Bridesmaids Revisited

A Surgeon, a Lawyer, an Accountant and an Editor walk into a bar. The Editor slips over. Not the beginning of a joke, but the story of my weekend just past. No, seriously. (Cut me some slack. It was raining and the ground was slippery.) We remade the movie Bridesmaids, without a bride. We re-enacted Hot Tub Time Machine, without a hot tub. We flew from Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney (oh, wait. The Melbourne one just walked from her office) to reconnect, relax, escape motherhood and remember who we were in high-school, before adulthood brought us our responsibles and other licorice allsorts of shit.

This is what it was all about. Reconnocting.  With arms, not phones...Nokia or otherwise.

This is what it was all about. Reconnocting. With arms, not phones…Nokia or otherwise.

Friday. Champagne. Real stuff. Pimms cocktails up a lift in a strange bar where people were dressed for tennis, on cast iron chairs on astroturf, outside in 12 degrees…. an interesting combination of choices… But Pimms! Yes to Pimms! Amazing dinner at Anada in Smith St, with Spanish Cava, wine, oysters, jamon, and 10,000 other degustation courses (approximately). I got my freekeh on, not on the dance floor, but in my mouth. Yum. Same same as quinoa but different. More wine was drunk. Eyelids were closed at the table.They may have been the eyelids of the Editor. C’mon guys, cut me some more slack. 11:30 on a Friday night for a full-time working mamata is LATE. My time machine had stalled.

Mess Hall for breakfast Saturday morning is a misnomer. It’s not in a hall, nor is it messy. It is practically perfect in every way. The coffee is the best I’ve had this year, and it’s NOVEMBER. Bourke St. Go to there. Eat all the bacon.

Not messy, or in a hall.

Not messy, or in a hall.

Shopping. Like a woman released from a 15-year gaol term, I was on a mission. A kamikaze smash and grab shopping mission (complete with polite pleases and thank yous, exchanges of funds, and no actual violence.) So, not really actually very smashy or grabby, then, but MISSION nonetheless. We walked past an op-shop. I allowed 10 minutes on the clock. GO. The Surgeon emerged, triumphant. I, too, emerged victorious, $13 down.

Thirteen big ones baby. Winner winner, wine for dinner.

Thirteen big little ones baby. Winner winner, wine for dinner.

The Accountant, a shopping knight, plunged on like a true warrior in Zara after facing earlier defeat. She won Excalibur; not one, but TWO pairs of jeans. And tops and shirts and SO MUCH STUFF. Bags and bags later we kneeled down before her to worship. I had but a paltry pair of (resin and laneway-found) earrings to console me in my darkest, shopping-bagless nights. They will do though. I love them with passion and fervour.

These'll do, pig. And the 50% off Oroton sale this week is also quite consoling.

These’ll do, pig. And the 50% off Oroton sale this week is also quite consoling.

Then, there was napping. PLEASE NOTE: this was not, I repeat NOT a nanna nap. This was beauty sleep. Bernard Fanning needed to see us in optimal condition.

Do you know how far it is to the Yarra from Melbourne? Me neither, but it’s further than a bladder-ride away. Distances are not in kms, miles, or furlongs these days. They come in units of bladders. The Editor was looking for a plastic bag with no holes to contemplate peeing in (best to assume the 3rd person at this point, dont you think?) when the bus decided to arrive at the green, green, very very green Day on the Green, being made extra green by the torrential rain pouring down.

This is kind of long. Lots of words.

You probably want to make a cup of tea or go to sleep or something. How about I do you a kindness and draw this out into TWO LONG SAGA-LENGTH INSTALMENTS? You can perch with bated breath on the edge of your picnic rug to find out what happens in Part 2 of Bridesmaids – Revisited, coming next week to a Face First webpage near you.

I warn you – things may go downhill in Part 2. Rain and wine and mud and stuff.

Nighty night pumpkins!

xx

 

The Great Escape

My title is a little cheeky given my home is nothing like a German POW camp, and I’m definitely not Steve McQueen. The fact remains though that living in my house is often like being in a camp (just ask about the food!), my kids behave like prisoners, and we do go to war. That escape is needed is a given. There’s even a motorbike in the carport to speed me on my passage, if I had a clue how to ride a 1000cc piece of metal.

You can see the resemblance, right?

You can see the resemblance, right?

Not so long ago, I did it. Flew the coop, jumped the razor fence, hit the road and got the hell out of dodge. I flew to Brisvegas for the inaugural Convention of the Loungers. In attendance were Rachel the Very Inappropriate Blogess the I, Sarah from Slapdashery (this is something for all of you young folk to aspire to, if, like me, you’ve stepped back in time to watch the hogwashy-twaddle of Mr Selfridge on TV);  and yours truly, Falling all the way north on my Face.

How do you escape? Do you stare down the barrel of a wine bottle, strap on your goggles, and giggle at the idiocy of everyone around you? (It’s not YOU, it’s THEM). Do you lie prone in the grass making cloud shapes into rabbits or hot-torsoed men? Or do you actually get moving, and exercise for escape, or run away to freedom like me, exercising your non-Constitutional right to bear trashy reading material in an airport Lounge?

This is The Lounge. So I’ll tell you the tale of the Lounge Convention. It was … conventional? Let’s stick with ‘Loungey’. And I’ll only recount the tale in part, because we all know the rule. What goes on tour, means I’d have to kill you if you stand next to me while I snore and talk in my sleep.

Worshipping at the altar of Kamahl.

Worshipping at the altar of Kamahl.

What is more conventional is my approach to hotels. Every hotel has its quirks. Every Kim has her quirks. They must be dealt with methodically. The steps (for hotels) are as follows. I’ll leave the management of Kims up to you.

Step 1: Look in all the rooms

Step 2: Look in all the cupboards. Look in the fridge

Step 3: Deposit my vastly superior tea (yes TEA SNOB I AM) near the kettle, stashed in snaplock bags from home. Don’t judge. You’ll be wanting some and I won’t share if you’re mean.

Step 4: Read ‘The Book’. No not the bible. They’re all the same. The hotel one. What if, one day, I stumble into a freakish hotel that has a happy hour or free drinks and I MISS OUT because I didn’t READ THE BOOK?

Step 5: Choose my imaginary dinner from the room service menu

Step 6: Scoff at the mini-bar prices. As if you’d pay THAT much for a Mars Bar.

Step 6: Open mini-bar again and gaze wistfully at the little bottles. Picture myself glugging them with gay abandon on beds like they do in movies. Drink some wine.

Step 7: Drink more wine. Paint toenails. Spill nailpolish. Scream

Step 8: Lie on bed like a starfish. Jump on bed like a starfish.

Step 9: More wine. Buy Mars Bar from minibar. Vow to replace it from 7-11. Forget.

What? Anally-retentive control freak? Pah. I spit on your laissez-faire attitude to dropping your bags and going out for dinner. You could be missing out on a cornered toilet roll.

In any case, Rachel and Sarah soon arrived to relieve me from my relentless pursuit of being me, and we were OFF and running.

 

Hipsters? Oh yes, Brisbane has hipsters. Let us take you on a magical mystery tour…

Hipsters? Oh yes, Brisbane has hipsters. Let us take you on a magical mystery tour…

Girls’ weekends. That’s escape in a nutshell (if a nutshell has beds and a lot of wine inside). It’s possible there was some dinner, a ridiculous amount of hipsters missing from Melbourne, a waitress in a bunker looking like Minnie Mouse who snarled, a dearth of teapots, OPI black polish all over a table, some quilts, a migraine, a few hangovers, a Cooker and a Looker (MWAH Amanda!), a Southbank cider reviver, a tequila (WOW!) a taco (WOW!) and a stupid amount of laughing and FALLING OVER WHILE SOBER. But also, possibly not. Cos, remember, tour rules.

Rachel and Sarah, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. When you first arrived, other than your voices, everything about you felt instantly familiar. You don’t judge. You listen. We understand each others’ brains. Your hearts are enormous. You are both true, wonderful friends. That’s what blogging is for. Friendship, escape.

 

Wine, books, and something about a cockatoo

Did you know I review wine bars? Neither did I. The poor folk at Two Stews and a Cockatoo thought it was business as usual the other night, until I put on my new hat and reviewed all the wine. Oh… I was reviewing the BAR? I guess I’ll have to go back and try again.

Once upon a time, on the sleepy North Shore of Sydney, thirsty workers and suburbanites growing weary of pizza and movie nights at home could go to a restaurant (Chinese or Thai, anyone? Snooze), or to one of the few pubs, to steak it out with the pokies. Entertaining at home was the only option for chatting, drinking, nibbling and socialising with friends. Do you have a friend who only drinks sauvignon blanc and you’re a chardie girl? You’d generally agree to meet somewhere in the middle with a pinot gris, neither of you particularly satisfied as you share the bottle over the olives.

I choose… EVERYTHING!

I choose… EVERYTHING!

Now? I could kneel down and cry tears of happiness, for the day of the wine bar has returned. They’re popping up not only in the city, but further into the depths of the North Shore, and the locals are flocking.  What makes me most happy is the fact I can have my big fat oaky glass of French chardonnay by the glass, while my friend has her glass of Sancerre. We share the edamame, and the slow cooked beef and the lamb tiramisu. NOBODY CLEANS UP. And the boys are at home with the children. What’s not to like?

Hats on the wall for decoration. Kim on the lounge taking liberties with said hats.

Hats on the wall for decoration. Kim on the lounge taking liberties with said hats.

Last week we all hat a fabulous time, and decided to go back in a month for ‘book club’. It’s a very serious book club you know. There were some books there. My friend J will be reading ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ this month, while L is reading something about a great big train. I thought I’d have a more in-depth read of the menu.

J getting up close and personal with Ghandi

J getting up close and personal with Ghandi

There really is a cockatoo. Stuffed, apparently, by a Melbourne taxidermist. See? I found out ONE REAL FACT!

Helloooooooo cocky!!

Helloooooooo cocky!! Dead. Really.

There’s also a wine ‘flight’ (geddit?) – a taste of three different wines of your favourite varietal, so you can settle on the one that you really want to DRINK. Or, you can be a fleety flighty flibbertigibbet, and go from flight to flight sampling them all. I would not do that. Noooo. Not me. I drank a French Chardonnay, then a lovely Sancerre (because there was still some in the bottle), and then we chose a riesling called Dr Loosen, for the same reason you choose your horse in the Melbourne Cup. It had a funny name. Not, of course, because we were getting a bit loosen ourselves.

You can tell the owners and staff genuinely enjoy their work there. I genuinely enjoy my new hat as an eater and drinker. I think I will take myself very seriously indeed.

Details: Open Wed-Sun noon-midnight

GPO Building 741 Pacific Highway, Gordon NSW

Telephone 02 9499 8698

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

the-lounge-logo

Dance like nobody’s watching … really?

That “dance like nobody’s watching, … Sing like nobody’s listening” quote is a pretty sounding piece of crap advice. I’m pretty sure that’s how the Harlem Shake meme came about. Because, if anybody was watching, they probably would have told them to stop. That’s some BAAAD dancing. On Saturday night, as promised, however, I did sing like nobody was listening. The next day, I was still Livin’ On a Prayer … to make it through the day… Dead or Alive. If you’re under 18, I suggest you stop reading now in case some of the alcohol in my system has seeped from my fingers into the words on this page and is right at this moment intoxicating you by osmosis …

Thanks Jon – I’ve got it from here. You can pop over and mind my kids though, if you wouldn’t mind?

Paid babysitting. So much pressure. You pretty much need to start doing high-kicks the second you close your front door just to make the most of your night out. Pressure aside though, it was awesome. I MISS MY FRIENDS so much and it’s so great to hang out properly. And the Brumbies did me the big huge favour of winning against the Waratahs, to make me extra happy. After a couple of cheeky ciders at the pub, we went for Japanese in Neutral Bay, where the food is fabulous and the decor, unique.

If you’re prone to nightmares, best look away from the Wall of Cat

Yum, yum, yummity-yum. I think I should become a food writer, so expressive am I. We ate sashimi, and gyoza, and ‘yummy as soybean babies’, and tempura, ‘a mouth water explosation of prawns, fish vegetable’. It was as exciting as it sounds. Truly an explosation.

It seemed almost cruel to eat these little guys.

There was also wine, of course. One bottle or two, or three, or four. Who can be sure? What is certain though, is that by the conclusion of the meal we were in a karaoke state of mind. The Pickled Possum was our destination. This place? It’s a Sydney institution of STRANGE. But by god it is FUN. Beers come by esky, mixers by home brand bottles lined up behind the bar due to the lack of postmix. But if you’re arriving sober and quibbly about such things, you should probably go elsewhere. It’s friendly and everyone sings along with everyone else. The guy who runs it likes to sing every second song, however, so be prepared for a wait!

I think my ‘Living on a Prayer’ went ok. There was no falling face first off the stage (because, you know, that would be predictable ;), there was fist pumping (mine), and there was even some back patting and ‘You’ll go a long way. You were great’, from some nice old dude who looked upset when I cynically came back with ‘Thank you! But yep – all the way back home to my kids.’ You can take the cynical bitch out of the girl, but… actually, nope. You can’t take the cynical bitch out anywhere, really.

At one point a couple of hot girls (I can say that can’t I? Not sure what else to call them in this context) got up on stage and dragged a practically comatose but good-looking guy up with them, and I was wondering what on earth they were going to do with him. He had those half-mast eyes and dopey dazed smile, obviously hoping he could grin his way out of any trouble because he had no idea what he was doing. Definitely in no state to sing, and in NO state for back-up dancing. The strains of Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’ started up, and they make him the focal point for their ridicule. It. Was. Hilarious. He took it with good humour – ‘who me?’

I’m modifiying the aforementioned ‘dance like nobody’ quote to include “drink like there will be children jumping on your bed at 7 the following morning, and know it will always hurt”. No regrets though. I woke refreshed in spirit, (despite being embalmed from the inside out), having spent more than 2 hours in adult company. I felt like a whole person again, without labels attached. And with bonus mystery bruises. Game on!

xx

I had a dream …

Button pusher

Not about the winning horse, unfortunately. But as it’s Melbourne Cup day, I kind of felt like writing something a little frivolous and vacuous, since that’s how I’m feeling while I FOLD WASHING in a not-hat.

My subconscious has been hard at work again it seems, perving away while I’ve been a dutiful and oblivious wife with blinkers on, and unbeknownst to me, COMPLETELY changing my taste in men overnight. WHAT?

My leave pass. Let’s discuss.

Once upon a time my celebrity leave pass was always fairly blurry, but dark. At best I had a top 3. I will not bother going into a discussion here about the relative cognitive value of these celebrities, because that’s not really the point of this ONE NIGHT. And besides, the fabulous Mumabulous (she always leaves me short of creative adjectives) has done a thorough and well-considered round-up of the thinking woman’s crumpet here.

So, my original top three, in no particular order, were:

4. Robert Downey Jr.

Blue steel. Because I’m worth it

Since I saw him as a wee bairn in Chance Are (1989) with Cybill Shepherd and Ryan O’Neal I was sold. He’s a bit left-of-centre (plus), can take the piss (plus), is funny (plus), and can fly (bonus points). Minus? Even I couldn’t stay awake through the Sherlock Holmes movies. And he’s only about as tall as my shoulder.

3. John Cusack

I’m frowning in an ironic way.

He is smart AND sarcastic AND hot. He’s not all flashy Hollywood and actually seemslike a real 3-D person. He’s even on twitter, saying real things. He understands satire and has a dry sense of humour. He’s still on my list, but I’d rather drink scotch with him while he says witty things.

 2. Jake Gyllenhaal

It’s all in the eyes. Really. Yep. Does my hand look like it’s on a Bible?

Ahhh. New generation. No analysis here. Talking? Nope – don’t need talking. He has nice eyes. Yep. It’s all about the eyes.

You will notice a common theme here. They are all dark. They have a similar type of appeal I guess, a little out of the usual straight down the line Brad Pitt garden variety what-you-see-is-what-you-get.

BUT THEN THIS HAPPENED.

In my dream the other night, a vision appeared unto me. And this vision was a man. A beautiful, perspective, channel-changing, god of a man. And now there is only one. I can never go back to black. Or dark, I should say. Now there is only one leave pass for me. My leave pass is:

1. Chris Hemsworth

Phwoar … I mean – Thor.

What happened? There is clearly something of an abrupt change in my taste here. Why has my subconscious been quietly subverting me? Am I stereotyping these dark-haired boys into ‘complicated’ and ‘interesting’ categories based on nothing, and thinking that dear Chris is going to come and save me from them? Cos he will, you know. He just looks like a really nice guy.

Who’s on your leave pass list?