Think I’d better dance now

Lately, whenever I feel I’ve put my foot in my mouth, or in fact both feet, AND my fist, the words of Tom Jones appear in my head unbidden. Or when I’ve had a really shocking day, and I can’t quite think of anything else that could go wrong, there is Tom, thinking he’d better dance now. How did he get there? How will I make him go away? Can I choose a more attractive earworm, under the age of 70? Thankfully I’ve resisted Tom’s call to action, since capping off inappropriate words with bizarre behaviour usually doesn’t have a redeeming effect. Particularly in job interviews.

One of these days I’m thinking it may all become too much, however, and before I die of shame or embarrassment, I will actually dance my way out of a room or a situation that has become dire. Stay tuned. I promise I’ll let you know when it happens.

When it does, I’ll take a leaf out of the book of these girls. They dance like nobody’s watching.

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These photos bring me joy. This week I’m feeling a little pensive, and I’m grieving for the little girl you see on the left, who didn’t have diabetes in these pictures. I have a strong, resilient, mature daughter, but I grieve for the one who kicks up her heels and just dances for no good reason. My little girl is joyful, but now she thinks about things, a lot. So do I.

I think we’d better dance, now.

xx

Linking up with Tegan at Musings of the Misguided, for the Lounge’s ‘Favourite photos’ theme this week, and Grace for FYBF.

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Jumper pants. FTW by she who fails best.

I’m sure you’ll believe me when I tell you this fail post wrote itself. Falling face first is what I do, right? The internet with all of its ‘fail’ blogs and memes is my natural home.

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A little pop culture factoid for you: The earliest documented use of the term “FAIL” can be traced to a Japanese 16-bit scrolling shooter game, Blazing Star (1998), often mocked for its grammatically incorrect “game over” message that reads:

“YOU FAIL IT!
YOUR SKILL IS NOT ENOUGH-
SEE YOU NEXT TIME- BYE BYE.”

According to Google Trends, Internet users later began exchanging and searching for pictures and videos labelled with “FAIL” as early as in 2004. So look at us here, on this Lounge, reclining like recalcitrant lizards. We’re so positively late to the party, we’re ironically, um… ON THEME.

Guess I’d better tell you about my biggest and best personal fail.

Three little ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away. Mother duck said ‘I’m just going to the cafe to get a coffee, but if you feel comfortable playing in the playground where I feel comfortable having you in a group together, you know where to find me’. Then only one little duck came back. That little duck said the other little duck was happy playing in the playground, and she smiled and waved at me when we made eye contact from just outside the gate fencing the playground.

Lo and behold, little duck A said to mumma duck ‘Mumma duck, I need to wee, NOW!’ Did I mention mumma duck is holding a 40 kg dog, a bike and a scooter? Did I mention also it’s started to rain? Not a teeny weeny drip drop (like in a nursery rhyme), but a SYDNEY SHOWER kind of downpour. We all know that ‘NOW’ means 5 minutes ago in 3-year old speak, so I counted my limited options, and grabbed dog, child and ran for the bushes. No time for the toilet. Plus, dog.

It was too late. Her undies and jeans were soaked through. Tears were streaming down her cheeks as she contemplated humiliating nude-scooting.

As I perched on my haunches in the bushes, rain dripping off my nose, I became somewhat close to panic as to how I would take my nude-bottomed 3-year-old scooting back to the car, while holding a 40-kilo dog on a lead, AND also find another daughter in the playground simultaneously. Without David Tennant’s help, that is. The little duck L was returned to us in the bushes sobbing, utterly distraught, by a lovely kind woman as she’d thought she’d lost us thoroughly. Cue heart-stabbing guilt. The nude bottom still presented a problem.

Then I remembered something I’d seen on the Melbourne Comedy Festival not so long before.

Jumper pants.

There was a song. You can watch and sing along (starting at about 1:19). It’s quite catchy. I had a jumper. I could do this.

You won’t believe this, Melbourne Comedy Festival guys, but somebody saw your idea and THOUGHT YOU WERE SERIOUS. They are making them as REAL PANTS and trying to sell them. Oops. They did reduce their price considerably from their originally marked RRP $260 down to only $99, and now, they are OUT! OF! STOCK! So… now I’m not really sure who has failed here. The person who took it seriously as an idea? Or the person who thought it actually looked cutting edge with ankle boots and (this is awkward) bought them.

Uhh.. yeah. You look totally, like… amaaahhhzing.

Uhh.. yeah. You look totally, like… amaaahhhzing.

In my humble opinion? The only person this look could possibly work on is this girl. The one with all the attitude in the world. The girl who says she wants ‘the chicken head’ when asked what part of the chicken she wants for dinner.

Here’s my little scooter girl. Dry bum but soaked everywhere else. Big sister tearfully bringing up the rear, while I reign in the enormous dog. Winning at failing, like only I know how.

Jumper pants. You know you want to.

Jumper pants. You know you want to.

Add your link below, PLEASE guys, and tell me you know how to fail too, like I do. We can toast our inadequacies and dance to being rubbish by the light of the moon! Or something.

 

Sloppy Friday roundup – In China

So, That Man’s in China again. Every time he says he’s going on another trip, I get worried. Aren’t I sweet? No, not really. More self-preserving. In China, bad things happen. In Sydney.

This is what happened last trip. The trip before? Was weirdly isolating. I somehow managed not to speak to a single adult for about 7 days, and have strangely never felt so lonely in my life. It’s times like that I hate living in a big city like Sydney. To be so surrounded by people, seeing them, driving amongst them, yet feeling completely alone. I tooted some of them in case I had accidentally turned invisible. I had not.

My friend even has a code-word for me needing her to drop everything and come. I just need to tell her ‘I’m in China’, and she knows that’s a Code Red. That I’m going loco inside my brain and need adult conversation, company, or alcohol intervention (adding, not subtracting), STAT. Thank God for these friends, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to them!

This time, I’m prepared. My preparation went like this. Shop for easily preparable meals. Make no social engagements. Plan to sleep early and a lot. Place no undue pressure on myself or the kids. Get to the gym to clear my head and for energy. Eat healthily. Sleep some more.

The reality? Sunday night, my gorgeous dog Herbie went… strange. He is my constant shadow, so being clingy was normal, but then to sleep in the girls’ bedroom instead of mine? Unheard of. Still, it made Little L happy so I let it lie. Like a sleeping dog, so to speak. *Cough* (sorry). Did the 10pm blood glucose fingerprick on Little L. Did the 3 am  fingerprick on Little L. Happily a straightforward night. But at 4, I hear her yelling. Herbie is wailing and yelping, and he’s all glassy-eyed and twitchy. He’s also completely floppy when I try to make him stand, and a dead weight. He doesn’t appear to recognise me. He’s 9, and I think something’s happened, like a stroke, and that maybe the end is on its way. So I grab some blankets and wrap him up since he seems really cold and shivery. At 5 Little A yells out with a nightmare. I crawl under the blankets on the floor with Herbie between the girls’ beds and sleep there for an hour. Wake up feeling 500 years old. My hips don’t lie, like Shakira’s, and are no longer built for floor sleeping. Looking in the mirror, I see the zombie apocalypse was also part of that night’s adventures. I am HOT. Like only the walking dead can be.

Thankfully, I think, Herbie had a seizure. He has recovered fully. Perhaps it’s old age, or a slow-growing tumour. Time will tell whether it’s isolated or the onset of doggy epilepsy. I paid the vet some LOVELY MONEY! Cos she was nice, and I like to give people MONEY WHEN IT’S CHINA. Then, the toilet decided to keep running. Running, and running and running. But not flush. How fun! We can go and use the one outside in 10 degrees and pouring rain in the laundry! Oh, WOOPS! Little A forgot and dropped a chocolate submarine in the toilet! What fun!! Let’s just pour some buckets of water down there, shall we, while we find a plumber? Cos we LOVE to spend money when it’s China.

Doggy-lickin' love.

Doggy-lickin’ love.

Today, I found that everything in the laundry has stopped working. Oh, the boring mundanity of EVERYTHING BREAKING AND STOPPING WORKING! The fridge is defrosting, the washing machine won’t turn on, (which is fine because I’M ABOUT TO BUILD AN ARK ANYWAY), and nor will the dryer. Fuses, obviously. Because I know about all this stuff, and it’s probably caused by the terrible weather, which is also likely a pre-warning of the real zombie apocalypse, because CHINA. Shall we find an electrician? To spend SOME MORE CHINA MONEY? Ah, no. My lovely dad will come to the rescue. LOVE dads. I am also pleased I can turn my freezer back on and don’t have to eat a leg of lamb, 3 kgs of frozen chicken and 10 sausages all by tomorrow night. I would have been quite full.

Some things are working in my RIDICULOUS plan for China week. I am going to the gym. It’s keeping me SO CALM! Can’t you tell? Sleeping? Is not working out at all. That one is in the bin. I plan to get payback and ask for 3 sleep-through-the nights in a row when That Man gets home. I’m not spending enough time with the girls, enough time cooking great meals, enough time keeping my house tidy, enough time washing clothes, enough time being any kind of functioning blogger, and just a little bit of time doing everything badly. I can’t blame myself though. I haven’t the spare time or cash to do so, because somehow, someway, blaming myself would likely end up costing MONEY.

I blame China.*

[*Please, also, if you are China and you are reading this, please don't take this personally. I'm just having a less than optimal week. I'm very fond of your imported goods, electronic equipment, and iPad covers. Please send That Man back in one piece. Preferably toting Duty Free alcohol.]

xx

 

On Bacon and crises of the existential variety

I’m not sure how you’ll feel about this, but I can’t give myself to Bacon. For one thing, I’m married. I’d maybe consider him if I was still single and looking for something to lay on my plate, but, well … I’m already well and truly committed, hook, line and sinker to his Italian fratello Signor Prosciutto. Secretly, also, I’m having a recent little affair with his distant cousin (or, as I like to call him, his brother from another mother), Jamon Serrano. Call me picky, but I’m partial to a little Eurotrash. Then – if I’m living LARGE and getting out of the Eurotrash zone, I’d like me some Jamon Iberico please. Just don’t tell my husband Signor Prosciutto. He thinks he’s big in Europe. He is, but in an overexposed kind of way; somewhat like Ibiza, and all of its Embarrassing Bodies in the popup clinic on the beach.

Shall we swing north a little to the German Black Forest and its delicious little piggies? Nope. I’ll leave them for you, because I’m generous for one, and because I’ve also drowned in a vat of sangria under a ton of Jamon. Mmmmm.

 

Offputting, what? Zombie prosciutto hand, GET IN MY BELLY!

Offputting, what? Zombie prosciutto hand, GET IN MY BELLY!

Ummm.. what was the point of my post? To wipe the drool off my keyboard? Yes. And also to point out that, since we are all only separated by 6 degrees of Kevin’s Bacon (cos that dude must have got his Foot Loose around a WHOLE lot more than just middle America), we need to reach some kind of committed stance on Bacon. And the Bacons. And how people who are called bacon probably should not eat Bacon (did I just confuse my capitalisation? You can see the potential problems inherent in names as foods and vice versa) as you can see how this could cause problems.

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Francis Bacon, TOTALLY AWESOME DUDE, and also a quite good philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and all-round guy, circa 1500-1600s, brought us some very important thoughts on just about everything. Particularly the modern scientific method. So in his free time he just sat around, thinking about how his name was the same as a food, I’m sure. Despite his 100 shades of wow, apparently he wrote years later of his regret at not having married the young widow who was snaffled away by the lawman with the modern multinational moniker.

Mr 16th century Bacon (not to be confused with Kevin, as, you know, time travel and Deloreans are just in the MOVIES you silly rabbits) was to have married a young widow, Elizabeth Hatton, who broke off their engagement to marry for money. The modern day multinational equivalent, if you will, Sir Edward Coke. This guy was a barrister, Chief Justice and politician. Despite Bacon being a dude, he was a poor dude, while Coke CJ had CASH and influence. He’s the daddy of common law. So much so, in fact, that we spent many delightful hours picking apart his words in Law 101. He was a multinational arse, though, and seems to have married Liz purely because Bacon wanted her. Bacon was a true intellectual, philosopher, and thinker, while Coke was 100% law-man, investing spare energy in tearing his competitor down. I think we will call him roast pork. Too long in the oven. Overcooked and very dry.

So back to the modern day, and I’m left asking what it all means. What is the square root of bacon? All this thinking about Bacon as a pig and a food and a person, and then as a philosopher, and then how we’re all, in fact, separated by only 6 degrees of Bacon has brought me to my little existential crisis. That is the logical endpoint at which to arrive from these meanderings, surely?

And that's all I have to say about that.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Bacon, for all his wide-ranging interests, and fingers in different pork pies left his political career in disgrace, and with regrets. Coke? Dry pork man? He focused and won. I don’t like this analogy if I apply it to my life, because I feel like I’m attempting much and winning at nothing. But neither do I want to be dry pork.

Paulo Coelho, one of my favourite writers but also a philosopher in my eyes tweeted some pretty great words the other day that I’ll be keeping close. ‘Feign madness but keep your balance’.

In bacon terms, and Bacon terms, I think that means to eat prosciutto hands with relish, enjoy a little from all of the cured pig food groups (balance, see?) skip the regrets, and avoid drinking Coke or watching spills, because that shit will rot your brain.

xx

Horizontal on the Lounge this week, guzzling a pinot gris with Slapdash Mama, cos it goes so well with bacon.

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[Picture Credit: Zombie hand - http://www.collegehumor.com

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