Friday, May 29, 2009

Just a quick note to say this will be my last one before I post (hopefully) from London.

Tomorrow is Marianna's birthday party which will keep my occupied and then exhausted.

Sunday morning I'll pack before heading to the airport around noon. Mum and I fly out at 2:35pm on a Virgin Altantic flight bound for London via Bangkok.

We arrive in London at some horrific hour (about 6:00 am) on Monday (London time) morning. If we're not too wrecked we'll spend the day in the city, meeting up with Jules for lunch and then all of us heading to the Airport Novotel for dinner and an early night before our flight to Odessa, via Vienna, very early Tuesday morning.

I will keep posting here because I am too damned lazy to set up a new travel blog and I don't want to use the old one I set up for the Colombia trip.

See ya!

My baby girl turned FOUR on the 26th.

Here she is in November 2005 in Medellin, Colombia when we first met.
How far we've all come in the past 3 1/2 years.
She has gone from being Will's punching bag (of sorts) to a co-conspiritor, the leader of their little gang of two. It is Marianna who is likely to be the brains behind their naughty little escapades. The tiny evil mastermind leading her innocent big brother astray.
She is strong-willed, smart, outgoing and a very quick learner. She picks things up so quickly it takes my breath away. She is loving when she wants to be, everything on her terms only. Her way or the highway. If she chooses to use her powers for good instead of evil the possibilities for the future are limitless.
Happy birthday, my sweetheart.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dear Ryan O'Keefe,

I'm not sure how to approach this.

It's not you, it's me.

You know how much you have meant to me over the years. There is no denying that I have loved you deeply. Your marks, your tackles, your kicks, your tricky little ball recoveries. Each holds a special place in my heart.

But this year things have changed. You're a little slower, a little less agressive, a little less high flying. Sure your bum still looks great in those tight shorts. Maybe it's because you're married now; we all know married life takes it out of you. Maybe it's because you're no spring chicken any more; 28 is veteran territory in the AFL.

Let's be honest here. There's someone else. I've had my eye on Jesse White since the beginning of the season and today I just knew. He's the one. Just 21, fresh, fast and, oh, those high flying marks really set my heart a-flutter.

I hope we can be mature about this. Let's remain friends; say "hello" should we bump into each on the street. I'd like that.

Good luck with your future relationships. I'll always cherish our special memories.

Goodbye. Kathy

P.S. Awesome game today.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I bought a jacket for $149 at Myer yesterday. It must have been the only item in the entire place which wasn't discounted. I feel a little sick about it.

It's gorgeous and perfect and obviously made for me. But I still don't feel good about the spend. I much prefer a bargain; the problem being many of my bargains aren't that great and end up being "hang in the back of the wardrobe for years before being donated to the Salvos without ever being worn sort of bargains". At least I know this will be a worn to death sort of non-bargain.

Did I mention it was Pistachio pretend suede? I know what you're thinking. But I swear you're going to love it.
After driving everyone around me nuts (story of my life) discussing the pros and cons of sending Marianna to school next year I have ... drum roll please ... picked up her enrolment forms from the school.

Honestly, I've felt like a pendulum in a clock these last few months. Yes, I'm definitely sending her. No, I'm definitely not sending her. Well obviously we're currently in the "yes we're sending her" camp right now.

With a late May birthday she will be one of the youngest (if not the youngest in the class) which doesn't make me very happy. But every indicator tells us she'll be ready. The reverse side is leaving her at day care for another year and I know for a fact she'll be bored out of her brain and I think her behaviour will go downhill if she's left in a room with a whole lot of 3 year olds to bully. She needs to be challenged as she learns quickly and we think only school will offer her that opportunity.

Hopefully this will be the right decision. Time will tell.
So it's two weeks until the BIG TRIP. I'm getting excited now. I'm too busy day to day to think about it that much but once in a while it sneaks up on me and I think "WOW, I'm going overseas by myself in [now less than] TWO WEEKS! Holy Shit!". I think it's the by myself part which is most exciting and most frightening.

The thought of sitting on a plane with only adult company and only having to worry about my own meal and my own toileting needs and being able to choose and watch an entire movie (or two) of my own choosing is enough to blow my mind. But I also know that I'm going to miss by babies and Big Jay so much. Absence makes the heart grown fonder and all that, it's SO true.

It's going to be an adventure and I can't wait to see my gorgeous sister and spend some quality time with my mum and see for myself the place I was born. Did I mention eat at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant and see a play with some famous people in it (whose names escape me right now - help me out JB) in London?

I'm not sure if I'll set up a seperate blog or just keep blogging here so stay tuned for that tantalising bit of non-information. I fly out on Sunday 31 May.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

You know what the absolute worst part of menopause is? The hot flushes. I wouldn't actually describe them as hot flushes. It's more like my body has forgotten how to regulate its own temperature. It's sort of like having a bad fever. Hot, cold, hot, cold.

I have to layer my clothes every day because I can never know if I'm going to be boiling hot (i.e. sweating) or freezing cold (i.e. shivering) from one minute to the other. External factors have little to do with it. I can feel cold or hot inside or outside, no matter what the actual thermometer might say.

It may not be the worst problem in the world but it absoluely drives me batty. I'm hoping my natural menaopause pills will soon kick in because this has been pretty bad for the past month or so, since I've gone off the hormone patches.

Why don't men have these problems?
I am trying to come to grips with this NRL sex scandal thing. It's only of any interest to me because of Matty Johns. Yes, I have always liked him (or at least the image he presents on The Footy Show, which is really how I "know" him). Sex scandals are a dime a dozen in the Rugby League world. I shouldn't be surprised, and I'm not in general. Again, it's the Matty Johns factor which befuddles me. I have misjudged his perceived character by a huge, mile-wide, long shot.

It's not the sex, or even the group sex, part which is offensive. After all I am a liberal in that regard. People should be able to have sex with any number of animals, vegetables and/or minerals they choose. Not up to me to judge or even consider in great detail. We are all entitled to our own personal depravities as long as all parties are consenting (in the real sense of that word).

It's the awfulness of the described situation. The inhumanity of it. How can a decent person want to subject another person to that sort of degredation? To me it shows a deep-rooted corruption of a person's character. It's not sexy or exciting. It's just ugly and filthy. In his case Matthew Johns can't even claim being young and stupid. He was THIRTY at the time. Surely well and truly past the stage where peer pressure and poor decision making can be claimed as a valid defence.

The whole thing makes me sick. I'd happily weild the sharp implements should a public castration be in order.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

According to SingStar ABBA I'm tone deaf. That's probably no surprise to anyone but myself. In my own mind I'm a very good singer. Apparently my dear husband Big Jay is lead singer material.

I think there is something terribly wrong with our PlayStation 3.
Last night I went to see Ghosts of Girlfriends Past with my friend M. Yep, it was another freebie from Kidspot Movie Mums Group. That's THREE MOVIES I've seen this week. Crazy! I probably haven't seen three movies at the cinema in the whole of the past year.

Here's the review I posted. [I'm starting to think the nice people over at Kidspot must think I'm a cranky old cow... and how right they'd be!]

When the film finished my friend asked "what did you think?". I said "it was better than dropping a brick on my toe, but not by much". That just about sums up my feelings about Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.

It is your very typical cliched romantic comedy. Not a single original line in the entire movie. I like a bit of wit in a script but this movie was devoid of any, just join-the-numbers dialogue, wooden acting and not an original thought from go to whoa.

I have to admit to hating Matthew McConaughey, he's too arrogant to be sexy, and Michael Douglas plain makes my skin crawl. Jennifer Garner is sweet and most of the rest of the supporting cast do a reasonable job with what they have to work with, which isn't much.

There are a few funny bits but not enough to redeem this piece of schlock. It certainly isn't the worst film ever made but there are plenty of better, smarter, funnier romantic comedies out there - PS I Love You and Dan in Real Life - are two from the past year which come to mind.
I'm a little worried about this story regarding Jon and Kate (plus 8). Why does everything have to come down to cheating? I'm hoping it's bullshit but still I really like these people (you know, these people who "I know" from watching them on tv) and I don't want this cheap and tawdry stuff to be part of their lives.


Friday, May 08, 2009

I've become one of those mums. It's awful. I don't know how it's come to this.

I'm almost too mortified to actually write it down.

OK, here it goes. I forgot it was Mufti Day at Will's school yesterday and sent him in his uniform.

To be honest I didn't even know it was Mufti Day. They've stopped giving us a paper copy of the school newsletter (which is great - it was a terrible waste of resources) but the online edition isn't as easy to read and I've only glanced at it once (rather than re-reading the paper version a few times before surrundering it to the recycling bin). Obviously I missed the bit about the Mufti Day. DOH!

When Will started school I remember seeing the odd child wearing their uniform on Mufti Day and thinking: oh HOW could they?! those awful parents! Now I'm one of THEM. Oh, the shame.

Happily Will is an easy going kid. He didn't bat an eyelid. When I picked him up from school I couldn't apologise enough. He just said "oh, yeah" and got on with it. Something tells me if this horrible situation was to involve my dear daughter the fall out would be much, much bigger.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Am I mad? Does anyone really believe this carbon trading bullshit actually means something? Do people really think it's some sort of magic pill which will fix the alleged climate change problems?

If the problems are as bad as we're being told (and you may have guessed I don't buy any of it) than arguing over 5% or 10%, this year or next year, etc is just a whole lot of hot air. Surely such semantics are a big waste of time if we really are hurtling towards oblivion.

I simply can't believe how seriously this is being discussed. As if it really matters one way or the other in the big scheme of things. We're a funny bunch, us humans. So self important and pathetic.
The pressure cooker and I continue our love affair. It's a wonderful thing.

Last week I made this gorgeous pork braise. So easy and delicious:

Brown 1kg of pork neck (or similar meat) which has been diced into 2 cm cubes. Take out of pan and cook some diced onion, carrot, celery and mushrooms with some garlic in the pan until starting to soften and get a little caramelisation happening. Stir through a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste and cook for a minute or two. Add back the pork with some chopped zucchini, tin of tomatoes, stock powder (I like to use Vegeta), a dash of water, seasoning. Put pressure cooker lid on and bring to low pressure over high heat. Stabilise and cook for 35 minutes. I served with pasta but it would be just as nice with rice or just in a bowl with a bit of crusy bread.

Then last night I made a mild lamb curry. Again easy and delicious:

Put 1kg of diced lamb in the pan with a tin of tomatoes, a large sweet potato diced into 2cm cubes, a diced onion, a couple of cloves crushed garlic, cup of water, a teaspoon each of garam marsala, ground cumin, ground corriander, tumeric, paprika, a few splashes of soy sauce, a tablespoon of honey. Put pressure cooker lid on and bring to los pressure over high heat. Stabilise and cook for 25-30 minutes. Serve with yummy basmati rice. [The seasonings and "heat" can obviously be adjusted - I tend to make these things very much on the mild side because both my kids scream blue murder if anything is even vaguely "spicy".]

Just call me Nigella.

Monday, May 04, 2009

My baby boy turned TEN on Saturday.

It's a bit hard to believe. Sometimes it seems like only yesterday we got THE CALL to say there was a little baby boy waiting for us in Guatemala City (what an exotic place that seemed at the time). He waited and waited, sixteen months to be precise. We waited eleven months from the time we got the call to the day we first held him in our arms.

What a tiny little thing he was. More like a six month old than a sixteen month old. Everything was new to him and for us. What a huge adventure we've been on together these past eight and a half years!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my gorgeous brave big boy. I wish for you a full life full of love and friends and wonderful experiences.
I've joined the Movie Group on the Social site on Basically I can get free movie tickets if I review the movie. Sounds good to me.

The first movie was Tenderness and I went to see it last night with my friend C. We were the only people in the cinema which is kind of sad since I quite liked this film. Here's what I wrote for Kidspot:

You could say Tenderness is a love story about a girl who wants to die and a boy who wants to kill. But I don't really think it's a love story, just a story about people trying to connect.

It's a thriller in the real sense of the word; you just don't know what's going to happen next and it kept me on the edge of my seat. The relationship between the two young characters is beautifully played out, the tension building and building.

Tenderness touches on many of the dark parts of the human condition and at first I wondered what the title was referring to. But later it came to me that there are many small moments of tenderness throughout this film, not only the tenderness sought by the killer during the murder (as discussed by Crowe's Detectice Cristofuoro towards the end of the film). The tenderness between the Detective and his sick wife, between Lori and her dysfunctional mother, between Eric and his aunt. The small tender gestures which are the glue of life.

This is not an "entertaining" film as such. It is slow and dark but it is beautifully written, directed and acted. It is a "small" film in the best sense of that word. A film that wants to tell a story without all the usual cliched storytelling which tends to come out of Hollywood.

I probably wouldn't recommend you run out to see it at the cinemas but I would certainly recommend it as a DVD rental later in the year. It is well worth watching.