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.