Monday, December 31, 2007

Wishing all my readers (all 2 of you) a fabulous 2008!

Family, friends, health, love and happiness for the New Year and always!

A perfect moment in time...

Yesterday we spent the day out on the Pittwater with my boss B and his wife T (our Swannies partners-in-crime). They are great people and we really enjoy their company. Getting to go out on their little cruiser for the day is just an extra special bonus.
We found a private-ish little beach with a nice shaded corner and spent half the day lounging about, playing in the sand with the kids, swimming in the clean almost-warm water and enjoying our picnic lunch. I must say a top notch picnic is crucial for the success of such perfect days and ours consisted of a pot of Maggie Beer's most wonderful Pheasant Farm pate, a good wedge of French Brie and an equally good wedge of Wistonia (?) vintage cheddar. Then there was the smoked salmon and lettuce and thinly sliced BBQ rump steak sandwiches. Not to mention some freshly baked chocolate brownies and bowls of grapes and rockmelon slices.
It was simply the perfect Sydney day and I'm not sure what could have been better (possibly a nude Robbie Williams waiting to unpack our bags when we got home - but I digress). The kids had an absolute ball and were both totally wrecked (in a good way) and fast asleep not long after 6:00 pm.
How did you spend the last Sunday of 2007?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Nothing says Christmas like Chrisco and you all know how I feel about these thieving scumbags. So it's sad but not suprising to learn that Chrisco has screwed numerous of its poor white trash customers by not delivering many of their overpriced hampers of crap as you can see here.

So while I do somewhat feel sorry for the poor schmucks who have sent away their regular payments, scrimped as I'm sure they were from their weekly fag and slab budget, there's a mean, Scrooge-like part of me which thinks "if you're buying shit from Chrisco you deserve everything you get".

And that isn't very Christmas-spirited of me, is it!
Well, another Christmas Day has come and gone and we've all survived with our sanity intact. More or less.

Despite our best efforts at restraint the kids did very well with their pressie hoard. There are all the gifts from grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins to consider. Right now they are watching the Spy Kids 2 DVD which seems to be Will's favourite thing at the moment.

My communal pressie from Big Jay and my mum and dad is "THE BEASTIE" (as I like to call it). My gorgeous bright red 3 wheeled bike, with the giant white basket on the back. As you may know I had my sense of balance surgically removed as a child and, as such, riding a normal bike is a skill I simply can not master. Since we've moved here and the rest of the family have been enjoying bike rides on a regular basis I have been the odd one out. Thanks to the wonders of the internet and Google that is no longer the case. I haven't taken a picture yet but I'll do that this morning and post it later. Tour de France, here I come!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Recently overheard conversation (from the shower):

Marianna: "Look daddy, you have a willy and I have a willy."

Daddy: "No Marianna, you don't have a willy, you have a vagina. Girls have vaginas."


I guess that's what happens when you have an older brother. She'll learn to deal with the harsh reality sooner or later.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Well, it's official.

I am the Worst Mother In The World!

This morning I forgot to strap Marianna into her baby seat. A few hundred metres down the road I had to brake reasonably hardly and she slid off her seat and luckily onto the cushy pile of crap I had wedged behind my seat - a large bag of Christmas presents I was taking to mail and two bags of work uniform pieces I've been meaning to drop of at the embroidery company.

The poor little thing cried and cried. She wasn't hurt but she did get a big fright.

Will said "that really freaked me out, mummy".

I felt lower than a pregnant snail. Believe me, my parenting confidence doesn't need to get any lower.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

During this Festive Season I have two very welcome visitors to our home. Inspector John Rebus and Kinsey Millhone. I've missed them both so much and now they are sitting side by side on my bedside table.

It's almost too much to bear to have such delicious treats waiting for me each evening when I go to bed. Thank you, Ian Rankin and Sue Grafton for my much anticipated gifts.

Friday, December 14, 2007

This is the face of a 2-and-a-half year old with attitude. I never really understood the "terrible twos" concept until now. Will never really went through it; short burst of shopping centre tantruming at around 4, but that was it.

Marianna is a whole new ball game. Today for example, she screamed and fought (I mean literally, physically fought) me over putting her nappy on, putting her pants on, putting her shoes on, brushing her teeth and whether or not she was allowed to take her baby in the stroller out for the day. Then she screamed when I tried to get her out of the car at the Post Office because I wouldn't let her take the box of sultanas, half of which were already all over the back of the car. This was all before 9:30 am.

I am fairly certain should we want to (and we don't) survey our immediate neighbours the majority would think our child was being routinely tortured. Her screaming and hysterics (complete with sobs and lots of tears) must be heard throughout the building.

As a seperate, funny kiddy-ism: Both the children call hair conditioner AIR conditioner. It's hilarious - especially for someone who has worked in the building automation industry for the past 17 years.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I've been memed by MillyMoo and since I haven't done one of these for a gazillion years and I'm desperate for some distraction, here it goes:

1) Eight things I am passionate about:
* My family
* My friends
* Red Hot Chili Peppers
*(Currently) Holidaying places where there's a Kids Klub
* Hating the Climate Change Moral Panic we're experiencing
* Good food
* Dexter
* Getting an opportunity to read

2) Eight things I want to do before I die:

* Travel around the US in a car with my hubby - specifically go to New York and the state of Maine (where most of Stephen King's books are set)

* Travel around the UK in a car with my hubby - particularly stop in Edinburgh to do the Inspector Rebus/Ian Rankin tour

* Complete a screenplay

* See my screenplay produced into a real film

* Do a scriptwriting degree at AFTRS

* See my children grow into happy, well-adjusted adults

* Live somewhere with a real view of Sydney Harbour (i.e. the important bits - the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge)

* Travel around Australia with my hubby - in a car, staying in B&Bs (not one of those god-awful caravans)

3) Eight things I say often:
* Fuck
* Stop annoying your sister
* Stop screaming Marianna
* Do I have to repeat myself a million times?
* Finish your breakfast
* No, you can't play the Playstation
* It'd be easier to train a monkey (when I'm at work)
* He/she only started walking on their hind legs last week

4) Eight books I've read recently:
* In The Cut (great)
* Specimen Days (deep)
* Sucked In (fantastic)
* Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the best one)
* Love in a cold climate
* The Pursuit of Happiness (both all time favourites)
* Green Eggs and Ham
* Edwina the Emu

5) Eight songs I could listen to over and over:

** I am not putting in any Red Hot Chili Peppers songs because they are all in this category.

* Romeo and Juliet (Dire Straits)
* Lover Your Should Have Come Over (Jeff Buckley)
* You are my sister (Antony and the Johnsons)
* Jersey Girl (Bruce Springsteen)
* In The Flesh (Blondie)
* She Talks to Angels (The Black Crowes)
* Come Undone (Robbie Williams)
* The Ship Song (Nick Cave)

6) But if I were doing a triple CD set, I’d include (8 x 3 = 24)

Would love to, but really can't spend the time, sorry.

7) 8 things that attract me to my friends:
* They put up with me
* They are good people, each with their own strengths
* They reflect my own ideas and give me food for thought
* They hold my hand on this parenting rollercoaster and allow me to hold theirs
* They are strong
* They are fun
* They keep me sane (sort of)
* They are fantastic

8) 8 movies I've watched at least into double figures
* The Sure Thing (John Cusack)
* Say Anything (John Cusack)
* Parenthood
* Raising Arizona
* Rocky Horror Picture Show
* Notting Hill
* Four Weddings and a Funeral
* Times Square

I'm not tagging anyone 'cos I can't be bothered. Doing this has worn me out... and I need to put the kids to bed. Goodnight.
I've started thinking about/planning my 40th birthday spectacular for next March. I was going around in circles but just in the last few days I've made a firm decision as to the sort of party I want to have so now I'm in an emailing-for-quotes-frenzy. So far the response has been slow but I guess people are busy with the afore-mentioned Silly Season.

Stay tuned.
I've always hated the "anti-Christmas" people but I'm afraid I have to report I've become one of them this year. Perhaps it's been happening gradually, I'm not sure. But this is the first year I am acutely aware of it.

I'm still a fan of the whole Silly Season per se, it's just that I don't physically or emotionally have the time to think of it this year. We've decided to be a bit leaner with the kids' pressies this year because they really have too much and doing a present overload just seems insane but that rational decision just leaves me feeling "un-Christmas-y".

Maybe it's because my sis isn't here and we spend so much of the Silly Season (and it's build up) together.

Whatever it is everything just feels a little hollow. I just can't get excited about it. I need to hire a Christmas consultant to set everything up for me. There's a business idea for someone.

Bah humbug!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A few brief words about blog trolls*. I had one quite a while ago who seemed intent on "converting" me to the climate change religion. Luckily she's come to her senses and blogged-off (or at least if she's still reading she's no longer annoying me with her stupid comments).

Anyway, what's brought up this chain of thought is my sister's blog which has recently attracted a couple of real champion blog trolls. These pair of nasty little shits have taken it upon themselves to continually leave snide, mean and down-right nasty comments on her blog over a long period of time.

While this is highly annoying for my sister, and thus for me, it simply proves that these people have such a pathetic excuse for a life that leaving comments on a blog they obviously don't like passes for entertainment for them. Possibly they are high school kids with little else to do but more likely they are public servants with little else to do. There is no other explanation as to why adults would spend their time regularly reading a blog they don't enjoy and taking the time to leave a long stream of beyond stupid comments. Why would anyone in their right mind do this? I barely have time to write my own blog and read the ones I like, the ones that give me a giggle or some food for thought.

If by any chance you happen to be a blog troll - fuck off and get a life, moron!

* BLOG TROLL is the name I have given to these cretins who "haunt" people's blogs. Regularly reading a particular blog, leaving inane comments but obviously not liking the blog they are haunting. Garden variety weirdos in the cyber world.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I'm feeling very uncharitable about charities. Seriously these fuckers are doing my head in today (and on more than one previous occassion).

First off I got a call at the office this morning from the Cancer Council. We support them through a modest monthly company donation and personally I try to support them here and there when I can. At work we like to spread our charity money around and donate to a number of (hopefully) worthwhile charities - health, community, youth, disabilities, overseas aid.

The Irish guy from the CC started off by going on and on about how much they appreciated our support. Give me a break, buddy. Our contribution would be lucky to pay for their annual supply of paper clips. Being on my own in the office I was a tad busy, fielding a multitude of phone calls and doing my ordinary work which on a Monday includes paying the wages. This guy just wouldn't stop and because I started off being polite to him I found it difficult to do my usual tough guy attitude and cut him off.

Finally he got down to the crunch: they wanted us to up our contribution. Come out and state that first off shithead, I haven't got all bloody day. Because I was really pissed off by that point I said "we'll have to think about it" as if it's some sort of communal decision and not totally dependent on my whim of the moment.

Got off the phone feeling very peeved at him, at the Cancer Council for their approach and at myself for not cutting the whole thing off quicker. Very certain they weren't going to get another cent out of us. If you're reading this CC people I'm afraid your marketing approach just isn't working, at least not on cold hearted bitches like me.

In the afternoon I had to dash to the bank to deposit some cheques and pop into Coles for some emergency staff kitchen supplies (things get ugly when the tea, coffee and biscuit supplies run low). Outside the bank a poor sad looking guy is standing next to a "craft" table selling some unidentifiable shit and shaking a tin for "Kids with Cancer". "Kids with cancer" he shouts at me as I rush past into the bank. On my way out I throw some (gold) coins into his tin but it feels tokenistic and I'm angry rather than happy about my donation.

Not 30 seconds later as I approach Coles two obvious backpackers (they are always fucking backpackers) approach me to "discuss helping the Cancer Council". What the fuck? My head almost spun around Exorcist-style. "I already support the Cancer Council" I told him as a strode past. I was so angry I thought my head would explode. Why are the charities doing this to people? They are not winning us over. This constant and unrelenting harrassment will result in me cancelling all my business and personal donations because it is total bullshit.
I'm angry because this is not how I want to deal with charities. I want to choose where my donation money goes because I believe in the work of a particular charity not because I am harrassed or humiliated or cornered into doing so. When I'm at the shops I am there for a purpose, usually in a hurry and usually with a mind full of business and/or personal stuff. This is not the optimum time for me to focus on how to spend my charity dollars.
I'm mad as hell and I'm probably going to keep taking it because by tomorrow I'll have some other storm in a tea cup to draw my goldfish-like attention.
The final BBQ... with my sis... before she heads to Amsterdam... boo hoo!

The cherry dress girls!

Ciao bella...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A belated congratulations to my lovely man Anthony Kiedis on becoming a dad to Everly Bear (?? I know... sheesh). Hope he has a better handle on this parenting caper than I do. It's much harder work than you'd think from the Kleenex ads.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Because my life is a constant stream of ideas to distract myself from the reality of daily life I have this morning booked our family holiday to Fiji for next year. "But you just returned from your family holiday to Phuket!" I hear you shout. Yes, I know, I know. I've decided that the planning of a holiday and the subsequent anticipation are actually the best parts and that the holiday itself, no matter how wonderful, is actually somewhat of an anticlimax. So my remedy for crashing back to earth post-Phuket is to launch another planning-anticipation-preparation cycle.

It also worked out that the resort of choice in Fiji, the Shangri La, had a good deal and, in combination with air fares paid for with frequent flyer points, we can have 10 days of tropical bliss (including the ALL IMPORTANT KIDS CLUB) for a very reasonable amount of money. Not only that but our friends D and M and their kids S and V are going at the same time so we'll have others to annoy once we're tired of annoying each other (which will be about 10 minutes after we board the plane).

So far 2008 is panning out to be loads of fun: the Australian Open in Melbourne at the end of January in honour of our 10th wedding anniversary; Easter weekend on the south coast with friends; the ever wonderful Camp Connection at the end of March; and Fiji in June.

Then there's JB's and mine 30/40 birthday holiday to plan for early 2009. I should have been a travel agent... except that I hate people and customer service... apart from that it would be a perfect job for me.
It's wonderful to be back in blogland. Of course all the things I've been dying to blog about have evaporated from my mind but that's life.

We are connected to the outside world again thanks to my sister donating her wireless gear to us since she is leaving next week for her big, huge, major better-do-this-before-I-turn-30-and-can't-get-a-working-visa-anymore working holiday to Amsterdam. I can't really write too much about this because I'm in total denial and would rather not explore my feelings on this particular subject. So just pretend I haven't said anything.

Anyway, wireless is still the only we can connect to the cyber world because we have obviously chosen to live in a remote area here in downtown Homebush Bay, less than 20 kms from Sydney and within cooee of the Year 2000 Olympic site. Why would I assume that this new fangled internet technology would be accessible to us in this back-of-beyond neighbourhood we've chosen for ourselves. The fact that tin shacks on the side of hills in Phuket can boast ADSL connection is simply of no consequence to Telstra who have a policy of treating their customers with the contempt we so rightly deserve.

So (at the risk of jumbling up a whole lot of whinges in the one thought process) while I am bending over in preparation for what the Labor Party will undoubtedly be doing to us all over the next three years, I invite Telstra to kiss my ass! Pucker up Sol.

Monday, November 26, 2007

When good democracy goes bad:

1) The whole KRUDD fiasco.

Even worse:

2) Natalie winning Oz Idol over Matt Corby.

Sometimes the people just get it wrong. Sometimes a benevolent dictatorship led by moi would be a much better political model. Give it some thought, you'll see the benefits.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Unless you live under a rock or o/s or just don't care (like I wish I didn't) it's Federal election time here in Oz on Saturday. The past few weeks have been like Chinese water torture except with shit instead of water; slow, repetitive drips of crap on our heads, on tv, radio and all forms of media. I really feel like I'm going mad.

I know who I'm voting for on Saturday and I am reasonably comfortable with my decision but only due to a lack of any credible, sensible, logical alternative. I know whowever I vote for the winner will be a politician and that makes me very sad.

I used to have some passion, a certain fire in my belly when it came to politics. Now I have decided I hate them all, every single one. They would each sell their grandmother for a buck or a vote. There are no fierce leaders anymore, possibly there never were, it's possible a certain level of nostalgia clouds our vision of leaders from the past who were fairly certainly sleazy, arrogant bastards just like today's breed.

All I know is that none of the parties truly reflect my thoughts on life, on the things that matter to me. I am simply picking the best of a bad lot. The bottom line is I'm lucky. I'm a hetrosexual middle class woman, most of the political bullshit leans in my favour. Whoever wins or loses nothing much will effect my day to day life. Some tinkering round the edges which I will hardly notice.

At this point I'll just be happy to watch some tv without a hysteria-inducing scare-mongering political advertisement appearing every 30 seconds.
Hey, it's been a while.

What have you been up to?

Yeah, you know... this and that!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Oooooh, Dexter. I have a new man in my life and he is a serial killer.

Last night I sat "this" close to Michael C. Hall. You'll remember Michael C. Hall from such roles as DAVID FISHER in Six Feet Under, my alter ego, the character I most loved and related to in that amazing series. I fucking love this guy and to sit "this" far away from him was awesome. I don't know why, it just was OK!

It was a Popcorn Taxi event and we got to see two episodes of the mind-blowing new series Dexter and its star Michael C. Hall (see above) interviewed by a funny and half-decent journalist.

Dexter is the upcoming MUST SEE series (thank fucking GOD we have Foxtel, it's worth every cent just for this show alone) and Michael is cuter, wittier and just plain fantastic-er in the flesh than I could have dared hope for.

Thank you Popcorn Taxi for a great night out.

PS The world is full of nutters and a great deal of them were there last night asking questions during the Q&A session. One guy flew up from Melbourne because he missed out on tickets there. The questions were just plain stupid and crazy and many of those people should be hospitalised for the their own safety and that of the public.

Friday, October 26, 2007

One of the things I was especially looking forward to doing on our holiday was reading. I hadn't done any for a while and there was a stack of books mounting up which required my attention. I got through three and they were all superb in their own very differen ways.

In The Cut by Susanna Moore

I bought this as a cheapy on the discount table because I'd heard something vague about it when the film version with Meg Ryan was released. Anyway, I haven't seen the film but the book was fantastic. Beautifully written erotic thriller.

Sucked In by Shane Maloney

The latest in the wonderful Murray Whelan series. I love love love these books. And to think how very accidentally I stumbled upon Murray all those years ago in the gloomy book section of the Perth City Target. How easily I could have chosen another book and not had Murray in my life. Sucked In is just as enjoyable as those which came before, I loved every page. All I can say is, Murray Whelan for PM!

Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham

This is the latest book from the author of The Hours and while I haven't read that book I did see the film and cried so much at the end I thought I'd burst a valve. So I did go into Specimen Days with a touch of trepidation. Which was validated because this book is powerful and it made me feel, really feel, and think... two things which I obviously avoid doing as often as possible (hence my reality tv addiction). It hurts to really feel and think and I've decided I don't like it. I need it but I don't like it. Reading this book hurt, a lot. It is beautiful on every level and I am so glad I read it but I wish I hadn't read it on holidays. It is not a book to read by the side of a pool on a hot day in gorgeous Phuket. It is a book to read on a rainy day at home with a cup of tea and box of tissues.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

We returned from Phuket on Saturday and while I'm exhausted from the through-the-night flight home and the subsequent sleep deprivation my head is still filled with the beautiful, crazy sights and sounds of the place.

It was the most wonderful holiday we've ever had. The Evason Resort on Rawai Beach where we stayed was magical. Three gorgeous pools, including the inifinity pool overhanging the ocean where we spent many hours contemplating the state of the universe with a Heineken and a Mango Daquiri in hand and the family pool where we spent many hours playing with the kids with a Heineken and a Mango Daquiri in hand.

There were the many beautiful restaurants both at the hotel, near the hotel and in Patong itself where we spent many hours devouring super delicious, super cheap local seafood (but not the Australian beef - sheesh!) with a Heineken and a Mango Daquiri in hand.

The kids had a great time in Kids Club (every second day, I just felt too guilty putting them in everyday even though they had a fabulous time there and were asking to go - I'm a good mother, really I am, repeat x 100).

I did struggle somewhat with the shopping. Look, it was OK once I got a handle on the bargaining thing but overall it didn't sit well with me. I don't like to bargain but when the initial asking price is crazy you soon start to get into the swing of things. However, we ended up buying some things and missing out on a whole lot of others because we'd refuse to go higher, they'd refuse to go lower and then we'd end up too tired and pissed off to carry on and ended up leaving without the item/s in question. No huge loss really as how many pairs of fake Billabong shorts does one husband really need?

The best parts were the people who were endlessly accommodating and happy to please; the simple relaxation of a day doing close to nothing; the stunning scenery; the scrumptious food I didn't have to prepare or shop for; the endless cocktails. Well, you get the picture... it was just a friggin' fabulous holiday. Enough said.
By way of explanation for my lack of blogging of late I can only blame Telstra and the internet situation, or lack thereof, at our new home. Suffice to say a letter has been sent to the Telecommunications Ombudsman. We are mad as hell and sadly we'll continue to take it until we blow a phoo-phoo valve.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The T-shirt reads "glamour is my occupation" (by Small Paul - TOO CUTE!) but it should read "BRING BACK THE BIFF".

Monday, October 08, 2007

Bless me father for I have sinned. I have been a very bad blogger of late.

There is so much to blog about (in no particular order).

Stupid lesbians.
The rollercoaster ride of parenthood.
My dear Anthony becoming a dad.
How much I hate Telstra.
Other stuff I can't remember right now because my brain is a sieve.

But I have no time right now.

We're off to Phuket on Wednesday to spend 10 days relaxing in this amazingly beautiful place.

I promise to be a better blogger on my return (technology allowing).

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'm going to change the name of my blog to "It's a hard life but someone has to do it". I feel like I'm saying that phrase on an hour by hour basis. I'm giving myself the major shits.

This was our Saturday morning: A half hour walk to Telstra Stadium (along the way we talked and watched lizards scuttle through the undergrowth); the kids played on the fantastic, post-modern playground near the Overflow; a walk back towards home which included going through the beautiful new Brickpit Walk and then through Wentworth Common (see pics below).

Here are some pics from our walk up the Bay Marker Hill in our first week:

It's a hard life...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Alarmingly I don't seem to be smarter than a 5th grader.
Oz Idol has started and I have a few early favourites.

Matt - he has the package - good looks (for a 16 year old boy) and a great voice. He reminds me of last year's Dean Geyer but so much better. I feel very old and maternal when I say he seems like a gorgeous boy.

Tarisai - she is the tiny girl with the huge voice from Zimbabwe. While I'm no big fan of the Whitney Houston school of singing there is no arguing about this girl's beautiful voice. She'll be in the top two. I'll almost put my house on it.

A few others look good - Daniel, Brianna (possibly annoying after a while), Lana, Ben and Jacob (though he reminds me eerily of my sister's ex - and that's someone I don't want to be reminded of).
Overall, the usual fun bit of nonsense to occupy us on Sunday nights for the next few months.
Gee, we survived APEC. What a surprise. Our human rights didn't cease because we couldn't access the Opera House or because we weren't "invited" to the fireworks display.

What will the eternal whingers find to moan about now?

All those wasted Stop Bush t-shirts. Possibly they can be recycled. Any suggestions? I have a few but this is a G rated program.
One of the extra benefits of our recent move is that we are now very cosy neighbours with the high security Silverwater Jail. I spend a lot of my time wondering what it is like in there. Do their wives really bring them cakes with files baked into them? Do they really not bother picking up the soap should they drop it in the shower? Is there really a cell in there occupied by a big bald guy called Bubba? These are the sorts of thoughts which keep me awake at night.

In addition almost every morning as I start-stop along my short but slow trip along Homebush Bay Drive I am joined in the traffic by one of those Correctional Services vans which is undoubtedly moving prisoners to court. I can't see in but I wonder if they can see out. Possibly I have seen Con Air too many times but I do spend a great deal of time scanning the surrounding cars. Is one or more of these innocent looking commuters potential accomplices, awaiting their moment to stop the traffic and orchestrate a daring peak hour break out? What heroic action on my part will save the day? What pithy quip with I produce for the news crews as I casually get back in the car to drive the kids to school?

I know what you're thinking... but really, the yellow pills do seem to be helping.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It's hard to know where to start. Of course the move has been the BIG THING during the past few weeks. It's hard to believe we've been in our new place for two weeks now.

The move itself was hard bloody work, no two ways about it. However having a big strong husband helps and Big J did a huge job. The week before last was exhausting but last week was great. We are a good team at getting things done and we went from disaster area to functional to homey within a few short days.

I find it difficult to express my feelings about our new home without gushing like an idiot. While I had some reservations and anxieties (no, really!) about the reality of apartment living I also had a lot of hope. Happily I can report that [so far] my hopes have been realised and my fears have not.

Apart from the apartment itself being gorgeous, spacious and very comfortable for us, we are surrounded by lifestyle choices which are almost too good to be true (see what I mean about the gushing).

As an example, yesterday after work we all walked across the road and through a gate which leads to a beautiful walking path, up and around a small hill (the Bay Marker) from the top of which you can see all of the surrounding area. Behind this hill they are building what can only be described as a kids' paradise playground. The walk itself was wonderful, peaceful and scenic, exactly what we need to get the blood pumping after a day behind the desk at the office. Then we crossed the road and had a look at the shipwrecks which line the shore just metres from our home. It was a lovely way to end the day and spend some connecting time with the kids (something which has been sadly lacking during the past few months of chaos and stress).

I could go on but I'm sure you have more important things to do. Suffice to say we are spoilt for choice when it comes to fun family activities. Jason has even bought a bike with a baby seat as there are around 45 kms of bike tracks around us. For further reference, you won't see me cycling any time soon... or ever. Refer to biking incident on Rottnest Island. I am content to walk, kick the ball with the kids or just swim in our pool. It's a hard life but someone has to do it.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Just a quickie to say "I'm still alive!" (just in case you were worried).

We've moved. All is well. Last few weeks have been beyond hectic. My shoulders and neck muscles feel like concrete, more so even than usual.

Will blog properly soon, with pics, updates and general ranting and raving.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Saturday night was a blast. Not only did the Swans win... a much needed win against St Kilda (home of the ugliest man in the world, one Fraser Gehrig)... but I had the pleasure and honour of participating in the Field of Women event prior to the game.

Basically it was a fundraising event for the Breast Cancer Network Australia which involved 13,000 women (and some men) forming the shape of the Pink Lady on the field at Telstra Stadium. We each paid a $50 donation and were given a pink poncho to wear. It was a really special moment standing there with all those people, hard to put into words, just an emotional, thoughtful moment.

Can you spot me?

Friday, August 10, 2007

I can't cope with what passes for news these days. Whether it's tv, radio or newspapers, it's all absolute, total, unrelenting bullshit. Seriously I'm as cynical and bitter as the next person, probably more so, but how do these people live with themselves.

It's either blatant advertising, such as the so-called "Store Wars" whereby David Jones and Myer battle over the fashion stakes. Really people NO ONE CARES. There are no wars. There is just a lot of hot air aimed at getting suckers like yours truly into the department stores to buy poor quality, over priced "fashion essentials".

Or it's hysterical non-news like speculation on interest rate rises. Have you noticed how they love to beat up this story. They start at least a week before each month's Reserve Bank meeting, interviewing a whole range of know-nothing industry "experts" who basically have a 50-50 chance of getting it right. They predict the fall of modern civilisation at the merest suggestion of a rate rise and talk to all the poor over-mortgaged home owners (with their large screen tvs in the background) who may have to give up the odd Thai take away to make ends meet. The disappointment on the faces of the tv news presenters when there is no rate rise is heart-breaking.

Now we have to brace ourselves for around three months of election babble. The thought of it makes me break out in a cold sweat. If only all the politicians and the news editors could spontaneously combust - oh, the relief. To dream the impossible dream....
The other week, on Vega's Vinyl Thursday, the winning song was The Jam's That's Entertainment.

Fuck, that song took me back. So many emotions all rolled into one brilliant little song. Mainly I was taken back to my deep and all-encompassing feelings of love/lust for Mr Paul Weller. What a bloody amazing song-writer he was/is. Not to mention what a hot skinny little dude he was. Not really my type in theory... but still...

At the Style Council concert at the horrid Hordern Pavillion in 1984 (?) I stood on a milk crate in the front row and touched his sweaty t-shirt as he sang his heart out right there on the stage in front of me. A moment I will never, ever forget.

Why do certain times in your life, and the music which represents them, haunt you forever?
Not a lot to report on the house/moving stuff. We're living in a messy house filled with boxes and half-packed boxes. It is not the cosy home we have enjoyed for the past six years. It has become somewhere to sleep and eat and wait.

We picked up the keys on Monday so things start rolling at at the apartment. The painters start and the phone is connected. Friday the carpet is layed. The following Monday the new blinds are installed. Then the moving truck comes on Tuesday. Hopefully, by Wednesday 22/8, our actual settlement date, we will be officially living in 15/29 and coming to grips with the mountains of boxes we need to unpack.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A few tears shed last night as I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Can't think of what to say without giving away the ending so if you've read it please email me if you want to discuss it.

Goodbye dear friends.
A few recent pics...

Bring it ON, Swannies!

It's hard being this cute, but someone has to do it.
Old news now. Aleisha won BB. That's cool. A girl, a nice-ish girl, is much better than a brain-dead buffoon like last year's Jamie.

I did want dear Zach to win and I was glad it was close.

But to be honest I feel like I've been let out of jail. The daily BB addiction is gone and I feel free as a bird. Lucky Oz Idol is only a couple of times a week, otherwise I'd be replacing one reality tv addiction with another. At least we all like Oz Idol and Sunday nights are a fun family time (as opposed to my secretive BB watching in the bedroom).

Speaking of Oz Idol, I'm glad Dicko is back this year because Kyle is a moron who knows as much about music as I do about astro physics. His comments are pathetic to say the least. I know Dicko is mean but he often says it like it is and knows his music. Let's see what 2007 brings.
All the moving stuff is slowly falling into place. Most of the phone calls, and there have been many, have been made. People have come and measured and sent through quotes and we have overburdened our credit card with deposits for this, that and the other.

Our official moving date is 21 August and settlement is 22 August. We have asked for early access and all the painting, carpet and blind installation will happen in the week before. So only three weeks left in this house.

Now for the final packing stage.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Just over half way through the latest [and last] Harry Potter. Have shed tears this afternoon at the death of the character I was least expecting to die. Sort of came out of the blue. I guess there are more tears to come.

I am really enjoying the Deathly Hallows. It is by far the best. The last book could have had the first 300 pages deleted and not suffered for it.

There is a certain sense of dread and sadness. I will miss Harry, Hermione and Ron... all the Weasleys really... Fred and George and Ginny... dear Luna... and Neville... and Lupin and Tonks. Shit, better get the tissues.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I really need to clone myself just at the moment.

One Kathy to go about normal life: working, doing the household chores, chauffering the children about, etc, etc.

Another Kathy to do all the organising which our change of abodes entails. It wouldn't be so bad if each and every necessary phone call didn't mean a half hour session of on-hold.

I have also discovered the downside of being in the middle of an economic boom. Every service is full on busy - the carpet retailers, the blind manufacturers, even the removalists. Everyone is charging top shelf prices and availability is at a premium. I feel like I'm asking them all to do me a favour by selling us their goods and/or services and allowing us the honour of paying them our money. Strange times indeed.
The two Mr Blands were evicted from BB last night.

I'm sure both Zoran and Joel are very nice boys but they added as much interest to the show as the wallpaper. This obviously helped to get them through as far as they got but enough is enough and I am glad they have been shown the door.

That god awful new Kan Tong ad brings out my violent tendancies.


Please explain!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Have just returned from my first Pilates class. It's my first step towards improving my back and stomach muscles so that I have some protection from what is likely to be a recurring back problem.

I have discovered I have NO stomach or back muscles, I am a large quantity of jelly in human form. This would probably add to my back pain issues.

The class was really good though. Each excercise only lasted a brief time so I never got to a point where I wanted to scream or cry (well, almost). All I know is it's going to take me some considerable amount of time to feel like this blubber is coming anywhere near resembling muscle tone. Oh well, one baby step at a time.
We've officially sold the house! What a fucking relief. Seriously. I've been a nervous wreck the last few weeks. Not that you'd know judging my cool, calm exterior. Yeah right!

The real estate agent is coming around tomorrow to put the SOLD sticker on the sign out the front. I reckon it's the easiest money that agent has ever made. They get a flat rate percentage commission no matter how long it takes to sell. We would have been better off paying them by the hour. Oh well, they did a good job so we're not complaining.

Now to get on with it. So many phone calls to make. Phone. Internet. Foxtel. Electricity/gas. New carpet. New blinds. Paint. Blah blah blah.

At least I can now relax and enjoy the idea of our new place. You know what, I'm really happy and excited. I've just buried the happy feelings under a thick layer of stressed and anxious. Very unlike me, I know.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Swans are back in the top eight, equal fourth to be precise, after a great win over the below than average Carlton. Whoopee!

It was one of those days at the SCG when being a Swans' member is a bloody good thing. Sitting in the warm winter sun, watching our team play well, enjoying a decent (?!) hot pie and tea out of my faithful thermos.

I don't know what you did today but I wouldn't swap my day for the world.
Yesterday I took Will to see the new Harry Potter (and the Order of the Phoenix [for those recently living under a rock]). I really love the Harry Potter everything... the books and the films. The latest instalment is just one more to love.

I was worried it may be too scary for Will but he's a Harry Potter veteran and loved it all. No scary aftertaste to mention.

Not really much to review. You either love HP or not. For me it's pure entertainment, fun from start to finish. The Order of the Phoenix is a beautiful looking film, like those before it. The cast are perfect in their roles. I think they do a fair job of translating the book to the screen. Obviously it's impossible to do it perfectly, something will always be omitted or otherwise changed.

If I had to be picky I'd bring up the less than elegant editing which seemed to jump haphazardly on more than one occasion. If it was done on purpose I couldn't pick how it added to the film, I found it odd and distracting.

Bring on the Deathly Hollows.

Friday, July 13, 2007

This whole real estate thing has been a roller coaster ride. I can't believe it but we seem to have sold our house. In fact we exchanged contracts on Wednesday (in between The Wiggles and Regina Spektor). There is a five day cooling off period for the purchaser so I'm aware things could still go wrong but I'm feeling really positive.

Is that like a record, selling your house in four days? We had our first open house last Saturday and on Monday I got a call from the agent saying that they'd had many calls about it that morning and had a bid of $610,000. Great we said. Happy with that.

Tuesday we got a call saying we had another bid of $620,000. Great we said. Even happier with that. So it all went through and we signed a contract on Wednesday. Not only is it sold but it's $1,000 more than the advertised price.

I'm a bit dazed and confused really. It's supposed to be a dead real estate market at the moment. I had a horrible feeling it would take us a few months to sell the house (our friends in a different area recently sold theirs after almost five months on the market). Buggered if I have a clue how it all works.

The main thing is, all going well, we'll be able to settle pretty much at the same time on both properties and move into our apartment without the much feared bridging finance. [Insert look of immense relief here!]
Wednesday was a big day, entertainment wise.

Started off at Hornsby RSL with a million other mums and kids for THE WIGGLES!!! Yes, the real ones, live on stage. It was a great show, as usual (I've been to a few). The kids, big and small, had a wonderful time. It's hilarious to see all the adults (yours truly included) singing and dancing along. What have our lives become?

Hot potato, hot potato. Cold spaghetti, cold spaghetti...

This was followed by a brief adult business interlude (see post above).

Then off to the much more hip and with it Enmore Theatre for Regina Spektor with my dear friend C. First we enjoyd dinner at a Peruvian restaurant and it was really nice (I think next time I'll order the goat dish C tried, it was yummy). I think it was nice for both of us crazed mums just to sit quietly, enjoy a nice meal and a chat without screaming, tantruming children.

The surprise of the night was the loud and excited Regina Spektor fans who were just going mental during the show. If you imagine me at a Robbie Williams' concert, on speed, multiplied by 100 you'd start to get the picture. Who knew!

Regina herself was magic. She is just unique. A gorgeous pure performer, just her and the piano (and a guitar) on the stage. Just Regina and her voice and her talent. That's all she needs.

It's not just that her songs are quirky and beautiful and funny; it's not just that she does wonderful creative things with her music and her voice; it's the whole tiny amazing package.

So happy I got to experience her. Another one of life's little gifts.
My dear sister came home from her European escapades on Tuesday night.

She had an amazing time. I'm sure she doesn't want to be home. But I am so very very glad she is back. I didn't really realise how much I missed her until I heard her voice on the phone a few days before she returned.

Welcome home J. Missed you. Love you.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

After yum cha we dropped our friends off to spend time with some of their other Sydney friends and headed off to look at some potential new furniture for the apartment.

We both have a fairly low tolerance level for looking at furniture. It starts off being fun but very quickly, with two pesky children in tow, it becomes a living nightmare.

Luckily our taste is quite similar and it didn't take all that long to choose a beautiful L-shaped leather lounge from Nick Scali. I honestly can't believe I will soon be the owner of a Nick Scali leather lounge. I used to scoff at people like I have become. Life is strange and very unpredictable.

It is also lucky we ordered it now because we have been told it will be a wait of 10-12 weeks.

We also found the most gorgeous dining table, coffee table, tv unit and two storage units called Ocean Road at Bay Republic Leather. It is a beautiful range and perfect for a waterfront apartment. I can't wait to see it all together.

We even found the carpet we like so the list of tasks to complete before we move in is getting shorter.

I just wish the constant anxiety based nausea I am experiencing would fuck off. It really is casting a shadow over the excitement and enjoyment I know I should be feeling.
We had our first open house yesterday. We were finishing yum cha at East Ocean when the agent called to report we had 16 groups through the house (sounds like an impressive number to me) and that 4 or 5 people had asked for the contract (again, possibly impressive?).

On Friday while we were enjoying the dubious pleasures of Scenic World in the Blue Mountains with our friends from Perth the agent called to say a family had been through the house (prior to the open house) and had spent 40 minutes and liked it very much but were worried the back yard was too small (not much we can do about that issue).

I am feeling positive yet uncertain at the same time. This real estate business is nerve wrecking stuff. I guess all the numbers and all the talk doesn't count for much. All I can say is "Show me the money!".

Please let someone want to buy it sooner rather than later.

The first game the Swans have won in weeks... months... and we leave early due to the crap weather and Marianna's particularly crabby mood.

Never mind, a win is a win... even if it is against the woeful Fremantle. We'll take what we can get at this point.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Michelle on Big Brother is insane. That'a strong word but it doesn't go far enough to describe this woman. At first I thought she was good value because she was so up front and didn't just bitch behind people's back, she bitched straight to their often stunned faces.

However she has proven herself to just be plain, garden variety nuts. An aggressive argumentative mad-as-a-cut-snake frustrating foul mouthed moronic nutbag.

During tonight's episode I could barely hold back from launching myself at the tv and trying to put my hands through the screen to choke the living daylights out of this mad cow.

Please, in the name of all that's good and sane in this universe, let her be evicted next week. It's bad enough thinking she'll be in there for another seven days. She MUST GO! I can only feel sorry, so very very very sorry, for her family on the outside. If I was one of them the headline would read "Murder Suicide Family Tragedy!".
To continue a theme...

The Sydney Swans!

Ditto! [insert tearing out of what's left of one's hair HERE]
We are on a ticking clock now to get our house ready for its first viewing next Saturday. We have signed with an agent and all that's left is to prepare it to be seen by strangers who we want to part with approximately $600,000 of their hard earned. It's a challenge to say the least.

I love this house. I loved it from the moment I saw it and I love the new kitchen we put in and the other renovations we have done. There is more to be done but it is a fine family home as it is. However, viewing it with a critical eye I can see that it is not presented in what one may describe as a Vogue Living photo spread fashion. If there was a magazine entitled Clutered But Homey Family Living we'd have the centre spread for sure.

So this week we need to get rid of the unnecessary bits and arrange what's left in an enticing manner. A manner which whispers "wouldn't you like to live here?"... "wouldn't you like to give these nice people a large amount of money so they can purchase their new ostentatious apartment without freaking about bridging finance?". It's probably a big ask... do you think?
We had a garage sale yesterday to try and get rid of the mountains of stuff which fills up this house. We need to downsize in a serious way to fit our lives into an apartment, even a largish apartment.

It is obvious that we own much more stuff than we sensibly need. While we are not hoarding stacks of newspapers along the hallways, we do hoard stuff which we do not use or will ever use. A large house allows you to do that. Neither of us want to do that anymore. Possibly we're kidding ourselves.

But back to the garage sale. I advertised it in our local paper last Thursday (don't get me started on the simple exercise of placing an ad with Cumberland Newspapers, by the way a subsidiary of my husband's employer - relevant people have been whined to). The garage sale was advertised for Saturday 9 am - 3 pm. On Thursday night, with the kids asleep and us in our 'jamas watching tv in bed, there is a knock on the door and an unseen person (Big Jay opened the door) asking to view our furniture. What the...?

The sale was a reasonable success. We made around $600 which is nothing to sneeze at. However, we were left with lots of stuff we didn't manage to sell and now have to store, throw away, donate or sell on Ebay (not the top option). Luckily the ugly rusty trampoline was taken away by gleeful neighbours once we put a "FREE" sign on it and left it on the front lawn. A half dozen boxes of books and videos were dropped at the Lifeline book sale this morning (going to a worthy cause - believe it or not, given my general dislike of the human race, I was a Lifeline counsellor and trainer for five years... I KNOW!).

It's always the things you think no-one will buy that go first. Jason's rusty old tools were fairly popular. As were his Beatles books which were all snapped up in seconds. The beautiful wooden furniture which we acquired over many years and loved dearly and were willing to sell at ridiculous prices are still with us, barely raising any interest. Go figure.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Update. They've accepted our offer on the upstairs apartment. We're in!

We' re relieved and excited. But now I'm a bit scared. What if it takes us ages to sell the house? I don't know anything about bridging finance.

Trying to stay positive. I know everything works out OK, eventually.

Another stage in our lives begins...
It can't be true that Sam on Supernatural is dead.

Why do they have to play with our minds and emotions like that?
Sydney Swans.

What the fuck?!
OK, I think we're moving to the third floor. Same building. Same apartment (tiny bit smaller). Same everything just a bit higher, vertically speaking.

Hoping to hear back from the agent today with a definite YES.

This real estate stuff is driving me nuts and we've only been doing it for a few days. I am so NOT a wheeler and dealer. I hate this shit. I just want things to be black and white, yes or no.

In other news our house is a complete train wreck as we prepare it for sale. The front rooms were painted yesterday and as such furniture is piled hapahazardly all over the house, books and nick nacks are in a state of chaos, some packed and stored in our newly rented self storage space, others in boxes ready for Saturday's garage sale.

I don't want to paint too detailed a picture, it's too bloody depressing. I am just hoping all goes to plan and we'll be looking back upon all this anxiety and mess with a giggle in about 3 months time.
Also, in BB news. I love Zach. He's now my favourite and I want him to be my gay boyfriend SO BAD! Rob from last year's BB, you're history. You may be 80s hip and have an acid tongue but Zach is so much camper and cuter and funnier.

It's so not fair! Why can't Zach be my gay boyfriend!!!
Ding dong the other witch is dead! Well, the warlock actually. Andrew is gone from BB, another sour character who took himself way too seriously.

I liked him to begin with but towards the end he was doing my head in.

[The little voices in my head are telling me that I hate Emma and Andrew so much because they are somewhat like moi! NOOOOOOO! Say it isn't so.]

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'm a bit scared to actually write this but... there is a good chance we will be moving... into a waterfront apartment. It's a fabulous apartment we saw a few months ago but put out of our minds because of the price tag. Some things have changed and it may be a possibility.

I have always wanted a waterfront apartment. A dream. Given, this one isn't on Sydney Harbour but we can work our way towards that. It is on the Parramatta River and we would have our very own shipwreck right outside our huge entertainment deck.

Anyway too anxious and crazy to go into more details right now. So much to do and think about.

Stay tuned for more info.

Here's a sneak peak if you're interested. My new home?
I used to listen to the youth station Triple J but these days, having well and truly become an old[er] person, I find the music incomprehesible rubbish and the talk... well, more incomprehesible rubbish. Which is why the non-denominational mystical entity in the sky must have been looking down upon me when I was driving to work last week and pressed the Triple J preset for a second. What was playing? The gorgeous Regina Spektor ofcourse. So I stopped by to listen and was rewarded by news of her upcoming concert tour of Oz in July.

The pre-sale started that very morning and very soon after I was the proud owner of 2 Regina Spektor tix for 11 July. Happy happy joy joy! Can't wait to hear her sweet voice live and in person in only a few short weeks (how refreshing for concert tix to go on sale only a month before a show, mostly I buy tickets 6, 7, 9 months in advance - the promotor hangs onto my hard-earned and I live in danger of loosing tickets which must hang on my fridge for months on end).

I never loved nobody fully
Always one foot on the ground
And by protecting my heart truly
I got lost in the sounds
I hear in my mind
All of these voices
I hear in my mind all these words
I hear in my mind all this music

And it breaks my heart

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ding Dong The Witch Is DEAD!! Whooppee. Well, she may not be dead but she's been evicted and that's the Big Brother equivalent.

Emma has been evicted and all is well in my BB universe.

The cherry(ies) on last night's cake were the two new intruders - Michelle (the pint-sized female equivalent of Travis) and Zach (the campest camp camper you're ever likely to see - he makes corsets for a living and wore one underneath his spiffy white suit, all of which he sewed with his own fair hands). [ I loved last year's camp offering Rob. I so wished (and continue to wish) that he was my gay boyfriend.]

Oh Joy! Bring on the new BB dynamics - now that the evil witch is gone I'm hoping for something bigger and better in there - and hoping that my hoping is not in vain but fearing (going by many years of past experience) that it is.

Friday, June 08, 2007

I have been too bored with Big Brother to post much about it. Of course I've been watching it religiously but it really is just a bad habit and while it's better for my health than smoking or drinking (if we're talking bad habits) but it's not great for my mental health.

Most of the people on BB make me yawn.

Currently only two inspire strong(ish) feelings of any kind.

1) Travis. He's fan-bloody-tanstic. He's a walking Australian-isms dictionary and everything that comes out of his mouth needs to be recorded into some sort of time capsule of Australian language. While I would certainly kill myself if I had to live with someone who spoke like that all the time, I eagerly await his pearls of wisdom each night. Travis to win!!

2) Emma. I want her to die. Painfully. Immediately, if not sooner.

More than enough said about BB. Bring on Friday Night Live.
Sign #427 that the world is simply, unarguably mad:

Australia shamed on IR blacklist

Words fail me. But this helps:


Friday, June 01, 2007

According to this fount of knowledge! Carbon Credits seem to be worth AU$23 per tonne. Whatever the fuck that means?!

I wonder how much the Martians will be paying for their Carbon Credits?

My dad has suggested the next Labor Party recuits from the ABC will be Bananas in Pyjamas.

I haven't laughed so hard for ages.
The "design" of my last entry is thanks to NEW Blogger.

Thanks for nothing Blogger.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happy 2nd Birthday, Princess.

Back-wise I'm feeling better. Much better. Thanks for the good wishes.

I am starting my research into a convenient Pilates class near home - because that will apparently be my only saviour in the long term.

Friday, May 25, 2007

I don't know what to make of this:

Anthony Kiedis and model girlfriend expecting first child

I'm sort of happy for Anthony though I have doubts as to what sort of dad he might make. I think it's the fact that the mother of his child to be is 20 years old. Nothing new, I know, but I still find it somewhat distasteful. It says something of his character which doesn't sit well with me.

Please prove me wrong AK!
This week I have learnt a few things.

I have learnt I have a slightly bulging disc in my lower back. I learnt this after having $635 worth of x-rays and CT scans. How do poor people find out about their bulging discs?

I have learnt about a whole new world of pain I had never even suspected existed.

I have learnt how hard it is to do the simplest things, like getting out of bed and going to the bathroom, when your back is in agony.

I have learnt that two days of being in bed is fucking boring. I mean really really insanely boring. Day time tv is not fit for human consumption, even with Foxtel I was reduced to Oprah re-runs.

I have learnt that it is very difficult for my anally-retentive personality to let go and allow others to help me. But I have also learnt that my family is the best (well, I already knew that). They have gone above and beyond to help me and I can't be grateful enough.

I have learnt that I am getting old/er and I can't take things for granted any longer. I must start doing Pilates to increase my back/stomach strength so that they may better support my crumbling spine.

I have learnt that getting old/er SUCKS!

Monday, May 14, 2007

I suppose I should recap briefly on the subject of Mother's Day.

I started off in a fairly bad mood because my Swannies got another flogging on Saturday night which was extremely disappointing to say the least. Then Marianna woke me up at 5:20 am which is not the time of day I had hoped I would be waking on Mother's Day.

Things improved when we drove down to glorious Bronte Beach for a scrumptious breakfast with my mum and Jason's mum (who is here visiting us from Perth).

We then drove out to Rookwood to visit my grandmother's grave and to see her newly erected gravestone. This seems to be a popular Mother's Day passtime as there were hundreds of other people at the cemetery.

The afternoon was spent bowling. Thank goodness we bowl with the kids and get to use the bumpers because otherwise I'd be scoring in the single digits. It is sad and somewhat embaressing when you're consistantly outscored by your less-than-two-year-old daughter.

We finished off a busy day with a lovely drive down to Berowra Waters and a trip on the car ferry (much to the children's delight). We took both of Jason's mums to the Waterside restaurant which features a quality over quantity seafood buffet. It was refreshing to see a buffet with superb oysters and smoked salmon, mussels and prawns, rather than the 3rd rate stuff you normally get. The food was lovely and the place was very child friendly so we didn't feel overly stressed about the kids running around the place. There was even a single rose for every mum.... corny but sweet.

Oh, and "the kids" got me a Swedish Goddess Massage from Ella Bache. These vouchers are starting to stack up. I better start making some bookings and let the pampering commence. It's a hard life.
I'm watching Monday night eviction on BB.

Travis deserves to win right now for nominating Emma because she hides toilet paper which makes him very anxious when he has to "take the kids on the waterslide". Isn't that the best damn Aussie-ism that you've ever heard!

That man is the Oz-iest human being I have ever set eyes on. Beauty bonza mate!
There's no better Mother's Day gift than Bodie and TJ being shafted from Big Brother. A happy day finished off with the ultimate gift. Jeez, I hated those two. If only Emma would get struck by lightening... that would really be icing on the cake.

I've also done a back flip on Demet. She seemed cool but has turned out to be a prize shithead.

Down with Emma and Demet!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Feeling sad right now.

One serious reason. That poor little Madeleine who was kidnapped in Portugal a week ago. It was her birthday today and the story on the news made me cry. My heart hurts for her and her family. I can't even begin to imagine the horror her family is living through. I will pray in my non-believer way that she is alive and will return to her family. No punishment is horrible enough for the scum who did this.

One not-so-serious reason. I was watching the 'Til Death Do Us Part Marathon on MTV this afternoon and it made me so sad that Dave and Carmen split up last year. They were so gorgeous during the planning of their wedding and on their actual wedding day. They genuinely seemed like good, weird, but good people. People who really loved, liked and respected each other. I shook Dave's hand at a back stage meet and greet when he toured with the Chili Peppers all those years ago and I felt a deep soul behind those dark dark eyes. I hope you have peace and happiness Dave and Carmen.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Kate was booted off Big Brother last [Sunday] night. The first for 2007. I don't care. She's a weird bird, no doubt about it. Totally loco really.

Last week BB brought out the tired old plastic baby exercise for the housemates. Nothing new. Kate's reaction was new. She came out with her story of having a still born baby 18 months ago. Lots of tears, threats of leaving BB and general shananigins. A lot of teary statements about "never getting over it".

Call me a cold hearted bitch but I don't know how a woman can go through such a horrific experience (I miscarried very early in my pregnancy almost 20 years ago and it almost killed me - psychologically - at the time) and then within a few months apply to go on a shallow tv program like Big Brother. Let alone how she could actually go on it only 18 months later.

There's a part of me that's sympathetic to her pain and loss and a part of me that's like "what the...?".

Which brings me to more cases of "what the...?". Like the Bodie and TJ "relationship". Like Emma and the whole "cool" gang.

Bodie and TJ have been nominated for evicition this week and Gretel was on the radio yesterday saying that the "interesting" people (like these two mental giants, presumably) should be kept in and the "boring" people voted off. I'm sorry, if people like Bodie and TJ are interesting well give me boring any time. Also, my theory is that when the interesting (i.e. totally self obsessed, loud-mouthed, dumb as dog shit) people are evicted it leaves more room in the house for the so-called boring to people to come out of their shell and reveal what in the past has proven to be a much deeper, really more interesting personality.

And if you're wondering why I'm bothering to think so deeply about this tripe, well, yes I am really that shallow. Surprise!

Must go the Big Brother "Golden Key" special is starting.
The Swans had another loss. It was a horrible way to finish Saturday night. After Will's party all I wanted was to go home, put my feet up, have a cuppa and watch the Swans kick the Kangaroos' backsides all over Telstra Dome. Well it was my boys who got a kicking I'm afraid. Boo bloody hoo!

Oh, you know... next week...
I have mixed emotions about children's birthday parties.

On the one hand I have such fond memories of attending parties from my own childhood I am determined that my children will enjoy a birthday extraveganza each and every year of their own childhoods. As a child I remember them as magical moments. The anticipation (usually followed by frustration) of pass the parcel (in my day the mothers weren't as polite as to include a small prize under each sheet of wrapping paper - there was only the one major prize at the end - and many disappointed children). The musical statues (which I could never excel at, being much too excited to stand still even for a moment). The party food - oh the bliss of red cordial and chocolate crackles - a luxury I never experienced in my migrant Russian Jewish household. My all time favourite memory is of being one of a small group, the chosen few, who were invited to Katie's birthday party - at a pantomime. It was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen. I was enthralled and that memory will be with me always.

This is the magic I try to re-create for my children but I'm sure today's children are much more jaded and cynical to experience the joy and wonder I did all those years ago.

On the other hand being the mother of the birthday child is hell on earth. For example, on Saturday we hosted Will's 8th birthday party, a bowling party at his request. There were 23 children all up, including Marianna who wanted to bowl (she won in her lane!). Getting the children's shoes on and lanes assigned was long and labourious. The air conditioning wasn't working at the bowling alley so we were all hot and bothered. I was shit scared of losing a child or having a child hurt themselves or having a bored child. There were so many potential danger areas.

In the end all went well. The kids bowled happily, spent their tokens in the fun zone and ate their party food. Will was a happy birthday boy and went home with a literal mountain of presents.

I swear after 21 they are on their own as far as this party caper is concerned!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

It needs to be said that I am fully into Big Brother mode. Best of all Friday Night Live is back and it really is the bestest way to relax on a Friday night. I wish they'd let you hire out the set for a party. I would so love to do some of those challenges, maybe not the eating horrible things or putting your hands into tanks of snakes/spiders/assorted creepy crawlies but the ones where you put on silly costumes and have to do obstacle courses. I know I would be so very bad at it but it just seems like so much fun.

I really am a woman of simple needs (and some would say a simple mind).
I've been immersed in life this week. A synposis may be in order:

* Will started Term 2 at school. It was very much needed as his behaviour gradually became worse and worse as the holidays continued, another week and one of us may have ended up with an AVO. He is happy and back to usual self.

* We had a date night on Tuesday night. We had a slightly above average dinner at an Italian cafe at North Ryde. I always worry about any eatery where all the meat groups (chicken, steak, veal) come with the same variety of sauces; I envisage giant vats of green peppercorn sauce being slopped onto trays of pre-cooked chicken breast fillets. We were going to see Sunshine after dinner but there was only a late session available, leaving over an hour to wait after dinner was finished. Being old fogeys we voted to head home and watch a movie on Foxtel Box Office. Armed with some now untrustworthy recommendations and our own love of Will Ferrell we settled in for Talladega Nights. Whoa, baby! What a crock of unwatchable rubbish. Really, if you liked this film you have either had a lobotomy or you need one.

* Wednesday (Anzac Day) we collected the kiddos from the respective grandparents (wouldn't subject any one grandparent to a double dose) and headed into town for yum cha. A public holiday yum cha at East Ocean is one of life's wonderful pleasures, especially when you arrive at the magic 11:00 am time frame... just when the room is filling up but just before the masses start queuing up along the stairs, pathetically and hopefully staring at the yum cha-ers in the hope they'll vacate their tables sooner rather than later. I also love watching my little munchkins enjoy their yum cha goodies, tucking into their prawn gow gees, munching their salt and pepper calamari and waiting expectantly for the only way to end yum cha (if you are 2 and 8 years old)... a big bowl of multi-coloured jelly cubes.

* After yum cha I dropped my family at home and popped up to Hornsby for a spot of unencumbered shopping. A pair of red loafers, a GORGEOUS black coat and a summer top (on sale) later I was feeling very pleased with myself.

* A pleasant day was finished with a visit to my friend A's house (in fact, our old house) who hosted a birthday afternoon tea for our mutual friend J. I love a cheese plate and a gossip with good friends.

* Saturday afternoon Will went to a bowling birthday party, much like the one he will himself host next Saturday. It was really fun (for him and me). They actually run quite smoothly once all the kids are shoed-up and allocated their lanes.

* We were going to go to the Swans' game at the SCG last night but the late finishing birthday party, combined with the on/off rain pushed us into the lazy option of watching at home. What a shame! The rain cleared and the Swans had a ripper of a game, i.e. THEY WON!!! Woo hoo!

* Today we joined some of our adoptive family friends and had a wonderful lunch at a Colombian restaurant. The food was yum - I love the empanadas and the crunchy little pork thingies (so BAD but so GOOD!!). I always feel a bit bad because the kids go mental when they're together, they run around and cause absolute havoc at the restaurant... which is OK when we have the whole place to ourselves (like last time) but not so good when there are other diners trying to eat a reasonably peaceful meal amongst a hoard of screaming, rumbling, tumbling kiddos. I managed to get everyone out of the restaurant and across the road to the little park before things got too out of control. A fun day had by all.

If you're still awake that was a snapshot of my life-lived-on-the-edge. Are you jealous?

Monday, April 23, 2007

A brief Big Brother 07 wrap up to kick things off. Oh THE JOY!

As of this evening I have to say I'm fairly impressed with the little twists and turns BB has introduced. The White Room. Mr X. The Relationship Couple. Nothing mind blowing but with some potential. I'm especially intrigued by where the Mr X thing may go. I live in hope.

In alphabetical order:

Aleisha: Blonde, dumb, potentially cute. No opinion right now.

Andrew: Firefighter, seems nice/cute, relationship with Simone Warne aka Hayley very disappointing.

Bodie: Idiot. Me no like.

Emma: Invisible so far. No opinion.

Hayley: aka Simone Warne (the resemblence is scary). Shitting me from minute one.

Jamie: Love him, love him. Please don't end up being a needy, clingy loser.

Joel: Funny, so far so good. Potential for annoying me above average. Time will tell.

Kate: Flatlining. Ugly make up, ugly clothes, no obvious personality.

Rebecca: Hmmm, she looks amazingly like Heather (Dooce) and is a Mormon (like Heather was). Spooky. Was terrifingly bubbly and enthusiastic on night one (Twister? no thanks). However I'm growing to like her more and more.

Susannah: Newby. Just voted in on night 2. Kinda cute but potential for shitting me quite high.

Thomas: Tall (I like). Cute (but not my style). Real estate agent (Yikes!). No strong opinion yet.

TJ: Hmmm. Don't feel anything right now.

Travis: Thumbs up so far. He seems like a combination of Jamie (BB06) and Paul (from a couple of years back) but with all the shit removed. Very Oz. I'm finding him very likeable so far.

Zoran: Another newby, just came in tonight. Seems nice enough.

Billy: aka Mr X. Something likeable about him. He's Hayley's ex and has been flown in from Canada for the occasion. His job is to stir things up with her and Andrew. Don't know what will happen there but I kind of like him for himself.

There is a definite and overwhelming excess of BLONDES. Really, almost more blondeness than I can sensibly tolerate.

Then there's the whole White Room thing. Interesting but I hate everyone in there except possibly Demet (pronounced Demi?). She is a belly dancer and seems a little interesting (which isn't hard next to the other three cardboard cut outs she is up against).

More pithy BB analysis soon. [Hey it's my blog, I can call it pithy if I like. You can call it pathetic, that's your prerogative.]
Life does get worse though. So much worse...

Swans loosing to Adelaide on Saturday night type of worse. Oh, the pain.

Really I'm a big fan of behinds in AFL. In fact the Swans have a number of fine behinds (step forward Mr O'Keefe...). However, when your team kicks FOURTEEN FUCKING BEHINDS in one game you really need to ask what they've been doing during kicking practice. Seriously guys - you need to get the ball through the big sticks in the middle. It's why you're paid the big bucks.

Next week... yadda... yadda...
I'm a hunter and gatherer underneath this slick, city girl exterior.

Saturday morning I spotted THE MOST GORGEOUS coat I have ever seen for Marianna at Myer Hornsby. She had to have it! I had to have it! Outrageously they did not have it in her size! Horror!

Sunday morning, after dropping Will off at the Chinese Gardens at Darling Harbour for a birthday party (they have certainly moved on somewhat from the fairy bread, chocolate crackle and pass the parcel celebrations of my youth) I decided to brave the city with a toddler in tow in order to check Myer City store for the aforementioned coat.

There is nothing more sweat inducing than lugging 12kgs of whining toddler, who refuses to ride in her stroller or walk, through city streets, to the monorail station and beyond. Apart from the actual monorail ride, where we both sat happily admiring Sydney from the window, the rest was pure hard slog.

Nevertheless, after an eternity looking through every rack in the children's department, buying a couple of other outfits having not found the frigging coat, going to the toilet, returning from the toilet and - drum roll please - seeing the coat IN THE CORRECT FUCKING SIZE laying innocently on top of a pile of older children's clothes in a previously undiscovered area. I don't know what winning Lotto is like but this was so very very close to that feeling. Better still Myer was having one of their many and varied sale days (if you've ever paid full price for anything in Myer you've been had) and the $49.95 coat only cost $31.95.

Life really doesn't get ANY BETTER THAN THIS!!