Monday, November 30, 2009

How's that cloning research coming along?

Jesus, do I need to clone myself!

I need to be two people, one the practical, day-to-day Kathy, who get's the jobs done, goes to work, makes sure the kids and husband are fed, cleaned and generally looked after. Then I need another Kathy to do all the fun stuff, the cool stuff, the stuff that actually makes life fantastic.

I have been accused of burning the candle at both ends (and I'm the one who does the accusing) but it's not my fault that there is just so much great stuff to do.

Just a brief rundown of life at the moment:

This weekend gone had me at a playgroup mums' end of year dinner (home at 12:30 am, which is way way way past my bedtime). Up at 6:00 am to have Marianna at swimming by 8:00 am, then ballet, pick up Will and friend from tennis, a quick (much too quick) relax by the pool while the kids have a swim, then up for lunch and to prepare for that evening's bbq. Whisk the kids off to a birthday party, home at 5:30 pm to entertain friends with a bbq.

Sunday up early again to finish cleaning up from the night before, quick visit to Target and the shops for a few bits of this and that, home to make picnic basket for A Day On The Green, drive an hour and a half to Bowral, enjoy a day of outdoor music, food and fun with friends (OK, music not so good), home at 10:30 pm. God only knows how I got up for work this morning, the poor kids were wrecked and I had to take Marianna to work with me because she just couldn't manage a day at daycare.

This weekend coming starts on Thursday with a Year 4 Class Dinner (which I've organised, being the class mum - how the hell did that happen?). Friday will be dinner out with Big Jay's mum who is visiting from Perth. Sunday is the usual early start for swimming (thank goodness, no ballet this week). Hopefully some amount of relaxation by the pool and then a trek over to the Olympic Park for the Cold Chisel concert (which follows the Sydney 500 car race, which Big Jay will be taking Will to during the day).

Are you still with me?

Sunday is a birthday party for Marianna to go to bright and early. A quick trip up to the Central Coast to pick up Big Jay's mum from a relative's house and then off to the airport.

The following week my dear darling sister flies home on Tuesday after living overseas for two years! Yeah yeah yeah (insert me doing happy dance here).

Then Marianna has a birthday party on the Saturday morning. We have my work Christmas party on the Saturday night.

Sunday I am taking Marianna to see the English National Ballet do Angelina Ballerina at the State Theatre. Oh bliss! Dinner with friends in town.

Then the weekend before Christmas we have Marianna's ballet concert on the Saturday, which will be a day of boredom for 5 minutes of excitement. Then on the Sunday we're off to The Wiggles Christmas concert followed by a bbq here at Chez Nuthouse.

In the immortal words of the master's all been too much for me.

I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more...

... to not ever have to hear The Proclaimers and/or The B-52s live, ever again.

Look, it seemed like a good idea at the time. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

We spent yesterday afternoon and evening at Centennial Vineyards in Bowral at A Day on the Green event featuring the above mentioned bands as well as Mental As Anything. Overall it was a wonderful day, sitting out in the paddock on a lovely cool/warm summer's day with good friends and good food.

Too bad I can't really use the word "good" to describe the music. Mental As Anything were great, not musical giants by any stretch of the imagination, but good fun with lots of old favourites us Aussies have grown up with. The Nips Are Getting Bigger and If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too are practically part of our Australian DNA.

The Procalimers are a study in middle-of-the-road. Nothing offensive, but certainly a good effort at steady mediocre. Of course everybody sang along to I'm On My Way and I Would Walk 500 Miles (which is actually not the title of the song I think) which was very jolly and the kids had a ball dancing along with all the manic, drunk, sentimental adults. Unfortunately they didn't bring along their subtitles because I couldn't understand a friggin' word they were saying in between songs (and I was married to a Scot way back when, so I've had experience with this pea soup of an accent).

Now The B-52s were shocking. Really. The male singer is truly painful to the ears, his voice could strip paint, no doubt about it. That gay, nasal twang is amusing and even endearing to me in some settings (Example A: David Sedaris) but in this instance it is unbearable noise pollution. Make it stop, make it stop.

Of course we had all the favourites, Roam, Love Shack, (Something Else I Can't Remember Right Now) and the big finale of Rock Lobster. OK, all good clean fun but dear God never make me sit through it again!

[I had hoped that the girl singer, name never known, - Kate Pierson (thanks Google) - would sing Candy, that fabulous song she did with Iggy Pop a gazillion years ago, but that didn't eventuate. Given that Mr B-52 would have to have sung Iggy's part I think that's a blessing.]

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The World's Biggest Above Ground Cemetary

That's what they call the Gold Coast.

And that's where we've spent the past week, holidaying up a storm and managing to avoid both retirees and Schoolies.

There were three of us families staying at Treasure Island (arrghhh, me hearties) - it sounds much more glamarous than it actually is. What it is is a Big4 Caravan Park which also has lots of very comfortable "cabins", ours was actually a two storey, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house - plenty of room for 4 adults and 4 kids (our other friends had their own cabin as they have 3 kids). Our cabins were situated around "our own" pool and bbq area, which was really nice and mostly we had the pool to our selves. Another family have their own holiday apartment on the Gold Coast and we spent a couple of days with them too. So on Monday night there were 17 of us at dinner.

These families are our fabulous holiday buddies. We went to Fiji with them last year and had a ball. We all have adopted children and know each other through our adoption playgroup. The kids have virtually grown up together. Each family has an older boy (our Will being the oldest and the others are 8 and 9 years old) and then younger girls (around 4 and 5 years of age) like our Marianna. Then there is poor little J who is a 4 year old boy and a bit of ring in. Anyway, they are all the best of friends and go crazy together on holidays; watching them bond is beautiful.

It was a wonderful family holiday. The dads took the big boys to Wet'n'Wild on the Monday (where they had an asbolute blast), leaving us girls to hang by the pool with the little ones. Tuesday was Golf Day for the dads (out of 40kg baggage allowance for our family 17.7kg was Jay's golf bag, sheesh!) - and may I take this opportunity to congratulate my dear husband for winning the Cup (he is so horribly pleased with himself it's a little bit scary). Again us girls spent the day hanging out with the kids by the pool. It's a hard job but someone has to do it.

Wednesday was DreamWorld day and Thursday was MovieWorld day. For someone who isn't into the big, scary, spin-you-round, spin-you-upside-down rides I just love those theme parks. We managed to fill each day from opening to closing time and could have spent a couple more hours at each park. They are just so much fun. I love the feel of these places. I especially love the sets and look of MovieWorld.

There are great rides for big and little kids, there are shows (I really enjoyed the Stunt Driving show at MW), there are animals (like the beautiful tigers at DW). Too much fun to have in one day!

Our darling Will, who is generally an absolute chicken when it comes to rides, even went on the Road Runner Roller Coaster at MW about 15 times. We couldn't believe it. Never say never, I say. Speaking of miracles, even I went on a small roller coaster at DW (it was scary, but really fun!).

The good thing about going with a group of friends is there is always someone to go on a ride with you, always someone to take a child to the toilet or wait with yours while you go, always an extra set of eyes to watch the kids, always someone to share a bag of fairy floss with.

I could go on and on about how much fun the theme parks were but all I can say is they were awesome. If you're going to go I recommend going outside of school holidays and going during the week (not the weekend). We had very small crowds and didn't need to wait for any ride (occassionally just a few minutes). The kids were able to go on a ride and then run around and get straight back onto it.

Friday was again a rest day, which involved yet more hanging out by the pool. Saturday morning we packed up and headed to the airport, just making our plane. I was exhausted Saturday night (after partially unpacking, doing some laundry and going out to do the grocery shopping).

I need a holiday after our holiday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stan, Stan, He's Our Man, If He Can't Win It No-one Can!

So what were you doing on Sunday night?

Picking the lint out of your belly button (like I would normally be doing)?

Me? I was sitting on the steps of the Sydney Opera House watching Michael Buble, Mika, Guy Sebastian - to name a few - performing.

Not to mention the awesome Stan Walker winning Australian Idol 2009.

Yes, I'm a dag, no arguement there. I won the tickets through a National Adoption Awareness Week T-Shirt Slogan competition. Obviously I was the only entrant, the only explanation I can come up with.

Anyway, my friend M and I were sitting in the VIP area with all the other VIPs. Actually I couldn't see anyone who actually looked like a VIP, until Jon Foreman (the ex-musical director for Oz Idol) and his boyfriend (I'm assuming) came and sat right next to us. Talk about a C Grade brush with fame.

Apart from it being 35 degrees all evening and horribly, awfully, sticky, sweaty, smelly, disgusting HOT HOT HOT it was a really fun evening.

Big Jay and I have really enjoyed watching Stan perform this season and we were really glad he won. He is a sweetheart with a gorgeous big voice. Go Stan! Hope the future is bright for you, buddy.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Definition of poignant

Dance Me To The End Of Love

If you don't feel your heart squeezing when you watch and listen to this beautiful song with the even more beautiful clip then you are even more of a stone hearted sociopath than I am.

So so so moving.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spoiler Alert!

So you know how much I've been hanging out for the new Stieg Larsson The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest? I loved loved loved the first two in the Millennium series and counted the moments until I could read this latest and last installment. The second book was better than the first so by that logic I was expecting the third book to be better again.




I am very sorry to report that Hornet's Nest was a giant let down. There were many problems, here are the main points:

a) Lisbeth Salander, our heroine and super kick-arse protagonist, barely features at all. She appears in a very vague capacity and only has one great action scene in the last 50 pages. While the story seems to revolve around her, she is very much in the background.

b) There is no tension, no suspense, no which-way-will-the-arm-wrestle-end. The bad guys are stupid and bumbling and are portrayed as such incompotents that they would be pushed to find their own arse with a torch and a map. The good guys are so clever and insightful and good looking and just plain fantastic they can't put a foot wrong and don't. From the very beginning it is clear what the outcome will be. Thus no suspense. Boring!

c) I am no expert on the Swedish legal system (which may be a surprise to some of you!) but I am fairly confident when I say it wouldn't work as portrayed in this book. If it does, whoa baby, that country is truly fucked up.

d) This books makes it doubly clear that poor old Stieg Larsson was using the character of Blomkvist as an alter-ego for himself. Not only does Blomkvist screw everything that isn't nailed down (and strangely the ladies seem to find this out of shape, obsessive journalist irrisitable) but he can do no wrong, including dodging bullets.

Look, I know my expectations were high but this book was thoroughly disappointing. I read it at super speed (for me) hoping against hope that the next page, or the next, would bring that twist or drama I was expecting. But nothing eventuated. The occasional piss weak "twist" was so pathetic that the author didn't even resolve it because it was bleeding obvious that it was a sad construct which a three year old could see around.

If I was a conspiracy theorist I would go as far as to suggest that Stiegg Larsson died before (instead of after) he completed this third installment. Perhaps he had the bones of this book with the publisher and upon his untimely death the publisher had a ghost writer finish what was obviously going to be a gold mine the third book. Or perhaps Mr Larsson caught a bit of Stephen King disease (I clearly remember reading The Dark Half and thinking "what the fuck?!" - I couldn't believe the same person who had written The Stand and It and Carrie had written that piss poor crock of shit).

Whatever the explanation Hornet's Nest is not a shadow of the Dragon Tattoo and Played with Fire.

So now I'm looking forward to the next Sue Grafton Kinsey Millhone mystery in December. Surely dear Kinsey wouldn't disappoint....

Friday, November 06, 2009

Media Whores!

I take back everything nice I've ever said about Jon and Kate. I used to think they were kind of cool because they actually talked about how tough it was to be parents, especially parents of eight small children. They seemed kind of "normal".

Well, obviously they weren't and aren't.

What they are is media whores. MEDIA WHORES. Especially Jon.

Since their split they have been continuously attacking each other in the celebrity media. Yesterday when I was flicking around I caught Jon and his new 13 year old girlfriend on Entertainment Tonight, with the dramatic voiceover saying something like "Have they really broken up?". What the...? To his credit Jon was looking mightily sheepish, as he should. He should be looking as sheepish as it is possible for one human being to look. Because he is a major fuckwit.

Pull your heads in Gosselins. Have a little dignity, people.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Do you know who I am?


It is my pleasure to inform you that on September 24th, 2009 your information was reviewed and accepted for inclusion in the 2009/2010 edition of our registry.

Strathmore's Whos Who each year, recognizes and selects key executives, professionals and organizations in all disciplines and industries for outstanding business and professional achievements.

This recognition is shared by those who have reached a distinguished level of success in their chosen profession.

Please take a moment to complete the invitation by clicking on the link below. We ask that you complete it carefully, as it will be reviewed by our editorial department.

** Please complete the online link by October 10th.

Strathmore's Whos Who is pleased to inform you that there are no fees or dues to be included in the publication.

On behalf of the CEO and our esteemed staff, we wish you continued success.


J. Edward Simmons
Vice President, Research Division

Strathmore's Whos Who
26 Bond St.
Westbury NY 11590

This arrived in my InBox a moment ago. I get similar emails on a weekly basis.

All I can say is that these people simply recognise greatness when they come across it. Enough said.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

My old boyfriend

Speaking of perving, did you see my old Sydney Swans boyfriend Ryan O'Keefe on Celebirty MasterChef last week?

Words (almost) fail me. What a lucky lucky girl his wife must be (BBBBIIIIITTTTTCCCHHHH!!!!!)...

Not only is he a tall, gorgeous Adonis like male who plays (generally fantastic, lately not so good) AFL at the top level for the best team but he makes his own pasta, from scratch. My GOD, if he likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain he would be the absolutely perfect male specimen.

Anyway, he didn't win (it was rigged!) but he did win my heart all over again.


I know it's wrong. Very wrong.

But a girl has eyes. You can't expect me to sit through my daughter's swimming class with my eyes closed every week, now can you?

Is it my fault that they seem to recruit their young male swimming instructors from a male modelling agency?

Who knew I was going to turn into a dirty old lady perv in my later years?

Now that you mention it, the signs have been there for a long time. Sad.

Mamma Mia... I want to go again, my my...

I want to see the stage version of Mamma Mia every day for the rest of my life!

I am not exaggerating.

I loved every single wonderous, joyous moment of it yesterday and I would have been ready to come back and see the evening performance last night.

Some might think it a cheesy, tiresome, musical attack on the senses (I'm talking about you DB), a musical equivalent of a bag of Twisties and just as good for you, but I found it a little slice of heaven.

The beautiful simple set design, the delicious costumes, the actors (especially Lara Malcahy as Rosie) and, of course, the songs. Aaaahhhh, the songs. [It is worth noting that The Winner Takes It All sound so different to the ears of a middle aged woman when sung by a middle aged woman. What a heart squeezing song it is.]

The last bit. The last bit is pure fun. Jumping up and dancing and singing with the cast. Floating out of the auditorium on a cloud of joy and adrenalin.

Thank you for the music, indeed.