Saturday, September 23, 2006

Sometimes when I'm feeling super brain dead I like to sit here at my laptop and just hit the "Next Blog" button. It takes me to many weird and wonderful places and very very occasionally I hit upon something cool; a blog I can add to my favourites and check upon now and then.

Recently I have noticed that some blogs have a little banner at the top stating "Make Poverty History". What a bloody good idea I think. Thank you Bono, thank you Bob Geldof.

Then I think. Well. Um. How?

Will adding a "Make Poverty History" banner to my blog make poverty history? Wouldn't that we fantastic?

Aren't motherhood statements cool? They are so friggin' meaningless but they make us feel all warm and fuzzy. See? I can put a funky little banner on my blog and I can feel good about myself. It's really bloody great. I don't actually have to do anything useful for the world. Some little thing like donate money to charity, cook a meal for poor people or even for a sick friend, actually help someone in need in a practical and real way.

Maybe I can even put a "Not happy, John" sticker on my car to really show everyone I mean business. Take that. Now you know what I'm all about - I don't like John Howard or poverty! See how helpful I am to society? I'm so good I can't stand myself.

I'm tired.
The Swans WON! We're in the final. Bloody hell. I'm a bit shell shocked. We weren't playing all that well early this season, then we had some wins, then some losses, then we were in the top 4 and playing finals and last night we beat Freo to get into our second final in a row. I'm not sure how it all happend. I was on the net buying overpriced "discount" airfares to Melbourne for next Friday at 1:00 am this morning.

Sorry for shouting but... WE'RE GOING TO THE AFL GRAND FINAL!!!!

Swans will be playing West Coast Eagles [again]. It'll be good but I'm already anxious. I think spending a large part of the day on the net trying to find accommodation for next weekend that wasn't either a) $695 per night or b) more than half an hour away from the MCG hasn't helped me to relax. After refreshing about a million times (and surprisingly NOT taking up the $2,000 per night AFL Grand Final special one of the hotels was offering) I found a 3.5 star (I KNOW!) hotel right in the city for $500 for both nights. More than it's worth but better than what's on offer. At least we'll be in walking distance of the MCG.

Sing with me now... Cheer, cheer the red and the white...

Friday, September 22, 2006

If I hear one more person squak how "An Incovenient Truth" was the "the most important/scary film" they've ever seen I may resort to hurting myself and/or others.

Hey, I'm all for saving the planet. I happen to like it and I'm particularly fond of my little corner of it. But I totally can't figure out what it is we're meant to do about it... apart from feel endless guilt and do a lot of middle-class self flagelation about what bad, bad western middle-class people we are... BAD I tell you!

While I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than ever see this film I have had a look at the website it links to and this provides me with a list of "useful" things I can do to save the world. These are:

1) Change a light. Give me a break!

2) Drive less. Walk, bike, carpool or take mass transit more often. OK! Well, that would work for me considering I live over 10 kms from work and take a 7 year old to school and a 16 month old to day care. No problemo... if I leave at 4:00 am each morning and teach the kids not to whine so much, we should be right.

3) Recycle more. I'm confused. I've been recycling to the best of my abilities for about 10 years now and things seem to be getting worse rather than better. What's the story?

4) Check your tires [hey, not my fault Americans can't spell properly]. Fuck off!

5) Use less hot water. How much less exactly? Maybe we should just stop showering altogether... and washing dishes... We'd all be disgusting, stinky, filthy sub-humans but at least Al Gore will be happy.

6) Avoid products with a lot of packaging. How exactly? Maybe they should start putting packaging weight on each product so as well as comparing fat, sugar and carb levels on each damn thing we buy at the supermarket we can now add packaging weight so we can make an "informed fucking choice".

7) Adjust your thermostat. I'm not even going waste my time with that one.

8) Plant a tree. Come here, Al, I'll plant a tree up your arse! This simplistic bullshit is just too nauseating, I can't take it.

9) Turn off electronic devices. Well, sure. I'll just go around each morning turning off my clock radio, microwave, TVs, videos, washing machine, dryer, etc, etc and then I'll turn them all back on again when I get home. Because god knows I have plenty of spare time and I've been wondering how to fill in those long, empty hours each morning and evening. Thanks, Al. You're a bloody genius.

Well, now that I know how to save the world everything will be fine and dandy. I'm so relieved. I am concerned however by the fact that Al Gore seems to think these steps are really only relevant to the little people. King Gore as he likes to call himself (OK, I made that up) has two giant houses (and I'm fairly sure he doesn't turn off and on all his electronic devices on a daily basis) and flies all over the world spruiking his crappola in a private jet (which is #10 on the list "10) Get around in a private fucking jet" I just didn't put it here because I know most of my readers aren't quite at the private jet level of lifestyle just yet).

I'm happy to admit that I like my car and my TVs and my air conditioning and that I don't always look for the product with the least packaging. Sue me. If my personal overconsumption is going to cause the end of the world as we know it then so be it. I can live with it (or not as the case may be). What confuses me is that we've already had global warming of sorts haven't we? Hasn't there already been an Ice Age (I've seen the movie so I know it's true) and then the earth warmed up and the ice melted, etc, etc. Did they have air conditioning and fridges and petrol guzzling cars in those days? Also, didn't the dinasours become extinct because of some sort of global climate crisis? I'm no paleontologist but I'm fairly confident the dinasours didn't have cars or computers and I'm pretty sure they walked to work, so what happend?

I am just so friggin' sick and tired of all the Chicken Littles yelling about the sky falling down. I'm busy. If it's going to fall down then I'm hoping there are better minds than mine (well, at least minds that passed high school science) that are worrying about it. All I know is that you can't turn on the radio or the TV without some report or other being shoved down our throats about how naughty we are. It's never ending. There are scientists proving this and disproving that and I can't make head or tail of what the truth is. Deep down inside I suspect that no-one knows the truth; that there are many shades and variations of the "truth". Each person or group flogging their version of the truth to us has an agenda to sell and I don't for one minute buy that Al Gore is selflessly flogging this shit because he earnestly believes the end of the world is neigh.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

It's Sunday night, I'm tired in a good way, we've just returned from a really great family weekend away and OzIdol is about to start. Life is good.

To recap:

* Poor little baby Joseph got the boot last week on Idol. I guess it wasn't totally unexpected. The boy can sing and he's too cute but he's painfully shy and I think this whole thing is way too big for him. The talent and cuteness just couldn't disguise the cracks. Too bad. I was hoping it would be that painful Lisa Mitchell but I guess my pain is to continue.

* The Swans will face Fremantle on Friday night in the Preliminary Final at Telstra Stadium. We have our tickets and we're super excited. Go Swannies! If all goes well this time in two weeks we'll be returning from Melbourne with big smiles on our faces... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

* We have just enjoyed a truly wonderful weekend at Burrinjuck Dam with some of our lovely friends. M and R took over the lease on the shop down there late last year and while we miss having them nearby it is great fun to visit. The best part of these weekends is watching the kids go feral. It's a wonderful, fairly safe but slightly wild environment where the kids can go free range, climb things and interact with the fauna and flora. We only see them when they need to be fed. I'm not a nature lover and I certainly don't like "roughing it" but these weekends are just right for me. The accommodation is comfortable enough, the company is the best, we have lots of yummy food, there are a million stars in the sky and ... well, it's just bloody fantastic.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

In case anyone is interested in anything non OzIdol or Swans' related here's a quick update (boring):

* We're all fine and dandy.

* Work is busy for us both (including a call out for J last night which kept him out from 11:30 pm to 4:00 am - not cool!).

* I've been shopping up a storm lately. I'm really good at it... no, really. New summery pants and two pairs of sandals (yes, you read it correctly... sandals!). I'm not a sandal sort of girl (some sort of anti-foot fetish) but I've bitten the bullet this year and I'm all prepared for summer. I guess it gives me a good excuse to get those regular pedicures I love.

* The kids have also done well from my shopping trips and have new shoes, clothes (including much coveted Superman undies for Will) and a Dora the Explorer inflatible ball pit thingie (yet to be inflated).

* Since our cleaner has passed on (sad story) we're reduced to cleaning our own house like common folk (also a sad story). On the silver lining side it does mean we're saving the cleaning money and I can have those pedicures (see above) without too much guilt... oh who am I kidding?!

* We're looking forward to a weekend down south next week with a whole bunch of our favourite families. Like a great deal of lives between March and September it was all dependant on the Swans winning, which they have done, meaning we can enjoy a Swans free weekend with out friends. Oh joy.
Well the Swans have won their Qualifying Final and now have a week off before the Preliminary Finals in two weeks. Last night was crazy! It was the most nail-biting game I've seen since last year's grand final. I was going nuts... yelling, screaming, jumping around. At one point Will said to me in a concerned voice "Mummy, why are you being so silly?". Why? Why? Because this isn't life or death, my son... it's much more important than that.

The Swannies won by ONE POINT. It was as close as it could possibly be... and oh so damn sweet. The final goal, kicked by Michael O'Laughlin, was magic. He kicked it right in front of goal and the momentum kept him running straight at the fence and the West Coast supporters screaming at him just behind it. The look on his face was amazing, it will live with me forever. It doesn't take much for the civilised facade to crumble!

Stick that where the sun shine don't shine Eagles!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Swans have finished fourth on the AFL ladder and the finals series begins next weekend. Shit September is a stress filled month. I always forget until the last minute and then it all comes back to me.

Next Saturday night my boys are playing West Coast Eagles over in Perth in the first Semi-Final. It'll be tough but anything is possible and the Swannies are on fire (even the fire engines turned up at today's game).

Come on Swannies, you can do it. Dare to dream!
I had an ephiphany last night. J and I were at the Countdown Spectacular concert. [For those not familiar with Countdown - it was a music program which was one of the major constants in my life from 1976 to 1987, shown on Australia-wide ABC TV. It was shown at 6:00 pm each Sunday night and featured mainly live Australian and international bands and video clips as these became popular.]

This may come as a surprise to some of you... Are you sitting down? I'm getting old. I'm not 8 years old any more. In fact it's been THIRTY YEARS since I was and it was that long since I first became mesmerised by the Countdown magic. It's been thirty years since I fell in love with Skyhooks (my poor immigrant parents were terrified that their eight year old was listening to songs like "You just like me 'cos I'm good in bed" and "Horror Movie"), with Sherbert, with John Paul Young and Mark Holden and his bloody white suit and carnations.

Last night, surrounded by other old people, I watched a long line up of the previously spunky and lust-worthy idols of my youth drag out their old hits and gyrate as best they could manage with their rusty, arthritic hips. It was partly wonderful but mainly terrifying and awful. It occurred to me that if THEY were old then SO WAS I.

I decided that these sorts of concerts really aren't so wonderful, they are really a sad way of trying to grasp onto our youth. I watched the other old people, both on the stage and in the audience, having a great time and I felt a horrible yearning, a bottomless pit of sadness and I thought that maybe it is better that some things remain in the past, sweet memories held close in our secret selves, that trying to re-live such memories was something not dissimilar to the whole Pet Cemetary concept.

When I first watched the sexy Darryl Braithwaite signing "Howzat" on Countdown the whole world was at my eight year old feet, there was endless possibility and wonder and excitement and that song, like many others of that time, represented something intangibly joyful.

Last night a bunch of old men, with grey, conservatively cut hair, looking more like mortgage brokers than pop superstars, came on stage and reprised a song which had so many precious memories attached. In some ways I now wish I hadn't seen them at all because the memories I had were much more important than seeing and hearing what I did last night. Very bittersweet.

A few performers from last night deserve special mention:

* James Freud. Jeez, that guy was hot in the '80s. When he pranced on stage last night with one of his old bandmates from The Models I thought "shit, James' still got IT!". He was all long black rock star hair, tight jeans and faded, couldn't-care-less, just pulled it on at the last minute rock star t-shirt. Then they showed a close up of his face on the big screens and I thought "oooh, James, way too many drugs in the '80s my friend". It wasn't pretty. Still sounded quite good though.

* Renee Gayer. I used to love that woman and her gorgeous, whiskey and cigarettes husky voice. Well, I'm guessing there've been just a few too many whiskies and packs of ciggies during the last twenty-odd years. Didn't sound or look prettty. Shame.

* Mondo Rock. Ross Wilson has aged well and he still sounds fantastic. "Come Said The Boy" is just such a loaded song and takes me back so much it almost hurts.

* Finally, Australian Crawl. James Reyne came on stage with his guitar and did "Reckless" and it was worth going just for that alone. It blew me away and made me wish I could go back in a time machine and see Australian Crawl when they were at their peak in the '80s. "Reckless" is such a quintessential Sydney song:

Meet me down by the jetty landing
Where the pontoons bump and spray
All the others reading standing
As the Manly ferry
Cuts it's way to Circular Quay

Hear the Captain blow his whistle
So long she's been away
I miss our early morning wrestle
Not a very happy
Way to start the day

She don't like that kind of behaviour
She don't like that kind of behaviour

So throw down your guns
Don't you be so reckless
Throw down your guns
Don't you be so

Feel like Scott of the Antarctic
Base camp too far away
A Russian sub beneath the Arctic
Burke and Wills and camels
Initials in the tree

Friday, September 01, 2006

Not a lot to say about last night's Idol. It was a bucket of poo!

As I predicted... Lavina Williams and Lisa Mitchell are through to the Top 12. Fudge! (That's for you J.)

Then they picked the Wild Cards for Sunday night's show:

* Chris Murphy: Well, I like him but song choice is dubious.
* Nathaniel Willemse: Weirdly good looking but boring. South African - surely one is plenty and we already have Dean.
* Amanda Streete: I liked her but she won't go far.
* Guy "Mutto" Mutton: He shits me. The hair!!! The scowl!! The name!!! [Who can see MUTTO on an album cover?!]
* Chris Grafitti: BORING!
* Ricky Muscat: DOUBLE BORING!
* Brendon Boney: Love him but don't think he's got much chance, sadly.
* Klancie Keough: What the...? I'm in that Twilight Zone again.
Young Love: As Will's tutor left our home last night he ran to the door and yelled "Goodbye, Sweetheart".