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...