Wednesday, December 9, 2009

catching up

So I made up a huge batch of butter pecan and choc chip cookies the other day. Christmas gifts for the teachers - you know, wrap them in nice tissue paper and tie a ribbon around them. Just something small. But I've been eating them, I can't seem to stop THEY ARE THAT GOOD, and with every cookie I take I tell myself, 'Oh that's ok - worst case scenario I'll just buy them a bar of soap'. Do you do that?

Please tell me you do that too.

Yesterday I got a bit of a kick up the pants from my Dad. What are you doing next year? What jobs have you got lined up? Where is your direction - your goal? What are you GOING TO DO?

Oh, I said, I thought we were just going for a chai latte. But it's good. I need a push and I need some pressure on me to get up and really think about where I am going in my life, how I think I might support myself and what exactly are my hopes and goals for next year. Nothing like a bit of impulsive life planning on a Wednesday morning down the main street.

I went home and I filled out an application form for a grad dip in secondary education. I might not get accepted.... but then again I might. And that would be exciting because I've been umming and ahhing about just going for that for years now but I'm nervous (nobody believes that I would make a good high school teacher. No. Body. They say 'oh you would make a good preschool or primary school teacher' but I wouldn't. I don't like little kids as much as you think I do. True fact!)

And I've applied for 3 part time jobs as a preschool assistant and if I get that job then scrub my last remarks about not really liking little kids as much as people think I do because I just LURVE the little children. The little cherubs. The little poppets.

Speaking of cranky, over the hill preschool assistants, my son had one the other year. Her name was, ah, let us call her Helga. Helga was a bit old and a bit of a grumpy sultana. She'd bark orders at the kids and just generally be cantankerous. I was so angry at her. I wanted to scream YOU ARE MEANT TO BE OLD AND KINDLY AND DOTTY - BUCK UP, WRINKLEFACE.

In other news. Yesterday I took the kids in to visit my Mum's workplace. Mum has only been there for a few months but she's led the charge in a huge four-floor Christmas decoration competition. They are all government cubicle dwellers and each section has gone all out to set up a Christmas theme - and it was good. It was very, very good. An Italian dude had dedicated his section to making a 'Christmas Mafia with the Mob' .... my kids didn't really get the humour in it but appreciated the pictures of Al Capone with a smoking gun and a bit of tinsel on his head.
There was a Santa workshop and a Santa expenditure unit with the charts up illustrating stock loss and stock expenditure etc. There was the Grinch Christmas, the North Pole (complete with computerised image of a hot fire burning in the corner), there were tables pushed together to house three giant train tracks and Santa trains - there was a White Christmas and all the white tinsel was hanging from the roof. 'Wow!' said my daughter to one of the guys, "how did you get to hang all the tinsel from up there?'
I just stood on the table, he said. My Mum screamed and put her hands over her ears. OH&S violation! I didn't just hear that!
And we all laughed. Ho ho ho.

I love my Mum and I love that she is perky and effervescent and a people person and she tried to make everywhere she goes fun and happy. But I am not like that and after the third building floor and the fiftieth cubicle I was ready to curl up in a corner and suck my thumb. I don't want to be introduced, I don't like to be looked at, I don't want to be the centre of attention. It's my idea of hell. Two of my kids are like my Mum, and the middle one is like me - he stays in the background, he doesn't try to jostle for 'look at me'. He was happy to look at the decorations and he could have skipped the whole meet and greet four departments.
But I did it because it made my Mum happy to take her grandchildren in to her building and see all the fun things everyone has made. It made her really, really happy.

And that's good to do.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

feeling not great.

The script is going shithouse. I deleted another version of it and I am back to un-inspired territory. No wonder writers jump off cliffs - it's soul destroying and completely masochistic. Can I write? Do I have talent? Who the frick am I kidding? Why bother? Will anyone understand me?

Pass the gin and pack of smokes I'm a frustrated art-eest.

Today I killed the budgie. I say I killed it but I didn't actually kill it, intentionally. You know. I did all the right things this morning by putting in a bird bath, fresh water , placing the cage under the shade of the beautiful mop top tree. Gave it some nectarines to eat. But I had forgotten to refill the bird seed container two days ago, and yesterday I kicked myself when I realised I hadn't bought more seed for the birds. Today I remembered and I came home with a huge stick of bird seed, but it was too late. The little blue budgie was dead. His best friend is all alone tonight for the first time, and I just feel terrible. I feel dreadful.

So I'm feeling a bit shit. I can't write and I can't come up with any great ideas. A whole year of work is down the toilet, all those hours and hours. Poof! Gone!

I am sorry to the budgie. I am sorry I didn't give you seed yesterday but I really did think you'd be ok with a nectarine. Sorry.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Question. Hypothetical, naturally.

Say you are writing a character. She's 36 years old. She falls in love with somebody much younger than her. He's..... 23? 24? 21? 19?

How low is too low. How young is distasteful and 'wrong'? How young would be comfortable enough for you to watch a movie and feel ok with the age gap?

Mum and I saw a film, a beautiful, mesmerizing film called Cherie starring Michelle Pfieffer. She was about 25 years older than him - and it was acceptable because she was beautiful and French.
Wouldn't cut it in downtown Melbourne though, would it?

Or would it. Can you tell me what you think, I'd like to know very much.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reading a book about Nicole.

Last night I finished reading a book that I've been stopping and starting with for a month or two.

Nicole Kidman by David Thomson.

It wasn't my favourite read. I didn't like the freestyle scribe from the author how he wrote as if he was speaking at a dinner with a few glasses of red under his belt. He kind of warbled and side-tracked and I do believe him, that he is passionate about actresses and I do believe him that he is passionate about film and he is knowledgeable, oh yes. He taught film studies at Dartmouth, you know.
But do I believe he is passionate about Nicole Kidman? Yes and no. He's certainly intrigued by her but there is both cruelty and kindness in his assessment of her. Certainly he is not blinded by her beauty to be ignorant of her faults and short comings.

I don't know Nicole Kidman personally but I don't like what I do know. I've never much liked her actually - her interviews make me cringe. I think she's an attention-seeker and a blabber mouth and she always tries to look the victim. Always. Plus she's flaky and she tells fibs about botox ;)
And yet. And yet, when I saw this book on the shelf for a bargain price of only $7.99 I snapped it up. I am intrigued by her and interested in her story - what was happening on the movies she was a part of. What was happening behind the scenes.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

"But just as Nicole seems to revel in the photo shoots that usually accompany (interviews), so she has an eagerness in interview - it's as if she's curious to see what she will say, or what will come out. Who am I this time?"

I think that's what I pick up on - that there is something untrustworthy about her, that what she says you couldn't believe. But still, such a curiosity and a fascination with why I don't like Nicole Kidman and won't go and see a film simply because she's in it. Not at first, anyway.

Anyway, I've finished the book and I'm glad. I know now yet more useless trivia about a person whom I shall never meet, have never warmed to, and will never be really able to justify why.

The End.

*Another review on this book - found it as inane and weird as I did!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

rambling rambly

Today is a day where the sun is shining the birds are singing (really! truly!) and bart is having a catnap (!) after five minutes of chasing a ball in the backyard. I feel happy and content in my world, what a nice feeling that is.
In other news, the other day I was watching amateur porn on the internet and it was a clip back from the 80's and it was obviously all in German and the man cried out, "Oh das ist wunderbar!" and I couldn't help but laugh out loud and I ruined the moment and that was the end of sexytime. Luckily, I was the only one in the room so I didn't have to, you know, worry about anyone else's mood. Handy that.

Moving on.

Today I should be writing or doing some such worthwhile thing - yesterday I applied for 3 jobs for next year as a preschool assistant. I wonder if I'll get it. If not, the only thing I've got lined up for 2010 is working in the school canteen. So glad I studied for TEN YEARS at university, it's really paying off.

I'm back watching tv again, or more specifically, cable tv - (what we in Australia call 'foxtel'). I paid for an upgrade so now I get to watch a lot of British home renovations and American talk shows and lots of cooking. And I have to say - how easy is it to start getting addicted to TV?! It makes you want to lie on the couch forever and just channel surf, what a horrible trap to fall into (as opposed to the seven hours per day I waste sitting on facebook).
Something that the kids and I have begun to enjoy again is SuperNanny with Jo Frost. That show is the bomb, all those dysfunctional families and annoying bratty kids? Show 'em the naughty step, Jo!
I think it is good for my children to see just how ordered and ok our household actually is and that things could be a lot, lot worse for them. My occasional fisherman's wife bellowing is nothing compared to what some kids have to listen to. It's highly ironic though that the middle child, the one who is generally the one who throws the tantrums and the screaming fits, is absolutely enthralled with the disciplinary tactics that SuperNanny gives out. Ironic, no?
I asked him would he like me to have a naughty corner and would he like me to give him a time out but he said 'bugger that for a joke, Mum'. He just likes to watch other kids have to suffer with it.

My Dad actually tried to give me a bit of a talk yesterday about the way I am overprotective of the middle kid. He says I am so quick to step in and make everything ok for L, that I am setting him up to find life very difficult as a young adult. My Dad said, "kids need to learn that life isn't fair and he is going to miss out on things and you can't step in and protect him or fix things for him because how will he learn to grow up into a man?"
I got all quiet and defensive because nobody likes to hear that they aren't doing the right thing with their kids. But I've taken my Dad's gentle concerns in. I am stepping outside the role I've set up for myself as his protector (and his main persecutor!) and I am going to look more at just how I can prepare him for how real life actually is...... it's not fair. He won't be able to throw a tantrum at 21 and scream how nobody buys him anything and then the fairy turns up and brings him a new lamp, a clock radio and a bunch of fighting figurines for his own special bookshelf.
It's such a fine line between wanting to give your kids everything you can but making sure you don't ruin them for the tough reality of life.

Wow. Too deep for a Wednesday. I'm going to walk to the dog in a minute (or am I? my bottom says no) and then I'm going to work a bit on my script. Or watch Dr Phil.

I'm so torn. And das ist nicht wunderbar!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A friend once spoke of the differences between an old friend

A friend once spoke of the differences between an old friend and myself as such:

"Kylie was a single woman who lived like a single woman. You are a single woman who lives like a married woman"

I just thought of that as I popped a date slice into the oven, wrapped up some home-made mini quiches and made a cup of tea for my Dad, who is fixing the shower.

Yes. Yes. I can see that.

Last night I held my brand-new seven year old boy. Seven years

Last night I held my brand-new seven year old boy. Seven years old!

I pushed my nose into his hair and his neck and hung on tightly to him, my darlin', my baby boy.
Why do I need him so much? I asked myself. Because that seems to be the word I come up when I think about my feelings to this little one. I need him - he is my family's sunshine.

Seven years, and three days ago, my Nanna died in hospital in Melbourne. My Nan was also sunshine to my family, the kindest and most loving woman I have ever known - she adored me my whole life and we had a special bond. When she died I was in Perth, a long, long way away.
I was in Perth and I was going through a really horrible divorce and I was pregnant with little O. I felt like I had nobody.

Nevin pulled up that day, on my front lawn and left his 4WD engine running. My role was to go out with the two car seats and the overnight bags, waddling and struggling with a four year old and a two year old trailing behind. He would sit in the car and smoke and refuse to make eye contact.
What I should have done is throw the whole lot on the front lawn and say, "you arrogant, nasty prick, get out off your backside and come and collect your children and put their car seats into your car" but I never did do or say those things. I felt guilty and I felt ashamed because I was having our baby and I didn't want to be married to him anymore. He detested me.

So my Nan has died and I am 3000km away with my two children gone to their hostile Father. I am left alone with Nevin's Mum who, just like me, is bewildered and saddened by Nevin's behavior. She says she can't even look at him - that is not her son.

I cry and cry on the bed. I cry for my Nan, I cry for myself and I cry for my two little kids who are having a terrible, terrible time. And I cry for the baby who is coming into such a sad world with a Dad who won't acknowledge them.

But O is born and a page turns in our life. It is not a horrible world or a horrible place - when I was giving birth to him I heard my Nanna and in that trippy place of a pain so raw and heightened that my mind traveled to another land to get away from it - I got to hear Nan and talk with her again. She wasn't so far away after all.
O was born and I never looked back - I loved him instantly and fiercely and I hung onto him. He was the little bit of something wonderful for the kids and I to have in our family.

So last night as I wrapped my arms around this little boy's waist and I breathed in his hair and his smell, I remembered seven years ago how everything was dark until he was born and brought so much light. Happy Birthday, O.

The orange lamp that was free

There may or may not be some dodgy product placement stuff going on in this next post.

Sorry 'bou that. But I got this new lamp, you see. A big orange environmentally friendly LAMP from - in their lamp section.

I first of all ordered a rug but the rug couldn't come till late and I decided instead of waiting, I would choose something a big different and quite a bit spesh.

I got this giant orange lamp for my middle son, L. The one who feels like nothing in his room is his and nobody ever thinks to give him something just on his own.

I got him this giant orange lamp because he is scared of the dark. I got him this lamp because it sits atop a small bookshelf filled with his books and objects and it sits in the corner and gives the room a soft orange glow. It's like being inside a giant cocoon actually - quite lovely.

So this is a dodgy product placement post but with a happy ending. I'm glad I chose the lamp and I'm glad I gave it to my son who now loves it.

Thank you Maria from and thank you big orange lamp.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Slap

The Slap is written by Australian author, Christos Tsiolkas and I've just finished reading it...late last night actually.

God I was glad to be done with it and away from those characters. By the end of the book, I despised the lot of them and the sad, sly, dysfunctional, cruel and treacherous world they live in.

This book has been hailed as a definitive exploration of the modern, multi-cultural world in which I apparently now live in. Middle-class, suburban Australia.


The premise of this book is excellent and wondering what happens is why I kept the page turning even though so many things about it made me cringe (though not the writing - never the writing. This author is superb).

At a BBQ one weekend afternoon, where family and friends converge at Hector and Aisha's home in a leafy Melbourne suburb, a 3 year old child is slapped by somebody who is not his parents. The repercussions that follow are powerful and the ripple effect is alive and well, let me tell you. It may seem like a basic premise - nobody should slap a child and the person who did it was in the wrong - but there are so many shades of grey and jumping over deep-down cultural and traditional beliefs and our assumptions and ideologies about rights and power and abuse, it's a hurdle.
The one theme that kept popping out to me was entitlement. My generation has such different ideas about entitlement than my parent's or my grandparents believed. Entitlement. Respect. Power. Rights. All the big themes are explored in this book and it's a fascinating read, it really is.
But so frikkin' uncomfortable.

The book is a compilation of many characters who were there at the fateful BBQ. And I have to be honest, every character bar one made me angry and disgusted and annoyed and bored. Do I know any of these sorts of people? People who are supposedly representative of current day Australia? I don't know them and I hope I never meet them! Perhaps I've been too sheltered but if that's the big grown up world out there I'm glad I spend so much time indoors. The characters are vain and sneaky and the language is pretty full-on. The sex scenes can feel grotesque (and there are a lot of sex scenes).

Basically - I am glad I don't hang around people who talk the way these characters (bar one - a sweet boy called Richie) do.

Which sounds trite and prudish and precious when talking about an extremely well written book by an author who just blows me away with his human insights and oh, he must be like a human sponge, soaking up everything he sees, hears, feels and assumes. What a great author - his story kept me reading even when I was repulsed by his characters and felt so angry that my middle-class Australia was being portrayed in such a crude way.

Read it and tell me what you think.

Oh and here's a transcript of an interview with the author, which is also interesting.

Another review here...

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I've been in a right mood lately. Hot then cold hot then cold. My temper is flaring up to the point where I think my head is going to burst into a gelatinous mess of red hot lava, pouring down the slopes of my shoulders like a lazy volcano.

The doctor is testing my hormones and my thyroid. But I know it's not my hormones. It's my eating addiction - all that crap in my system making me crazy and my thinking fuzzy and my levels riding high then dropping down so fast. Awfully fast.

I have put on weight again, every week I grow another centimeter, and as such my bosom is positively heaving against my shirts. I am showing extra cleavage but it's not sexy. It looks like a fat man's arse crack showing through his shorts - I am repelled by it.
But others are not. I have noticed this. They gawk and they stare. Even my women friends - they look down at the flash of white padded softness and I feel self conscious and betrayed.
Don't look at my tits, love, I want to chide. It shits me.

So today I have dressed with a button up cardigan. Only I left all the buttons on it undone, but for the top one. The cleavage one. Everyone can keep their damn eyes to themselves today. I've also painted my eyelids in green shimmer make up so hopefully my eyes will be interesting enough to look into.
Everyone can just go to hell.

I hate having breasts that are out there. I hate the matronly feel of them. The way all my clothing decisions are based on what will cause me the least amount of attention. People make jokes about them to my face, which is only somewhat better than turning and smirking the way some husbands do as they look at their wives - cor, she's got a set on her, eh?
I know what they think.
Perving assholes.

I'm sorry I'm angry, and it sounds coarse and hostile to read. You might feel uncomfortable. But I'm uncomfortable and I really think people should keep their bloody eyes away from my chest. Even my friends. Especially my friends.