Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Bambino

So... I'm now officially a mother, of the four legged variety. Had an awesome birthday... Friday night Micko and I got a little smashed watching Muse on our other new pride and joy (the 50 incher). Woke up bright, early and little scratchy to go and meet my future baby.

Arriving at Billy's foster families beautiful home in Grafton around 10ish, we head through the side gate, when around the corner came bounding the strangest dog I've ever seen. He's black, with a kind of Kelpie head and a white strip on his forehead, a bit of white under his chin and neck and the biggest paws I've ever seen. He has the most beautiful, and kindest, eyes. I fell in love instantly.

The lady, Janette, who runs the Grafton Animal Rescue centre is seriously one of the loveliest people I've come across... she is totally and utterly dedicated to those animals and I totally and utterly thank her for it from the bottom of my heart. Bills foster Mum was a gorgeous girl, Ellen and he was very smitten with her. I was initially concerned he might not warm to me... but I was very wrong.

We jumped in the car to head home and I sat in the back with Billster. He sat with his head on my lap, looking up at me with his big brown eyes, melting my heart, all the way home. That afternoon, we took him for a bit of a walk along the board walk and the island and grabbed a couple of DVD's for a quiet night in.

Billy has settled in quite well... He looooves cuddles and attention and is picking things up quickly. He is toilet trained (thank god) and hasn't had a single accident inside. He sits at his mat to eat and only leaves once finished. Once we reach the gutter of a street, he'll sit at our feet and wait for a call before crossing the road. He's a pretty intelligent little bugger.

The only problem is his separation anxiety. He cannot be out of eyeshot of either Michael or I. He whines continually if I leave him anywhere or close the door. I'm working through some techniques to desensitise him at the moment, but I have a feeling it may take a while. He is improving... for example, right now I'm in my office on the computer and he has wandered into the back yard to chew on a bone - which is a new development! He, at first, would never stray from underneath my feet. Also, ont he positive side, he goes to sleep fine in the other room... so I'm very hopeful for a good recovery.

Besides, the clinging thing does come with benefits! Especially when down the beach or in the rainforest... without his leash on, you know he is going to stick to the path (in the rainforest) and not run off k's down the beach chasing after a bird, a person, or a dog. He is very cautious with all his encounters.

And really, is it any wonder the poor bugger has a few abandonment issues?

Left as only a small puppy to fend for himself, rescued and placed in a foster home, only for us to come and take him away. He must feel that the good times won't last. But they will... and things are only going to get better for this little tyke! Stitches come out Saturday morning and Billbo can go as crazy as he wants - perhaps even a swim while we're walking. Oh and a much needed bath! He'll always have food on hand whenever he wants, toys to play with, walks 2 to 3 times a day and more cuddles and love than any dog could ever need. And why the hell shouldn't he? Is he any less deserving of love than any other dog?

See... Animal Cruelty is one of my other pet hates (and before you bring up my bird incident - I never intended those poor helpless birds an ounce of harm). When I look into his gorgeous eyes, I see a puppy who would not hurt a fly (I've taken to call him Hindu-billboo), a loyal and trusting animal who offers unconditional love - often thats much more than a human is capable of.

Billy was one of the lucky (very lucky) animals who was rescued and put into foster care. The vast proportions of abandoned animals aren’t that lucky. Around a quarter of a million dogs and cats are killed each year in pounds and shelters because suitable homes are not found. This does not include animals put down by their owners at Vet Clinics, pets that are dumped and never found, turn feral or in small rescue groups.

Why is this so? Because people over breed, don't desex, buy their dogs in the pet shop and don't fully consider the big picture (of course there are always exceptions). Rescue Centres are not for profit organisations, full of fabulous people who would give their right arm to find a dog a loving home and deserve your support. So, next time you're looking for a new addition to the family, take a trip to the pound or find a rescue centre (many will ship your new pet interstate). And they can always use monetary donations, food, pet care products, beds, blankets, collars, leads, foster parents, etc. If you'd like to show Janette your support, visit her site

My life has certainly been enriched by this precious young boy. Never again will he feel unwanted, afraid and alone or unloved... and for that matter, neither will I!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Karlosophies - more pet hates...

And a word of warning... if you're easily offended, tune out now!

Some of these rants are just things I find frustrating and some are more from a personality trait angle. Don't blame me if you find parts of yourself hidden in here. If you're still in my life and you fall within any of these boundaries, you must be pretty fucken special and have some golden qualities that allow me to see past the following...

1. Naysayers... What if? What if? What if? You think I haven't already weighed up the pro's and con's - I'm a list person. Thanks for caring, but go fuck yourself!

2. Don't tell me I can't, or shouldn't, do something... I fucken can and I fucken will! Watch me! If it doesn't work out, it's a lesson learned (but for fucks sake - let ME learn it)

3. People who whinge and moan about their current situation (that is... things that are within their control - job, partner, lifestyle) but refuse to do anything about it. Don't worry... I don't hate you, but if you're unwilling to change your circumstances, don't come whining and moaning to me. I'll be there for you when you're on the other side. And I am certainly more than willing to help you take the neccessary steps... if indeed you want to walk down the path to change.

4. The fucking Government - hands always in our pockets! If they insist on taking their chunk of the profit you made with your own home in Capital Gains Tax... we, as the homeowner, should be able to claim all things purchased that improve the value of our homes. Pricks... always introducing new taxes, but never removing them!

5. Bad customer service... If you can't manage a warm hello or a smile, you're in the wrong industry! Try something where you have little, or no, interaction with the public. If I acknowledge you, have a smile on my dial and I'm not rude to you, at least offer me the same courtesy. And before you say... 'but in customer service you cop heaps of shit, it's hard to be friendly all the time', I say... I've been there and done that and it's all in the job description! Take a leaf out of a hairdressers book! I've not yet come across an unfriendly hairdresser - arsehole hairdresser = no customers.

6. Racists... We are all made of flesh, bone, skin and organs... but racists seem to be missing the most vital of organs - the brain!

7. People who pray on childrens or animals... you sick, weak, cowardly fucks! If you've got issues from your childhood that are affecting the way you behave towards those that are helpless, go sort yourself out! No one deserves to be fucked with, just because you were!

8. Overpackaged groceries and toys! Is it really neccessary to have something inside a bag, then insides a box and wrapped in plastic? Oh and people who take this packaging and put it in whatever bin they like... Fucking recycle!

9. Chauvinist pricks! Men who expect women to do everything... prepare dinner, look after all domestic duties, do the shopping, wake the kids, dress the kids, feed the kids, take them here, there and everywhere... I'd be surprised if they didn't want you to wipe their arse for them. We work, you work, get over yourself you selfish pricks, We're not living in the 19th century!

10. Women who work all day then come home only to deal with these men. For fucks sake... tell them their dinner is waiting for them to make it!

That's about it for now... Plenty more to come!

Ahhhhhhhhh! That feels better! Better out than in, I always say!

One Domestic Goddess!

A while back, I wrote a blog on growing up and hating it... Today, I'm less than 24 hours off the ripe old age of 32 and tomorrow, I will be responsible for something other than myself. Bit scary really, considering most of the time I can't even be held responsible for my own actions.

While sitting on the can, having my morning boz like clockwork, my mind began to wander to domestic tasks. It all started when I went to wipe my arse and noticed I was using the last scrap of bog roll... so, I leaned over to the cupboard grabbed a few more and then (drumroll please) without even thinking I took the cardboard centre off the hanger, chucked it in the bin and changed it for a fresh roll. It was like it had become an involuntary action! I can't recall when I started to do this... I NEVER use to change the roll - just had the poo tickets sitting on the floor or on the cistern.

Last night, for example, there was nothing on TV. So, what did I decide to do with my time? I cleaned the shower... with a toothbrush! Easy off Bam'd the fuck outta the fucker, got on my hands and knees and scrubbed it to kingdom come. It's lovely and gleaming now.

So, what other things have changed that I haven't really noticed... until it was too late! Well, I've started making the bed, every morning. What the fuuuck? Yes, every morning! I can't believe it myself. I think in the past the only time I made my bed was when we'd have visitors over and even then they'd be lucky to lay eyes on my bedroom, let alone the unmade bed. But, I like it... I like opening the blinds each morning and the sun streaming in - something you can't do when you're room is a fucking disgraceful mess!

I mentioned, in that previous blog, the fitted sheet folding. I'm still in shock that my sheets aren't rolled into a ball and squished where ever they fit. That they are neatly folded and placed with their matching bed sets.And as for sweeping? Well, I'm quite sure this has something to do with timber floors and white lino, but I sweep on a daily basis - sometimes more than once. A few years ago, the only time the broom would see the light of day was when I'd drag it out for use as a dancing partner or microphone when on the piss.

What else? I've always been rather particular when washing dishes, but these days (as some of my close friends will know) no-one else can wash my glasses - I simply won't allow it. Some of you know and won't even bother to ask. If you do end up doing the washing up, know that I will be doing them again. I mean no offence... I just have to be the one to do them to make sure they are done properly. Too many times, I've allowed others to do it only to grab a glass out that still has greasy hand marks or lipstick stuck to the rim.

My husband is in total shock (and my parents would have a heart attack if they realised) that I've recently even started picking up my own tissues and binning them promptly. I am a tissue-holic (mainly due to my incessant hayfever) and if in my own space, you will find tissues hiding everywhere... particularly in the bedroom. They are under my bed, under my pillow, on the bedside table, in the bedside table drawers and sometimes even in my shoes (gross I know). I was crook a couple of weeks back and my nose was running like a tap on bore water and there was not a single tissue left lying around. Amazing! I'm quite proud of this latest achievement!

What does the future hold? Can I get more domesticated? Well, the test will be living in puppy town. At this stage, I'm like a mother who insists she will be using cloth nappies only to realise the mountain of shitty nappies piling up around her and instantly changes to disposables, and I plan on making young Billbo his dinner. Rice (or pasta), meat and vegies for breakfast and dry food for dinner. Will it last??? Who can say... but I'll give it a go. Why not? I've already become a goddess of the domestic nature... my life is practically over!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Doggy Do's and Doggy Don'ts

The 25th July marks 32 years service on planet earth (some might disagree believing I'm from another planet altogether but I swear it's true). Usually, this auspicious occassion is celebrated thoroughly with a bunch of good mates and a shitload of piss. This year, is a little different.

Every single birthday has had a party attached to it... and oh, they've been good! This year? It seemed there'd be nothing, nilch, nada! I thought I'd be spending it with Micko at home alone. I was planning on heading up to Byron and catching up with a few mates over a few cold ones at my old local, but Splendour is on (spend a few birthdays there) so not only will it be mad busy, but a few are heading out to Belongil for what I expect will be another cracker of a year. I felt like a kid whose been told Santa doesn't exist and so Christmas takes on a different feeling... There's no real excitement to it anymore. It's sparkle fades and although the presents are great, the magic is missing.

But out of the darkness, came some light... a little bambino by the name of Billy - a bitza 4 month old beauty. Micko knows what my birthday means to me and knew I'd be a little down on the day so he organised us to get a dog! We found Billy online, he'd been taken from his Mum and left to fend for himself in the depths of winter... they doubt he would have lasted another night out there alone. We rang immediately to inquire if he was still available. The lady, from the rescue centre, told us that he was supposed to be heading down to Sydney to a family next week. However, the family rang that morning to let her know they could no longer take him on - they had moved into a unit which was not pet friendly. She was devasted and said our call was the best thing that had happened all day. So, on Saturday we take the 1 1/2 hour drive north to Grafton to pick the little fella up.

Micko and I have talked of getting a dog for the longest time and we always knew that we get one from a rescue centre or the pound - it was a given. The hardest part is, once you arrive, you want to take more than one. In fact, you want to take them all home! Even just looking at the rescue centre website, it's hard not to think too yourself 'perhaps I could take 2 or 3'. It's a little bitter sweet... you are doing your part by saving one, but what about all the other beautiful dogs waiting patiently for someone to love them. You kind of feel helpless and that you need to be doing more.

So, Saturday marks a couple of milestones... My 32nd birthday, the first without a party, and entry into the world being a responsible human being. I'm very excited to finally meet our precious practise baby!

Both Micko and I are both dog people all the way! Besides the fact that I'm allergic to cat hair, I find cats scary! Their lack of loyalty, sly nature and unexplained, sporadic attacks make me feel on edge around them. I don't like them all of a sudden running out from under the couch to attack and scratch the fuck out of my legs... in fact I hate the 'surprise' element a cat brings. Birds aren't really my strong point either! I like birds... I think they are beautiful creatures, but one incident has marred my belief in my ability to care for them.

I once had 2 beautiful canaries - Rico and Rana... They were orange in colour and lived in a blue cage. I'd feed them and change their water daily and loved them to bits. Then, my partner at the time and I moved house. I put the cage in the outside laundry (which was completely removed from the house). A week or two later, I was shopping at Carribean markets in Melbourne with one of my best girlfriends. Shopping is one of our favourite bonding exercises and we were having a great time! I even had a psychic reading - was utter bullshit - even though I had a, quite visable, gold chain with a camera charm hanging off it, she leapt into a story that involved me being a nurse!?! 

Then we walk towards the pet section and I notice the bird cages... Something clicks inside me and I feel very cold all of a sudden (I'm sure my heart stopped momentarily). Fuck!!!!! My canaries! The colour drained out of my face, I looked at my shopping buddy and said 'Oh my GOD! The canaries! I've gotta go!' and I bolted out as fast as my tree stump legs could take me. I arrived home, ran to the laundry and there were my 2 beautiful orange canaries... upside down on the floor of the cage. I started to cry... 'I've fucken killed them! I'm a murderer!' I thought to myself. Then I flew into protection mode, if my partner of the time found out all hell would break loose. He had forgotten they'd existed so I grabbed the cage and hid it behind the garage. My girlfriend rang to see what the verdict was... I told her I was a murderer and had killed them and she started to piss herself laughing. Then I did the unthinkable - I started to laugh. Man! I felt like some evil bastard, cackling at the thought of my 2 dead canaries. I've never forgiven myself... although whenever I tell the story, I always get a good laugh.

You're probably all sitting with your mouth gaping open in absolute horror at my blasé retelling of the moment I killed two innocent animals and I can imagine you're now thinking am I capable of raising a dog? Well, I am... I've had many pets throughout my life, 4dogs, a few blue tongue lizards, a couple of stumpy tails, a turtle and my 2 aforementioned birds and the birds are the only ones that ever came to harm. Now my belief, surrounding birds is, 2 birds in the bush is far better (and safer) than 2 in my hand! Let me assure you little Billy, couldn't be in better (or safer) hands! I'm going to love that little fella like it was my of my own blood. Besides... with a dog, you can't forget it's there! It just won't let you!

A day in the life...

7:30am - Wake up, drag my zombie arse to the dunny for the morning piss.  Stumble into kitchen, turn on kettle, grab mug and teabag out.  Turn computer on.  Make cuppa tea..  Check emails for work from overseas.  Make toast or smoothie, eat it. Drink cuppa... Shit... Check to see if I need to do a load of washing.  Head downstairs and finish any editing I didn't get to yesterday.

9am:  Hang load of wash out (if any).  Make bed.  Quick shower and chuck on gym clothes.

9:30: Gym class - whatever is going... but rest assured I will be sweating my arse off.

10:30:  Get home, shower and check for work that's come in... Print out scripts and start recording and editing.

12ish:  Take a lunch break, get to know Dr Phil or Ellen a little better (although as of Friday this will change to - eat lunch, walk dog)

1ish:  Head back down to office, continue recording, editing, checking emails, perhaps an invoice or two, facebooking, writing blogs, looking for leads... etc, etc, etc.  

5.00:  Micko arrives home, knocks on my office window, tells me how his day has been.  I finish off editing and recording for the day, head upstairs, discuss what we're having for dinner, chuck on gym clothes.

5,45:  Gym session... Whatever is on.

6.45:  Get home, sweaty as all fuck, watch the end of Neighbours.

7.00:  Dinner - prepared by the lovely Micko and Home and Away.  Watch a bit of TV and chat until bed time.

9.30-10.00:  Bedtime... Read for an hour and hopefully go to sleep - if I can shut my mind off.

Weekends differ immensely!  

5.00: Friday night, Micko arrives home, hit the piss.  

8ish: Saturday morn... Wake up, hungover, maybe get up shower and hit Coffs or the markets or spend the day cleaning and fixing up shit around the house. Oh and of course I've taken my morning dump like clockwork.

3ish:  Hit the piss again or we've picked up a few DVD's and have a quiet night in watching (history states) one great movie and one shithouse.  

8.00: Sunday morn... Wake up - either hungover or bright as a button.  Clean up and fuck around... Might go down the beach, might read for a bit, might watch some footy... real sloth day.

7:30: Monday - Wake up, drag my zombie arse to the dunny for the morning piss.  Stumble into kitchen, turn on kettle, grab mug and teabag out.  Turn computer on.  Make cuppa tea..  Check emails for work from overseas.  Drink cuppa... Shit...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thank you for the music - Part 2

Lets continue where we left off... The heroine was still trying to narrow down the soundtrack to her life to just 10 songs. The first 5 had been selected and she was desperately searching for the remaining 5. This was not just a simple exercise, this was an epic journey (comparable to the Muse track - Knights of Cydonia) and would take her on a memory trip to the furthest reaches of her mind.

We find our heroine, still sitting at her computer contemplating life and music:

So the first 5 are in the bag... Now, comes the hardest part! My mind starts to stray from the task at hand. I start to ponder how many songs have been written over time? And how many of the worlds greatest songs never saw the light of day? There must be millions floating around in space. The lyrics have parted someone's lips and the melody has been sent out into the universe but due to circumstance no one has ever heard them (except of course those singing, writing or playing). Music is like relationships... Some are, at first, exciting and new and you want to hear them over and over and over again. Then, over time, become a friend that you play once in a while to bring back some memories or are used as a comfort. 
Some come into your life and you can't recall how, when or why - they are just there. Some reach saturation point and the love you originally felt slowly turns to hate only to be rediscovered years down the track. The songs I'm looking for are songs that I can still recall the first time I heard them as if it were yesterday... and they still create that sense of wonder each and every time I hear them. Songs which do, absolutely, unequivocally, transport me to another time and space. Woah! That's a big statement to make. I think I may have just put more pressure on myself... Simply picking the best 10 of all time might have been easier that this! Where to from here?

I simply can't go past Rage Against the Machine! Man, these guys are MIND BLOWING! Big, big sound, awesome, awesome show! BDO a couple of years ago, Micko and I were a witness to what can only be described as pure and uttter mayhem! I think I might have a video posted on my facebook page. We have had, to this point, a fairly uneventful BDO, the first for Micko in Melbourne. It's disgustingly hot, dry and very, very dusty... there are even tumbleweed floating past in the food court - not a word of a lie. I felt like I was in some crazy western about to take my 10 paces. As dusk falls, Rage take the stage and Micko and I are in a great posi! They kick off and their killer bass line is pulsing through the ground, up my feet and travelling all the way up to my brain and I'm LOVING it! It's a mesh of flesh, sweat and loud pumping music - just the way I like it. Dudes start climbing up the speaker towers, they are on the roof of the marquee dancing around while people unknowingly drink beers beneath them, they are climbing up anything they can find to get a better look at the brilliance that lay in front of them. Then, it starts going a little beyond mental. Dudes are pulling themselves on top of other dudes on the speaker tower and it looks like it could collapse at any minute. There are a few dudes who have climbed up this tree (more like a poor young sappling) and are swinging from the thin branches... I'm sure they will fall to their untimely deaths at any moment. I take a look behind me and there at least a couple of hundred people on the top of the beer tent. Then, it starts, the riff to kill all riffs! It's Killing in the Name... definitely worthy of a top 10 position. I mean can it really get any better than screaming 'Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!' 16 times in a row and finishing it off with a big 'Motherfucker!" Well, I don't think so anyway!

From heavy bass lines, to childhood magic... I'm now going back in time to Crowded House and Split Enz. I have lumped these two together because of the Finn angle and I am going to have to separate the 2 and choose a winner. My Dad had a great Kenwood stereo system. It has a record player, amp, the biggest graphic equaliser I've ever seen and a double tape deck. The sound was clean and sweet. As a child I would put on tapes or records and lie with my head placed equal distance to both speakers and be transported out of this world. My favourites included (and still do to this day) Queen - A Night at the Opera, Crowded House - Woodface, Elton John (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road) plus, long gone from my collection, Whitney Houston and Laura Branigan. Back in early 06, I was down about something that I can't recall now, and to give me a bit of a pickup Micko bought a couple of tickets to see Split Enz in Brissie. I was stoked! It kind of doubled as a birthday present cause it was around this time of year. Although I was a massive Crowded House fan, I'd never had the opportunity to see them live, and I was far too young to check out Split Enz so this was a real treat! Great show... I love the Finn brother’s classic, timeless sound. Hmmmmm... Should I go 'I got you' or 'Four Seasons in One Day'? I'm torn... I'll make the final cut later.

So now, it gets tough! But I think I'll carry on with the childhood speaker sessions for one more track. My Dad lost one of his best mates quite young. He died of cancer when I was very little and I don't really remember him. Years later though, from the grave, Dads mate got me into a lot of trouble! When I was about 17 a mate and a boyfriend and I thought we'd head down to the park, steal a bottle of grog from my Dad's bar. He only drank beer in those days (now its extended to red and champas) so we really didn't think he'd miss it. It was a bottle of scotch, got us all pretty pissed and I'm hoping we had a good night although I don't think it could have ever been worth it. Not long after, my Dad noticed it missing and found the empty bottle in my wardrobe where I hidden it. He lost the plot! I had no idea, but it was his 21st birthday present from his mate and one of the only things he had left. The bottle of scotch was older than I was! I've never forgiven myself for doing that. Although I don't have any memories of him, besides the scotch incident he did leave me with a lasting legacy... A beautiful song, by one of my heroes, Elton John. I remember my Dad telling me, when Elton John's 'Funeral for a Friend' came on, that he had played that at his friend’s funeral. It was such a moving song... so intense and moving. Each and every time I hear it, I still am covered head to toe in goosebumps. I scream along to the lyrics and it always brings a tear to my eye. Only 2 spots to go and too many great song choices!

Radiohead... Once I finally got my licence and stopped bumming lifts of my best mate, I bought my Mum’s Torana (this is actually another of my monumental fuck ups – The Torana requires a blog of its own). It had no radio, so I’d take my CD player/tape deck, fill it with D size batteries and sit it in the middle of the front seat (a bench seat). I was listening to a shitload of Radiohead (The Bends & Pablo Honey) and my Stone Temple Pilots CD (Core) was going through a resurgence... During this stage I went through 3 CD players because they would literally melt from sitting in the sun too long. Radiohead also brings back memories of drinking beer hanging in a mates garage talking for hours and hours about OK Computer and how you could tell it was going to be one of those stand out albums that people keep referring back to for years and years to come. Although I could easily go with Creep or Paranoid Android, I think I’ll go with Fake Plastic Trees (magical).

And last but not least... and I have had a really hard time picking any of these, but this last one is really hard. There are so many others that could fill this tenth and final position (I can’t believe I’ve not got enough room for Nirvana, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, You Am I, The Tea Party, Elliott Smith, Tool ARGGGG I’m doing my head in now). It’s going to Jebediah... From Uni Days, Meredith’s and other music festivals far and wide... new love, messy break ups, beginning and ending of friendships... roadtrips, backyard barbies and days on the beach. Through good times and bad, the one consistent were the good ol’ Jebs. Kev’s whiny, not so great, voice... heartfelt though sometimes confusing lyrics and great melodies created the soundtrack to most of my twenties. They definitely deserve a top 10 place and it’s going to ‘Leaving Home’.

So, there you have it! A total mind fuck of the highest order, a worthy exercise, and a great trip down memory lane. We all have our own soundtracks, this is merely a few tracks that would certainly feature in mine.

And so... we once again leave our heroine, who still sits typing madly away at her computer. She now contemplates more menial subjects... “Since I have a soundtrack to my life, what parts would the film cover and who on earth would play me in the film? Someone hot I hope! Shit! Did I pick between the Split Enz and Crowded House song? Oh fuck it... I can't be fucked now. Crap! I didn't get anything out for dinner! We'll just have to have fish and salad... again! Whats the time? Should really knock out those scripts before I go to gym... Oh and I really should fold up those clothes on the floor. Ahhhh I feel a fart coming on... Shit! Dunny... NOW'.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Portacot Incident

For those of you thinking of asking, when am I going to be in the family way? At this time in my life I find myself too-ing and fro-ing from 'bring it on' to 'fuck it off'. Usually when I'm having a moment of cluckiness, imagining what life would be like with a cute baby around, the universe magically reminds why I'm not ready. For example: I'm holding a baby and start picturing myself holding my own baby... then 'achoo', the baby sneezes and there's a big bit of green snot strewn from the nostril to the lip (if there's one thing I can't handle - I can't even talk about - it's snot!! Snot is to me what Kryptonite is to Superman)

So at this very moment, if you were to ask, I could give you a big, fat, honest, not anytime soon!

Right now for instance. I was in the spare room making up the bed for Mum and Dad's impending visit. The portacot is still set up from having friends and family with youngsters staying. So, I make the bed and decide to dismantle the cot because it takes up too much room.

I take the change table off, pull the baby mobile down and unstrap the mattress. I then open the flap down the bottom, push the button and pull the mechanism that is supposed to close it up - like an umbrella. Well, fuck me! I'm fucked if I can get the fucking thing to close!I grab the instructions out of the cupboard and notice it says 'push button on side rails to close'... Okay, so I do that. Still, it won't close! So, I glance back and notice 'release button on mechanism needs to be depressed'... okay, I press the button. Yet again, no go! I push the side buttons again, the mechanism button pops out... I push the mechanism button again, the side buttons pull out. Suddenly I feel like I'm in some kind of fucked up sitcom where the Dad can't close the portcot and has his legs and arms flailing around, yelling TV friendly obscenities at the portacot... then the Mum comes and closes it up in one swift, graceful movement and says 'what was so hard about that?' (cue audience laugh).

My versions, however, was not PG rated... It went a little something like this, and you'll have to add grunting, teeth gritting and groaning to get the full effect:

"For fucks sake! Fucking go down you bastard! Fuuuuuuuuck! You motherfucka! I AM pushing the fucking button! How the fuck am I supposed to push the button and the other button and pull at the same fucking time you fucking arsehole?? ARGH! Fuck this!!!"

Then I punch the cot, throw it to the ground, say 'Fuck you motherfucka' and storm out of the room to take a breather. I need to calm down big time... So I sit here and type and breathe.

Now, I'm calm enough to go back and give it another go. I need to be in the right head space to attack this scenario. Ding! Ding! I'm off for round two!Okay... so I got it closed this time round. Figured what I was doing wrong and calmly and rationally solved the problem... not an issue!

Now just to pack it all in the bag.... Hopefully it's not like packing a tent up cause I'm shit at that too! God! It's so portable when it's in the bag! This thing isn't so bad, hell, it's even a bit cute. And now, all of a sudden, we're back to phase one and I find myself pondering once more, 'Maybe I'd like be a Mum'... well, one day.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pet Hates - Religon

So this morning, I'm minding my own business in my own house, when I notice a young lady with an older lady walking door to door on the other side of the street.  She appears to have a book in her hand and then I realise it's not just any book that she's carrying, it's a Bible.  In a panic, I quickly grab my cup of tea, rush downstairs, into the back yard and unlock my office.  I retreat here and hope that they will knock, then wait and discover no one home.   How fucking ridiculous!  It's my house and I'm avoiding a woman whose peddling the greatness of God?  Do I need to put up a 'no door to door salespeople' sign?  But then that would insinuate that these God peddlers where in sales... They aren't, are they?

Sure they are!  They are in the business of selling God and it's big business.  From their point of view they are helping to enrich peoples lives and save them from themselves.  I have to admire their loyalty, but I have no interest in buying.   God is a business I want no part in.  If I wanted to 'believe' I would spend my Sunday mornings at a Church, instead of curled up in bed knocking off a hang over from some 'ungodly' behavior the night before...  And that is my choice.

I guess you can tell by now... I'm not religious.  If not, let me spell it out for you:  I am not R E L I G I O U S!  

I don't believe in organised religion one iota.  What are my beliefs?  Well, I believe that you should treat people with equal respect regardless of background or belief system.  I believe, first and foremost, you need to believe in yourself.  And I believe in forgiveness and acceptance of others.  Aren't some of these the same beliefs as held in most organised religions?

Well, I guess they are... besides of course the believing in yourself first.  However, from my point of view, organised religion is also filled with contradictions!  If there truly is a God it would not discriminate because of your sexual preference, your gender or your belief structure.  It certainly wouldn't knock me back at the gates of heaven because although I'm a good person and would otherwise qualify I'm a non believer.  It would not demand that I get up early on a Sunday to sit in a building built with my own money even though once I get home I have no idea where I'll find the money to pay for the roof over my own head.  And it certainly wouldn't agree with war being waged in its name!

So, if my non beliefs are so strong, why aren't I up there telling these women exactly what I think?  Well, I like to tell myself it's because they are entitled to their beliefs and thankfully we live in a society that allows people to share their opinions and beliefs. I also just plain don't want to offend them, have better things to do with my time (like blogging) plus I don't think I'd have anything gain from the experience.   So, I'll sit and blog away until I'm sure they have left the neighbourhood!  

Having said that, let me ask you this... If I were going door to door to spread the word of no God, do you think I'd get a warm reception?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thank you for the music!

What follows is the mind journey I took to discover the first 5 songs to feature on the soundtrack of my life and, more importantly, the stories that lie behind them:

The second I heard voting was open in the Hottest 100 of all time, I felt my heart beat quicken. How the hell was I going to decide which ones I thought worthy of such a title? And how could I possibly narrow it down to only 10? Best of all time... that carries a lot of weight! I started to make a quick list, thinking to myself 'who would I want represented?' After I've picked the artist, then I can narrow it down to the song. So, with pen and paper in hand I make a start...

The Beatles - has to be in there! Hell, my bedroom was an absolute shrine to the fab four during my mid-late teens. I had tie died all this white canvas material blue. I covered the little couch in my room’s cushions and the coffee table that doubled as my bed side table in the cloth. Adorning my wall were posters and framed prints of my idols and I'd blu-taked a bunch of 45's, my Hard Days Night 78, along with the Blue record cover and other memorabilia I'd collected. Man, I could make a top 10 from them alone... Which song? Has to a George Harrison number... Hmmmm? While My Guitar Gently Weeps!
Then I strike a bit of a blank! Where do I go from here? It's all too hard! Think I'll leave it till I'm in a better state of mind - I think to myself. I'll get back to it another day. Hell, I've made a start! Got the first song down.

After a few beers, while Micko is watching the State of O, I decided my mind is lubed enough to resume the task at hand. So, I start thinking of it not so much as the 10 best songs of all time but more songs that could feature on the soundtrack of my life. Putting it in terms of all time makes me feel removed from the process. I mean, there are some awesome songs beautifully written and composed, but that I don't have a real emotional connection with. They say smell is one of the most powerful senses and with one whiff of a certain scent you can be magically transported back the place and time you associate with it. Music does that for me... Many of my memories are locked up in CD covers waiting to be rediscovered.
I start jotting down the first bands that pop into my mind... Rolling Stones, Blind Melon, White Stripes, Jebediah, Split Enz, Muse, Rage, Radiohead, Tea Party, Stone Temple Pilots, Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zepplin, Soundgarden, Carol King, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, The Oils, Foo Fighters, Grinspoon, Smashing Pumpkins, Elliott Smith, Tool, You Am I, Queen... Uh Oh! I really am in trouble and I haven't even started! Okay, so lets narrow this list down somewhat! Who HAS to be in there....

Well, if it were a soundtrack of MY life it has to have (in addition to The Beatles track - which is a sure thing) Blind Melon. Who are Blind Melon, I hear a few of you thinking? Remember the fat kid dancing around in a field in the Bee suit? The song was 'No Rain' and the year was 1992. A few lyrics to jog your memory - "All I can say, is that my life is pretty plain, I like watching the puddles gather rain. And all I can do is just pour some tea for two, and speak my point of view, but it's not sane, it's not sane". Good song, but certainly not their best! I think from Blind Melon, I'll choose 'Change'. (Check it out if you want - if not, you'll hear it one day at my funeral... it's on the list of funeral songs and has been since the day I first heard it) Blind Melon remind me of great days with my brothers and hanging or camping with my best mates (Soup or the self titled CD often gets a good going over when we've had a few). That's a definite... 2 down, 8 to go!

The White Stripes... A definite inclusion! My lounge room is practically a White Stripes showroom. I have 3 awesome Rob Jones tour prints on the wall, the Jack and Meg nesting dolls spread out on my sideboard and I'm still yet to find somewhere to display my vast collection of 7" records. Why the obsession? I like the dirt and the grit of their sound, they only ever wear red, white and black (which makes them uber cool), plus the fact that 2 people alone can make that amount of noise. Meg is one of the few chicks that I'd love to bang and Jack is just a sex god! I've seen them live a number times and I've had some pretty funny experiences. One, and I won't be mentioning any names to protect the innocent, involved a certain friend pissing her pants at BDO because she didn't want to miss any of show... even though we'd seen them the night before in a much more intimate setting. So, White Stripes are a dead cert... But this poses its own dilemma! Which fucking song? I could go with the obvious and vote ‘7 Nation Army’, but I'm thinking maybe ‘Hotel Yorba’. Although, I did play ‘We're Going to Be Friends’ at our wedding so maybe that one? Nah, fuck it! ‘Hotel Yorba’ it is.

Muse... Oh my precious Muse! And it has to be Knights of Cydonia - not just a song, it's an epic journey. Man, this seems to be getting easier! Many a night I've been plastered watching my favourite Muse DVD and each time I'm blown away. I'm even more blown away by them in the flesh! I'm also prone to droning on about how amazing Muse are when I've had more than my quota of beer!

How about the band that featured in my first television appearance - Pearl Jam. They were a massive part of my teenagedom! I think it was 95 when my mates and I booked tickets to all the Melbourne shows - except the Myer Music Bowl show. We decided we would turn up, sit in the Botanical Gardens and listen to the show if we couldn't see it. We stood around the make shift hire in steel fencing and happily smoked a few scoobs. All of a sudden the scene changed to one of chaos! One of our crazy friends decided he'd climb the fence to get in and all hell broke loose. There were kids everywhere pushing down the fence and running in. It was like a scene from one of those crazy Myer Stocktake sales in the 80s (without the stirrup pants and bad perms - instead it was long unwashed, un-brushed hair and big baggy t-shirts over ripped jeans - the uniform of a generation). I started to freak out big time! The cops came on horseback, the horses were rearing up and the coppers were ripping people back all over the place... then the TV crews arrived! They caught me at possibly one of my best moments! I was screaming like a mad woman "We're all going to die!!! We're all going to fucking die!!!" I eventually calmed down and we headed in for one of the best night of live music I can remember. So, Pearl Jam... In like Flynn! Let’s make it an obvious choice and go with Alive.

And that takes us to the top 5... and that's about all we have time for today folks! I'll be back with more interesting tales of music and mayhem shortly... but in the meantime take care of yourselves, and each other! Good night Australia!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Human Balloon

Friday arvo I caught a bit of Oprah while eating my lunch. Her guest was Kirstie Alley discussing her recent weight gain. It all came about earlier in the year when Oprah outed that she was once again struggling with her ballooning weight and was so ashamed that she'd let herself go there... AGAIN! Shortly after the show aired, Oprah received a sympathetic email from Kirstie, who was suffering the same fate. After her rather public battle of the bulge and her even more public signing on and dramatic weight loss with Jenny Craig, she'd let it all go. She had, 18 months later, piled every last kilo back on (plus a couple of extras for good measure). 
This time round Oprah has decided not to put undue pressure on herself and take it as a day by day battle. She has not given herself a time frame or a 'goal' weight and is trying to dissect and overcome why she continues to make the same mistakes time and time again. 
Kirstie on the other hand, is starting her own magical weight loss company, had already lost 20 pounds and was promising a public unveiling of her new ripped body in a bikini (much like the last time) in November - six months from then.
So, who has the right idea? Is it Oprah, trying to get to the root of the problem? Or, is it Quick Fix Kirstie "get me the fuck into a bikini now" Alley? Well, let me tell you my story and you be the judge...
It all started when I left high school... Actually, you know what? No, it didn't start when I left high school! It started loooooong before that - as I think it does for many young girls these days surrounded by images and expectations of what they should be and look like. Particularly because for the most part, the image portrayed as 'perfection' is totally unobtainable for 99.9% of us.  It's especially hard for those early developers - a crowd to which I belonged. 
Anyone who sprouted titties before hitting high school can tell you it's not fun! I was the oldest child and had no older sister to mould myself on... I was more immature than most my age - still am, I guess! Then (hard to believe) I was a shy, quiet, reserved child, trying miserably to hide my sporting of a bra (one of 3 girls in the entire school). This process involved wearing really thick t-shirts that you couldn't see through at all. The rule of thumb for the purchase of a new top was... if you can shine a torch through the material and see the light, it's not quite thick enough! I was also a dancer and spent most of my spare time in a leotard.. it's hard to hide your changing body with a skin tight piece of lycra wrapped around you! 
As I grew older, my body issues compounded. I thought my boobs were too big, my calves were huge, my arse and thighs could be slimmer and my belly would look good if only I could look as skinny as I did lying down. Looking back on photos of me back then, I think I was totally mad! I had a fucking killer rig and I'd give anything to get it back. But this is also a theme, and one that I'm not alone in (at least I don't think so).
So, I leave high school and have 3 or 4 months before I start Uni. I'd quit dancing in Year 12 because I had too many extra curricular activities with work, dancing and singing that one had to go. Instead of walking the few k's to school and back everyday, I'd walk to work once every week and I spent the rest of my time curled up on the couch with my boyfriend eating burger rings and drinking coke. I started to expand... it was a slow process and I didn't really notice too much. A couple of boyfriends later I moved out of home - that was when the real expansion took place. We didn't really cook... at all! KFC or pizza pretty much every night, lazing around watching TV, drinking and doing fuck all really. It was kind of a metaphor for my life at the time. I was having a pretty miserable go of it, got glandular fever (which made me even more lazy) and was not in the best relationship.
I think I hit around the 77 kilo mark which was about 12 kilo's more than I weighed in Year 12. I decided I was going to get my life back, so I bit the bullet and went to WW. As the kg's fell off, the confidence came back and eventually the boyfriend left with the 10 margarine containers of fat. I no longer needed either of them in my life.
The weight stayed off for a while, but once again came creeping slowly and before I new it I was back where I started... I think I've probably done this around 5 times.  I reach a goal that I've set for myself and somehow once I'm there I drop the ball.  
The last time I ballooned was a couple of years back.  I'd shed the kg's for my wedding and was feeling great.  Micko and I decided we needed a change and were planning to move back to Vic - to Barwon Heads while we considered our options.  In the 6 months following the wedding and the subsequent move to a much cooler climate I stacked on the kg’s BIGTIME!  I was soooo angry at myself for not learning my lesson again!  Why the hell did I do this to myself again?  It's not like I'm simple and can't work out what I'm doing wrong... I know the tricks to weight loss and more importantly how to keep it off bit here I am again, fat and unhappy!  
Weighing in at around 87 kilos, I was at my lowest ebb.  I decided to stop sitting on my fat arse, while it rapidly expanded, I had to get out there and work that fucker off!  I joined a small and friendly gym and soon realised that I really enjoyed working out!  I got a personal trainer, who I saw once a week, and started going every day (except for Sundays).  After 6 months, while my body had changed shape, I hadn't seen much in the way of weight loss.  I was feeling disappointed and decided a trip to the Docs was in order - just too make sure nothing was wrong.  
I'm not sure what it is about GP's but the vast majority seem to have zero interpersonal skills.  I turned up in this Docs office and explained my predicament... I was working out every day, for the most part I ate well and I was still not losing any weight.  I started bawling my eyes out while he sat there coldly looking at me.  He said I needed to have some tests done to make sure it wasn't my thyroid posing any problems and to come back once I'd had the tests.  Test results were all clear so the Doc prescribed me 'Reductil' - an appetite suppressant.  I thought that was a little strange and that he might have asked me to keep a food diary or something, but I took the prescription and had it filled.
Man, what followed was a fucking nightmare!  Side effects included major confusion, loss of decision making ability, crying at the drop of a hat and the least of my worries, a dry mouth. I've never really experienced depression but I imagine that these pills were making me suffer from it.  
It was the strangest feeling... I was never hungry but if I didn't eat anything for more than a few hours my brain would start going blank - like really blank.  Often, I could actually hear my stomach growling but couldn’t feel it!  At that point, the side effects would kick in and I'd start crying and couldn't decide what I should eat.   One time, Micko and I were shopping at Westfield in Geelong and I suddenly felt sick, like I needed to eat something.  I started to get all dizzy and sweaty - kind of like when I'm in a confined space (I'm a bit of a Claustro).  We made it to the food court and Micko asked 'what do you want to eat?'  I just burst into tears because I couldn't decide.  After 4 weeks, I went back to the Docs to check my progress.  I was weighed and guess what?  I hadn't lost a single gram!   I explained that I didn't think the pills were agreeing with me and told him of my side effects.  He just said 'That's strange.  Doesn't mention those in the literature'.  He increased the dosage.  
Initially I wasn't going to take the new pills, but I'd kind of gotten used to the others and I was suffering from the crazy side effects less and less every day.  I started the new bunch of the Friday before Micko's birthday.  My folks had organised a trip into Melbourne staying in a fancy hotel overlooking the Yarra and we were all going to see the Tiges play Geelong (destined to be a disappointing game from our front).   We pull up out the front and there's a driver to take our car to the car park - felt really sorry for the poor prick, I'm sure it quite an experience after parking the lovely new Audi's surrounding us, to get into my shitty 92 Camry wagon!   We grab our bags out of the back of my shitwagon when a concierge comes over to give us a hand.  He says 'Can I take your bag for you?'  I glance at Micko all confused and then start crying.  We get in the lift, there are a few people in it, Mum and Dad say they'll go up to their room, unpack, then head down to check ours out.  The doors open and I get out of the lift... only problem is, it's not even my floor.  I start crying again!  After the game, everyone went out for dinner but I was so exhausted I had to go to bed.  
A couple of weeks later, I ring and make another appointment with the Doc.  I'm going to tell him I'm throwing the pills out, they just aren't working for me.  He says 'Gee!  Looks like the pills are working, lets weigh you'... This time, I've actually put ON a kilo!  That's it!  I'm giving up... I think.
Now, when I say giving up, I mean giving up on the mission to lose weight, not on the exercise front (over these pill popping months I'd actually increased my training to around 9 sessions a week).  Other than the fact I'd not lost much weight, I was feeling really happy with myself.  The exercising was having an effect, it just wasn't happening for me on the scales.  I decided to put in one last ditched effort and starting watching what I was eating... not going overboard, just cutting out crap during the week - the weekends were all mine and I'd worked fucking hard for them.
Slowly but surely the weight dropped off and I got down to about 72 kilos and I think that's where I sit now.  To be honest, I'm not too sure cause I haven't weighed myself in about 5 months.  I figure, I put too much pressure on the scales to perform in the past, I'm not giving them the power again.  I know how my jeans fit, I know which hole my belt does up in and I'm happy to let these measures be my guide.  
Right now, I'm relatively happy.  I mean, I'm not about to get on National TV in my bikini but I have no longer have aspirations to weigh less than I did in grade 4.  Hell, I've even come to like my boobs... bit of an asset, not so much of a liability these days!  My calves?  Well, they are still too big to get into most boots but fuck it, they've always been like that, plus I live in a warm climate where I don't get to where boots too often anyway!
So I'll keep pounding away at the gym and not just because I need it to keep the figure I worked harder than most for... but because these days (besides the abuse I subject it to once a week) I've come to respect my body.  I've discovered that your mind and body are most certainly interlinked and both need to be fit and healthy for balance.
I guess when I weigh it up... Healthy body + healthy mind = healthy self respect 
and I'd like to keep it that way!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Let it all hang out... The benefits of being open.

If I were to describe myself, I'd probably say that I'm a pretty strong character. Micko obviously thinks so too! Last night when he got home from work, he said: 'You must be feeling much better cause your talking heaps! Great! Now I have to put up with your opinions about everything! You are so much quieter and humble when your sick.'

Hmmmmm.... What could he possibly mean by that?

It's a hard thing to do, to see yourself from someone else's perspective. I know my good points and I'm very familiar with my faults. Being an Aussie people are very quick to point these out - can't have someone whose 'up themselves' roaming around - bring her down a couple of pegs. Luckily, I've also developed quite thick skin over the years! I think in my younger years I questioned myself more than I do now and these days most of the time I don't even recognise when someone is 'having a go'... This has to be pointed out to me. I believe people are entitled to their opinions, including what they think of me. Hey man, I've heard it before so take your best shot. I can be an aquired taste... a bit like beer!

Whilst I'm great at keeping other peoples secrets, I'm really quite shit at keeping my own! The following is an example of a secret I did well at keeping:

Micko was feeling a bit lonely after living in Vic for nearly a year and we were both really missing our North Coast buddies. His birthday was coming up so I decided to organise a surprise visit. I booked the tickets a few months before and spread the word that we'd be up for beers and birthday banter. Micko and I were getting a bit over the fickle Victorian weather and decided the places we wanted to settle were a little out of our reach (price wise). We started to consider other places and Nambucca had been a reoccurring theme over the years. We'd been looking at this place, Micko had seen it in person already and wanted me to check it out before we settled. (By the way the ordeal that ensued will totally be another blog) He started to organise a flight up... for his birthday! What could I do? I had to tell him that I'd already booked it as a surprise and that he'd totally ruined it now. I also let it slip that I'd organised a gathering at our favourite pub in honor of his birthday. Bom Bommmm!

I'm the person who shows everyone their wedding dress prior to the day... Who tells everyone the baby names she has picked out... If I'm ever in the 'family way' I won't be finding out the sex of the child cause I'll fucking tell everyone I know! And finally, I'm the person who hears at least once a week 'That was a little too much information'! Truth be told I'm just really shit at keeping my mouth shut! And probably to make me feel a little better, I often refer to myself as the caring sharing type. The more you hide things, the more people pry. If I'm an open book, I think people won't bother pouring over the pages of my life looking for clues. So, when I think about what people don't know about me, there really isn't a lot to tell. For the most part, I'm a happy chappy who likes a good laugh, a few beers and mix it up with a bit of 'shock value' every once in a while.

So, what don't you know about me?

Well, you'd know I'm quite opinionated but unless you'd sat down and discussed the heavy stuff you probably don't know my stance on certain issues. Things I'm very passionate about include: Australians and racism (placed together purposely cause that's generally how I find them - hand in hand), Reconcilliation, Religion and Animal Cruelty. Most other discussions I'm totally open to opinion and will take on board your points and values and could be swayed either way... but on the previous mentioned - no way!

In the past, I've donated 10% of earning to charity - not these days though. I had to stop when I left secure full time work cause I didn't have the funds, but I did sign up for a sponsor child just yesterday and I got the poor little fella that no one had picked.

I have a third nipple... not something most people share and chances are you've not met one of us before. I'll let Wikipedia explain:

'A supernumerary nipple (also known as a trip nip, thirdnipple, triple nipple, thripple, accessory nipple, polythelia or the related condition: polymastia) is an additional nipple occurring in mammals, including humans. Often mistaken for moles, supernumerary nipples are diagnosed at a rate of 1 in 18 humans.'

To prove that I'm not alone here are a couple of celebs with a 'thripple' - Lily Allen and Mark 'Marky Mark' Wahlberg, so I'm obviously in good company! When I first was told by my Mum and Doc I must have been about 14 years old and thought I was a total freak! The Doc said I could have it removed and have plastic surgery, but that 'was pointless unless I was going to be a model and clearly that was not the case'. OUCH! I've only ever met one other person who suffers from 'Trip Nip'. Oh and 'yes' it looks like a nipple... just without the areola.

And finally... I'm a counter and I have a system to most things.  When I shower, I always follow the same routine and never break it... this extends to getting out of the shower.  Before I open the shower door I shake, like a wet dog, each side 10 times.  Then I flap my hair towel in the air 10 times, flick my hair over and back 10 times before I turban it up in the towel.  I then get my body towel and flap that 10 times before drying myself from toe up to back - the face drying happens before the hair flicking.   I will only take things out of the microwave when they have reached a time frame I can break down.  Only at the 15, 30, 45 or minute mark and not in between.  If I'm running, skipping or boxing it has to be to the minute or too the hundred count, if I accidently go over I have to continue until the following minute.  I think I get these obsessive compulsive tendencies from my mother - who still won't walk on a crack in the footpath.

So, have you worked out who I really am yet?  Have you put together the clues and dug deep into my psyche?  If so, you've probably figured out the one secret I did still have - although some may have known it all along....

I'm a total control freak!  


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