Thursday, December 30, 2010


This is a story from our local community which makes me feel good to be alive and refreshes my deeply buried faith in the goodness of human beings. [Stop making gagging noises, I'm being serious here.] I may or may not have shed a tear reading this, believe what you like.

A Letter from Youngchul Ji

The Big O

So the day after Dance Fever, the second last day of school, I finished work early to catch a bus into town to meet my sister... we could go see Oprah!

You know Oprah? The person all the hysteria has been about.

I was super excited to be going. I'm no huge fan of her's but she is a cultural phenomenon and I love me one of those. It was amazing to be part of the "Oprah in Australia" behemoth.

The reality was somewhat disappointing. I don't know if I was just worn out and drained from a few weeks of constant crazy. I don't know what it was but I just couldn't feel the vibe. I couldn't get into the screaming and excitement and the loosing my mind which was going on all around me.

I think it was a combination of things. The long wait before her royalness actually appeared. The fake clapping, cheering and laughing that we were coached to perform for the audio recording prior to the actual taping. The hyper-excitement of the others in the audience; instead of being contagious just made me annoyed and pushed me in the opposite direction.

We were lucky to get seats in the second row so we were up close and personal. For me the lowlights of the event were the interviews with Bono (O: "why did you choose Jay-Z to support you on your tour"; B: "...he's amazing... he's bringing rap to the world [we don't want it, take it back where it came from]... he's so brave [ah, no he's not, fuck off]) and Olivia Newton-John. All the "interviews" - and I use the word very loosely - were banal to the max; five minutes of utter tripe ("you're so wonderful"... "no, you're just amazing"). Give me a break... and a bucket while you're at it.

The highlights were Hugh Jackman hitting the lighting rig right above our heads. Not that I wish that gorgeous man any harm (well I did briefly after seeing Wolverine, oi vey) but it was the only mildly interesting and unscripted thing that happened all day. Despite myself I also semi-enjoyed the Nicole Kidman/Keith Urban interview, not because it provided any earth shattering insights into, well, anything. But it did give a glimpse of Nicole as a real woman, a nervous talker, a clutz; despite her airbrushed exterior I suspect lurking underneath all that bullshit facade is actually a funny, un-co kind of chick who would be fun to hang out with.

As corny as the finale actually was I did get a thrill out of it. Even a stone hearted cow like me can't help but be moved by the Australian Children's Choir singing I Still Call Australia Home while a gigantic Oz flag is unfurled above our heads.

Oprah herself seemed warm and genuine and fun. While the scripted and produced parts of the show were flat and about as appetising as the leftover bits of WeetBix stuck on the bottom of the bowl and left in the sink all day, the in-between bits showed a little of what she is all about. Unfortunately there just weren't enough of those bits for me and way too many of the other ones.

Of course the diamond necklace was the final sweetner and it was somewhat disappointing to find out we would be leaving with only a card giving us all the details for how to register to receive it, rather than with the real thing in our hot, sweaty little hands. Despite myself I am excited to be getting it and I won't be selling it on Ebay even though Big Jay thinks that would be a great idea. I was part of a tiny big moment in popular culture history and my diamond O will remind me of that. When the grandkiddies come to visit me in Shady Pines I'll get it out and say "Did I ever tell you about the day I went to see Oprah?".

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Crazy continues...

In the week following M's dance concert we had my work Christmas party, the next day M had two parties to attend and W had a friend over to play. We then rolled into the week with the school presentation day, followed by the day we left for the Hunter Valley for a weekend away which included A Day on the Green.

These two weeks featured an overlay of extra crazy for me because I was helping to organise the Year 6 Farewell at our school (the traditional job of Year 5 parents). This was an interesting job which included meetings, countless emails, a certain amount of frustration in dealing with the school beaurocracy, many hours spent mucking about with the all important individualised place mats, culminating with a full day of decorating the hired hall for the big night (we had chosen the surprise "HORROR" theme and while I have absolutely no imagination and/or decorating talent in this regard the ladies who were in charge of this job did a mind blowing job and it came together brilliantly).

The day of the Farewell function (and thus the big decorating day) was the Friday we left for the Hunter so it was a matter of working all day at the hall, picking up the kids from school, Big Jay from work and heading straight up to Broke where our accommodation was located. It was just gorgeous to roll up to this dated, though lovely, house surrounded by olive trees and rolling hills, meet our friends and take a breath. I so needed that weekend.

We were there for the Blondie and The Pretenders Day on the Green and it was good, so good. You don't go to the Days on the Green for the sound quality; you go for the atmosphere... the vibe, man. Despite half of Australia being under water Bimbadgen Estate was a haven of perfect outdoor concert weather. Not too hot, not too cold, a light breeze. Perfect.

We camped out in a good spot, spread out our array of snacks and enjoyed a few hours of people watching before the bands. The Pretenders were first and to summarise Chrissie Hynde still has "it"; the original rock chick. I love seeing a woman of advancing years looking like a real woman. She's had a full life and it shows on her face, it's so real and sexy. Not a frozen, plastic face masking reality, erasing history. It was funny to think that the new band members were not even born when I was first listening to Brass In Pocket.

Then Blondie. We saw them a number of years ago at the State Theatre and that was a wonderful, memorable night. This time I have to say they were somewhat "off". Not sure how to put my finger on the problem. The sound just not so good, the timing not right, the vibe a little low. Whatever the issue it was all worth it for the amazing version of David Bowie's Heroes. Wow! Nevertheless I would probably give a limb to hear them do Tear Her To Shreds, a pleasure I will unlikely witness in this lifetime.

[Note to drunk dickheads at outdoor concerts: Please watch out for sleeping children on picnic blankets. They don't tend to like being stepped on. Sleeping children or not, don't step in the middle of people's picnic blankets, if you're not squishing a child you're likely to be squishing a nice piece of brie.]

So where was I? The Monday after A Day on the Green featured the U2 concert for Big Jay (better him than me!). He went early with our friend B and lined up for a special place in the mosh pit resulting in a bunch of great photos (unfortunately they were of U2) like this one:

That same evening Will was dancing in Dance Fever with all the kids from Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. Dance Fever is a ballroom dancing style competition for primary schools. His school has been involved for the past few years and it is great fun. The kids get to dress up and have a go at some simple dance routines. For the first time Will and his partner made it into the finals of the Cha Cha which was a great thrill for me, not so exciting for him.

Another late night in a string of late nights. The kids were really hitting the wall by now. Luckily the crazy was over for them. But not for me...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hallway Sex

Feeling silly so found this highly amusing (Number 4 is my personal favourite).

Five types of sex:

1) The first is Smurf Sex. This happens during the honeymoon period; you both keep doing it until you're blue in the face.

2) The second is Kitchen Sex. This is at the beginning of the marriage; you'll have sex anywhere, anytime, even in the kitchen.

3) The third kind is Bedroom Sex. You've calmed down a bit, perhaps have kids, so you gotta do it in the bedroom.

4) The fourth kind is Hallway Sex. This is the phase in which you pass each other in the hallway and say, "Screw you!"

5) There is also a fifth kind of sex: Courtroom Sex. This is when you get divorced and your wife screws you in front of everyone in the courtroom.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Let's start at the start

I like to think of the official start of the Crazy as the Tuesday night of Marianna's dance concert (but it was probably earlier than that, like the weekend we went to see True West, which was also the weekend of our Christmas adoptive families picnic - which ended up at our house because of rain).

Marianna's dance concert was on a Tuesday night which meant she had to be taken out of school early and delivered backstage to NIDA for three hours of rehearsal prior to the evening's show. Children's dance concerts are a peculiar event. The rehearsal looks like bedlam but somehow the show comes together into something resembling an evening of seemless entertainment.

Little Miss M was in three seperate dances and the finale, which meant three costumes and costume changes. Luckily the parents were only responsible for the first costume and hair and make up, everything else was up to the teachers (who must certainly wonder on concert night whether there are easier ways of making a living, for example bomb disposal expert in Afganistan).

Anyway, the evening was really fun and culminated in Princess Attitude being awarded a trophy, which was lovely. But we didn't get home until after 11 and it was all downhill from there. Late nights and school mornings are not a great combination and from that evening we rolled into two weeks of tired, cranky children and tired, cranky parents. Oh, the joy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Remember me?

I don't blame you if you don't. I have been a bad, bad little blogger of late.

I am sorry about that and I'm afraid I won't be repenting right now. It's the first day of the school holidays and I'm recovering from a few weeks which have left me seriously dazed and confused (or even more, much more, than usual). The kidlets and I are off to a playdate shortly and I'm trying to shuffle the crap around the living room so it doesn't resemble the set of Stepford and Sons. The aforementioned kidlets are laying in my bed watching the Jerry Lewis version of The Nutty Professor; they too are recovering.

I need to update you on the craziness which has been my life lately and especially about Oprah. So stay tuned, catch up blogs coming up very soon.

In the meantime a little giggle from the Climate Change Fiasco file - Arctic Meltdown?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Human anatomy

Last night when we were driving home from my sister's birthday dinner Will asked me:

"Mum, do ladies have tentacles in their vaginas?"

After I had stopped giggling and removed the mental image from my mind I said: "Do you mean 'testicles'?"

"Oh yeah, that's what I mean - 'testicles'".

"Um, no they don't. But that's a very interesting question."

Things that make you say "hhhmmmm?"

Sunday, December 05, 2010


I have been reluctantly absent from this here blog for the last week or so because my services have been required elsewhere. In other words I've just had too much bloody stuff to do. My brain is full of blogging thoughts but I just haven't had time to sit and actually write.

It's been a long, good and draining week. Right now, as I write on this fine Sunday evening, I am totally exhausted. I won't bore you with the details; some of you have already suffered through them, listening to my whining in person. The rest may have a reprive.

Anyway, the finish line, signified by the end of Term 4, is in sight. There is mostly fun stuff to look forward to now.

Next weekend we are Day on the Green-ing it in the Hunter Valley, where we'll enjoy two nights with our dear friends the G's and Blondie and The Pretenders under the stars on Saturday night. If the rain stays away... and that's a very big IF... it should be a gorgeous weekend.

As I said I have lots of thoughts buzzing around my void-like brain but I'm seriously too tired to write anything meaningful and/or coherent. So I'll just go and watch the freaks on Sixty Minutes... I love a good freak, don't you? I'm talking serious freaks, not the day to day kind.