30 May 2014

Beauty is as beauty does

I have thought about this deeply and as objectively as possible.

And it's not tall poppy syndrome.

But I really don't think I'd warm to Miranda Kerr even if I shared an office with her.

And having read in more places than strictly necessary about her ability to orgasm in public places like planes or backstage both alone and in good company, I'd be wary about sharing an open plan office with her.

I definitely wouldn't be shaking her hand.

See there's a double standard that exists here - if Shane Warne talked openly about wanking in public places or at work, we'd all be 'ewwwww icky'.  And then we'd talk about how men are generally gross.

But when Miranda Kerr does it, we're all like that's fine, how risque darlink.  Well most people.  I'm still not shaking her hand until I know she's been to the washroom.

Just sayin'
I'm also not a fan of people that don't own up to being genetically blessed.  She keeps banging on about how if I used her products and exercised twenty times a day, I'd look like her.  But that's bull shit.  I've seen her Mum and her Nan, and my genetics don't have that kind of tall and lithesome any place remotely recently so all the body cream and butt kicks aren't going to change a thing.

She's basically that colleague that turns up, sucks up, puts in the hard yards when management are looking, and spends the rest of the time telling you how you could be as good as her if you know, you were born her.

Frankly, she's annoying.  Especially since she still hasn't got the office manager's name right even though she's worked there for almost three years.

So when I read about that woman having plastic surgery to look like Miranda Kerr I felt completely baffled.  One that you'd do such a thing, but two - with so many beautiful, interesting, kind people in the world, why on earth would....?

Never mind.  I hope you love your new face lady.  And I hope you've got plenty of humour, courage and kindness to make that face truly beautiful.

****
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29 May 2014

I married an introvert

I did.
lovers.

On purpose and everything.  Well, I didn't actually seek out an introvert to marry, I just knew he was an introvert by the time I did marry him.  

And I'm an extrovert.  According to Meyers Briggs I'm not a raving loon of an extrovert, but I definitely am energised by other people's company and ideas.  My husband on the other hand, is energised by time on his own. 

The biggest difference between us is that he doesn't do small talk.  Not even a little bit.  He'll say 'Hi, how are you?' and then be perfectly happy to just listen.  Or if the conversation is not grabbing him, he just looks like he's listening.

He's not being anti-social, he's there, he's involved.  Just not loudly.  I have a plethora of introverted friends and they are all the same.  It's just that it's incomprehensible to me.  Especially when we're tired. Then his introverted zoning becomes red rag and I become bull.  (What? I said I was extroverted - not reasonable)

I love small talk - I love finding out about people, what interests them, what they've been doing, anything really.  I love talking to my husband.  Heaven is being able to talk to my husband and a heap of other people.  

I definitely have social touretttes.  I'm always throwing out invitations and agreeing to do things that sound even vaguely interesting just because I enjoy people's company.  In fact, I've been known to agree to do something with somebody I don't even like on the basis of 'Ah what the hell - it's just one night'.  I can't help myself.  The invitations or agreements are out before I can stop them.

Sometimes we drive each other insane.  Being such a compulsive conversation contributor I always worry that he appears rude.  And he always wonders why we went to the supermarket for milk and came home with four new friends and have a social calendar full until March 2018.

It works though.  Because I do need down time and having to factor his need for down time into our lives means it happens to me too.  It's a good thing.  For all of us.

And how does my extroversion impact him? Well, quite frankly, I keep his life interesting.  

Just don't expect him to tell you about it. 

****
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28 May 2014

My comfort zone does not contain 'the moment'

Babies are good at being 'in the moment'
You know when somebody says 'be in the moment'?

I rarely am.

There is always a little part of me that is watching me (normally with a sardonic expression on the face and a slight curl to the lip - something I can't actually achieve in reality).

It's because I'm incredibly self conscious.  Always have been.  Being in the moment is not my comfort zone.  No sirree.

So while I'm not big on being overly criticised, I'm not big on being overly praised.  I like a nice 'well done', 'lovely', or even a 'you are the best' and we can carry on.  I find any kind of extremism discomfiting but particularly when aimed at me.

So you know how I'm a long distance runner now?  No?  You must be new to the blog (cackles gleefully). I ran 23 kilometres last week to raise some money for cancer and couldn't sit down unaided for about 48 hours.  And you can imagine how awkward that was as a) I was rehydrating and b) don't have a penis.

Anyway, decided to use my health insurance and go and get a 'remedial sports massage'.  First session - legs (pain free peeing - SUCCESS).  Second session - back - oohhhhhhhhh HEAVEN.

New masseuse.  She's lovely.  And really incredibly good at the massage thing.  And the professional advice thing - you know the stretching, the epsom salts, the restarting the training (ha ha).

She's also really nice and incredibly new age.  Like more than Bronwyn.  THAT new age.

She kept saying things like -

'Honour your achievement with all your body'

'I can feel your strength, focus in on how amazing you are'

'Be in the moment, let go of the pain, hold onto your courage and commitment'

And so on.

I felt like a fraud.

I loved the massage, but I was seriously blushing.  "I ran for money. I bitched the whole time.  I'm still bitching.  And profaning."  And she laughed and said something like "I see your spirit is modest".

Bless.  No.  I'm an arse.

As she kept poking around in my back and I was thinking how amazing it was that somebody can push a muscle in your shoulder and you can feel a muscle relax in your foot, she encouraged me to breathe strongly like the warrior I was and will continue to be.

I accidentally snorted trying not to giggle and had to pretend I just needed a tissue.  Could I be any more infantile?

And you know, I am pleased with my achievement. I really am.  But lovely lady, when you massage that brilliantly, you don't need to be nice.  I'm coming back anyway.  Though I may make up a story about tripping over an old lady so you think less of me.  Just to save you from being new age and lovely to the undeserving.

What about you?  Is there a type of encouraging speak which makes you twitch like a six year old boy just before bell rings?

****
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27 May 2014

From the cradle

Over the last week I was involved in two conversations with people that said that they don't think it's fair that children are taken along, or feature in photos or campaigns, that represent their parent's beliefs.

The two people involved are chalk and cheese and separated by about 30 years of age.  But they were in full agreement - "Those poor children don't know what they are getting involved in. It's disgusting." (Both times in reference to the children featuring in that very funny video by Elena titled 'These are a few of Tony's favourite fibs" - a Sound of Music parody - do watch it, it's very clever)

But I've been thinking about it - because our children come with us to things that I know both these people don't approve of really - and so there is an element of my choices being criticised, however obliquely.  Which does get one to thinking. Which is never a bad thing.

And I've concluded that they are right.

No.  The children don't know.  But eventually they will.  And that's the point.

Generally, children are being exposed to things that their parents believe in or are passionate about. Right from the cradle.  And that's what parenting is about - guiding our children down roads we think are right for them.

In our case, our children come with us to march in support of marriage equality, human rights, protest poor government choices, and rally in support of asylum seekers and refugees.  I have used their photos online to support #kidslikemine.  They come to cancer fundraising events, miracle baby events, other events for 'causes', watched me run, stuck coins in collection buckets, worn rubber bands on their wrists and once, even got to meet Peppa Pig.

Why?  Because my kids are born lucky and I also think it's important for them to see us actively supporting issues we care about.  Change doesn't happen through apathy and I don't want my girls growing up thinking that life is awesome for everybody.  If people don't care, actively care, nothing changes.

And that is something both their father and I agree on wholeheartedly.  

See.  Told you. 
Others take them to the football and indoctrinate them with a fervent and inexplicable passion for (searches brain for suitable reference), Collingwood.  And people spend thousands over a lifetime on jerseys and memberships and scarves and hats and things.  Parents feel physically gutted if their child changes allegiance as they grow older.  Let alone changing codes.  Grown men cry over football.  Completely inexplicably to me - football matters.

I know it's a touchy one folks, but religion - including atheism.  Generally we get them christened, communed and confirmed, bar mitzvahed, hijabed, pledged, etcetera, all before adulthood. It's not right, it's not wrong.  It's an example of parents demonstrating their beliefs and passions to their children because they believe it is the right thing to do and they believe it will benefit their child in a lot of awesome ways.

Politics.  People line up for hours to have their babies kissed by politicians.  Those babies don't know any better.  Does being kissed by Tony Abbott preclude you from growing up some kind of bolshie leftie?  Who knows?  But still, while we might think "Ew, poor mite being kissed by Tony", we're not thinking "What terrible parents."  Because they're not.

Because generally people are doing the things that they believe are best for their children.  Yes it means that some people are brought up being complete arses, who are so proud of being arses they will bring their hating to every conversation on every public forum in the world (looking at you my dear bigoted Mr Heinrich Schmidt and the completely cray cray Conchita of Canberra).

I can do everything I can to bring my children up the way I think is right, but eventually, they're going to use their bright minds and the influences of the world around them to make their own decisions.

You know something, they might even turn into people that follow football.  And I'll still love them.  Probably.

****
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26 May 2014

Inspiration by Goat #Laughlink

In the dark of the pre-dawn this morning I awoke with a BOOM and thought that is the BEST idea for a funny blog post I have had in a long time.  And I typed into my phone 'goat'.

And then proceeded to have an extremely bizarre dream about a friend of mine proposing to his girlfriend by tying the ring to a goat.

But I don't remember what the post was going to be about.  GOAT!  What the f**k could I possibly have felt so inspired about that I wrote the word goat?

"I is goat. Goat I is"
I don't have a lot of goat stories. I recently went to Goat Island for the first time but a man had a heart attack during our visit so it wasn't exactly laugh a minute.

A friend of mine used to have a three legged goat in his backyard as a pet but I think that goat was a rescue animal so it's more awwww sweet, than joke material.  Plus it was in the 80s.

And another friend of mine once got backed into an electric fence by a goat she was trying to inject with antibiotics, which resulted in her accidentally shooting the goat's antibiotics into the air and then they splashed into her own mouth.

And that was funny, but only because I was watching at the time and it was pure slapstick comedy.

Until we had to ring the poisons hotline and find out what to do if you swallow goat medicine. Actually, I was still giggling then but in a caring look at me I've rung the poison hotline kind of way.

I've also watched that movie 'Men who stare at goats' but I think that was about Iraq and I don't have any jokes about Iraqi goats in my repertoire.  Well unless I thought of one during the night but that seems a bit of a stretch that even my slightly odd subconscious was sitting on a cracker of a joke about Iraqi goats.

So since I have got nothing funny to write about goats, definitely not a blog post - I'm just going to share these three goat jokes I found by googling 'goat jokes'.

What do you call an unemployed goat? 
Billy Idol.  

What do you call a goat with one ear? 
Van Goat

What do you call a goat at sea? 
Billy Ocean

You're very welcome. 

****
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22 May 2014

I'd biddy biddy bum


"If I were a rich man,
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I'd biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man."
(Fiddler on the roof)


What does the dream look like for me?  If I was so fabulously wealthy that money really became no object what would I do?  How would I know I was 'living the dream'?

Would I build a dinosaur park?  Buy private planes? Drop cash from helicopters? Give a scholarship to the Prime Minister's daughter?  Splash out on a wardrobe of designer clothes?

I was pondering this in the early hours of the morning today during my regular pre-dawn random insomniac hour where I wake up and spend time uselessly focussed on the most obscure things.

And I know exactly what would define my new life as 'wealthy'.

I'd have a full time cook or two.  Somebody or bodies (I mean people need a life I don't mind them job sharing because I'm super wealthy now and can afford to be magnanimous to the little people) to plan the food for this family and do the cooking.

Image credit
I have a theory in life that happy couples consist of somebody with a passion for cooking hooking up with somebody who doesn't give a rats bottom.  However, neither Nick or I care much for cooking and so we cook what we need to, in as few pans as possible, as quickly as possible so we can get it over and done with and get on with life.

Rest assured we're happy but imagine how much happier we'd be if we never had to think about what we ate, we just ate!  It would be utopia.

Not for us this hours of time in the kitchen, sampling recipes and lovingly dabbing flour on each other's noses.  We're more - what can be done with half a cucumber, some cold sausages, tinned soup and left over Easter egg?

Shows like Masterchef or My Kitchen Rules or Jamie Oliver's ten minute muffins bore us rigid.  The fact that people subscribe to cookery channels leaves us baffled.  Don't be fooled here - we enjoy eating good food, well prepared and put together by somebody with half a clue, we just don't like doing it ourselves.

So that would be living the dream.  Somebody to prepare yummy, nutritious food and just give it to us at the appropriate time.  Sometime that knew how to turn old bananas into banana bread rather than just buying the banana bread pan and putting it unused into the cupboard.  Somebody who loves to scour cookery books and take inspiration from them.  Somebody who would get a kick out of grating zucchini into a wet mess to stick into muffins so the children got their vegetable intake without knowing it.

Somebody that could identify quinoa and understands that caviar is only palatable with a spoonful of Vegemite on the same cracker.  Somebody that understands that we really don't care what we eat as long as it's yummy and caters for my 'please make sure all animals are completely dead before you put them on my plate' thing.  Somebody that could ensure I never had to touch raw chicken again.

That my friends is the dream.  My own personal chef/s.  I'll even buy them the hat.

What would be the sign that you officially had too much money?

****
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21 May 2014

Pastor on a plane

So. The other day, I met a Pastor on a plane.

Not on a plane, in a plane.  But that's not what you say is it?  You say on. Right?

Anyway, the Pastor.  He was there, sitting next to us.  Heading home after a week or so in Bali.  But not on holidays, he works with a mob or supports a mob of people that help Australian prisoners in Indonesian prisons set up micro-businesses to help them fund their incarceration.

I didn't even know that was a thing that people had to do.  But to be honest, most of what I know about Indonesian prisons I've learnt from articles about Schappelle Corby and they aren't exactly known for being big on fact.

The micro-businesses can be art, knitted goods, screen printing, computer skills - anything basically that provides a small but steady income.  And there are more Australians and non-Indonesian prisoners in these places than Schappelle and the Bali Nine which of course you know but you don't really think about.

So boom! Twenty minutes into the flight - I'd learnt something.

We then went on to chat about children, christianity, people, knees, naming children, running ultra half marathons, blogging, social media, volunteering, personal branding for young people and all those kind of random conversations you have when you're making small talk with somebody that actually thinks about things.

And it was a very enjoyable 90 minute flight.  At the end, we went off to get our hire car and he went and found his group of people and headed home to his family to join in the Saturday sports mania which is fairly representative of families with children the age of his.

And the Pastor on the plane.  It really struck me as I was chatting with friends in the pub the next day after the run, he is any stranger we fail to engage with given the opportunity and I live in constant amazement that people don't want to make these kinds of connections.  I know something now I didn't know, I didn't know.  I met somebody who was interesting, passionate about what he did and had a decent handshake.

Next week, it might be a clown in an elevator (true story), an old lady next to you on the bus (true story), somebody in the queue at the supermarket (true story).  And no, we don't need to talk to everybody (apparently - go figure), but how often do we avoid eye contact and shut ourselves off from amazing experiences just because we're afraid of what people might think?

I'm right aren't I?  We do.  WE DO.  We're so dumb.  So self-limiting! And I say this knowing that I have a face that attracts weirdoes.  If there is a weirdo within 100 kilometres of where I am sitting - they flock to me but YET, sometimes I get the Pastor on the plane.

And it reminds me of why people and conversations are such enriching additions to the everyday.  And also why you shouldn't try and smuggle drugs to Indonesia.

Anyway.

Go forth and chitter chatter.  Go on.  Dare you.

****
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16 May 2014

Abandoning desire. Embracing zen.

There comes a time in your life when you have to let go of some things you have hankered for your whole life.  In case they are holding you back you see.

I'm so zen at times.

So since I have only about seven months before I hit 40, I'm letting go of four things I had really hoped might happen and make my life perfect.

1. I'm never going to be black

I blame my parents for this one.  I'm pale, but pink.  So not Cate Blanchett pale.  Not Nicole Kidman pale. More Vicky Pollard pale.  My sisters got skin that tans or lacks the pink undertone. My brothers tan I think - but who knows - they get to keep the body hair. I always wanted skin like Lupita Nyong'o or Iman Abdulhmajid or Samantha Harris.  I still want skin like theirs, but am resigned to white, freckled, pale skin that alternates between blotchy pink and blotchy blue depending on the season.

But if you EVER make a movie of my life, please ask Lupita to star.  Everybody knows that even documentaries get a little bit of creative leeway, and since the next generation of children are learning about history from the films, not the books - they'll never know the truth.


2. I'm never going to be Jewish

I have to blame my mother for this I think.  She's Catholic.  Sure I could convert, but I don't think my reasoning would resonate.  I want to be able to use 'Oy Vey', 'Mazeltov' and 'L'Chaim' with wild abandon, break glasses underfoot and write brilliant musical scores.  Oh, I know it's a generalisation people calm down, but over all I think we need to agree that the Jewish people have it sewn up - music, history, art, resilience, language and so on.

Since the conversion is unlikely to happen, I have to settle for a liberal usage of schlocks, klutzes, chutzpah, tuches, schmoozes, schtick, glitches and schmucks in both my writing and conversation.  And watch this video a lot, because it makes me happy.


3. I am not going to be a rock star

I can't sing and my piano teacher quit on me when I was in primary school - supposedly because I never practiced, but equally likely because I couldn't play.  Sure the two might go together but if you haven't got it, you haven't got it.  I am never going to write a song or craft a dance which is to the future what Gangnam Style is to the past.

I will never wear leather pants with a flannelette shirt or have underpants flung at my motorcade.  I will never have my tongue the talking point of conversations around the world.  I won't get to eat my breakfast off the back of a naked model or inspire a generation to rebel against the conformity of society.  My profanity will always be crass, not the wild, crazy talk of a sassy front woman.

4. I am never going to understand why people thought The Piano was a good movie

I always thought I missed something, that I failed to understand a movie so profound and moving that even people that prefer Monster Truck events to Mozart RAVED about it.  I read the reviews, countless pages of gushing and admiration for a movie that bored me so much that I almost cheered when he chopped her finger off because I was SO PLEASED SOMETHING HAD HAPPENED.

However, I do agree that the New Zealand scenery was breathtaking.  But seriously, send me a postcard and save me the movie price.  But I'm letting this go.  I am realising that it's not a failure on my part.  It was just a really crap movie.

And that's the four steps to accepting myself and moving on to the perfect life.  I can't believe these impediments to happiness and success never came up in my therapy sessions.

What little things about yourself do you have to accept now that you're supposed to be an adult?


****
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15 May 2014

The Run Diary - The final week - Not dead.

So last night was my last training session for this weekend's ultra marathon.

They asked us to fill out a form answering various questions as part of their continuous improvement.  They asked me what my fitness goal was when I joined the program and I wrote "Don't Die".  The next question asked me if I'd achieved it.  I wrote "Yes".

I haven't actually done the run yet - so who knows.  It could end badly - in which case, can somebody in my training pod update my answer for me on Monday?

So I've graduated from the program.  See - a certificate to prove it.



And now I'm drinking this with a straw to get me match fit as I have a cold to go with the broken toe. I love that the universe helps me have something to continue to complain about now that I've actually learned to run.

But anyway, Bisolvon, ibuprofen and Vicks should see me right for Sunday. Hydration is a must for 'us' long distance runners don't you know?  And this is alcohol free, sugar free, colour free, gluten free and lactose free.  It's pretty much what my diet should have been for the whole training program.  Oops.

 And I've got my running gear sorted - including the appropriate hashtag for you all to use when you send encouraging tweets and Facebook messages on Sunday.

Some people are running the SMH half marathon or the Great Ocean Road ultra Marathon, ultra half marathon and 14km just for fun but that kind of insanity doesn't deserve a hashtag.

So just say 'you're totes cray cray to them' to them.  Because they'll be so keen to finish the race and get back to take you to task about using stupid expressions like 'totes cray cray', they will run really really fast.  Don't forget to say "you're welcome" when they return.

photo courtesy Jennie Star

So here is us after whizzing around the oval last night.  Why we chose to press out sticky sweaty bodies together after training rather than before has me baffled but that's okay.

A big fat 'YOU GO TEAM' to all my running group - I only got this far because I know you needed somebody to come last.  And I am that kind of team player.  Oh, and those lovely dollars people have donated to Cure Cancer.

And this is where we started 13 weeks ago - Mel and I are the ones pretending to be Michael Jackson in Thriller.  The rest of them are proper adults and fitness junkies.  But we're probably the coolest.
Photo courtesy Jennie Star
It's absolutely not to late to get me to my goal amount of $10,000 over the two runs (last year's 9 kilometres and this year's 23 kilometres) so if you have $1 to spare, at the time of writing, I'm looking for about 745 people to donate a dollar and get me over the line before the race starts on Sunday morning.   Go on - you know you want to (please?)

And thanks for all the amazing support you've given me along this journey, and thanks to my beautiful man and my gorgeous daughters for believing in me and thanks all for you superb generosity.  I'v'e done this because of you.  You're awesome. 

And last but in no way least - to all of you who have danced with cancer, I salute you.  In particular for this run, Laura and Ruth - you go girls. #fuckcancer.

Big love and thanks again xoxo

****
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13 May 2014

Cake, gays and football

So you know how I'm a BIG BIG sports fan....

Okay. So I am not.  But I have heard of Michael Sams.

This is Michael Sams in his football gear
He's an American footballer that told people he was gay.  This was big news because apparently your sexual orientation can prevent you from playing football properly.

So, in a very sporting manner he let everybody know before the draft.  Now the draft is when you do or don't get chosen to play for a team.  Apparently it's not based on your sexual orientation but your ability to play the game.  So why Michael had to tell anybody is a little confusing.

But I'm not really into sports.  So a little bit like the offside rule being explained to me about shopping for handbags, I'm still no clearer.  Because I don't know what game the offside rule applies to and I'm unlike to get competitive about handbag shopping.  I know, two failings in one paragraph.

Anyway, because Michael's sexual orientation has nothing, or everything, to do with being selected to play football, there was a news crew there to record Michael's reaction if he did, or did not, get selected.
And he did.  By St Louis' Rams.  He was the 264th selection.  I don't know what that means but it's mentioned a lot.  But anyway, he was excited, he cried, he kissed his partner and then threw cake around.
This is a picture of a cake
A rainbow cake - see what I did there? OFFENSIVE
Apparently even at his partner.  Now his partner didn't get upset by all this cake throwing but a lot of people have gotten upset about the kissing.  Because apparently we don't need to see that on TV.  All the people are not upset about it being two males kissing, nope, absolutely no homophobes here, it's about the kissing.  We don't need to see cake throwing and kissing like that on our TV.

And then, because I was reading the article at 4am, I was obviously a little befuddled and I READ THE COMMENTS.  Do not make this mistake.  It turns out that we ARE upset about the boy kissing boy bit because apparently in the bible it says that you can't play football if you kiss boys and also that kissing boys and throwing cake on TV will make young boys that want to play football think that you have to kiss boys.  Or something.  It was the vilest, most putrid list of petty mindedness I have read in a long time. Well apart from the budget. And whoever Conchita of Canberra is - shame.

Now, we know bigotry pisses me off. People who obsess about where other people put their tongues and body parts are just strange.  And complaining about kissing on TV.  Really - REALLY?  That was the best thing you could think of complaining about?  Did you complain about Kanye and Kim's motorbike ride?  Did you complain about Monica and Chandler getting it together?  Do you boycott The Farmer meets a wife? Did you write in horror at Spiderman getting the girl?

To be completely fair, wind farms are more offensive then kissing.  And wind farms are not offensive at all.  So if it's NOT the 'act' of kissing that is offensive, that leaves the cake and the fact that he kissed a bloke.

Which means the vast majority of commenters are homophobes. Some were offended by black homosexuality too which makes them racist homophobes.  A lot of people seemed upset about the mess made with the cake making them racist, homophobic, cake lovers.

So let's sort this out - Michael, please.  Stop wasting cake.  It's upsetting people.

And the rest of you are bigots.  Yes.  Bigots.  B. I. G. O. T. S.

Please, take my advice, whenever you wish to demonstrate your bigotry, stupidity and pettiness - eat cake.  It'll make the world a lot nicer place for pretty much everybody.

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12 May 2014

Baby on Board #Laughlink

Seen one of these recently?


You see them on old cars, on new cars, on small cars, on big cars.  You see variations of them, you see them personalised with names, glitter or soccer balls.  You see them occasionally on the back window and the side windows and as a bumper sticker on the back bumper bar.  All at once.

You see them beside stick families, above F&&k off we're full stickers and once, I even saw one on a motorbike.  Ridden by a man.

But what they are saying is not 'Baby on Board'.

They are saying 'Please don't crash into me'.

And while OBVIOUSLY, I don't want any one crashing into me when I've got the girls in the car, I really don't want to be crashed into when I'm on my own either.  Or even if the car is empty, just parked, I'd prefer you didn't crash into it then either.

Hear me road users?  Don't crash into me.  Please.

Or is this just me? Do other people see these signs and hanker for one?  Is this one of those ones where having a sign that says 'Baby on Board' actually means - 'Yes folks, I got laid and I have a baby here to prove it! - Pull me over and I'll show you - you can even have a hold!'

Worse is when people with one of the signs drives like an absolute lunatic and you totally judge their parenting as you slam on the brakes to avoid being hit.  It's a bit like when the chaps with the Christian fish on the back bumper of their lowered cars, flip you the finger when they overtake you for doing the speed limit.

Either way, it seems a bit daft to me.  If you're going to have something on the back of you car, make it this one - my favourite ever bumper sticker


I killed myself laughing when I got caught out with it.  And the second time.  Ha!

What things in car windows always strike you as odd?


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Michaela from Five Frogs Blog |  Emily from Have a Laugh on Me | Kimberley from Melbourne Mum | Alison from Talking Frankly | Vanessa from 26 Years and Counting |  Rachel fromRedcliffe Style

11 May 2014

For my daughters

Darling daughters,

I was never somebody that craved motherhood, I never felt a biological clock ticking and I never had a plan.  I just kind of assumed I'd get around to it some day.

I was lucky.  I did get around to it - twice. Very importantly I had the good sense to have you fathered by a kind man with a beautiful heart.  This means you wont have to deal with abandonment issues, hook up with inappropriate sugar daddies or join an extreme cult in an effort to find yourself.

Well if you do, it won't be your dad's fault.

You are, both of you, loved and adored in equal measure.  I had planned on never shouting, but I'd forgotten to imagine your developing independence and your flourishing imaginations.  Even when I am in the midst of being 'shouty mum' and exasperated beyond measure, I am proud.  And me shouting is my issue, never yours.

I will not have your spirit quenched or your thirst for adventure diminished.  I would rather your live your early years barefooted, wild haired and snotty cheeked because you have the rest of your life to conform.  I am learning that there is a difference between misbehaviour and behaviour that isn't considered proper.  They are not the same thing.  Learn this early and you will bloom.

I will not allow you to grow up without manners or with the expectation that all you want is yours for the shouting.  But I will work with you to understand why manners are important and tantrums mean 'no'.  Sometimes that means you are 'mad' with me, and I'm okay with that, because being told you can't have something is no fun.  It doesn't mean I will change my mind and it means that when you get older you'll be able to get a job and keep it.  You're welcome.

I will badger you about being kind, saying sorry and learning to empathise.  Because if these are instinctive to your older selves, you're in a good position.  These three things are not weaknesses, indeed they are strengths which you should keep in good shape through constant use.  If you are mean, petty spirited, unable to admit wrong and without empathy - you wont be the best versions of yourself and I will consider that I have failed as a mother.  I have enough issues, please get the hang of these three things.  

I am happy to spoil you, cuddle you too much, tell you that you are clever, count your freckles, tickle your tummy and say I love you until it becomes embarrassing and then I will say it again.  There is not a day that has gone by since you were born that I haven't told you and I will continue to say it every day for the rest of your lives.  For the greatest thing I can do for you as a mother is send you out into the world secure in the knowledge that you are loved beyond reason.

I truly believes that self confidence comes from being loved.  And if you are confident enough to live big lives, choose good people as friends and lovers, be kind, shun bigotry and speak up not only on your own behalf but others, than my beautiful girls, what a life you will have, and what a magnificent nursing home you'll choose for me and your dad.  Please make sure it has a pool.

As I wrote to you both on the days you were born,  I am still aiming not to f**k up this parenting lark, it's still early days but overall, we're tracking okay.  But regardless of my mothering, you girls are the two most amazing people.  And I love every single bit of both of you.  Every single day.

Love Mama xxxx

9 May 2014

Conversation. How I love thee!

This week I have had the opportunity to get my head around the cost of sperm, trafficking of human tissue, the legal differences between jacking off in jars and donating body fluid, how a helicopter parent copes with the sensitive subject of toddlers double dipping, slapped cheek syndrome, the contrariness of the weather, heart attack vs indigestion, how you can tell whether or not you are dating somebody or in denial on the subject and last, but by no means least, where there ever goats on Goat Island?


How can you EVER run out of conversation?  There are things to be talked about that you didn't even know existed.

Lumbar punctures, friends that haven't really quit smoking, Eurovision, the Packers, missing Irishmen, tall ships, ballet slippers, new staff members, MBTI, depression, managing behaviour, aspirational parenting, cancer research, parties, jigsaw puzzles, carbohydrates, missing Birkenstocks, broken toes, why submarines are scary, where is Cubby hiding, why do we have to wear underpants?

All these vastly interesting and varied topics to be discussed and I didn't even have to ask questions sometimes, just listen.  And the best bit is, when you ask questions - you learn new stuff.

This is why I am perplexed by people that don't like meeting new people, or trying new things.  Why would you choose to have the same conversation ad nauseum when you can say 'Hey, lovely to meet you, so explain to me why you didn't just say that kale is cabbage?

Because if people knew that - they wouldn't eat it.  The only people that ever liked cabbage were the Russians and that was only after they mixed it with beetroot and cream.  Mmmmmm.... borscht.

I digress.

I met somebody for the second time last week and they said one of the nicest things to me that anybody has said this year.  And they weren't even trying to be nice.  We had a great, well rounded conversation, but one casual sentence put me on cloud nine and we weren't even talking about me when it happened.  Conversation.  

Words. Ideas. Beauty, Power.

Conversations.

They shape our world, change our world, make our world.  I heart them.

Start one today. And revel in what you don't know you don't know.  And don't be ashamed to ask.  Because sperm costs less than you'd think.  Before import fees.  And then Ouch!

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Linking up today With Some Grace for #FYBF.
Because I can.  And you should.  There are some amazing writers out there.




7 May 2014

#bringbackourgirls

So just to recap - two blokes have a fight over a girl.  Front page news instantly.  Murdoch paid $200,000 for the photos.  Yes.  That much.  The NT news yes, had the funniest headline.  It often does.
 

Over 200 girls go missing in Nigeria and it took weeks for anybody to say anything in the mainstream media.  It's still not front page news.  234 brazenly kidnapped and now the gun toting dicks that took them are threatening to sell them.  Because God said so.

Just because God said so is fast becoming one of the stupidest reasons anybody does anything.  And I mean no disrepect to any religion there.  It's just that all religions agree the big guy gave everybody free will as well, which means you've got to come up with a better reason for being a class A dick than blaming somebody that not everybody agrees on.

Especially when it means that we dismissed the abduction of those girls as 'not our problem', 'its them Muslims being daft again', 'oh well, you know - it's Africa'.  And I'm genuinely paraphrasing idiots who have put those sentiments onto comments pages.

Do I need to give you my 'lucky sperm' rant again?  We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars helping look for a plane with the same amount of people on it.  Who decides which people we will look for?  Is it as simple as we've got no time for girls, blacks and muslims?  Is it?  I don't know? Because if we have the resources to commit to looking for weapons of mass destruction we knew weren't there, why can't we wander along and look for some girls we know were?  

And the people that took them aren't warriors, or militants, or anything else but thugs with guns.  I know we can't just ride on in to third world countries and go shooting people (Oh, except, how embarrassing - now that America suggests it, seems like a great idea), but we could have at least been joining the growing chorus of voices, of those of us with small names, those with big names that said, "OI, Nigeria - that totally sucks, HOW CAN WE HELP?" 

Because if people don't do anything, people think they can get away with everything.  And in the meantime, there are over 200 families with broken hearts, absolutely terrified not only of not seeing their daughters again, but worrying about what is happening to them right now.  When they're not dead.

It might not be much, but you can send your support to those families and those girls by making sure they get as much coverage on your facebook page and twitter streams as do the pictures of cats or that irritating smug video saying 'Look up'.  Fine. 'Look up', but first, demonstrate your support by sharing the story, signing the petitions and using the # button.  A lot.

No, we can't fix it.  We can't.  But we can care and when each individual takes the time to demand action, we are demonstrating that they are not alone.  And that Nigeria, we do care what happens to your girls.  And we do want you to do something. We do want you to ask for help if you need it.  

And we can use the glorious, reckless power of our  social media streams to demonstrate that stories like this are more fascinating, more important to us, than two idiots brawling in the street.  

#bringbackourgirls





6 May 2014

Bah humbug - most of us just aren't that lovely.

I'm grateful for a lot of things.

I really, truly am.

I could list them.  But that would use up several posts worth of material and no blogger ever wants to do that.

But I'm not grateful all the time.

I'm willing to bet money I've never been grateful 100 days in a row.  Oh don't scoff.  Bet you haven't either despite all your best efforts.

Sometimes, it's true, that despite trying to live mindfully, we live mindlessly.

An (obviously rare right sweetheart?) example is I get cross at my husband because he leaves lights on all over the house like we are some kind of all year round Christmas display, rather than being grateful that he's just tidied the house that our children just trashed.

And I don't feel grateful that he doesn't mention it, I just get crosser that he's being such a smug bastard and all holier than thou, like I never do anything around the house.  I mean I run our lives, make the world turn and make sense of the universe every single minute of every single day, why is he just sitting there huffing at me like I'm the unreasonable one?

Then I get on Facebook and somebody has posted, 'Here is an autumn leaf #100daysgrateful for the seasons.'  And I'm all - a leaf?  I know you girlfriend and the only time you've ever noticed nature was when you accidentally stepped in dog shit.  A leaf! You're making up gratitude you turkey.  What about being grateful for the trillion dollar boots your sugar daddy bought you but now you never wear because you once stepped in dog shit!!!!!!  A leaf?  Bah!

(And no, as I recall I wasn't even grateful that mind reading has not been invented though my beautiful man was probably VERY grateful that something had distracted me from being cross at him  - it's okay people.)

And this inability to be grateful all the time, contrary to popular belief, does not make you a bad person.  Nobody is grateful all the time.  Life happens and we just get on with the business of living and sometimes that means that we are unreasonably cross or even just out of sorts for a short while.

This doesn't mean you're ungrateful, or lack perception, or permanently an arse.  It means you've had a bad day, perhaps not got a lot of sleep or maybe just maybe, you've got other stuff going on which you can't talk about, so you're not feeling like appreciating whatever is actually the splendiferous part of your life.  Or autumn leaves.

And own that people.  If we were grateful all the time, we'd be smug and dimensionless and we would have no friends.  No friends at all.  Because everybody secretly hates good people.  They make us feel bad.  Which is why I don't like most of my friends actually.  Because I dislike good people and beautiful people and yet all my friends are one or both.  Hmmm.  And occasionally they uncharacteristically post autumn leaves.  Conundrum.

Anway, like a lot of people, sometimes all I want is to be left alone to be shitty and unreasonable.  Or more truthfully, sometimes I want an audience for shitty and unreasonable and unfortunately for my husband sometimes he's the only audience I can locate at the precise time of meltdown.  And I'm not the only person.  Lots of people forget to be mindfully grateful every minute of every day.  And lots of us have chosen life partners with a stupid amount of patience.


Gratitude is awesome.  It is.  We should be.  Much more than we are probably.  And it's good to try.  And it is really quite sweet at some levels that people look so hard for something in their first world lives to be grateful for for such a concerted amount of time.  But for the rest of us, it's absolutely perfectly okay to take part in #100daysofbeinggratefuleverysecondorthirdday.

People that know you love you any way and the others can kiss their autumn leaves.


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Grateful to Essentially Jess for the opportunity to link up today with #IBOT

5 May 2014

I am the snorer!

Stop right there.

Thank you very much.

If you have ever blamed your lack of sleep on the snoring of your partner/child/housemate/dog raise your hand.

Ooooh.  Lots of hands.

The guttural vibrations of the respiratory system are not the reason you can't sleep - it's because you're crap at sleeping.  People that sleep properly are fully immersed in dreamland, hearing nothing but the terrified shrieks in their never ending nightmares involving elephants in pyjamas or the soft lilting of Taylor Swift in their happy ever after dream of Ryan Gosling.

Ahhhh... the sound of LIFE

Proper sleepers aren't bitching about the life affirming grunts and snorts coming from the other side of the bed, or through the wall, or from the other end of the campsite.  Proper sleepers are sleeping.

And we all know that the only people who are bad at sleeping are those with guilty consciences.  Whether it's Catholic guilt, High Anglican stoicism or Atheist panic, it chisels away at night time serenity, leaving the poor at sleeping cranky and unable to accept responsibility for their inability to master this most basic of functions.

They lie there gritting their teeth, knowing that they would be younger, fitter, smarter, thinner, wealthier and generally happier if the snorer just stopped.  Those that haven't abandoned all hope of getting better at sleep will poke the person or shove them over until they lie on their sides, dulling the rhythmic roar to an irregular snuffle and taking that opportunity to enter the appropriate REM cycles.

Because everybody snores sometimes.  Colds, booze, a funny sleeping position, a pea stuck up the nose that you haven't yet discovered - anything can make somebody snore.  But proper sleepers rejoice at these very real demonstrations of your life and vitality and close their eyes and wander off into the land of nod.

People that sleep, perchance to snore, really don't give a rat's bottom that you have been kept awake by their snoring.  They pity your petty complaints and generally ignore your gnashing of teeth and renting of cloth because it's not their fault you haven't learned to sleep.  They know that you are jealous of their well honed ability to sleep and then enjoy the next day, fully refreshed by the tantalising thread of a dream where they defeated the pyjama clad elephants while riding Ryan Gosling, or riding pyjama clad elephants with Ryan Gosling.  They're not quite sure, but it's left them happy enough.

Who knew that if you googled Ryan Gosling Elephant you
would find a picture of Ryan Gosling Rhino
So bottle up your bitching poor sleepers.  Go practice the art.  Close your eyes, close your ears and if the sound of your partner reaches levels which allows the neighbours to put in a formal noise complaint, you won't care.

Because you'll be asleep.

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Michaela from Five Frogs Blog |  Emily from Have a Laugh on Me | Kimberley from Melbourne Mum | Alison from Talking Frankly | Vanessa from 26 Years and Counting |  Rachel fromRedcliffe Style