Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Well here we are. It's 1:00 pm on New Year's Eve and we're packing to head off for our big one night camping adventure on Cockatoo Island to see the fireworks. Apart from the camping bit I'm looking forward to it. It has always been a dream to see the wonderful Sydney NYE fireworks up close and personal.

As always it's unbelievable that another year has flown by. I was just reading Heather's thoughts on which made me think how rarely I have time to reflect on my own life... apart from through this blog of course. Life is just too fast and I am grateful that at least I make the time ocassionally to write my musings on life through this little folly.

So let me take a moment to wish all my readers (yes, all three of you!) a happy New Year and all the very best for 2009. May you survive this "credit crunch" [sheesh] with your finances and your sanity intact and may next year bring a little more of what you're wishing for.

I love reading comments, so if you're a regular reader but not much of a comment writer please take a moment here and there to leave one. I really get a thrill from reading them.

Our fellow campers have arrived so better run.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Go here NOW.*


*[Is there anything funnier and more in the spirit of baby Jesus than making fun of organised religion? I guess not.]

Friday, December 19, 2008

And another good reason to keep forking out for Foxtel:

Dexter Season 3 starts in just over 2 weeks.

Life is good.
Regularly I have an impulse to cancel our Foxtel subscription. Some days go by without us turning it on and I start to wonder whether the $100+ per month we spend on it could be better used on adding to my extensive belly button lint collection. But then....

... I come across a documentary like Strummer: The Future is Unwritten and I think "holy shit, thank goodness this wasn't the week I cancelled Foxtel".

The Clash were such a big part of my young life during the early 80s. Yes, they were past their heyday at that point but I was heavily in the middle of mine. Their songs were a big part of the soundtrack of my life. How many nights did I spend in my room, living my adolescent angst through the words of songs like White Riot, Janie Jones and Straight to Hell?

Watching the story of Joe Strummer last night was amazing and scary. The weight of nostalgia literally pinned me down onto the lounge and I felt the actual heaviness of the lost years as a physical force on my body. This was the first time I had ever experienced it in this way. Before I had felt nostalgia as a lighter thing, something almost funny. Now I felt I had crossed a line. I am not young anymore; the wild, hopeful girl who loved The Clash and listened to their battlecries in the sanctuary of her middle-class suburban room is long gone, no denying it.

Worse still, so much worse, I have become someone who is repulsed by young people like I once was, afraid of them. They look like aliens to me, beamed down from another planet. That part of me is now dead and I think I only just realised that last night.

Joe Strummer is dead. And so is my youth.

Hmmm. To think that I once longed for adulthood because I thought it would mean dying my hair any shade of blue I wanted to without getting into trouble.
How about THIS for the man who has everything.

Mmmmmm, flame-grilled meat....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Just in case, like me, you have been wondering about the whys, whats and general whereabouts of Bobby Trendy worry no more and check him out in all his splendidness right HERE.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I can't believe that as of this morning (8 December) I have not only sent out our [personalised] Christmas cards but have also bought, wrapped and hidden pretty much all the pressies. I even mailed the annual family photo book to Jay's grandmother in England last week! This is not like me at all, well not in recent years anyway. I used to be super organised Christmas-wise but the last few years (the "children years" I like to call them) things have slipped somewhat.

But somehow, and really it hasn't been through any super hard trying, I've got my Christmas mojo back. It's such a relief to know I can stop thinking about pressies and throw myself into the next couple of weeks of festivities with a relatively clear, guilt-free mind (just don't mention the ACC newsletter and no-one will get hurt).

Ho ho ho!
It never ceases to amaze me how much bullshit politicians and their henchmen can spout. I mean it really is staggering, isn't it?

On Friday I heard an interview about why they haven't installed mobile phone jamming devices in prisons (after it was discovered a young criminal had been running a huge drug distribution gang from his prison cell via a smuggled mobile phone). Basically the NSW Minister was passing the buck onto the Australian Telecommunications whatever who are in charge of both allowing such things and also letting the equipment be imported into the country.

Apparently they had been trying to get these "allowed" for years but keep going from meeting to meeting to testing to a report to another meeting. Bottom line, nothing has been achieved.

Then the guy from the federal group (as above) rang into the say the ball is in the state's court. Blah blah blah.

The sticking point seems to be that this equipment can "leak" outside of the parameters required (i.e. from the prison onto the streets surrounding it) and cause phone problems for other users. However, in the same conversation we found out that in the US and Europe this equipment is being used in theatres, cinemas (hallelujah, praise the lord) and even hotels (to make clients use the expensive phones provided). A man even rang in and said that Gosford Hospital (right here in NSW) has this equpment working.

Which makes one think that all this political babble is just such a huge steaming pile of SHIT. I mean if one government department can provide this system in a hospital, a large, busy hospital set smack in the middle of a residential area where obviously it isn't jamming local phone services for normal people why can't another government department push the same system into prisons (given the additional fact that most prisons are in fact set further away from residential areas than the previously mentioned hospital).

This is what happens when I actually take a moment to listen to a political interview. My brain starts to hurt and I loose the will to live. I guess that's why I usually avoid listening to such crap. Nothing good can come of it. I just can't believe we're paying these morons with our hard earned tax dollars to behave like this. It's stupid, it's pathetic and it's a downright immoral waste of money which can be better spent in a gazillion other ways.

Don't forget my political "jury style" model. It can't be any worse than this.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

So I'll start with the bad and end with the good.

The John Mellencamp/Day on the Green at the Hunter Valley weekend was both. The "bad" included the late arrival on Friday night (following Will's successful night at DanceFever - his school won 1st place in both categories, not that I like to gloat). I just can't do the late nights anymore, it literally takes me a week to recover.

Also, the Day on the Green event itself. Really for $200 a ticket you may expect a little more, comfort-wise. I certainly didn't expect to park on the side of the road a kilometre away from the venue (the advertised car park being closed for no known reason) and hike the distance in sloshy mud in my new red, patent sandals. I didn't expect to be using disgustingly filthy porta-loos which were also a reasonable up-hill, through-mud hike from our seats. I only half-expected the prices of the over-priced, under-quality food and the enormous queues. Really I guess I just didn't fully expect the level of rip-off and discomfort, all of which totally exceeded my expectations in the negative direction.

If I didn't already hold tickets for Leonard Cohen at a Day on the Green I would certainly not ever be attending another one.

Having said that, let me say this. John Mellencamp was awesome. I wouldn't call myself a huge fan, having always referred to him as Bruce Springsteen-lite. But I love Jack and Diane and happily sing along to I Want A Lover (That Won't Drive Me Crazy) (apparently Australia being the only place that was a hit) and Hurt So Good, among others.

The accoustic version of Lover was terrific, given that he seems happy never to sing that song again as long as he lives. The full-blown, OTT verison of Hurt So Good was amazing. But it was the other songs, the ones I had half-forgotten which blew me away; Paper In Fire, Check It Out, Small Town.

Despite the physical annoyances of the evening, it was a huge night.

PS Sheryl Crow was also great. Again, I'm not a big fan but I love Are You Strong Enough To Be My Man, which sounded great under the setting sun.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We're off to the Hunter Valley on Friday night (after Will's appearance in the much anticpated DanceFever competition) for an adult only weekend featuring a massage on Saturday morning, a leisurely lunch on Saturday afternoon and an evening of John Mellencamp under the stars. I'm not sure, but I think it doesn't get much better than that. (Unless possibly Robbie Williams was doing the massage in the nude and lunch was being personally prepared by Gordon Ramsay sans alleged mistress.)

Last week was stressful for various reasons and now we're sick. So hopefully our health with be regained shortly and we'll have a fabulous weekend to look forward to.
Big Jay and I are really sick today. I came down with a runny nose, headachey sort of cold on Sunday night which got slightly worse during yesterday. Then at 4:00 am we both woke up (well, I hadn't really slept much to that point) with vomiting and the other stuff (you know, both ends). Lucky we have two bathrooms, that's all I can say.

Dad (thank goodness for my dad and my mum who will literally bend over backwards, if necessary, to help us out) came and took the kids to their respective schools. Jay and I dosed on and off on the lounge unti lunchtime when we both realised we were feeling slightly better (vomiting had stopped around 9am). So we've been slothing around, drinking tea, eating bland toast, watching shit tv.

Finally I've had enough and pulled myself partially together to hang out some laundry, fold some other laundry and catch up on my blog.
It makes me really sad that Jeff Buckley is dead and Wes Carr won Australian Idol. I don't know why these things are at all connected but that was the first thought I had when Wes was announced as the winner. The silver lining is I would have been a lot sadder if Luke had won.

Australian Idol was dead to me after Roshani, Mark and Jonny went.

I've been listening to a lot of Jeff Buckley's Live at Sin-e double CD in the car lately. Sometimes I get a physical craving to hear it. The polished version of Lover You Should Have Come Over (on the Grace CD) is magic but the live version is emotion in a song. It knocks me out, spins me round and makes sad and glad to be alive. The other song I absolutely adore on that CD is a version of Bob Dylan's If You See Her, Say Hello.

I certainly have a preference for dark, possibly painful, love songs. There'd definitely be a pattern if I was to write a list.
Tom Petty's Freefalling is a song which makes me physically feel the pain of getting older. Not just getting older, but more like leaving my youth behind. The perceived freedom and mystery and possibility of youth. I wouldn't necessarily want to go back to being 16, but sometimes (like when I hear Freefalling) I want to feel like I did back then. Maybe it's the yearning I miss.

It's also a pretty fantastic song to sing along to when you're driving alone on a warm Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I think this gives you an idea of what we're dealing with here...

On the other hand, we also have this version...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My morning starts off well. Some exercise, a shower, you know.

Then Big Jay announces he is going to work and all hell breaks loose. Princess Cranky Pants goes into major meltdown. "Daddy, daddy, daddy... I want my daddy". Over and over again and VERY LOUD!

I try to ignore her, going about my business in the bathroom. The hysteria continues. I come into the lounge room to check that she is OK and she is standing in the doorway, the front door WIDE OPEN... and there I am in the nuddy. Shit!

Luckily our front door only opens onto the private lift lobby room shared by us and our next door neighbours in No. 14. They are an old couple whom we don't see very much. It would have been my luck to have old Bob come out at that moment to go for one of his bike rides.

Hastily semi-hiding my bits with one arm (a lot of bits and not enough arm) I crab walk to the door and pry it out of her little hands. She fights like a wild cat, tears spurting, screaming non-stop. The minute I get her away from the door she is back to it, trying to open it again. I have no option but to lock her (momentarily) in her room. She continues to scream and bang on the door.

Quickly I dress and come back to her. She has quietened down. I offer a cuddle and happily she sits on my lap while I get my daily morning fix of Jon and Kate plus 8. Daddy is forgotten.

How was your morning?
So I come across THIS and I straight away think "this will be a big pile of steaming poo, like a midday movie about teenage drug use but probably much worse".

But then I see HBO are doing it and I have hope. Not a lot of hope, but some. Enough that I will look forward to watching it eventually, rather than living in fear of the moment Anthony starts publicising it on the US chat shows.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It must be a very painful thing, having your Sex on Fire. Can't imagine really.

I can only assume we're talking about a late-night-in-the-nude-toast-making-incident-gone-very-wrong.
Do you know what the greatest job in the world is?

Apparently it's being a Chrisco representative. That's when you have your other poor white trash friends around to your caravan and you tell them how grouse Chrisco is and that. And then you convince them to sign up to the special plan where they pay a weekly amount to get their Christmas hamper delivered with the Winnie Blues and carton of VB, and pay twice as much as they would if they just went down to the shops and bought it. And then you get a commission and that.

That's what the nice lady on the ads says. It's on TV so it must be right.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The good 'ol Labor government here in NSW today cancelled plans for the proposed North-West train line. I wish someone had taken my bet that it wasn't ever going to happen all those months ago when they first announced it.

I'm not convinced that the other buggers are any better but I really really hope that the residents of this fair state will have had enough of being fucked over by the time the next election rolls around.

I don't know what they've done with all the money but I wish they'd check behind the cushions on the sofa because they have lost a hell of a lot of our cash and no-one seems keen to step forward and accept the blame for this teeny tiny little booboo.
I was a very happy little camper on Wednesday morning.

Almost by accident I ended up with four front row seats for Leonard Cohen playing at Centennial Vineyards, Bowral on 1 February 2009.

I may prefer his songwriting to his singing but the man is a friggin' legend. I can't believe I will actually get to see him perform live. Lucky lucky me!

[It's funny that just a few days before Big Jay and I had a discussion about going to less concerts in order to spend less money - our annual concert bill is HUUUUGGGEEE!!!. Then I go and buy four tickets to LC at $300 a pop and blow myself right out of the water. Let's just hope the Chili Peppers don't tour in 2009!]

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A couple of pics from the weekend...

My baby boy is growing up.

Marianna and I. I like to call her Gordon-ette Ramsay. She might not be able to cook like him (yet!) but she already has the attitude.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Parenting is really, really, really hard. I would give anything to get it right, or at least to get it better.
Thank you Gods of AFL. In a world of bad news, it's nice to get a good news story.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I've spent the last few days nutting out my trip to the Ukraine next year. My sister, my mum and I have been thinking/talking about it for some time. Since my dear sis has been in Europe/London for almost a year and likely to be there for a large part of next year the opportunity to meet up there was too good to overlook.

You see I left Odessa, the city of my birth, at the age of 4 in 1972 and I've never been back. Up until recently I've had little interest in going back. The former USSR has been a topic of both horror and mirth in our family and I've grown up with little respect and even less curiosity for this place. Since our children have come into our lives I have come to realise that I have more interest in their countries of birth (Guatemala and Colombia) than I have in my own.

So slowly my feelings have shifted and with Jules being in London I felt that if I didn't go now I would possibly miss the boat, especially of travelling with my mum who would be the ultimate tour guide to this mysterious, yet oddly familiar, city.

The flights are booked. Sydney to London on 31st May, 2009. One night in London, then Odessa via Vienna for seven nights. On the way back we have four nights in London before heading home.

I am so lucky to have this adventure to look forward to (and even luckier to have a husband who is happy to have sole charge of the kids for two weeks while I galavant around the world).
So on Tuesday I had my final post op visit with the gyno. Everything is fine, inside and out. All healed up and ready to go. Talked about the HRT option and I've decided to give it a try. The hot flushes are a bummer, mainly because they wake me up at night and it's starting to loose the novelty factor. So tomorrow I'll be trying my first HRT patch, keeping my fingers crossed for an instant result.

As I left his office I realised that was probably my last ever visit to a gyno of any kind. I don't have bits left that are of any interest to this sort of specialist. It was an odd feeling. Certainly a level of elation at the thought of never having another pap smear and/or period. But also some small hint of sadness. A door to a certain part of my life is now closed forever. No going back, no possibilities, no regrets.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Speaking of social problems...

If you're wondering what I get up to on Friday nights...

I wear giant paper bibs and eat my body weight in ribs.

Got a problem with that? How about some government sponsored ads warning about the dangers of eating ribs in public and how there's a real chance you'll leave the restaurant with sauce on your face. Now there's a public service announcement I'd like to see.
I've been thinking about alcohol. I don't drink much of it - occasional cocktail by the pool and possibly a few champagnes at my own birthday party - but nothing on a regular basis. I have mixed feelings about it. I don't like people drinking to excess (my ex-husband was prone to this problem and it's made me anxious around very drunk people), however my current husband is a very happy drunk which makes me anxious when he tells everyone he lays eyes on that he loves them, as in "I love you, mate!". But I do think it has a place in our social lives, a social lubricant, as it is called.

Yesterday on the radio they were talking about the Bathurst car races which are on this weekend. The police commander asked that people restrain themselves to ONE CARTON OF BEER PER PERSON PER DAY (that's 24 cans per 24 hour period). Holy shit. What sort of animals are we talking about here? That is bloody scary to someone like me who is likely to fall over after consuming one full beer, let alone 24. This is the ugly side of drinking which I totally despise. My inner anti-alcohol conservative side wants to scream "ban all alcohol, bad, bad, bad".

On the other hand we've had lots of these ads recently which show a group of dads around a bbq with beers in hand, one dad asks his son to grab him a beer. The kid goes to the fridge to get a beer, as he comes out of the fridge he turns into a man (the man he will become). Then he is cooking the bbq and asks his kid to get him a beer. There are also billboard ads which follow this theme. I guess they're telling us that setting an example of drinking in front of your children will turn your children into drinkers. Hmmm, I actually have a major problem with these ads. I think that setting an example of moderate social drinking is actually good for your children. Our children always see their dad and our friends sharing a few glasses of wine and/or beers when we have a bbq or go to someone's home for a meal. It's generally a normal part of the social event. Big Jay and most of our friends are light to moderate drinkers (except when they go on golfing weekends with the boys to the Gold Coast and it all ends with photographs of bottoms....) so I feel that these adults are showing our children that it is OK to enjoy a reasonable amount of alcohol in a social situation. If children didn't have that example they wouldn't understand what sort of relationship with alcohol is normal and socially acceptable. Of course drinking too much and/or behaving badly during and after drinking is also a very bad example for children but I don't think these ads are representing that.

These ads make me cranky with the nanny state and constant way in which we're monitored and behaviourally controlled. Because mainly it is the middle classes, who are so prone to guilt - especially where children are concerned - who are most likely to take on these messages. The (dare I say) working and non-working classes who IMHO are more likely to have drinking problems (and the behaviour problems which go along with them) are unlikely to take onboard these "subtle" advertising messages. So once again the middle classes carry the social burden - alcohol, eating, climate change, gambling, blah blah blah.

Gee, didn't think that would roll into a rant, but there you go. You can't always see the end from the beginning.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Never mind all this world financial crisis bullshit. Why isn't THIS the number one news story? More importantly, why didn't I know about it.

Nothing means anything any more.

Monday, October 06, 2008

I am sick today. A yucky flu-y thing which makes me feel like someone has broken all my bones and filled my head with cotton wool.

But worse than that, much worse. I am heart sick.

I almost can't bear to write the words.

Ryan O'Keefe is being traded this week to a Melbourne team. I don't know how I'll go on.

Life is cruel.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Will has been using my MP3 player to listen to the "maths music" which I have downloaded for him (these are maths learning songs which are proving very useful in helping him to learn his times tables, etc). Now that he has grown comfortable with using the gadget he has started working his way through my music - namely the Leonard Cohen/I'm Your Man CD. It warms my cockles to hear him singing along to If it be your will and Everybody knows, the adult lyrics sounding both sweet and odd coming from his mouth.

Some of you may have noticed that the Cancer Council is using the original Everybody knows (sung by L. Cohen) for their latest super gruesome anti-smoking ad. I don't really want the kids watching the ugly images but it does crack me up when they both run to the tv and stand in front of it, somberly singing along.

Speaking of brainwashing your children to like your music, a few weeks ago we were driving along and a Red Hot Chili Peppers' song came on the radio. I said to Will "do you know who this is?" and he looked at me like I was an idiot and said "yeah, it's the Red Hot Chili Peppers... my favourite band". Oh how my heart soared at that moment. Are there any sweeter words a mother can hear?

Which makes me think of the future. Of the unavoidable fall which is sure to follow such wonderful highs. What musical trend or subculture will my children detour into as teenagers, once my parental influence is not only watered down but defiantly avoided? As my parents couldn't imagine the punk and skinhead world I would fall into, I cannot imagine what variation of Emo, Death Metal or (much, much worse) Missy Higgins my children will embrace.

One thing is guaranteed. No matter how open minded we, as parents, think we are our children will undoubtedly find ways of challenging us throughout their teens. Is it harder for children of "modern" parents (as opposed to more conservative ones) to achieve that shock factor - emotionally, musically, culturally? Will our kids have to push the envelope a lot further? After all my parents were shocked and revolted at my obsession with KISS, whereas I encourage that same obsession in my children. I want my kids to know the joys of singing [yelling] Detroit Rock City while driving with the windows down.

What will my children find to shock me? I know whatever it is is incubating out there somewhere, getting ready to hatch, as Will inches ever closer to his thirteenth birthday.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Some new pics.
(1) Move over Federer, here comes Will Curtis...
(2) Princess Grumblebum receives her certificate from Phizz Kids this morning (notice the world's smallest (?) genuine Red Hot Chili Peppers T-shirt).
Will and Lehmo (on Sydney's Triple M FM on drive time afternoons) were talking about noisy foods at cinemas. They were asking people for suggestions for quiet food to substitute for all that rustly, crunchy popcorn, chips, etc. I almost wet myself when someone rang up with the suggestion of a glucose drip. It doesn't get quieter than that. I laughed so hard I had the children a little worried. I guess you had to be there.
If I hear that one more tv show has been FAST TRACKED from the US I will have to kill someone... well at least rant and rave like a maniac about how annoying and repetitive this phrase is. You can not turn on the tv without an overly dramatic voice over telling me that this, that and every bloody other show has been fast tracked. I gave that giant piece of SHIT Fringe a go (because a show that's been fucking fast tracked must be fantastic) ... and guess what? It wasn't. It was crappola of the highest order. I have now learnt my lesson. Fast tracked is now my code word for BULLOCKS.
Just quickly. It's been 4 weeks since THE OP. All good here. Feeling great, energy levels back to normal, possibly better than before. Still some numbness, tingly-ness, itchy-ness around the scar and lower tummy area. But for the most part I can't feel anything [bad]. I can even lay down on my tummy fairly comfortably now.

Of course the hot flushes continue. They are starting to bug me, mainly the waking up during the night part. So it's more the disruption to my sleep that's the problem, rather than the hot flushes themselves. Will talk to the doctor about it at my 6 week check up. Not really liking the idea of taking HRT so much but have heard good things about it from friends so starting to lean towards it a little.

Looking forward to starting to exercise a bit more. Hopefully will get the green light from the doc in a couple of weeks.
Yesterday I heard Julia Gillard say [something very close to]: "... under our new employment laws employees will be able to negotiate to have their employers make regular donations to climate advocacy groups...".

The lunatics really have taken over the asylum.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

You know my theory that politics should run on a similar system to jury duty, i.e. all adults over 18 get called up to act as a minister for a six month period. So you'd get a letter in the mail stating "Joe Bloggs, you are hereby the Federal Minister for Education from 1 July - 31 December, 2008. Please present at Parliament House Canberra on 30 June."

Sure there is a certain percentage of the population who is illiterate, psycopathic, mentally unstable but surely we can't do any worse.
Just a quick post for myself. A little note for the future. It's now three weeks since THE OP. I'm feeling really good. My energy levels are pretty much back to normal. There is still a little discomfort around the scar area but it's getting better every day. I can now sleep on both my sides and almost lay on my tummy - but it's still not really comfortable to do that so I'm avoiding it for now. The hot flushes are there and mildly annoying. They wake me up throughout the night. But I'm apparently getting used to the reduced sleep and I don't feel tired when I wake up and my energy levels are high(ish) throughout the day.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We had big adventures at our house last night. We even made the papers - look HERE if you don't believe me.

Marianna woke me at about 11:40 am calling for me from her room. I called for her to come but she said she was scared so I went to her room. She was standing in her doorway and I told her to go to my room. I could hear some sort of siren outside so I pulled up her blind and there, before me, was a scene straight out of a disaster movie.

Bennelong Road was filled with fire trucks and there were firemen and residents walking all over the road and the circular driveway at the front of our building. It was like Pitt Street out there. I watched for a moment trying to figure out what was going on. Eventually I thought it must be a gas leak or something like that. I woke up Jay and asked him to go down and see what was happening.

He came back to report that the penthouse in the block next to ours (there are two buildings which make up the Mariners Cove complex) was on fire. We both went out onto the kids' balcony from where we could see the top of the building next door. There was no fire at this stage but it was dark and there was smoke. We could see firemen with torches searching inside.

Sirens kept coming as police and ambulance arrived. It was a fascinating scene. I put on my dressing gown and sat on the balcony for a while watching. It was really quite entertaining (at the time I didn't know that someone had been injured). The smell of smoke made me feel a bit sick after a while and I decided to go to bed around 1:00 am.

This morning it was on the news. Ridiculous what a tiny thrill I get from seeing the building next door to ours on the tv. 15 minutes indeed.
It kills me to saying anything positive about Kid Rock. In fact it kills me to even mention his name. Just the mere thought of him makes me slightly sick in the stomach.

However, I have to note that there is something about his new song. It's not that I like it. I don't. It's just that it throws me into a certain state of nostalgia which I find enjoyable. It sends me back to a summer in the early 80s which I'm sure at the time was horrifically angst ridden but from the safe distance of 25+ years it has softened round the edges . Now I cast my mind back to a golden time, a hot summer filled with girl/woman experiences and thrilling, teen-magnified adventures.

Fuck you Kid Rock.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What the fuck is going on with NSW state politics right now?

It's tough to realise that your underlying fear that politicians are incompetent power seeking bufoons (at best) and downright evil corrupt mafia types (at worst) is the reality. Generally I want to go through life poking fun at the pollies but giving them little thought in my day to day life. I have to say though with what's been happening during the last week or so I am downright afraid of what damage these goons are capable of. It is impossible to believe we have to wait TWO MORE YEARS before the voters of this state can say enough is enough. However it is these same voters who brought back these dickheads at the last election so I am not fully optimistic for the future.

How fucked up will they leave the beautiful state of New South Wales? That is the important question right now.
Well, here I am, just over two weeks since the BIG OP. So far, so good. I am generally pain free but I do have regular moments of discomfort, various aches around my tummy area which change and move day to day. Also in the last few days I'm developing some back ache which I can only attribute to my tremendously slack stomach [non]muscles. I am looking forward to feeling stronger so I can start a regular exercise routine to improve my overall fitness and (hopefully) protect my back.

I drove on Friday which was a big milestone. I was scared shitless that I wouldn't be able to drive for 6 weeks but after getting the go-ahead from my doctor on Tuesday when I had a post-op check up I was hanging out to get behind the wheel. All went well and I'm happy to report I'll be driving myself, and the kidlings, to work (and school) tomorrow.

I have obviously entered menapause as I am experiencing hot flushes in a major way (here's one right now). Mainly they hit at night when I'll wake up feeling very hot and bothered. They are certainly annoying but nothing I can't live with. Summer should be interesting but I guess that's what air conditioning and swimming pools are for. At the moment there are no other symptoms to report.

Apart from the tiredness. It's hard to be specific but I get more tired more quickly than I did before the op. For example, this morning we did the grocery shopping and came home and put everything away. A total of 2 1/2 hours all up. Usually I would then get on with it, doing housework, etc. Today I was stuffed. I really needed to sit down and read the paper and do nothing for a few hours because even the idea of hanging out a load of washing seemed too tough. The tiredness is a well documented symptom of post op recovery and I am hoping it will slowly fade over the next few weeks. It's hard to get through a busy working mum's day when your energy levels are reduced by 75%.

Mum went home on Friday after staying with us since I got out of hospital. While I have been able to do most things myself since coming home mum was really my safety net. I felt comfortable knowing she was here in case something went pear shaped. Having her here was nowhere near as difficult as I feared it would be. I'm not saying we didn't have our moments of pissing each other off, that goes without saying really. But overall we both made an effort to get on and even when sparks flew they were generally extinguished pretty quickly. I am grateful to have my mum still around and healthy enough to be an active part of our lives. Any complaints pale into insignificance next to that important fact.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

(Thanks, for such an apt and hilarious card, Mel!)
I'm back home gentle reader after having my girlie internal bits removed and so far so good.
To rewind a little. The week leading up to the op (i.e. last week) I got myself into a bit of a flap. I had been cruising along, feeling good, or at least very calm, about the upcoming operation. Then I thought I'd do some online research and googled "hysterectomy blog". Well, didn't that open up a bit of a Pandora's Box. I read some good stuff but also some worrying and downright crazy stuff. My anxiety levels grew and grew until on Tuesday night I was a blubbering mess, wondering if I was doing the right thing and scared shitless about the aftermath. The pain, the recovery period and the big unknown of menapause were weighing very heavily on my mind. Gradually I regained a little bit of mental control and by Friday morning I was back to being cool and calm.
Once I was at the hospital early Friday afternoon the feeling was somewhat like being a ball in a pinball machine. I was admitted and then bounced from one nurse to the next, each asking my name, date of birth and procedure. There wasn't much time to get worried by that point. Before I knew it I was in the theatre and watching the machine which goes "PING". One thing I do love about operations is the way aneasthetic works, like the OFF button. Fantastic! A second later I'm groggily waking up, as always experiencing that tiny bud of awe and happines that I had survived and was alive.
I have to comment on the level of nursing care at the Sans (Seventh Day Advenist Hospital at Wahroonga). It is superb. On Friday night as they settled me into my room the lovely nurses were so gentle and compassionate, making sure I was comfortable. [I could never be a nurse, my gut instinct is to tell sick people to "snap out of it".]
I was attached to a pain relief button which I could press whenever I had pain. I was looking forward to using this little gadget but to be honest I only pressed the button a couple of times late on Friday night, after that I simply didn't need it. Waking up on Saturday morning I realised I wasn't in very much pain at all and by lunchtime Saturday I had been un-attached from the pain button and the drip and the catheter. I was truly amazed at that point at how well I was feeling.
By Sunday the boredom was setting in. I was feeling much better than I had been expecting and there I was, trapped in a hospital room with a tv and a stack of magazines and books. I read two books in two days and went through all my magazines. Monday I realised how dire my situation was... day time tv is really not fit for human consumption. The worst part was I was watching all these cooking shows and then facing hospital food at meal time.
Any old how, it's now Thursday morning and I've been home since yesterday morning. I am feeling quite good. There is certainly a little bit of pain/discomfort around my lower tummy area. When I laugh or caugh there is the strange sensation that all my guts are going to fall out (had the same feeling when I had my appendix out 20 years ago). Overall though I am feeling good. My energy levels are good. I could be sleeping better but that's only because I am a side sleeper and currently that's not a comfortable option. Sleeping on my back, which is the only possibility at the moment, just isn't my preferred position so I wake often during the night. However, since I'm doing so little actual physical activity I am not tired.
I am planning on returning to work a week early, i.e. next week. At least for a few hours a couple of days next week. I'm very happy about that as I have been very worried about slipping far behind on my work load. But I'll still be taking it easy for the next couple of weeks.
At this point I feel that I have paid a relatively low pain price for the benefits I have gained: no more periods EVER - woohoo!!!; no more pap smears and no chance of either ovarian or cervical cancer. No more ovarian cysts and/or fibroids.
Hysterectomies RULE!

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm a little confused. They are trialling this "user pays" plastic bag system in areas of Victoria. OK.

So who paid for them before? Were they "donated" to us, the consumer? Were Woolies and Coles et al providing them to us as a charitable act? Filed under "donations" in their accounts?

Another of the many examples of how we are getting fucked over financially under the heading of "saving the planet". That list is going to get very long I fear before some common sense is restored (I am an optimist if nothing else).

I agree that plastic bags are really bad for the oceans and waterways in particular. I have nothing against the "enviro" bags (of which I literally have a thousand) it's just that I use the plastic shopping bags I collect for rubbish purposes. If I didn't get these from the supermarket for "FREE" I would just have to buy a bag full of them anyway. So nett benefit for the planet = ZERO. Surely a biodegradable plastic bag with a limited life span (which I'm sure I saw being used a few years ago) would be a better option. Sort of like on Mission Impossible... this plastic bag will self destruction in 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 months...
Enough of this Colin the Whale bullshit. Seriously, do we need to have it as the number fucking news story all week? Sure it's sad blah blah (not really) but this stuff happens all the time out in the wild. But I guess if it's not on TV it's not real. Let's not even mention the thousands, millions of children who die of starvation and curable illnesses all over the world each year because apparently there isn't enough money and/or interest to fund their salvation. Strangely no-one seemed to blink an eye at the thought of spending up to $60 million to get the armed forces involved in taking this friggin' baby whale out to a [potential] passing pod of other whales so that it could [potentially, chances low] be adopted by another whale. Now the morons are yelling we haven't done enough. Sheesh!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I was so pissed off about the morons with the baby last night that I actually forgot to write about the main event. Sheesh. Those people do my head in.

Any old how, David Sedaris was hilarious. Hearing him read one of his own stories is especially wonderful because he gives it just the right "voice", i.e. (to quote him) a "beyond faggy" voice. David Sedaris really is "beyond faggy". He is one of the gay-est gay men I have ever come across. His demeanor, his turn of phrase, everything about him screams "GAY" and it's such a wonderful thing. For someone who doesn't, sadly, have any current gay male friends I am the biggest fag hag. I would literally kill to have a close gay male friend - and if he happend to be David Sedaris I would be the happiest woman alive. Imagine the sheer bliss of having David Sedaris AND Augusten Burroughs as your gay friends. Oh, the witty banter and the scathing character assassinations.

His "Nicaragua" story killed me. The ability to so beautifully, so hilariously, put into words his observations on people and life, is sheer genius.
Excuse me while I yell for a moment...


Last night I am sitting in the beautiful Concert Hall of the even more beautiful Sydney Opera House to hear one of my favourite authors, David Sedaris, talk about his book When You're Engulfed in Flames. My anticipation levels are high. Judith Lucy (whom I also adore) comes out to do the introduction (oh joy!).

But what is that strange noise I hear? Is it a cough? Is it someone with a strange voice, a la Travis from Big Brother, making odd noises? Anxiously I turn around and lo and behold DIRECTLY BEHIND ME is a stupid couple and the stupid fucking woman is cradling a baby who is making gurgling, semi-crying baby fucking noises. My eyes bulge and my pulse quickens, I have a hard-to-fight urge to take this couple out onto the pebblecrete forecourt and repeatedly smash their moronic heads against the ground until the realise the error of their selfish ways.

But instead I look away in disgust and, what do I see downstairs, but another stupid couple pushing their giant costs-a-month's-wages fucking Bugaboo monstrosity into the lower hall. Is the world mad? YES! Are people too stupid to live? YES! Is the entire population of the entire universe hell bent on stopping me enjoying any and every event I go to? YES! and double YES!

I can not remember the last time I went to any event which involved paying money to sit in a hall and listen to someone speak, sing, play music or even watch a goddamned movie without someone else thinking it acceptable to bring their babies, talk on the mobile, talk to their neighbour and/or constantly go in and out of the hall.

I'm all for involving children in social events but there has to be some measure of common fucking sense. Small babies and toddlers are not controllable; they cry, scream and make annoying noises for no discernable reason. What's worse is that their moronic parents do not think it necessary to remove their noise-making children and therefore allow a hall full of paying customers to enjoy the performance. Shit NO, these people are happy to disturb hundreds and thousands of people for their own selfish, idiotic needs.

Honestly, I'm THIS far away from starting a vigilante squad and/or forming a political party with NO CHILDREN IN THEATRES as my main platform. Send all political donations to...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Some recent pics (mainly for dear Jules in London)

Gorgeous boy!

The Terminator

Our day at Taronga Zoo yesterday
I think part of the reason I missed the kids so much was the book I was reading, A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs. I have read all his other books and while his writing style is obviously the same nothing prepared me for how hard this story of his early years, before the Running with Scissors period, would hit me.

Really it was just a story of a boy wanting his father's love and acceptance and getting nothing back, worse than nothing. Psychological games, fear, rejection, confusion... these were the themes of Augusten's early life, living with a psychopathic father and a crazy mother.

With each chapter my need to hug my children grew and by the last page it took all my self control not to ring Jason and ask him to pick me up just so I could cuddle my babies and tell them "I love you".

When I see Augusten speak about this book in a week and a half's time I will also have to fight an overwhelming urge to put my arms around him and say "very much I love you", though the person from whom he longed to hear those words is now dead and can never repent for the horror which was Augusten's childhood.
On Friday I returned home from three nights away at Solar Springs Health Retreat. It's a place for middle class women to "get away", eat some healthy food, get a massage and a facial and basically recharge the batteries. Having recently returned from Fiji I was probably not really in need of any battery recharging at this point but my friend M asked me along and who am I to say "no" to a few days of child-free R&R.

I had a lovely time: a bit of yoga, a facial, a meditation bushwalk (I never realised how difficult it would be for me to be quiet for an hour, almost blew a gasket to be honest), reading a book in front of the open fire, lots of chatting. What more could a girl ask for?

I was surprised at how much I missed my family though. I couldn't stop thinking about the kids. Of course they were driving me nuts within 10 minutes of being home, but I did yearn for them while I was away. Weird!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm totally buggered but triumphant!

Today I completed the City to Surf half-marathon - walking, of course - in 3 hours, 25 minutes. (Only slightly outdone by the winner - at 41 minutes, 19 seconds.) There were very old people and little children passing me by.

But I don't care. I did it! I've never walked so far in my life and my legs ache in ways I couldn't have imagined.

It was worth it because I have hopefully, along with my wonderful ACC walking buddies, raised some serious money for Australians Caring for Children.

Here's yours truly at the finish line a few hours ago (just in case you don't believe me).

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Marianna's favourite word right now is POO. She just can't get enough of it. The funniest thing is how she includes it in her favourite songs by using POO instead of another word, e.g. Twinkle twinkle little POO (which has to be shouted for special effect).

So last night as I was saying "good night" to her I asked her what book daddy had read to her (Jason is currently reading to her every night while I read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, chapter by chapter, to Will). She was all snuggled into her pillow with her quilt pulled up near her chin. She whispered something I couldn't hear.

"What was that?" I asked.

"POO!" she said.

"Dad read you a book about POO?"

"About POO... and WILLIES... and BUM BUMS!" she said, trying not to giggle and with a very evil glint in her eyes.

"Oh, that sounds nice," I said, backing out of the room trying so hard not to laugh out loud.

Just in case you thought we weren't doing a very good job in the parenting department.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Because this always gives me a giggle.

The Man Song
We went to see the new Batman film last Friday night. Not much to say really. Yes, Heath Ledger was amazing and really much much better than the movie as a whole. The movie itself was OK, nothing more, nothing less. I do love a super hero movie but I find the new Batman franchise with Christian Bale takes itself way too seriously. [If you want serious Christian Bale see American Psycho, now that's a cool movie.]

Now I'm just hanging out for Hellboy 2. I like my super hero movies twisted and with a large dose of black humour.
Will has been asking a lot about death lately. I think the deaths of our cat and our dog (both rehoused since we moved into the apartment) recently has brought it on. But he also mentions the death of his Poppy (Jason's dad) and Baba Ada (my great-grandmother).

Last night he asked about going to heaven. I had to be honest with him and say I don't believe in heaven, not in the biblical or religious sense. In fact I believe I don't know what happens when you die. I hope that you go somewhere (we say the moon) where all the people you love who have died are and just hang out but that is just a comforting daydream. I have no way of knowing what really happens and I have no theological comfort blanket in which to wrap myself. That's fine for me as an adult but I struggle with explaining my thoughts and feelings to Will. I know he just wants to hear something simple and something comforting to help ease his sadness and fear.

I know he has fear about death and about getting old and getting sick - the two main causes of death according to my explanations (and reality, I suppose). When he brings up this conversation I am overwhelmed with a soaring excitement that my son is maturing and is able to have and grapple with these complex thoughts. I am also overwhelmed with sadness that one day we will have to leave each other in this world and that is a fact no-one can deny. There is also a huge feeling of inadequacy at being a parent and having this responsibility of bringing up a child when I feel I know so little about the world and about life.

I want to provide him with a sense of comfort and security and yet even as I say the words "mummy will always be with you" I know how untrue those words are. I can't guarantee that, not even for the rest of today, let alone into the unforseen future. I tell him that we are not old or sick and that we'll be together for a long, long time but in my heart I know I am lying for there is only one thing I am certain of, our ultimate fate is not in our hands. These thoughts make me sad for the parents who have lost children and the children who have lost parents.

I always try to be philosophical about death, it is life's only guarantee. I try not to be afraid. But sitting with my gorgeous son in his cosy bedroom at night sometimes I allow myself to catch a glimpse of the demons hiding around the corner, and I am afraid.

Monday, August 04, 2008

I'm going to need a quiet September because on Friday 29 August I'm finally going in to have a hysterectomy. This has been in the planning stages for some time because of yet another ovarian cyst (or two) and a gazillion fibroids.

I'm pretty excited to be getting it done and out of the way. As I see it my downstairs girly bits have done absolutely nothing to help me become a mother so their technical purpose has never been utilised. All they have done is cause me almost thirty years of monthly pain and discomfort. I am happy to be getting rid of it all if for no other reason than it will stop my dear husband from saying "Obviously you have your period" when we are disagreeing about something.

The only things that are worrying me right now are the recovery period and the prospect of early menapause. I am not very good at being a patient; I am the one who does stuff, I get things done. It is very difficult for me to accept help and take the back seat. I am very grateful that my mum is going to come and stay with us as long as needed but I am also terrified of how I am going to deal with it. I am fervently hoping that the 6 week recovery period talked about in the informative brochure my gyno gave me is worst case scenario. As far as the menapause side of it, well I guess it's just fear of the unknown. I mean it's just bringing forward the inevitable so it's something I would have to deal with sooner or later. It's just the suddeness of it which will be strange: go to sleep with a body full of estrogen doing its stuff and wake up a dried up old crone. Just joking. I hope. Bring on the HRT.
It's a sad time to be a Sydney Swans' supporter right now.

I suppose these are the times which test our loyalty.

Anyway, I'm going to need a quiet September, so it's probably for the best.
A quick update on the previous post. Both children were interviewed by police and social services. Apparently the situation has been caught just in time as it appears the boy had been "grooming" her for some time and had been planning full sexual intercourse. It's a horrible story.

The mother said she had been leaving the girl with this boy in the mornings, as a before school carer, for a year or so. Not taking away from the horrificness of the situation but I can not imagine leaving either of my children with a babysitter so young. Personally I do not think 12 or 13 is old enough to be babysitting. I don't believe a child of that age is mature enough to deal with a crisis situation should it arise. Who could imagine that a young boy of that age could dream up such an awful fate for the young girl in his care?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On the Guatemalan Adoption e-group I belong to there is currently a big discussion going on because one of the member's 7 year old daughter was sexually abused by a neighbour's 13 year old son. It's a horrible story. The lady concerned is being very cautious about how she proceeds and while she wants help for her daughter and her family she also seems to want to somewhat protect the boy, or at least she isn't keen to rush off to the police.

The responses to this have been very harsh. People are insisting that she go to the police, someone even wrote "once a pedophile always a pedophile". Whoa. I am almost as horrified at the reactions as the offence. (Let me clarify by saying there hasn't been actual intercourse but what the poor mother is calling "penetration with toys".)

Now I'm not saying it isn't an awful situation but I am thinking:

a) This could be my son.

b) This could be my daughter.

c) How many of us were involved in some sort of sex-type play as children which our parents never found out about and which was little more than silly experimentation which certainly hasn't left us scarred for life? I certainly was. Would our parents have even considered calling the police should some of it been discovered?

d) Is our society's paranoia and hypersensitivity over sexuality and pedophilia and the conflicting messages of over-sexualisation causing us to go nuts where children and genitals are concerned?

e) Is a 13 year old boy who coerces a 7 year old girl into sexualised play necessarily a sexual predator or a pedophile or a criminal? As a society do we seal his fate by casting judgement on him as a monster? How would my feelings sway if he was my son or she was my daughter?

These are tough emotive questions but judging by many of the responses I have read as a society we are rabidly keen to crucify a young boy who may be a monster or may just be a stupid, naughty boy. I don't pray but I do fervently hope that my own children are never unlucky enough to be "victims" or stupid and unlucky enough to be "monsters".
I wanted to comment on Estelle Getty's passing last week. She was a big part of The Golden Girls, a tv program which really meant something to me, and continues to do so. Even now when I catch half an episode it still makes me feel "something". Yes, it was a corny show in the typical Hollywood sitcom tradition. But the theme of the show was something which has and always will mean something special to me - female friendship. In my life it plays a starring role and I dare say it's the bedrock of society throughout history and throughout the world.

Rest in peace, Estelle. Thank you for being my friend.*

* You just know I had to put that in somewhere.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm really glad Terri won Big Brother. Mainly as she is a woman and there have been mainly male winners (and not particularly deserving ones, e.g. 2006 winner Jamie being one of my least favourite). Also, I can relate much more to her these days, as I'm sadly much closer to her 52 years than I am to runner up Rory's 22 years).

Speaking of Rory, he is a great example of why I hate the smart arses like Nobbi and want them evicted. When Gretel used to host BB she used to say "vote to keep in the housemates which make things interesting in the house". I suppose shit-stirrer Nobbi (and those like him in the past, say Paul) do make things "interesting" but what they also do with their domineering Alpha male bullshit behaviour is intimidate other males and keep them "down". Therefore as viewers we don't really get to know people like Rory until they have some breathing room once dicks like Nobbi have been evicted.

Since Nobbi went (and not a minute too soon) Rory has really come out and his personality got a chance to be explored a bit more. And I grew to really like him. I guess he reminded me a great deal of my Big Jay when I first met him almost 16 years ago (sans dreadlocks of course). A great big real Aussie bloke, a little rough round the edges but with a huge heart of gold.

Well, that tells you that I have way too much spare time on hands to think so deeply about shit like that. No wonder I never quite manage to catch up on the real pressing issues in my life.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I really love Jon and Kate plus 8. I find it entertaining and awe-inspiring. I find it helps me feel better about my own parenting skills (or lack thereof). When I'm feeling down and/or out of control (which is a fair bit of the time) I tend to think "it could be worse, we could be Jon and Kate and have 8 little critters running us ragged". Everything in life is relative, after all.

But apart from all that I just really like Jon and Kate. They just seem like my kind of people. They are REAL, unlike those annoying bloody Duggars whose holier-than-thou carry on makes me feel sick (and terribly inadequate).

I guess the difference is I want to hang out with Jon and Kate, they'd be cranky and fun and hilarious and you could say "I could kill my kid" and they'd know you mean it and at the same time love your kids more than anything. As oppossed to the Duggars who I'd just want to take a pick axe to because they'd be saying God things to me all day long and yapping on about children being a miracle and a gift from God, blah blah blah.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sadly I think I predicted this long before little Everly was even born. The photos are so cute though.

Some people have itchy feet, can't stay in one spot for too long. I'm afraid Anthony just has itchy penis (well, you know, NOT in the medical sense). I mean poor little Everly is only 9 months old, so he didn't give it a super long go, did he.

Nevermind, onwards and upwards (very apt for dear AK). Hope he's a better dad than he is a partner.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I spend a lot of blog time complaining about my children.

Here I just want to take a moment to say how sweet, gorgeous and precious they are.

Last night, as we were slinking around the house, tidying up after an afternoon of deep humiliation watching the Swans' being kicked in the guts by the piss poor Hawks with our Hawk loving neighbours, I poked my head into the kids' wing and there they were, my little angels, playing happily with the Swans balloons we had somewhat optimistically blown up earlier in the day. Later again, as I put laundry away in their wardrobes, they sat together at Marianna's Dora the Explorer table and drew pictures, quietly working away together, occasionally exchanging a comment or a giggle.

These beautiful moments make my heart swell and my emotions soar.
Over three years ago I came upon a curious thing called a BLOG. It belonged to my cyber friend Julie who was emerging from an infertility saga (which I could relate to) and moving into an adoption from Guatemala saga (which I could also relate to). I loved her writing style and her wonderful sense of humour. Her blog was a joy to read and it made me think I could write something similar. Thus Deep Kick Girl was born.

I haven't been checking Julie's blog lately because she had stopped writing for sometime and I sort of started forgetting to check in. For some reason last night I checked back in and I'm so glad (and sad) that I did. She talked about the death of Andrea Collins-Smith the woman behind Punk Rock Mommy. It is worth reading just for her final entry, written from her death bed. It is one of the saddest, most beautiful, moving and uplifting things I have ever read.

Please take a moment if you can.
RIP Big Brother.

I've hated you, I've loved you, I'll miss you.

Friday, July 11, 2008

... and furthermore (while I'm up here on my very spacious, lonely bandwagon)...

From The Australian "Cut & Paste" July 9, 2008

Garnaut might be right, give or take a trillion dollars

ABC political editor Chris Uhlmann, who trained for the priesthood, bares his soul on climate change on Insiders.

As a former seminarian, one of the things that strikes me about this debate is its theological nature. That's essentially that we have sinned against the environment and that we are now being punished, and the only way we can escape that punishment is to wear a hairshirt for the rest of our lives and hope that in the next life, and in our children's lives, and in our children's children's lives, that things will get better.

Now, I'm willing to sign up for that. But this is a very long caravan and there are plenty of lunatics attached to the end of it.

I do not believe every proposition that's been put. When the weather department can tell me what the weather is going to be like next Friday with any certainty and Treasury can get to within a million dollars of what the surplus is going to be next year, I'll believe an economic model that marries those two things and casts them out over a hundred years.

I'll make one prediction: that whatever number (Ross) Garnaut puts on where we'll be in 2100, it will be at least a trillion dollars either way wrong.

EXACTLY right! How many millions, trillions, gazillions are we spending on this nonsense because no-one has the balls, especially now that we've travelled down the road someway and an admission at a high level could be a tad embarrassing, to stand up and say ENOUGH OF THIS BULLSHIT?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Amen, praise the Lord. Someone who sees the light.

GLOBAL VIEW By BRET STEPHENS (in The Wall Street Journal)

Global Warming as Mass Neurosis July 1, 2008; Page A15

Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the mass hysteria phenomenon known as global warming. Much of the science has since been discredited. Now it's time for political scientists, theologians and psychiatrists to weigh in.

What, discredited? Thousands of scientists insist otherwise, none more noisily than NASA's Jim Hansen, who first banged the gong with his June 23, 1988, congressional testimony (delivered with all the modesty of "99% confidence").

The New True Believers
But mother nature has opinions of her own. NASA now begrudgingly confirms that the hottest year on record in the continental 48 was not 1998, as previously believed, but 1934, and that six of the 10 hottest years since 1880 antedate 1954. Data from 3,000 scientific robots in the world's oceans show there has been slight cooling in the past five years, never mind that "80% to 90% of global warming involves heating up ocean waters," according to a report by NPR's Richard Harris.

The Arctic ice cap may be thinning, but the extent of Antarctic sea ice has been expanding for years. At least as of February, last winter was the Northern Hemisphere's coldest in decades. In May, German climate modelers reported in the journal Nature that global warming is due for a decade-long vacation. But be not not-afraid, added the modelers: The inexorable march to apocalypse resumes in 2020.

This last item is, of course, a forecast, not an empirical observation. But it raises a useful question: If even slight global cooling remains evidence of global warming, what isn't evidence of global warming? What we have here is a nonfalsifiable hypothesis, logically indistinguishable from claims for the existence of God. This doesn't mean God doesn't exist, or that global warming isn't happening. It does mean it isn't science.

So let's stop fussing about the interpretation of ice core samples from the South Pole and temperature readings in the troposphere. The real place where discussions of global warming belong is in the realm of belief, and particularly the motives for belief. I see three mutually compatible explanations.

The first is as a vehicle of ideological convenience. Socialism may have failed as an economic theory, but global warming alarmism, with its dire warnings about the consequences of industry and consumerism, is equally a rebuke to capitalism. Take just about any other discredited leftist nostrum of yore – population control, higher taxes, a vast new regulatory regime, global economic redistribution, an enhanced role for the United Nations – and global warming provides a justification. One wonders what the left would make of a scientific "consensus" warning that some looming environmental crisis could only be averted if every college-educated woman bore six children: Thumbs to "patriarchal" science; curtains to the species.

A second explanation is theological. Surely it is no accident that the principal catastrophe predicted by global warming alarmists is diluvian in nature. Surely it is not a coincidence that modern-day environmentalists are awfully biblical in their critique of the depredations of modern society: "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." That's Genesis, but it sounds like Jim Hansen.

And surely it is in keeping with this essentially religious outlook that the "solutions" chiefly offered to global warming involve radical changes to personal behavior, all of them with an ascetic, virtue-centric bent: drive less, buy less, walk lightly upon the earth and so on. A light carbon footprint has become the 21st-century equivalent of sexual abstinence.

Finally, there is a psychological explanation. Listen carefully to the global warming alarmists, and the main theme that emerges is that what the developed world needs is a large dose of penance. What's remarkable is the extent to which penance sells among a mostly secular audience. What is there to be penitent about?

As it turns out, a lot, at least if you're inclined to believe that our successes are undeserved and that prosperity is morally suspect. In this view, global warming is nature's great comeuppance, affirming as nothing else our guilty conscience for our worldly success.

In "The Varieties of Religious Experience," William James distinguishes between healthy, life-affirming religion and the monastically inclined, "morbid-minded" religion of the sick-souled. Global warming is sick-souled religion.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I know it's wrong to covet a handbag that would cover our grocery bill for 6 months + but I want this bag sooooo bad.

It's a Fendi "To You" bag and I found it on Bluefly for US$3,176 (that's 20% off RR). I heard Kyle talking about Jackie O's ugly new bag, looked it up and now I just have to have it.

I can't believe there isn't a cheap copy on Ebay.

As a matter of fact there is something wrong with me!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I have some alarming news to report.

Aliens (or possibly the CIA) have kidnapped the Sydney Swans and replaced them with bumbling look-alikes who have obviously never played the noble game of AFL; these imposters don't seem to be able to pass or even pick up the ball, they can't run or tackle and find it impossible to kick a goal.

Obviously as a Swans' supporter I am deeply concerned by this development and can only hope that the authorities are able to find the Swans and return them to us before next week's game against Hawthorn.

If you've seen Barry Hall, Ryan O'Keefe or even Spida Everitt wondering around dazed and confused in your suburb could you please contact the authorities as soon as possible.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

I subscribe to the Gleebooks weekly email which tells me what events they have coming up. Very occassionally something great comes along, e.g. Ian Rankin talking about the last Inspector Rebus book.

Each week I trawl through the book readings and author evenings and approx. 98% of them are hard-line lefty bollocks and global warming shite. So it serves me right for deleting last week's email without evening glancing at it.

When I finally read this week's update I found that only a few tickets were left for AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS and DAVID SEDARIS.

What. The. Fuck?

Two of my very favourite (gay American) authors talking about their new books within two weeks of each other in August. So I rang early Friday morning and managed to nab two tickets to each event.

Happy happy joy joy!

Any fans out there want to join me?
We went to see Lenny Henry at the State Theatre last night. It still blows my mind that such a gorgeous piece of old architecture and internal decor has been allowed to survive. It is always an extra thrill to be going to see an artist at this venue.

Lenny was fan-bloody-tastic. He is such a funny, talented man. Not only is he very funny but he can sing too. What is it with comedians who can sing? Jason Alexander, now Lenny.

I am in awe of talented people. Probably because I can't sing, dance, play an instrument or even tell a half decent joke. I guess that's why talented people are revered and we line up to pay big dollars to see and hear them. The rest of us just have to make do with shuffling through our mediocre lives, warmed by a few brief moments in the company of the "special" ones.

Fuck me. How did a post about Lenny Henry turn into such a morose load of bullshit? Sorry.
I become Santa's Little Helper when I hear Global Warming bollocks on the media. Blah blah blah blah. Just as well, because when I do tune in I start to giggle uncontrolably.

Apparently the Emperor is still very much naked.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Some people are just fucked.

Let me tell you a story.

Marianna goes to day care at Acre Woods Day Care Centre in Gladesville. It's located in a complex of industrial units. There are maybe a dozen cleary marked parking spots right out the front, stating who the parking spots belong to and that they are for dropping off and collecting of children.

Across the driveway from the Centre is a gym which has it's own set of parking spaces. Not a day goes by that there aren't some cars parked in the Day Care Centre's parking spots which obviously belong to people using the gym. During the main part of the day this isn't an issue but in the mornings and late afternoons it is because there are often no parking spots outside the Centre for parents to use.

There is parking out on the street but it involves walking up/down a ramp. Now parents are only there for 10 minutes at drop off/pick up time - in and out. Gym goers are generally there for an hour or more. It would seem logical to anyone with more than a dozen brain cells that if you are going to the gym and can't get a park in one of their spots that you could park in the street and take the short walk to the gym (what's a bit more exercise).

Anyway, yesterday afternoon when I pulled in to pick up my bundle of joy, my sweet little treasure (are you detecting the subtle note of sarcasm?) there were no parking spots outside the Centre. As I hovered waiting for a spot to come up I saw two young blokes, gym bags in hand get out of a van and head towards the gym. A mum who was at the time putting her toddler in the car obviously had had enough and said something to them (I couldn't hear her but I could tell she was agitated). They said something back and kept walking. Obviously she lost the plot because she ran into the gym after them and continued yelling. At that time I parked in a spot that had just become available and as I got of the car she got into hers and drove away, clearly very distressed.

The main goon stood in the gym door and was yelling at her and swearing. In the heat of the moment I yelled over at him that he shouldn't have been parking there and pointed at the signs. He said something really smart like "well, I've been parking there for a year" (hmmmm, well that's OK then!). Then he continued swearing and yelling how he wasn't going to be spoken to like that (in reference to the other woman's comments). I told him not to swear as there were children around and said "you're a big man". He continued going off, "f" words flying. My heart racing, I went into the centre.

The point of my story is that people just aren't courteous any more. These young men are just selfish pigs, they don't give a shit about anyone else, let alone the needs of young children and their parents. We must appear like weird aliens to them, as they peer at us from their ego-fuelled universe, wondering why the hell we can't just leave them alone to go about their hedonistic ways.

I go around with a constant level of underlying built-in guilt, constantly apologising to people in the shops for touching them, even if they were the ones to bump into me, always worried I'm in someone's way or somehow impeding them in my actions. That's also extreme and I am constantly annoyed with myself for this automatic apologising. But surely there's has to be a certain level of decency amongst the community, some level of caring about each other, simply "doing the right thing".

Is it a generational thing? My dad thinks it all started to go wrong with the women's movement demanding "equality" and that was the thin edge of the wedge when it comes to manners and civil behaviour. I don't think so. But there must be an explaination as to why people today are so rude and self-centred and plain obnoxious.

Any ideas?
You know I love reality TV as much (probably more so, much more so) than the next person.

But this is GOING WAY. TOO. FAR!

Britain's Missing Top Model

Even I wouldn't watch something this dreadful. Well, maybe just the first episode... but only so I can then take the high moral ground and whinge about it later.

Oh, who am I kidding?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Possibly my theme song?

Sing it to the tune of I Will Survive.

At first I was afraid, I was petrified.
When you said you had 10 inches, Lord I almost died!

But I'd spent so many years just waiting for a man that long,
that I grew strong, and I knew that I could take you on...

But there you are, another lie,

I was ready for a Big Mac and you've brought me a French fry!

I should have known that it was bulls***t, just a sad pathetic dream

Should have known there was no Anaconda lurking in those Jeans!

Go on now-go! , Walk out the door,

Don't you promise me 10 inches, then turn up with only 4!

Weren't you a brat to think I wouldn't find you out!?

Don't you know we're only joking when we say size don't count??!!

[Chorus] I will survive! I will survive!

Cuz as long as I have batteries,

My sex life's gonna thrive!

I will always have good sex, With a handful of latex!

I will survive! I will survive!

Hey! Hey!

It took all my self control not to laugh out loud,

When I saw your little weiner standing tall and proud!

But to hell with your ego and to hell with all your needs,

Now I'm saving all my lovin' for a cordless multispeed!

[Chorus] I will survive! I will survive!

Cuz as long as I have batteries,

My sex life's gonna thrive!

I will always have good sex, With a handful of latex!

I will survive! I will survive!

Hey! Hey!

* God only knows what goes on with the line spacing on Blogger.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

So... Sex and the City.

Spoilers follow...

1) The Fashion... someone's taking the piss, right?

2) The Wedding Dress... someone is REALLY TAKING THE FUCKING PISS, RIGHT???!!!

3) No-one in their right mind would dump Smith in order to have meaningless sex with random strangers. Sure it's fiction but that's just fucking stupidity! Samantha deserves to grow old and lonely, surrounded by old newspapers and cats.

4) Big is SOOOO not worth the trouble. IMHO.

5) News Flash: Adoption is not a fertility treatment. Seriously, why does every film/tv show have to feature a pregnancy after an adoption. And the way Lily went from being in every shot to totally disappearing after Charlotte found out she was pregnant was offensive.

6) Reasonable bit of fluffy entertainment but not worth a trip to the cinema. DVD on a Friday night would do just as nicely.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

[Insert photo of fireworks here*]

Congratulations! To! Me!

Monday was the THIRD ANNIVERSARY of my blog and my blogging life.

Doesn't time fly when you like to write drivel about your own boring life? Well, apparently, YES, it does. Thanks for taking the time.

*Bloody blogger wouldn't upload my fireworks picture due to some stupid error.
It's been almost seven months since my dear sister J went overseas for her BIG TRIP. It's also the first time I have started to feel that I really really miss her. Not just the superficial missing her I've experienced here and there since the day she left.

Hey JB, I really miss you gorgeous! I hope you continue to have a great time over there in London but should you get sick of all those Poms and give up on the idea of bumping into Kate Moss at the local shops (better off hanging out at the local cocaine dealers!) I'd be really glad for you to come home.
Here's a story for you.

I was at the bank last Wednesday, depositing a Medicare cheque. Normal routine: fill out the deposit slip, take slip, cheque and cashcard to the teller. As I'm standing there glancing around the branch, talking to Marianna in her stroller, I happen to look over at the teller and notice that on the back of the deposit slip I have just handed to her and the one she is holding in her hand it says: "Hand over all your money or I'll shoot you".

SHIT. I go into major anxiety mode. What do I do? That's like a hold up note, right?! For many seconds (felt like hours) I contemplate the pros and cons of alerting her to the note as oppossed to just pretending I hadn't seen anything. Finally I decide to tell her rather than her discovering it accidentally and thinking I WROTE IT.

So I point it out (as casually as I can under the circumstances). She looks at it, shows it to the two tellers on either side of her. They shake heads, making tutting noises and one says she saw a note like that last week. Everyone goes about their business.

I'm relieved but a bit let down to be honest. Surely they would have some sort of emergency procedure they would automatically launch into. Doors lock, security screens down, police called. But nothing exciting to report at all, except perhaps my elevated blood pressure and heart rate.

This incident raises the question: What sort of SICK FUCKER writes notes like these on the back of deposit slips?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Have you seen this ad for World Youth Day 2008?

Is it just me or does the Pope look like he eats small children in his spare time?

Majorly creepy!
We're back... and trying to adjust to real life. The worst part about holidays is having to come back. Woe is us (I'm sure there's a lot of tiny violin playing going on out there right now!).

Anyway, the Fiji trip was wonderful. We stayed at the Shangri-La Fijian Resort which is abou 60 kms from Nadi on the Coral Coast. It is very much a family resort and if I didn't have children I would think it would be my worst nightmare.

The Fijians are just beautiful, the most friendly, welcoming people... they just work on Fiji time. I've heard people complain about lack of professionalism with the service in Fiji; to me it's the perfect service for when you're on holidays. Sure it's a little relaxed but that's what I want when I'm hols and generally I'm happy to wait a while, after all when you're kicking back with a book by the pool it doesn't really matter if your fancy cocktail with the pineapple and umbrella garnish takes an extra five minutes.

We went with three other families, all of whom we know through our adoption group and who we've become very good friends with. There were nine children in our group: four older boys and five little ones. They are all great buddies and apart from a few fatigue induced squabbles they got on beautifully. It was such a pleasure to watch them playing in the sand on the lagoon or running around on the grassy area outside our rooms. There was a really fun kids' disco on every night and we took the kids a few times - they loved it; the limbo competition was hilarious.

There were many highlights:

* The children playing together (I could watch them for hours - as long as they're not bickering).

* The children dancing with the Polynesian dancers on stage.

* Meeting the local school children during our day trip.
* Jason taking Marianna for a horse ride on the beach.

* Laying by the pool chatting and reading with my dear friends.

* Some lovely dinners - adults only (thank goodness for evening kids' club!).

* The "big night out" when we hit the disco and danced the night away (well, until 12:30 AM anyway - that's a big night for us old parent types).

Lots more but I'll just let the pictures do the talking...

Monday, May 26, 2008

I'd like to see the contract that the acts appearing on the Eurovision Song Contest have to sign. As I flicked through the channels last night while watching the Big Brother Eviction show I was truly amazed at the consistancy amongst the contestants. First of all each and every song is cheesy shit at its best (worst?). Really, unbelievably corny crappy songs without any discernable rhythm or tune. Then there are the voices of the singers. Each more mediocre than the last. I kept thinking that not one of these vocalists would make it past the first round of Australian Idol (and imagining what non-sensical gibberish Mark Holden would use in his comments). Finally the staging and costumes are simply gold. Each of the female singers looked either like a reject bridesmaid from an 80s wedding or a poor waif who had accidentally wondered into Madonna's wardrobe during a blackout and been assaulted by Mad's plastic surgeon while getting dressed. Oh, the horror.

My personal favourite was the Russian singer who not only had to battle through his shithouse song but do so while one of Russia's allegedly best ice skaters (a man who looked remarkably like a carricature of Christopher Dean stuck in a horrible 80s time warp) skated around him. Unbeleivably this act won. Not that anyone else was any better.

OK, we all know those Europeans are whacky but is someone taking the piss?


I have a dilemma. Paul Weller is coming to do a show at the Enmore Theatre in August. When I got the Ticketek email I went "WOW!". Have to see him, love him, blah blah blah.

Then I stopped for a moment and thought about actually loving the idea of Paul Weller from 20+ years ago. A Style Council/The Jam incarnation of Paul Weller that I knew and loved from my mid-teens. I haven't bought any of his solo albums during the past 20 years. Certainly we have both moved on with our lives. What would I be expecting from his concert?

Since his relationship with The Jam is strained at best there certainly wouldn't be a rousing sing-a-long of That's Entertainment or A Town Called Malice. And since The Style Council's very particular 80s stylings surely wouldn't be where he is musically today I couldn't rely on hearing Big Boss Groove or Speak Like A Child or (my all time favourite) It Just Came To Pieces In My Hands. So I'd be left staring at his (still undoubtedly beautiful) face and not knowing any of the music.

Where does all that leave me? Feeling sad and nostalgic and yearning for a tiny moment in my life when life was easy and the future was filled with glorious possibilities. A time when I stood on a milk crate at the front of the stage at the Hordern Pavillion and touched Paul Weller's sweaty t-shirt as he belted out some of The Style Council's wonderful songs. A time that can never be replaced or returned to.

Goodbye Paul. Goodbye youth. Hello whatever is around the next corner.
... Maybe I could just buy one of his new albums and see if I like it. Now there's an idea...