table. Awesome lines, like: ‘Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?’ He hates these blurred lines between reality and the dream-world he taps into, and becomes agitated and confused, believing the world’s going to end. You would too if you kept seeing a man in a giant rabbit suit.

I knew you were trouble when you walked in…

I knew you were trouble when you walked in…

2. Les Mis – I know. Just released. Overhyped. Yes, yes. I can hear you all singing, angry men. But I loved every single minute of it. Hugh spends all his time on the duck and weave hiding in doorways cos he looks like somebody that Russell Crowe used to know. And while he’s not at his hottest in this movie, he gives good voice (unlike Russ – meh). When he really lets rip he does remind me a little of Barney on the Simpsons, tonsils jangling visibly in the back of his throat. Voice projection people. It’s important. I’ve never seen it before, but it brings back memories, since Castle on a Cloud was one of the first songs I learned to play on the piano. And Eponine? She just breaks my heart. ‘On my Own’ has to be one of the best torch songs ever. Though, why she’s lusting after that simpering blonde whelp is baffling. She can’t live, with or without him. One of the classic flaws of musicals is the tendency of characters to fall in love for no particular reason, just because there’s a girl or guy standing in front of them. I accept it though – for the music. Movies, musicals. You’ve gotta keep em separated. You know this about muscials, so you leave your brain at the door.

Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy. But here's my number. Gotta run - can hear some people singing a song of angry men.

Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy. But here’s my number. Gotta run – can hear some people singing a song of angry men.

3. Fight Club – Right here, right now, we’re actually NOT going to talk about Fight Club. You know why, don’t you. Tyler Durden’s like a mole, digging in a hole, except the hole is his brain. The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. OK. So, I’m out. I just did, sorta. Probably for the best. My biceps are imaginary.

Heeeeey, come out and play!

Heeeeey, come out and play!

4. Being John Malkovich – I would sure pay money to climb inside John Malkovich’s brain through a tiny door on the 7 1/2 floor of an office building; wouldn’t you? They climb through the little door, then get sucked in through John’s ear canal, where the streets have no name. I’d also pay money to climb inside the brain of whoever came up with this genius movie. It’s so crazy it makes sense. A comedy/fantasy – Hallelujah! The ultimate genre. And Cameron Diaz’ hair!!! It has everything going for it, PLUS JOHN CUSACK. I give this 50 million stars.

I want to run, I want to hide.. inside John Malkovich's brain. Where nobody will see my hair.

I want to run, I want to hide.. inside John Malkovich’s brain. Where nobody will see my hair.

5. To Kill a Mockingbird – only a COMPLETE change of pace here. It’s not often you can have one of your (ooh ahh here comes a HUGE COMMITTING STATEMENT) favourite books also translate into one of your favourite movies. Gregory Peck helps this transition immensely, since he is exactly how Atticus looked inside my head (only – imagine this – BETTER!) It’s such a powerful story and has one of my favourite quotes that I try to follow: ‘You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.’ I always screw it up, of course, but then I get to picture Gregory Peck when I try to follow it again. Unfortunately I can’t say I shed my skin and put my bones into this list… because no doubt I’ll read some other Lounge posts and go ‘YES’! I love that movie more. And THAT one defined the turning point in my adolescence’ (not that there was one, defining point so much as many points of excruciating existential angst… but you know). But I’ve written my disclaimer. I’m like the wind. I’m blowing away now. (Through Patrick Swayze’s trees … )

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xx

Things that are Epic

On Saturday, amidst the storm clouds and rain, little L and I drove fiercely through the car flock to Fox Studios to a preview screening of Epic in 3D. It was, erm… an Epic adventure. My first fail? It was actually Sunday. Little L pointed this out to me after a confusing few moments where she explained that no, she truly hadn’t been at school the day before. Thank goodness for L. She is 5 and knows everything.

Little L was unsure whether being squeezed by a giant bug was a wise decision.

Little L was unsure whether being squeezed by a giant bug was a wise decision.

I’m not going to actually ‘review’ the movie, because Kimba has done a spectacular job already over here: Epic in 3D : Movie Review. Turns out she was there. In the rain and mist and snow (oh, wait.. it wasn’t quite that bad) I missed her completely. I feel, also, that I’m far too immature to accurately review a movie. I was swept away by the loveliness of the world created, and was so ready to immerse myself in a pretty green 3D forest with small dancing flowers that I threw my critical hat right out the door with my choc-top wrapper. I did find Mumabulous Brenda and her two wee Ps, however, all dripping and cuteness in their raincoats with choc-topped noses. Anyway. The movie? It was really good.

Enthralled 3D girls - What? This photo is blurry and rubbish? Who are you calling a bad photographer? ME? Yeah. Fair call. I am ASHAMED OF MYSELF.

Enthralled 3D girls – What? This photo is blurry and rubbish? Who are you calling a bad photographer? ME? Yeah. Fair call. In the bin SLAM with me and my bad photographing ways.

The movie aftermath? Now THAT was Epic. I managed to get lost inside my own city for over 40 minutes while I drove up and down backstreets on a magical mystery tour of WHERE THE HELL ARE WE? Added to my angst was the birthday lunch we were due to attend for my dad, back over the north shore and a 40 minute (direct) drive away.

I went on an accidental tour of St Vincent’s hospital, somehow driving through the emergency entrance in my state of epic confusion. There may have been an epic amount of inappropriate language streaming from my lips, followed by ‘Sorry L, mummy shouldn’t have said that’, followed by another epically inappropriate word as I turned the wrong way down a one-way lane and was confronted by two rows of parked cars and an angrily oncoming car. Mean streets, I tell you.

I may have had an epic showdown – a navigate-off, if you will, between the two directing ladies who live inside my phone. The first one, insanely, tried to make me drive through the cross-city tunnel, after her inability to re-route forced me to keep backtracking to go back to her original ‘desired’ route. In Little L’s words, ‘That phone lady’s stupid’. Yes, SHE IS EPICALLY STUPID AND SHE HAS NO IDEA WHERE SHE’S GOING.

Cue an emergency That Man phonecall. ‘I don’t know where I am’. ‘I don’t know where you are either’. ‘WELL WHY CAN’T YOU HELP ME!’ ‘Because, you need to pull over, find out where you are, and navigate yourself back out’. ‘WHY CAN’T YOU TELL ME? THE PHONE LADIES ARE ALL STUPID! THEY DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY’RE GOING! I’M AT THESE TWO STREETS. SO WHY CAN’T YOU JUST TELL ME? GRRR! WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE SO UNHELPFUL!?’ One of my finer moments.

Big bad mean evil trapping Sydney that wouldn't let me out. BOOO! I say BOOOOO!

Big bad mean evil trapping Sydney that wouldn’t let me out. BOOO! I say BOOOOO!

Google maps lady was much nicer to me. We liked her better. It was all good, until I got a little big for my boots with false chutzpah and, smiling with victory through the driving rain, I took the wrong lane leading to the Harbour Bridge and went… back into the city north. EPIC swearing. Sorry Little L. More Epic swearing. Sorry. Possibly a small tear.

Cue wobbly phonecall to family at lunch already. ‘I’m trapped in the city. It won’t let me out’. ‘Remember that day mum was driving us home from the airport, and was upset, and somehow accidentally ended up driving us up Everleigh St behind a police car with 4 police in it? This is like that.’ My brother was soothing. ‘It’s ok. We’ll just eat more olives.’

This more than likely would have been the solution to all the Epic problems, though I'm concerned that there are brussels sprouts coming out of the bottle?

This more than likely would have been the solution to all the Epic problems, though I’m concerned that there are brussels sprouts coming out of the bottle?

And then… then it happened. The clouds parted. The rain stopped. I went around the same roundabout one, final time, and drove onto the Harbour Bridge, northbound! We were free!!!!!!!

I had an Epic nap at the conclusion of lunch. That, too, was really good.

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[We were guests of the Digitial Parents Collective and the Natural Cordial Company - an Epic THANKS!]

How do you do it? I do mine in the shower.

Blog, I mean. How do you do it? How do you write yours? The typing part is obvious, as is the flinging of words into the internet ether with carefree abandon upon smacking ‘Publish’… but that’s not really what I’m getting at here.

Where do you derive your inspiration? I write my blog in the shower. It’s the nearest body of water, and water is SO. VERY. INSPIRATING. It inspires me to create new words, even. I have no bath, so I can’t submerge fully, and dunking my face in a sinkful of water may be pushing things … even for me. So, the shower it is, until such time as the heavens open and something other than monopoly money falls from the sky, blessing me with a new bathroom and a giant bathtub, with JETS. Then there won’t be any reason to blog anymore. I’ll just become a mermaid, and do mermaid things, like blow bubbles and comb my hair and sing songs…

Digressing. It’s one of the things I do best. Unfortunately being a digression queen is not one of the strengths you can actually discuss in an interview. Writing the blog in the shower means I’m sometimes forced to scribble or type naked, before an idea escapes. You know the old adage about writers keeping notepads next to their beds in case ideas strike during the night? Well – WHERE is my waterproof notepad, please inventor-people? And my waterproof pen? Hmph. Yes. I know, you’re busy curing diseases and newer more ergonomic less ball-hurty bicycle seats and such.

Yes smartipantsesses. I know about these. But EASY TO CLEAN!? uh.. with bleach and a gurney gun perhaps??

Yes smartipantsesses. I know about these. But EASY TO CLEAN!? uh.. with bleach and a gurney gun perhaps??

My usual writing process is as follows. BRAINWAVE! That’s how that silly lurking draft post needs to tie together. If it doesn’t just fall out when I’m sitting at the keys, I leave it till later. Oh. I’m in the shower with a head full of shampoo. I jump out of the shower, towel-off, and scarper back towards the bedroom, passing the computer on the way. Ooooh, yes, best just jot it down. My kids? They never bat an eyelid to see a naked mother tapping away at the keys or hovering over the desk scribbling on her notepad while her hair drips on her nose. I apologise for any disturbing mental images this may be causing you. If it helps, put a nude body stocking over me. It may help the mental view. Slightly? No? Sorry. Let’s just move on then.

I took a little break the other week, to try and find the quiet place in my brain, and to do less hopping here and there in body and in mind. Social media quiet equals brain quiet, right? It did, for a little while. I realised something though. I MISSED you guys terribly. The community and the support when I had an awful day, and the victory when things were great. The dog just didn’t get it. And he refused to toast with me. Teetotalling dogs. Who needs ‘em.

The brain quiet didn’t stick around either. My break meant that though I took a little down-time from the stresses of feeling torn between not quite giving enough to anybody, I was more frustrated and uptight because I didn’t have writing as an outlet. There still wasn’t time to make it to Pilates, either. Life will always be busy. If you have less on, you’ll just stretch the contents to fill your day and be busy still. So now I know, I need to blog in the shower, and to write in my damp notebook, and to interact with the lovely wonderful people hiding inside my computer.

You guys are my yogis. Ah. And now my mind is quiet.

Where and how do you write yours? Are you a morning flasher and dasher like me? 

Linking up with the fabulous Grace for FYBF at With Some Grace.

xx

 

 

A tale of woe and customer service

Happy nearly Friday Loungers! Here’s a funny story for you. I’m actually, truly, so snowed with work I’ve gone and delved into the Face First archives for a delightful story of work hell for you this week.
Upon reflection, I’m SO VERY grateful to be snuggled up at my desk under a pile of paper in my ugg boots. Getting older can be a beautiful thing.

A bit what I look like right now, except not quite so much like a sheep.

I am doing great big leapy happy jumps of YAY to be hit up with an unrealistic deadline next week, because it means I am WORKING and working HARD. There’s nothing I love better. (OK – that’s kind of rubbish …  I can’t drink wine at the same time, so that kind of sux, and there are other things, like holidays and cocktails and swimming and reading in the sun and being on boats …) Anyway. Digressing. Working is pretty great.

The little trickle of opportunity is starting to flow again, and I’m feeling like hugging the world, I’m so grateful. Freelance work is such a capricious beast, it’s a bit like a Christmas present whenever a work offer pops up in your inbox.

This means I will be leaving you sad and lonely next week while I stick my bum in the air (and wave it around like I just don’t care … sorry. Sometimes my brain to keyboard filter needs a really big SMACK.) So don’t forget me.

Meanwhile, this lull has given me pause to reflect on the less savoury jobs I’ve had in my life. Strangely enough, most of them have been centred around customer service. From this we’ll conclude that I generally suck at people. Don’t argue with me. I do.

Job 1. Charcoal chicken shop. Time of employment: 3.25 hours

Do you have any idea how HOT it is in a chicken shop? Do you have any idea how heavy a rack of chickens is when they’re all raw, before they load them up onto the rack for roasting? Neither did I. My poor little flimsy 15-year old arms couldn’t quite cope, and I dropped the whole pole of pale wrinkly little squidgy smelly chickens into the ash and coals, covering them in black dust and turning myself into some kind of camouflaged warpainted black-faced child, complete with sweat streaks and bright white eyes of terror. The evil demented shop owner tried to get out of paying me my $17 for the days’ work, given I had cost him a rack of chickens. My dad went and yelled at him though. He showed him. Bastard.

 

Don’t they look cute and cosy all snuggled up together over the fire?

Job 2. Checkout chick. Time of employment: 1 year – 4 hrs per week = $20

Wow. I said WOW. Can you even believe the cash I was raking in? I trotted up to the local IGA two afternoons after school each week, to earn the princely sum of $20. There was a girl who worked there full-time, and we used to glare at each other in mutual disrespect, because I refused to take her lectures on the importance of the job seriously. Eventually I got into trouble because I couldn’t say no to selling whipped cream bulbs to all the local school boys who came in. How could I? They were cute! I pretended I had NO idea they weren’t using them to help their dear mothers bake cakes.

Useful for dispensing cream and …. ??

 

 Job 3. Pizza Hut call centre: Time of employment – 18 months

This was possibly the worst of the lot. I’ve never been abused or sworn at so much in my life as I have over pizza. And, as I’m pretty good and bad with confrontation at the same time, I never managed to deal with it properly. We were supposed to put them straight through to the managers, but because that’s exactly what these losers wanted; ‘My pizza’s late. Put me through to the manager’, that’s exactly what I refused to do. Oops. I was very cold and polite and tried to sort it out for them, but HATED the disrespect from people over pizza. I can recall on more than one occasion saying ‘Dude – it’s a PIZZA. Stop swearing at me.’ I’d be stubborn and pigheaded with them on the phone, but when I hung up I was usually shaking. When I eventually got really jaded by the job I’d just wait long enough until they swore, and then I’d hang up on them. I was allowed to do that. When someone asked if I was interested in applying for any Supervisor roles I said HELL NO – they ONLY get to talk to all the sweary angry people, all day. Like I said, me and people. Not a great combination.

This actually exists in the UK. Want to watch me vomit and die of heart failure at the same time??

Job 4. Black Stump – waitressing: Time of employment – 18 months? 

We had fun here – ‘At the Slack Dump, we’re Famous for our mistakes.’ I was a waitress,  my brother was a waiter, and my then boyfriend worked behind the bar. There was a good crowd of people there for a while and we did plenty of time at the pub after closing time. We were united by our horror at the appalling quality of the food we served at unnecessarily high prices. It was a good place for old people who wanted a ‘home-cooked’ style meal with their (frozen and boiled) corn on the cob, jacket potato, steak (generally overcooked and left to dry out on the bain marie) and cookie-cutter peas and carrots, but otherwise, we couldn’t really understand why people would come. But come they did, and the tips were GREAT. I was a pretty good waitress, and I banked all my pay and just lived off the tips. I went to a 21st one night at the last minute in my ‘Famous’ shirt – a black polo with big ugly orange lettering splashed across the chest (with additional splatters of sour cream). It was an awesome party, but you’ll be surprised to hear I did not pick up that night.

My next job was in publishing while I was still studying at uni, and I thought it was AWESOME to be going off to a proper desk while all my friends were trying not to get bailed up at service stations each night. I had officially arrived in GROWN-UP LAND.

What was your worst job ever? Does customer service really suck, or am I just a princess?

Come and take a seat in The Lounge. Add your link below. Tell us about your work tales of woe.

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I want to be a slashie

Growing up to be a slashie… It’s not really something to aspire to, is it?

I mean, the definition of a ‘Slashie’ is someone who thinks that their day job isn’t their real job. As in, a model who really wants to be an actress, and is therefore a model slash actress (model/actress), or a hairdresser/singer, waiter/writer, and so forth.

I am aspiring to be a slashie though, because that would mean I have the TIME for an aspiration, to believe that my day job (erm… wiping bottoms, grocery shopping, editing, picking up children, nursing rabbits with pneumonia, researching and medical writing, making 3 different breakfasts cos ‘I DON’T LIKE THAT’ all at the same time) is not my REAL  job, then YES. I want to just be a slashie. Just two items please. One job title, then a slash, then another job title. Ah. How serene it would be.

I don’t even care if I’m better at one side of the slash than the other. Look, Kylie Minogue was first and foremost an actress at the time of Neighbours, and was a Singing Budgie when she went to add the slash with ‘Locomotion’. Now? She’s an international pop phenomenon, and if she tries to throw the ‘actress’ slash back in, she’s taken much less seriously for such highly credible efforts as Street Fighter: The Movie. Open your MINDS people of the world, and bend them like Beckham. He does. He’s a soccer player slash model. Quality is not what matters here. What matters is that both sides of the slash pay money.

Rapunzel! Let down your hair! There's a soccer player climbing your tower

Rapunzel! Let down your hair! There’s a soccer player about to climb your tower

Perhaps the difference between the modern-day slashie versus the old-school performer is that the guys and girls of yore were expected to come as a full package, able to dance, sing and act with their eyes closed. The closest we’ve come to that in recent years is with the graduates from the Mickey Mouse Club – Justin Timberlake, Christina, Britn..oh.. Actually JT is the only one from that pack who can sing, dance AND act.

In the acting category, there are some FASCINATING forays into the slash singing realm. Some of these Slashies have the most tempting song titles on their albums, like Molly Ringwald’s version of ‘Don’t You (Forget about Me)’  - YES from the Breakfast Club, and yes singing THAT song from the end with Judd Nelson. As a jazzy lounge number. Oh the irony. Or Bruce Willis’ song ‘Respect Yourself’. While singing into a pool cue. Ahem.

You may like a peek because it’s pretty amusing. And, almost, perversely, kinda good. If you are still wearing your stonewashed jeans.

I’ve missed another smaller category of modern-day awesome who actually CAN do it all, inhabited by the likes of Hugh Jackman (YES I most certainly WILL be dragging my husband along to see the new Wolverine, purely for the QUALITY ACTING), and some other people I don’t feel like thinking about now because Hugh is all we need.

Slash personal slave? Sure, I'll add it to my list.

I want to know about your career-type aspirations. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

High on my personal slashie list? Writer/sleeper. Lounge singer/drinker. Recliner/eater of cheese and olives (with martinis). Wine-taster/manuscript-assessor. Mrs Jackman/potato enthusiast. There are plenty more where this came from.

If you could be any kind of slashie, what would you be? Have your singing/dancing/fire-twirling aspirations been dashed by the arrival of reality and/or children?

xx

 

F and K’s European Vacation!

Travel, oh travel, I heart thou. I’ve had my share. I’ve been spoiled. I could tell you about luxuriating on the beach in Thailand without kids last year, or about travelling to Italy with my best mate a few years ago for a wedding, WITHOUT KIDS. But I won’t. Not today, anyway. Today for my Lounge travelling tale I’m trawling the photo archives, taking the time machine back to 2001, when I hit Europe with a backpack for the very first time.

I had my trusty buddy F with me on the Eurostar, wearing our daggy jeans, sneakers and neck safety belts for our travellers cheques and passports (HELLO, people, this was 2001. The internet had only, like, JUST been invented). We were so cool. So chic. So au fait with the French language. So ready to take on Paris. SO unprepared to be reduced to tears by the train ticket dude at Gare du Nord.

Do you like Paris in the springtime? We liked Paris in 35 degree summertime sweat, when all the streets smelt like pee. Ah… the beauty of a city of dog-lovers. We made our way out to the fancy schmancy burbs to stay with our acquaintance Walter in Sceaux. Walter was Charmin – as in, German. Charm, itself, was lacking, though he laid an approximation of it on pretty thickly at first. Walter, Walter, Walter. He kindly put us up, and was no threat at all to a couple of 22-year old girls in daggy shorts, resembling an IT-nerd crossed with Ronald McDonald. He told every person we spoke to that we were Australian, and after the guffaws died down (and we scrabbled through our dictionary), we discovered he was also saying we’re from a British colony full of convicts. IRATE we were. FURIOUS! Being stuck in the middle of Epernay, surrounded by des Caves, it made the most sense to sink our fury into the teeth of all the French champagne we could muster. We were like drovers. Rounding them up, and putting them down. We showed him.

'Did you just call me a convict again?' 'Why yes, yes I believe I did.'

‘Did you just call me a convict again?’ ‘Why yes, yes I believe I did.’

Still somewhat upsetting to me to this day is that I was only hit on ONCE in my entire three months of travel in Europe. I blame being oblivious to what being hit upon looked like (until it was actually grabbing at me), my HORRENDOUS wardrobe, my natural F*(&* off face, and being desperately in love with my boyfriend (who is now my husband). These factors, combined with the fact I was a good head and shoulders taller than most of the men in Europe made me a very unappealing prospect. In any case, this particular hit was hard to miss. ‘Want a Vespa ride?’ Sure. Where are we going? Oh. ‘Your boyfriend, he no thinking about you. He with the other girls at home. What you come here for? He forget you’. This photo was taken on the way BACK, after I refused to get back on the bike with blondie (the perp) and rode home with harmless instead. I have sunburn and ‘bugger off’ written all over my innocent face.

Dodgy, dodgy, italianos. Nonplussed, sunburnt, pissed off Kim.

Dodgy, dodgy, italianos. Nonplussed, sunburnt, pissed off Kim.

Quite famous I was in Rome though. They made me some coffee. Still waiting on the royalties. Bastardos.

When, will I, will I be famous?

When, will I, will I be famous?

And Spain? Spain was MAD. A whirlwind of wonderful. We decided to randomly jump off the train in San Sebastien, which was a brilliant decision, since they had the running of the bulls that day, and a thousand million tapas bars in every street, and beaches that burned my legs to a glorious shade of purple, and a festival that saw men peeing up the walls until 2pm the following afternoon. Then Barcelona (with Spamburgers, and more wonderful), and Madrid (with less wonderful), and the COSTA BRAVA. Ahhhhhh. The beach, and a week to relax at Llafranc. Except, it was September 11, 2001, and the World Trade Centre was hit. It was a surreal place to experience the media trickles of tragedy, amidst such relaxation and beauty.

This walk was extremely taxing. Beautiful AND flat. With my friends shops and cheap beer at the end.

This walk was extremely taxing. Beautiful AND flat. With my friends shops and cheap beer at the end.

We walked, we swam, we read, we drank Sangria in the sunset, and ate paella in the dark. We walked to the shops by the seaside path, and drank bottles of San Miguel that were cheaper than water. We recharged. Then we threw on our packs and launched into the rest of Europe, a couple of sunburnt girls heartsick for our boyfriends, with really crappy wardrobes.

Xx

Linking with the air hostess with the mostess, Rachel at www.theviblog.wordpress.com

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This is what I think of you

Diabetes. You can go to hell. I don’t write about you much, because I try to put you in the background. I don’t want you to run our lives. I want to just get on with it, and let you be a footnote.

Today I’m upset by you. Fuck you diabetes. I don’t write about you here. I don’t want pity, but I’m angry at you. I’m exhausted by you. I’m tired of waking up to you in the night. Sick to death of forcing my sleepy little girl to drink juice after juice in the dark to get her blood sugar back up to a safe level.

Last night you pushed me too far. You make me argue with my husband. You disturb my other daughter in her sleep. You dropped little L down to 1.9. That’s not OK. It was sheer luck, mother’s instinct, or fate that told me upon going to bed that the usual 3 am check wouldn’t be safe, and that her bedtime level of 5.7 would need a 1:30 am check. THANK GOD I did. 600ml of juice later, and little L saying ‘ENOUGH!’, she was back to 4.2. What happens the time my instinct doesn’t tell me to check her at the ‘right’ time? Two weeks ago she was so low she was shaking and not ‘there’ and I was about to pull out the orange needle in the dark. She was screwed up and tired and headachy with a ‘glucagon hangover’ the whole next day. She slept for hours. LEAVE US ALONE.

I need a break from you. I want a weekend away. I want to go. But I will miss my girl. I want to see her, and be with her, but without this thing in the way. You are in the way. Why can’t YOU go away for the weekend instead?

I know you make her tough, resilient, wise beyond her years, and great with numbers. Whatever. I want her to be a 5 year-old kid, and carefree. Not watchful and wary. Missing out on fun stuff because she has to sit out with a hypo.

Diabetes, go to hell. You are thorn in our lives, and a nightmare in my nights. I’ll probably regret publishing this post, but I feel calmer already. I need to tell everyone what I think of you, because perhaps people don’t realise how much you truly suck.

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