Friday, July 31, 2009

In all the excitement of the BIG TRIP I totally forgot that 23 June marked the 4 year anniversary of this blog. It was on that day that I first started writing this truckload of literary codswallop. Contributing my share of crap to the ever expanding pile of it out there in the cybersphere.

I was inspired by the blog (the first I had ever come across) of my cyber friend Julie, whose writing about her infertility and adoption journey made me laugh and cry and go "shit, yeah! I can so relate to that".

So happy 4th bloggerversary, Deep Kick Girl.

P.S. Thanks to you, my loyal reader/s, for slowing the car and taking a look at this car wreck. Move on, nothing to see here.
I need to have a rant. Sorry. You have been warned.

Homosexual marriage has been raised in the media again because apparently the government is thinking of making it legal (I think). The problem is every time they start talking about it on the radio my blood pressure rises and I start mumbling incoherently to myself, making the children worry about my mental health and their own safety (usually this happens in the car).

Why am I so grumpy about this?

Because I can't understand why this didn't fucking happen (many many many) years ago!! Really! What is the problem here?

I've heard it said that legalising gay marriage will weaken the institution of marriage. Why? How? What the fuck?

What is the institution of marriage? Let's be blunt here, marriage is a legal construct designed to make fathers financially responsible for their offspring. Without bothering to do any actual research and relying solely on my piss weak memory I am fairly sure that's how marriage came about. The church got jack of helping women and their bastard children, blah blah blah, and wanted to make men responsible.

These days we are fed the romantic notion of marriage but let's be honest, it is about a legal and social partnership, the romantic part has a co-starring role at best, possibly only a cameo appearance at the beginning of the film (you know those first few months when you spend your whole time bonking and can't imagine a day when you'd seriously rather clean the lint out of your belly button and/or the dryer than have to do that to his thing). But in essence it's a legal unit which clearly shows to our society that this stuff (e.g. children, house, car, jet ski) belongs to these people (i.e. aforementioned married hetrosexual couple).

So what exactly would be weakened? I am truly confused. If the aforementioned couple both happen to have penises or vaginas instead of one of each how does this model become weakened or changed in any way. Surely homosexual relationships are just like hetrosexual ones (except for what happens in the bedroom; you know, which bits go where). How does this one small aspect of their lives affect their entitlement to not only be legally shackled to each other but to indulge in what us hetros take for granted: the wedding itself. For fuck's sake, didn't our forefathers die in the war for our right to spend more than we can afford on weddings involving OTT fashion, overpriced food and alcohol and functions featuring really, really bad dancing? Why should our homosexual cousins be deprived of this rite of passage just because they fancy someone with the wrong sort of genitalia?

Being a non-believer I can not for a second buy into the religious arguement either. I simply can't believe that the hypothetical creator of the universe (including those pesky gay people) would honestly care should they wish to indulge in a ceremony where they pledge their love for each other while wearing ridiculous clothing.

I mean that old "God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve" has to be most lame retort against gay marriage in the history of lame retorts. What does that even mean? You can't have it both ways (ha ha) religious people; either everything God makes is good and perfect (in which case so are gay people and their marriages) or everything he makes is imperfect and kind of open to interpretation (in which case gay marriage is OK).

Which brings me to the fact that everything we see and live and experience is a man made construct. We take for granted that life is lived by the rules we experience in our time and in our society. But the reality is that it is people (and not God) who create and adjust and manipulate the social rules by which we live (including those found in the Bible and other religious doctrines). It boggles my mind that people still haul out that old chestnut about "Adam and Steve" when I would defy even the Pope to provide me with a coherent arguement about any true and logical reason as to why homosexual people shouldn't be able to marry. [How absolutely hilarious of the Catholic church, or any Christian church really, to be against such unions when they have been busy buggering little boys in their care for a gazillion years. The hypocrisy!)

In the same way we now can't really imagine how there was a society much like our own which thought slavery was a pretty good thing we will progress to a society where gay marriage is the absolute norm. I am 100% certain of this. I just wish we could bloody well get on with it. I feel I've been listening to the same old stale debate since before I was born. It's dull, it's boring, it's stupid. If a consenting adult wants to marry someone of the opposite sex, the same sex or even a bloody cabbage (a consenting cabbage, of course) then I'm all for it. The world needs more weddings, more divorce lawyers and most importantly more wedding reality tv shows such as Bridezillas (oooh, I'd love a gay version of that). So let's get it together people. Come on Kevin 07, you shit me buddy, but if you can pull this off I'll reluctantly have to sneer just a little less when I see your bobbly little head on the teev.

The End.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

There is so much to say about last night I am finding it hard to know where to start. I went in with a few expectations, mainly to do with the possibility of bumping into some of my old crowd. I had little expectations for the performance.

Going alone meant I could sit in the icy confines of the upstairs stalls at the Enmore Theatre and people watch in peace. The crowd was pretty much how I imagined it, 40-50 year olds, some with their teenage kids. All of us reliving our past. I was surprised (or maybe not) by the number of adult men revisiting their flattops and their Rude Boy jackets with the red tartan lining. Yes, we all had our Doctor Martens on. One gent even turned up in full uniform: the turned up jeans, Docs, white t-shirt and black braces hanging from his waist down round his knees. Have some dignity, man!

I was looking for familiar faces but quickly realised those faces would now be 25 years older and just a tad wider and wrinklier, just like my own. Surely my chances of recognising anyone were slim. I did see one Sam Lightfoot, a singer in a band I saw once or twice in the day. My brain still won't produce the name of the band but I'm hoping it will come to me eventually.

Sitting there, waiting, thinking, threw me down a deep, dark well of nostalgia. My god, the people who were so important to me in the day. Melissa and Kelly, Katrina, little Billie who you could pop in your pocket, she was so small and elf-like, Cathy George who started as an enemy and turned into the best of friends. The boys, oh the boys! Big Brett and Little Brett, Little Michael, Big Brian and Little Brian (the cold night we shared a pash in the dirt behind the Royal George Hotel), John Duffy (the king of the skinheads), my own sweet, lost Neil (what could have been...), so many others. Fuck the memories are bittersweet, aren't they. What a perfect word bittersweet is. So apt and right for just this sort of traipse down memory lane. Whatever happened to these people who meant so much to me a million years ago?

The concert itself was awesome, beyond awesome. There are no words to describe its total awesome-ness. The boys still have it. I assume they had it in the day but they never toured here so this was my very first (and I am guessing very last) taste of The Specials live. Terry, gruesome as ever, playing the straight man, shuffling around at the front, mumbling his lyrics, just as he should be. Neville and Lynval, the clowns, dancing, jumping, getting the crowd going. All of us young again and having the time of our lives.

It was such a wonderful surprise that the whole audience, all of us old, creaking fogies, were fucking into it. The ska beat is hard to resist and we were all up on our feet from the first note, dancing, singing along. I used to be scared of going to concerts alone, until I went to Robbie Williams and had the best time. When I'm alone I can go crazy and not care. There's no-one around who knows me to judge me. What do I care what the goons next to me think? Is there any greater pleasure in life than yelling out the words to Little Bitch at the top of your lungs along with 5,000 like-minded Rude Boys and Girls?

There was a weird moment for me towards the end. During the encore they launched into Longshot Kick the Bucket, a ska favourite. The crowd went wild and suddenly I wanted to cry, I almost cried. The emotion hit me so hard, it was like a fist in the gut. The day is gone, it won't return, I can't recapture it. Today is another day, a different day, but a little part of me wants to re-live that day. The day when I was so alive, so free, so passionate and spiky, when everything was possible.

My only tiny disappointment about last night was the lack of Stupid Marriage in the set. Yes, they did Too Much, Too Young (would have been lynched otherwise) but for me those two songs go together: a couplet.

But the end was true and real and perfect. Enjoy Yourself, how could they have written that almost 30 years ago?

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as you wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself,
It's later than you think

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

To the casual observer it may appear that I hate my children. But rest assured I don't. They certainly test my sanity on a very regular basis. Often they make me think that I should have given more serious thought to a life in the nunnery or a Buddhist monestary or simply a cave far, far away. But apart from these moments I spend a lot of time loving my children so much it scares me.

They are both amazing little people and the fact that the universe has somehow placed them in my care is a totally awesome and unfathomable concept. They make me feel stuff all the time.

How can I describe what I feel when I find Marianna dressed in a singlet and undies dancing in front of the mirror in her room, singing Waterloo at the top of her lungs, substituting "bum" for every second word?

How can I describe what I feel when I find Will and Marianna conspiring together in her room. Huddled around her little Dora table, Marianna is issuing instructions to Will who is her scribe. He has written "I love you mummy. From Marianna". They are preparing it as a surprise for me.

Parenting is full of really tough moments but the sweet moments make it all so worthwhile. I am one very lucky mummy.
Fantasy is better than reality (der!):

Example 1: Parenting

In my pre-children parenting fantasies things were very different. My children and I would have a beautiful relationship. They would telepathically understand me and want nothing more but to follow my instruction and please me, because by doing so we would all live in a harmonious wonderland. They would be beautifully behaved and enjoy doing the things I wanted them to do, when I wanted them to do those things. We would be friends, walking hand in hand along life's meandering path.

I saw the so-called parents in the supermarkets with their screaming, misbehaving children and I would think "oh those poor fools, if only they parented correctly, like I will, these horrible scenes would be totally unnecessary". I would see friends eagerly planning their nights out and weekends away sans children and I would say to Jason "if they are so desperate to get away from their children why on earth did they have children in the first place?". I honestly could not imagine ever wanting to be parted from my (hypothetical) children for a millisecond and I could not understand why people lucky enough to have children would not want to be with them every possible moment.

My perfect children would eat only organic food, lovingly cooked each day. They would play beautifully together and with their equally intelligent, well behaved peers. Oh, the fantasies that filled my empty head in those blissfully ignorant days. I was so friggin' smug and contemptuous of the failings of all other parents. Ha! How very little I knew and understood.

Example 2: Men

Maybe it's just me but I do spend more time than reasonably necessary fantasising about (mainly) Robbie Williams, (ocassionally) Jesse White (yes, I know! 21 I should be ashamed and I am...) and (once in a while) assorted others. Don't get me wrong, I am happily married, nothing wrong on that front. Just my mind likes to wander...

In these fantasies it's all glamour, gorgeous bodies (look, they are bloody fantasies OK!), fun and lashings of witty banter.

The sad part is there is no celebrity in the universe whose perceived sexiness translates into reality. You know that life with Robbie Williams would be just as dreary as any other reality. There would be farting in bed, morning breath, insecurity, bickering over stupid things, you get the idea...

Example 3: Holidays

I love planning holidays. I day dream about the beautiful beach, the warm weather, the delicious food, the children frollicking in the sand. Whenever we plan a holiday I spend a lot of time looking at photos of the resort on the internet, drifting off in a mental cloud of pleasure as I transpose myself into these airbrushed pictures.

Because I am addicted to organising often our family holidays are planned up to a year in advance, which gives me ample time to think and dream about the upcoming trip. I love love love this phase of the holiday; the pre-holiday phase.

The reality of our holidays is generally different. The reality involves waiting in airports for hours on end with children who don't know the meaning of sit still for a bloody second. Unpredictable weather, often resulting in being stuck in holiday units with bored children during torrential downpours. Expensive restaurant food which the children won't eat for totally mysterious reasons (but they always eat pasta/rice/nuggets and chips). Exhausting return trips which mean feeling wrecked for a week once we are home again. Holiday? What holiday?

Have you got an example of why fantasy is better than reality?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Imagine my excitement when I received an email with this in the subject line:

"The Ultimate Experience with the Sydney Swans up for grabs!"

Imagine my disappointment when I read the details:

"As a special offer to My Ticketek members, book tickets online to one of the remaining Swans games this season before Sunday 9 August and go in the draw to win a 2009 Sydney Swans signed guernsey, Swans merch voucher, Platinum seating for 4 at ANZ Stadium to see Sydney battle Geelong and a $50 ANZ food and beverage voucher!"

Obviously their idea of the Ultimate Experience and mine are very, very different. No mention of scented body oil and/or a blow up rubber pool full of jelly. I think their marketing people need to get back to the drawing board.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Well I didn't quite finish that off on a positive note, did I? Hmmm...

This is positive though. Before Harry Potter we saw the preview of a film I'm very much looking forward to, Where The Wild Things Are. This is based on a book which I loved so very much as a child and now love reading to my own children. It's a beautiful, magical book; just the right mix of humour, imagination and the scary ideas which loiter around children's minds. The language is intelligent and just a little cryptic, making the child work a bit to "get it" and giving the adult reader a great deal of pleasure.

The film looks amazing and I think Spike Jonze is the perfect director for it. I can't quite imagine anyone else doing it justice. There is even an appearance by our very own Angus Sampson (not yet sure if he's a monster or a human, IMDB doesn't provide his character's title).

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I heard a film reviewer say that there isn't much point doing a review of the new Harry Potter film because the people who love the book/film franchise are going to see it no matter what. That is very much true.

Will and I went this morning and I can say that I did enjoy it for it was, a Harry Potter film, but I was hugely disappointed by how very badly it was cobbled together. A lot happens in the book version of HP and the Half Blood Prince and really almost bugger all happens in the film. How is this so? How did they fill up 2 and half hours of cinematic time without really saying much of anything or having much action or progressing the story in any way?

The editing is shocking, one scene bumping into another in an almost comic manner. It looks to me like they tried to shoot the book staying true to the story, realised it would have turned into a 6 hour art house epic, then almost randomly chopped out bits here and there with the aim simply to fit into a limited time allowance.

I left wondering whether people who hadn't read the book were able to make heads or tails of the story. Apart from a great deal of focus on teenage crushes and "snogging" there was almost no mention of Voldermort. Worse still Voldermort's Horcruxes, which are arguably the point of this installment of the book, are explained only briefly, their full significance barely touched upon. Which makes me wonder how they'll be tackled in the Deathly Hallows.

To finish on a positive note I have to say the Quidditch scenes were excellent, the special effects obviously improving from film to film.

I know that Deathly Hallows is being filmed in two parts, hopefully allowing for a bit more focus on the intricate details of the story, but I do despair for it, my favourite of the books, if this is any indication of the contempt with which the production team is now treating its audience.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Feeling down? Not having such a great day?

Go HERE now!

Seriously, is there anything better in life than laughing at bad translation?

If this stuff doesn't cheer you up, I suggest heavy duty drugs.
My movie review of Last Ride (reviewed for

I enjoyed Last Ride but it is certainly not an easy film to watch. Hugo Weaving is Kev, a petty career criminal on the run across the Australian outback with his son Chook. The backstory is played out in semi-cryptic flashbacks and we slowly come to realise what has brought them to this situation. As they travel along an obviously futile journey, it is the relationship between father and son which drives the story. Very quickly the audience understands that there can be no happy ending.

It is a sparse film, little dialogue and tense drama, beautifully acted, written and directed. I was drawn into every scene, mesmerised. As a parent I found the neglect and abuse of Chook very hard to watch and comprehend. These are the fringes of our society which we don't often see and for the me the situation brought up more questions than answers.

I would not recommend this film as a piece of light entertainment. It is not that at all. But it is a thought provoking, intelligent film which explores themes which are worth thinking about.

I did very much love the ending. While it couldn't have ended happily without ruining the film, I thought the film makers did find a beautiful way of ending it on a note of hope.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I am writing in the hope that the act of writing will inspire me to write something worth reading. Are you with me?

I'm home this afternoon with one sleeping semi-sick child and one on holidays semi-bored child. Marianna awoke this morning with a temperature and a bit of a cough and a bit of a runny nose. Nothing serious (I hope). No curly tail or oinking at this point. Will is home on school holidays. So Big Jay stayed at home for a few hours this morning while I whisked myself to the office to get the wages done. I've been home since about 11 am (at which point Big Jay went to work). So far I've hung out laundry, put away laundry, printed off a tonne of envelopes for the invoices I printed at work last week and packed the envelopes (with Marianna on stamp duty). I've also printed off some maths revision sheets for Will (who was thrilled, let me tell you). I'm about to boil up some pasta to go with the bol sauce I made yesterday afternoon.

Speaking of cooking I have to tell you about the Jerusalem Artichoke Soup I made for lunch yesterday. These little critters are very confusing. They are not artichokes, they are the tubbers of the sunflower and they look like ginger, so by and large people who don't know them avoid them. I really loved the soup I made from them so I would recommend people giving them a go. Very similar to a potato in usage, you could mash them or roast them or pan fry them. I made a cream soup and it was sweet, nutty and delicious.

Tonight I'm off to another free movie care of . This time it's the new Aussie flick Last Ride with Hugo Weaving. It's on at Dendy Newtown so I'll be off to where all the young hip people are, I'm sure to blend right in.

Better mention the girls' weekend I enjoyed the weekend before last. Our playgroup mums' annual weekends away are now a well established institution, this having been the 3rd one. This time we enjoyed the attractions of beautiful Bowral and surrounds, including our now famous long lunch on Saturday afternoon at Centennial Vineyards (where I had previously seen Leonard Cohen earlier this year). The long lunch is a highlight of our weekends away and this one lived up to expectation, especially my rhubarb souffle with walnut ice cream (I wish I had ordered it for entree and main, it was THAT good).

This weekend just gone featured Saturday afternoon at the Swans vs Essendon game. We lost which was disappointing though not unexpected, it's been that sort of year. The highlight (or possibly low light) of the afternoon was the farewell to Barry Hall. Sure he's a thug, but he's OUR thug and we love him. The kids (with a great deal of help from mum) made a sign stating "Bye bye Barry. We'll miss you. Love Will and Marianna". Not sure if Barry saw it but it did come to the attention of one Deborah Hutton who was walking behind us after the game. We had a brief exchange regarding Barry's teary goodbyes and I will count that as one more in my pathetically short and dull list of brushes with fame.

A couple of pics to finish off this bit of useless drivel:

My big girl blowing out her candles at her 4th Birthday Party in May.

Cheer cheer the red and the white...

Nothing better than a hug from a giant baby swan...
Bye bye Big Bad Bazza.

For those who don't believe a four year old can love oysters.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Let's take a little journey back to 1995. A time, pre-children, when I had the energy to care, to give a rat's, to come out fighting, over the big things in life. A recent rummaging through a mystery box of crap residing under my desk at work revealed an odd little treasure: my correspondence with Drum Media, a popular culture free newspaper which may or may not exist these days; I am long past checking what the current week's gig guide has to offer.

This is the review of Red Hot Chili Peppers' My Friends by Ross Clelland which got my blood boiling:

"You know," said one marketing man in a suit to another, "once we got them to wear more than socks over their old fellas, all we needed was the nice ballad, show how cute the boy Kiedis is, and world domination was ours". And now, attempting to repeat the mega success of Under The Bridge, One Hot Minute's acoustic strummy thing becomes the new single that even your maiden aunt won't ask to be turned down when it comes on the radio, (and it will). By no means bad, but Coffee Shop ("we can dance like Iggy Pop") and the non-LP Let's Make Evil kick somewhat more.

This is the venomous spew I sent the way of Mr Clelland by return post (don't mess with my boys buddy):

Dear Drum,

In reference to Ross Clelland's review of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' My Friends in the 31 October issue of Drum Media: Well, excuse-bloody-me, you cynical bastard. While I would be the first one to jump on Mr Clelland's cynicism bandwagon when it comes to about 90% of what passes for popular music, I must voice a protest at this unfair castigation of one of the few truly inspired bands of the last decade. Yes, the Chili Peppers have been around for a decade. They didn't just appear on the whim of some "marketing man in a suit" to make a few bucks on the strength of some mournful little balland and that "cute... boy Kiedis".

For a start, anyone half familiar with the history of the band and their music would know that it all comes from their souls, from personal experiences with death and love and joy and despair and, above all, friendship. If they were simply after the quick bucks surely they wouldn't have waited for four years to come up with a follow up to Blood Sugar Sex Magik (and Under The Bridge).

It can't be that difficult to churn out boring old crap (as you are suggesting this song is) on a predictably regular basis - just ask Michael Bolton, Jimmy Barnes or one of the countless other "rock icons" who drown us in their meaningless blather. Please do not disregard the Chili Peppers as simply one of that lot - they are head and shoulders (and cocks?!) above the mediocre rabble. Next time try a bit of background research before you cast your judgement!

Kathy Blanter
Lisarow NSW

Gee, it didn't take much to get me going 14 years ago! How self righteous and hilarious. I guess nothing much has changed though. I'd still fight to the death for my precious Chili Peppers. I may be a lot older, a fair bit fatter and a great deal grayer in the hair department but it's good to know their music still makes me feel stuff, even when I think my jaded old heart has forgotten how to feel anything at all.
It's a little sad for me that Wilco, a band I have long held in high regard, a band responsible (in a collaboration with Billy Bragg) for Mermaid Avenue, one of my all time favourite CDs, have slowly dwindled into a pile of shite. I've just heard some of their new CD and it's truly bland and self indulgent. Awful. I will hang onto a sweet memory of watching them play at the Big Day Out about 6 or 7 years ago, Murray from The Wiggles standing right in front of me.