Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Really it's a lightweight sort of book but I really got into the story and the main character. If you like a mystery with some creepiness, some unease, some interesting characters and a moral question mark or two, then you might enjoy it.
Not only did we enjoy some pretty good comedy but we started the evening with a quick stop in the band t-shirt shop up the road which provided me with a very cute Chili Peppers t-shirt, perfect for next month's concert. Bands should put out more shirts in "girl" styles, i.e. fitted t-shirts. I have a cupboard full of band/concert t-shirts which are fit for nothing more than wearing to bed or the gym. I have a curvy figure I generally like to show off, I have little interest in wearing a tent like garment, which is what most band t-shirts are.
Then we had a wonderful dinner at the little Italian restaurant across the road from the Enmore. Yummy garlic prawns to share (well they were J's but she said she was happy to share) for a starter, together with some gorgeous bruschetta with rich, ripe tomatoes. Then gnocchi for J and a superb dish of slowly oven baked rabbit in a mushroom sauce with crispy polenta for me - heaven! To finish a really lovely panna cotta to share and a very good de-caf cappucino.
It never ceases to amaze that after working together just about every day of the week my sis and I still enjoy each other's company on occasions like this. Though we do annoy the shit out of each at times, it's all in good fun and she really is my very best friend.
Last year Will was invited to speak at a Stockbrokers Foundation fundraising evening as they are a major sponsor of the STaR Association. Will's little speech about how the program helped him raised over $50,000 for STaR that evening.
Last week he was invited to do a similar speech at the Monstar post-golf day dinner. The highlight of the evening for Will (and for me) was meeting Barry Hall (co-captain of the Sydney Swans, amazing AFL player and generally nice guy). Barry was charming and Will couldn't get the grin off his face. It was a wonderful evening and hopefully raised around $40,000 for STaR.
For added excitement a photo very similar to this one appeared in the social pages of The Sunday Telegraph this past Sunday. My son, the social butterfly, hobnobbing with the rich and famous.
At 7:30 pm on Saturday night I will be at Telstra Stadium watching the Swans kick West Coast's pathetic, drugged-up bottoms. If they turn the lights off, even for a milisecond, I will be mighty pissed.
Friday, March 23, 2007
If you want to know which way I'm voting, I'll just give you this clue. I'm voting on the water issue this time round. I'm pro recycling, anti desalination.
Are you sitting down?
He won the door prize!!! ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS worth of PS3 games. Sounds huge but that only equates to 10 games as the buggers are $100+ each. There we were eagerly looking through the titles at 2:00 am. Really I couldn't care less. I am somewhat challenged when it comes to these sorts of games. I once tried to have a go on The Simpsons game (which Will can play in his sleep) and just ended bumping around aimlessly without achieving anything. It's just the fact WE WON SOMETHING!
While I am endlessly grateful for winning the Life Lottery (i.e. I think everything about my life is a big win) we rarely, if ever, win anything real. We've won $30-odd on Lotto occassionally. I won a bikini trimmer on some stupid web site competition. I went through a spate of winning radio competitions about 15 years ago - theatre tix, CDs, a flower arrangement - but that was only because there were only about 5 people who listened to 2SM in the early 90s and I was lucky (?) to be one of them.
So there you go. We won something. Woohoo! Let's hope our winning streak continues when the Lotto balls fall tomorrow night.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
My birthday weekend circus finished this morning with a dream featuring Gordon Ramsey and a great deal of vaccuuming. Just as things were getting frisky I awoke to Marianna calling out for a bottle at 3:45 am.
Yesterday we enjoyed a lovely lunch at the Italian cafe at the Watefront where dad lives. The Waterfront is a development of apartments at Homebush Bay where dad has lived for the last year and a half. There is something about this place. Whenever we drive into the complex I have an irrisitable urge to look at real estate. There is a part of me that desperately wants to live there. Perhaps it's the village atmosphere (it's real, not just the advertising blurb), perhaps it's the peacefulness, the beautifully maintained gardens, parks, swimming pools and paths. Even though it is a large complex there never seems to be many people around and those who are walk quitely or enjoy a meal or a coffee at the great cafe. Logically I know I would be unhappy should we swap our spacious house for a much smaller apartment and, worse still, apartment neighbours who I am quite sure would drive me nuts. I think this adventure may need to wait until the kids move out and we're an old couple without the need for so much space.
Then we picked up Jason's great-aunt and her daughter and son-in-law and I dropped them all off (plus Will) at North Sydney so they could walk over the Sydney Harbour Bridge for it's 75th birthday. Jay's great-aunt Ethel walked over the bridge when it opened at the age of 6, so it was very special for her to do the walk so many years later. They had a wonderful time. I drove around via the Anzac Bridge and met them at Darling Harbour. I love that area of Sydney, I just do. I love the friendly buzz, the people walking around, eating, drinking, just having fun. As I pushed Marianna around in her stroller I felt so very happy to be living in Sydney. I just can't imagine a better place to be. When the walkers joined me we found the newly opened Lindt Cafe and enjoyed the world's best chocolate milk shakes and waffles. It was a wonderful way to end a wonderful weekend. Too much of a good thing but then that's what birthday weekends are all about.
PS. I finally did get the 2nd part of my birthday present from Big Jay, Jules and mum: a fabulous gift voucher for a FIVE HOUR day spa package at the gorgeous Gillian Adams Day Spa. It's a beautiful Art Deco building I've been driving past for years and now I'm going to go and check it out and have a wonderful day of pampering. It's a hard life, but someone has to do it!
Sunday, March 18, 2007
From the latest issue of spiked:
Any shade of politics you like, so long as it’s green
"When humanity has been faced with great challenges in history, the solution has been to go forward, to apply human ingenuity and endeavour to overcoming problems by advancing society. There is no record of tackling future problems by going backwards or restraining development. Yet that is what is effectively proposed through the politics of global warming."
Turning children green with fear
"If the aim of the politics of environmentalism is to scare people, then it has succeeded. Green writer George Monbiot declared in his book Heat that he wanted to ‘make people so depressed about the state of the planet that they stay in bed all day, thereby reducing their consumption of fossil fuels’. He may not succeed in keeping people in bed all day, but the panic that he and other environmentalists are helping to foster does seem to be keeping kids awake in their beds at night."
[This is exactly the sort of nonsense which makes my brain explode. Yes, we should all stay in bed all day thus reducing our consumption of fossil fuels. In the beds we pay for by....? In the homes we pay for by....? Feeding ourselves on food we pay for by....? These morons are full of bright ideas and bullshit suggestions but have they ever been introduced to the real fucking world? I suggest not. There is no model of society, which I am aware of, which provides everyone with a bed in a home at no expense and with no requirement for doing actual work of any kind.]
I'm going to go and take a red pill now, this crappola is no good for my blood pressure. I'm not as young as I used to be!
Saturday, March 17, 2007
After dropping off Will at school on Friday morning Marianna and I continued on to mum's and then on to WBJ for some Target shopping (Cars undies for Will, Dora undies for Marianna). Then we had a nice sushi lunch, coffee and I bought a stainless steel strainer to replace my dead el cheapo plastic one. Woohoo.
Friday night dear Jules came to babysit the bambinos and Big Jay and I gleefully set off for the movies. I had been hanging out to see Hot Fuzz for a couple of weeks now. Having been a big, though late to arrive, fan of Shaun of the Dead, I was super excited to see what the new offering from the same team would be like. We weren't disappointed. It was bloody hilarious. This is just the sort of comedy which appeals to me and I was in stitches the whole way through. As Molly would say "do yourself a favour"!
This morning Big Jay had to work, so he set off at 4:30 am (bummer!). I pottered around with the kids and Jules and then we picked up mum and headed for a couple of hours at Bronte Beach. It was overcast but gorgeous (mainly because there weren't many people there and we got an easy, free car park and a prime possie). I do love time at the beach, if it wasn't for the aforementioned [usually difficult] parking situation and the fucking SAND! I would make an effort to go more often. The afternoon was spent eating and hanging about at mum's waiting for Jay to return from work. It rained so our plan to take the kids to the park didn't pan out. Will and I just handballed the dog's red ball on the verandah until it landed in the neighbours' yard and we had to find different entertainment.
Finally Jay arrived back and we bought falafel for dinner (my birthday dinner choice). It was so yummy but I ate too much ... way too much. Don't even ask about the huge, gorgeous chocolate mousse cake Jules brought out afterwards. It wasn't pretty (no, the cake was... um, you know what I mean...). My zip and top button are undone as I type.
Friday, March 16, 2007
So far the day has been underwhelming. Marianna has fallen off her little trampoline (no injury, much crying), refused to eat her breakfast and is being a stroppy 21 month old. Will has given me a sweet birthday kiss. They both gave me the gift of a full night's sleep.
At 5:00 am this morning Big Jay gave me (what I hope is only Part 1 of the gift cavalcade) The Making of Blood Sugar Sex Magik. A great book I'm sure but I was hoping for something a tad more substantial to mark the beginning of the last year of my 30s.
So far no calls of congratulations from either Robbie Williams or Anthony Keidis. It's early though. I still have hope. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I really can't see how things can get any worse (better?) on the reality tv front. A series about a man looking to marry the duck of his dreams? Teams of celebrities competing to build the best mansion out of human excrement? Politicians, electrodes attached to their genitals, attempting to prove that they wouldn't sell their grandmother for a vote? The mind boggles.
Thank you TV1. You alone are worth the price of cable tv.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I don't believe in God because I haven't seen/heard/read any evidence which convinces me otherwise. Lots of people, good people, believe in God, but that isn't enough to convince me.
The same with global warming. Just because lots of people are saying it's true (see above) doesn't mean it is. It has to make sense to me. God doesn't. Global warming doesn't.
However, at this point I will take a moment to clarify briefly some of my thoughts on "global warming". Please don't take this as a start to some debate. Life's too short. My ideas perculate over weeks, months and years. Often they change or shift and sometimes they just stay put.
* I don't personally know if global warming is true or not and to what degree if it is true. I have no qualifications to judge the so-called scientific "evidence" either way. I do know that if you care to name me a topic I could write you a convincing scientific-based arguement backing it or disproving it. I learnt at uni that there is no such thing as empirical, hundred per cent, cast in stone information. Everything is subjective, including scientific evidence. So the arguments that "renowned" scientists believe global warming is true holds no direct sway with me, there are plenty of scientists who believe the opposite and various shades in between.
* Even if global warming or some form of it is true it doesn't mean that humans are responsible. I think if global warming is "true" than it is much more likely to be a normal part of the Earth's climate cycle. After all there have been various such cycles throughout history. What caused the previous Ice Age and the subsequent warming of the planet? Certainly not humans driving cars or not turning off their microwave while they go to work.
* This is probably what is annoying me the most. If global warming is true than we really are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic with all this "environmentally friendly" shit. Sensible people are spending SO much energy on "eco friendly" light bulbs (which may or may not be better environmentally for various reasons and certainly not better in every scenario), short showers/not flushing toilets, recycling, turning off appliances, etc. I'm not saying some of these things haven't got some merit (we have some long life light bulbs because they last a long time and save us time and money - I don't believe they'll save the planet) but most have really more warm and fuzzy value than real benefit.
* I believe that Western middle class people need to feel they are doing somethng useful because quite frankly all our needs and a great deal of our wants are met because we are affluent (this affluence also brings about a level of guilt for which we need to self-flagelate ourselves - e.g. we are destroying our planet, bad bad humans!). I don't believe the people in Guatemala (where my darling son was born) who are burning cow poo to stay warm care a great deal about such issues. They would be unbelievably happy to have some electric or gas heating, a proper stove, some running water. When you're talking personal survival global survival is probably fairly low on your priority list. We have the luxury of looking at the "bigger picture" because we don't have real problems to worry about. There is half the world's population who are struggling to achieve part of the lifestyle we take for granted and I can't see why they shouldn't have that. If anything scientists, engineers, etc (and I'm sure they are doing so as we speak) should be working on ways energy can be used and harnassed to benefit all of the world's population and if that means improving nuclear energy (which appears to me the best bet we have at the moment) than that's the way we have to go. I just don't think solar panels and wind farms are going to do it, as much as we may want them to.
* What's happening today is not so much a discussion or a debate, it's a bit of mass hysteria. It's irresponsible to show our children the Opera House being submerged by water. Children see this crap and think it's going to happen tomorrow and they are genuinely scared, they don't have the critical analysis skills to see it for what it is - a media-led beat up which will (one can only hope) be laid aside next week or next month when more interesting Britney Spears stories take front page.
Look, I'm not burying my head in the sand. I read and watch what I can but I do have a fairly solidly built opinion which will only be swayed by some pretty strong evidence to the contrary (say the end of the world). If people choose to believe I take this opinion at the peril of my children's future, so be it. I don't believe my light bulb usage habits will have one iota of influence on my children's future.
Monday, March 12, 2007
You'll recognise my little bumblebees on the left of this photo.
Notice the stunning blue water in the background.
Sunday morning was perfect, really wonderful. The best Sydney has to offer.
Our dear friends M and G had invited me and the kids (Big Jay had left early that morning for a four day golf junket to Coffs Harbour, he has a hard life) for a day out on their boat. I was a little anxious at being on a boat by myself with the kids but it sounded like an offer too good to refuse.
We took off from beautiful Bobbin Head, only 10 minutes drive away from home yet it could be another world. [I tried to write something here about our journey on the water but lacking any real boating terminology and suffering from a defecit of any descriptive language abilities I gave it up and decided to move on.]
Suffice to say we found a gorgeous little beach (Possum Beach, can it be any cuter?!) which was just perfect. The water was warm, clear and clean and the sand just right for tiny hands to dig large holes. We swam, played on the sand and enjoyed a little picnic. It was truly glorious.
Thank you, dear Sydney, for such a sweet and unexpected treat.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
As I was driving home yesterday I heard a snippet of an interview with (the) Erin Brokovich who is in Oz to promote the launch of some piss-poor excuse for a political party, Climate Change Coalition. The bit I heard featured a comment that coal companies should be made to pay for the environmental mess they have made/make.
Now here's my problem. Coal companies are becoming the new cigarette comanies and fast food companies. They are being punished for our "sins".
I find this so bizzare. While I hate cigarettes I don't hate cigarette companies. As far as I can tell they are not rounding people up in the street at gunpoint and forcing them to smoke with threats of harming their family members. While I agree that too much junk food can make you fat and unhealthy I don't see the fast food companies playing out the above scenario either.
These are businesses who make a product and advertise a product in a free economy to (allegedly) free thinking people. These people are then free to smoke or not to smoke, to eat a Big Mac or not to eat a Big Mac. Easy.
Coal companies are the same, though arguably more useful. They provide energy for our consumption. A consumption I personally enjoy very very much. I marvel constantly that I can come home and switch a light on, get a cold drink out of my fridge, watch tv, write my pointless thoughts down on this blog via my laptop pc. It makes me wonder whether the peolple who belong to/support the Climate Change Coalition live without life's comforts provided by the evil coal industry. Do they live without electricity? I seriously doubt it.
Which brings me to the point that if they were to choose to do so, they could. I mean we do live in a truly free society in that respect. They could choose to not have their electricity (or gas or phone) connected to their homes. In theory they could live like primative man. They could grow their own food in their back yard, keep a sheep or a few chickens, cook their meals over an open fire (environmentally naughty but I suppose there's always the raw food diet). This option truly exists yet I don't see any of these so called greenies taking it up. My, it's easy to criticise when you do so from the comfort of a fully equipped middle class home and office.
As mentioned previously coal companies do not round up people and force them to use electricity at gunpoint. They provide a product which turns into a utility which all of use constantly and I, for one, enjoy immensely.
I wonder why we need to demonise the providers of our (unfathomably) "guilty" pleasures. They are a choice, one of many we have in our lives and I don't subscribe to the idea that we are forced in any way into choosing that which we don't ethically believe in.
And while we're on the subject, I'm the one, yes I'm IT. I'd be happy to have a nuclear power reactor in my backyard (but we'd have to move the swings and trampoline over a bit first).
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Weekend is almost over.
Billy Thorpe tribute on the tv (as usual with such things I am totally emotionless except for sudden, unexpected and random bursts of teariness here and there).
Bush dance at the school was fun on Friday night. Reward of parenthood: watching your children dance to a bushband, totally enjoying themselves, on a warm late summer evening, while you chow down on a really yummy steak roll.
Saturday went by too fast. Usual swimming/shopping morning. Big Jay's relatives over for BBQ lunch. Children asleep early-ish. Enjoyable adult evening.
Saturday night/Sunday morning. Marianna awake at 1:30 am. Screaming. Bring her to our bed and she's wide awake and very cheery. Wants to chat and sing and clap. NO, Marianna, NOT AT 2:00 am!!! Back to her bed. More screaming! Back to our bed. More cheeriness. Yikes! Back to her bed and by now I don't care about anything. It's 3:30 am and I'm exhausted, nerves raw. Finally we are all back asleep. Miraculously Will sleeps through all this middle-of-the-night chaos. Jay get's up very early to play golf. I sleep in until 7:30 am. Bliss!
Jay takes kids to the beach this morning. I go for yum cha and shopping with dear sis. Nothing better in my books. Yum cha is rather average today (JB finds a hair in the pork ribs, waiter stares at it intently and does nothing, Chinese restaurants are not known for their customer-is-always-right attitudes). Then we wait an eon for service at the Myer shoe department. After all the waiting the shoes I want have a funny glich in the print and they don't have another pair in that size. Dear JB offers to pick up a pair from WBJ (other side of Sydney) later this afternoon. Try on some clothes. JB gets a few ultra bargains (love those 50% off the already reduced price stands) for her European summer jaunt and I get some FULL PRICED (sheesh!) winter essentials.
I guess it wasn't that short and not very sweet after all.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Speaking of bad taste, while I was driving yesterday I was listening to a "modern etiquette" segment on my chat radio station of choice. A woman rang up to say that at a recent family wedding the best man chose to screen a video of the buck's night, complete with two strippers and flying g-strings, during his speech AT THE WEDDING!!! What the..??!! Is the world mad? (Well, yes.. but that's another story.) Are people totally bonkers and devoid of any basic human decency? People's stupidity never ceases to amaze me.
Speaking of amazing me, last night I watched a documentary on women who fall in love with death row inmates. These were three British women who "fell in love" with three men on death row in the US. One of the women said that "you don't choose who you fall in love with". Hmmm, you do have some small amount of say in it though. I mean it's not totally random, like catching a cold or having Mormons knocking on your door on a Sunday morning. These women made conscious decisions to write to these creepazoids, believe their pleas of innocence (it's truly awesome how many "innocent" people are on death row) and follow up with phone calls and personal visits. One of them is even in jail for killing his girlfriend. Gee, what a catch! I know a good man is hard to find but COME ON!!! Surely there are single men hanging around Gambling Anonymous or Labor Party meetings, if one was into scraping the bottom of the barrel.
I continue to be puzzled, bemused and amused by the humans who inhabit the world around me. And I wouldn't have it any other way.