Friday, December 30, 2005

a life half lived

forgive me my sentimentality, for that is all you will find here for the next 26 days. shit is it that many? i hadn’t properly counted before. maybe that’s why.
i hadn’t wanted to know how many it was. for it is many.

i know, i keep saying “for” in some olde worlde poete kind of way

so, the sentimentality will be a feature, an ode to my daughter will unfold here on these pages, day by day. yes, colleen, i hear you. but i won’t pray. for it is not in my nature. my nature tends to catastrophe and destruction which is not a good thing for a mother. i fight it.

weird – today i must have looked at my phone clock more than a dozen times. i am preoccupied with the time today. working out mentally where princess is, what she is doing. most times the hand has been either on the 12, the 3, the 6 or the 9. omen? of what?

i am turning into a basket case and it is only day one.

do i count upwards or downwards? i think both.

day 1.
26 days to go.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

nice to see you. thanks for coming. a yuletide yu-yu.

this is a yo-yo

this is a ya-ya (i think, but i'm sure it means something else as well, like tits?)

but this is a yu-yu. it's where we get together and i make you have a big head because i talk about you, yu, and how great yu are.

but to do it, we need to be somewhere intimate. somewhere dark and exciting, and a little bit cabaret.

we have an emcee

bevis is table-hopping.

and your hosts are

or maybe

no. wait, this be them* / **

that's me on the right.

john is in bed right now. he was going to be my guest co-host at tonight's show but he flaked (just before the cooking-of-the-cheesecake, and right after the test-run of the setting-up of the trampoline).

more on john - because i STUPIDLY returned my mother's food processor to her not three days ago, tonight we had to do the following in the original manner of the Serengeti:

1. pound to crumbs 150g almonds and 150g walnuts

2. same for 300g dark cooking chocolate

3. CREAM, yes that's CREAM both one portion (sizeable) of butter with caster sugar, then for a completely different dessert, cream again philly cream cheese with caster sugar. this was achieved using a cheap hand mixer.


4. shit the egg whites were a breeze. x 2 lots.

so back to the smokey cabaret in which we find ourselves. i see tables, something like the beginning and end of seinfeld. except the guy on the mike is the guy from blues brothers. it's when jake and elroy go to find each member of the original band. and one of them is in a seedy bad venue, in the middle of the day, saying "don't go changing" to an audience member of one. ormaybe two.

(update. cheesecake is out of the oven. it looks perfect. chocolate torte i am a bit worried about. it seemed to singe a little while we were strugging with the trampoline, but more on that a bit later)

so, i wanted to run through my list of friends and talk about their good qualities, what it was that attracted me to them, and more importantly what is was that kept me going back for more.

but whenever i log on, i do a quick scoot around the neighbourhood, and check out what people have done. and first stop, is bevis. and he's done it. sure, he didn't call it a yuyu (wasted opportunity, i know) but he has done exactly what i wanted to do.

so the yu-yu goes out the window. i hope you don't mind. but i will do it one day, just not now. it has to seem fresh, innovative and new.

yu all know who yu are. and why yu are special to me.

so happy christmas/hanukkah to yu all.

i will be away for a bit. but not for too long.

stay safe

*note pirate inflection

** this is my preference

tomorrow we host a lunch for 21. we just got rid of all the boxes from the move. we are serving lasagne, cold chicken and a bbq. salads (rice and green) and desserts are baked: cheesecake and two-nut chocolate torte

my sister and her family are staying tomorrow night, christmas eve. so her two young kids will wake us up really early. i am already regrettting this in advance.

tonight john travolta and i unpacked the flat-packed family trampoline that was hidden in the garage after being delivered yesterday. despite the courier fuck standing in the doorway and saying "i've got a trampoline here" in a really loud bloke-voice, the children were told it was a delivery of Gigi food. believe it or not.

so olivia and john got the tramp half up, then realised it wouldn 't fit back in the garage, so had to dissemble. is that a word? there was much clanging of wrench, and laughing of mouth as it started raining.

update: princess is going to america next friday. yes, i know it came up quickly. yes, that's why i have been "away", organising passports and tickets in the week before christmas is really easy and really fun. she's such a big girl travelling on her own on the plane at 9. i guess some people think i'm mad to let her go. oh well.

update: i'll be working on my thesis in january. head down, not seeing anyone and trying not to blog.

stop laughing.

update: the gigi got dropped into the only boarding kennel that had a vacancy this side of canberra. when i saw it i wondered if it would be ok. i'm sure she'll be fine but i worry about her.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

what i heard

i heard this morning on the radio there will be a non-violent protest against racism in the bourke st mall at 5pm tomorrow

does anyone know if this is happening?

what are the chances of it getting ugly?

i had a dream last night that i was somewhere in a city and there were lots and lots of people. for some reason i had to keep out of sight. princess wasn't with me, i was on my own. two fierce dogs came running down the laneway behind me, passed me and went around the corner to the right. i follwed them because i thought they looked dangerous and was worried they might hurt someone. just around the corner there were two police officers. i was amazed they had done nothing about the dogs and when i asked them about the dogs, they were dismissive.

i really want to go to the protest but it might go bad.

what do people think?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

who is australian and who gets to decide?

it seems to be in a position of power in this country, you have to be an australian. preferably a white, male, middle-class or wealthy australian. but for the purposes of this rant, a white australian it seems is at the top of the heap. for there is a heap. let’s not pretend that there is no hierarchy of colour and race in this country, or in any other country. when I lived in japan, I found I was residing in the most racist country I had ever experienced. that’s pretty funny thinking about it now, because until then I’d only lived here. but also in japan, I experienced the most amazing acts of generosity and kindness from japanese people. so you see, before you start thinking one way too much, something else happens to trip you up and change your mind. this is what happens when stereotypes are challenged.

it is human nature to fear what is different or strange. what we don’t understand makes us afraid. some people are willing to step out of their comfort zones, and it’s these people who can make a difference, by even the simplest act as a smile given freely to someone walking towards you on the footpath; someone who might have a black face, be wearing a scarf over their head, be in a wheelchair, look like a druggie, mentally ill, old etc. someone who is different to me. or you. hell, there are even differences between the sexes. sometimes I think how can we hope to ever all get along?

I have the perspective of a white anglo-australian woman. that is why the previous paragraph used those particular examples of the Other. if was walking with a stick, or deaf, then my in-group would be other people the same as me, and the outgroup would be that hearing woman walking towards me on the footpath, or the able-bodied man.

what’s important to realise is that we are all individual and we all want the same things: love, freedom, shelter, peace, preservation of family, education, good health, enough money to live, no suffering. what’s also important to realise is that difference of culture, ethnicity, language, nationality is a value to society, one that must be encouraged and tolerated.

what is happening is a symptom of the current situation in the world – we have moved so far backwards, away from the principles of democracy, back towards nations where the people are scared, feel they have no power, are encouraged by media and politicians to be scared.

because when we are scared, they can control us more easily.

read that sentence again. it is truth, right there. a universal truth.

they can control us more easily when we are scared.

I am uncomfortable describing myself as an australian these days for several reasons. one is that is does not give enough information. for someone who is aware of and sympathetic to the indigenous populations in this country, it’s like a joke to claim that I am a “real” australian, though I am about the third generation on one side from england, and possibly a couple more from the other side, england and scotland. but in the aussie mob bigot minds, that heritage is the most acceptable one. after that would come western european, american, canadian etc. then would come eastern european, then I guess it gets murky. everyone probably has their own feelings about african countries, asian countries and the middle east. show me a nation that doesn’t have their own spin on the world in this way. show me a nation that doesn’t have prejudices both for and against ethnic groups within the borders. but according to the yobs with flags on Sunday, I am a real australian because my forebears came from england and scotland. these are acceptable countries. according to the lebanese, I would be an aussie girl, but that can be derogatory. visit the site, woglife and immerse yourself in some of the discourse – it’s heady stuff. i was visiting it a few months ago as part of my study and while extremely boganish, everyone was friendly and helpful. there were definite divisions along the lines of wog/not wog or skip. [actually this is the page they have up today as a response to the violence in sydney. i can't see any other pages, maybe they got pulled down cause there was bad, hothead talk.]

the other reason I feel uncomfortable is because since john howard came to power and created or allowed to happen a fucking huge list of shameful things, I have felt embarrassed to be australian. five years ago I was joking with friends and family about moving to new zealand. but only half joking, as I despaired time and time again about what was happening in this country. and that was even before all the rest has happened. think about what has gone down in the last five years. there will be a list forthcoming.

I lived in japan and found out what it was like to not be part of the dominant group in society. I was different and strange, and experienced acts of racism and discrimination. while japan believes itself to be racially homogenous, there are other ethnic groups who suffer terrible discrimination in education and industry. this made me realise that it is all a matter of where you stand. in turkey there is also a hierarchy. as there is here. and people who say it’s not true are ignorant, or in denial. I’m not saying it’s right that there is, just that there is.

this little blogging group here, I have the feeling we are all from similar ethnic backgrounds. [another pet hate, when people think that white is free from ethnicity. that white is the norm and all other groups are judged against it. I have an ethnicity and I am white. it’s just semantics I guess, but now we are talking about it, people need to know how to use the language properly.]

I bet there are blogging circles out there that are made up of indian, asian, middle-eastern bloggers. wouldn’t it be good to have some sort of dialogue, open up the communication?

in fact right now I am going off to search for some other communities, who identify in different ways. will report back later. hopefully I can bring back a taste of the world, with some different new voices.

everyone I have read condemns what happened in sydney. there is an embarrassment and a shame on the part of other white anglo-saxon/celtic australians. we are embarrassed that people supposedly from our backgrounds could behave like this. we don’t like to think that we could produce such people. but we can and do. this sort of behaviour is not exclusive to certain ethnic groups. it’s a human thing. we have the capacity to be the most cruel and despicable, and the most selfless and loving and giving. only we can heal ourselves.

but there are two sides to this. it’s too easy to say the lebanese have been completely at fault here. show me a group of humans who just wander the earth looking for trouble, without provocation, without reason. without a history or grievances or frustrations or stresses or social problems or power issues that just look for trouble. I don’t believe it. and the media are feeding us another lie if they can’t keep balance on this.

Monday, December 12, 2005

you know what?

about the shoes. i can't be bothered putting up any more pics when it seems i'm only talking to a small green frog (though i love him dearly, and he is so loyal) and an italian (while no doubt gorgeous and virile and with much chest hair) (oh, and bevis, no doubt you are too) (and have too).

oh, shiiiiiiit.

what am i trying to say?

i am moving on.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

white shoes

they speak for themselves.

remember, there are no rules.

next lot to follow tomorrow night. blogger is being a shit and it's taking too long on dial-up to post these pics.

i have better things to do with my time.

[sure, you do]

Saturday, December 10, 2005

it's all about the shoes

this is a rejoinder to cotton's call for a backlash against the white shoe vote i submitted

now listen to me, oh my people.

i gave him lots of shoes - a plethora, an abundance. yet he chose to picture the crappest ones. there were far finer shoes in the collection.

i ask you, nay i beseech you to join me in the cry for the white shoes. for he is the white shoes. he is not the dude at number two. nor number three. he is not the tool on the helicopter ladder about to be swiped by a shark, nor is he the little guy smiling in front of a laptop. he certainly is not richard harris. he is not a pussy, wet or otherwise. next, fuck pavlich. a child on a toilet, simple and cutesy. cotton is neither of these things. he is all over the place yet charming - just like a pair of white shoes that walk and talk without speaking.

a block of cotton with a label - too obvious. the little thumbs up girl, so over her. never liked her, she was creepy. cotton is not creepy. grown up thumb girl. i quite like her, but she is not right either. numbers 13 + 14; nah, though bert and osama made me laugh. and the script with red corrections - again simple and too obvious. there is no aesthetic there. and too one-dimensional.

i suggest we re-open the competition. now i really wish to be wheat and not chaff. i would strive, given more time, to really hone my entries. find the One. Please the Cotton.

shall we backlash against the backlash?

commonwealth games volunteer pledge*

* gee i can't wait to get out of town for the commonwealth games

my dad has volunteered for the games. or should that be The Games. or even, THE GAMES!!

today we were talking and i mentioned the pledge. how he will have to stand at telstra dome with 15,000 other nutters (i didn't actually say that bit aloud) and pledge their troth or some such crap. when i asked him if they would feed him, he said "well they have to, we're not allowed to take bags in with us. it's like they don't trust us. it'd better not be too over the top or i'll give it a miss"

(this is a man who has on occasion told off police officers for setting up their breathalyser stop-points in the "wrong" spot on a road thereby causing my dad to miss turn-offs. more than once.)

i said, "be careful dad. don't get too overt about it or you might get rendered"

he thought that was really funny. he's old school and likes bulldog drummond-type books so the idea of being cia'd away to egypt for some torture and demeaning treatment sounds a bit exotic to him.

anyway, this is what he will have to wear:

and this is what he will have to pledge.

let's have a run through, shall we?

We stand united

As proud members of one team

And ambassadors to the


our sport

(but not yours)

and culture

(ours that is)

And the values of Humanity,


and Destiny

Eager to support each other

To do our best

And play our part

We are creators of great

Recognised by our smiles

And remembered for our

Respectful of differences
And full of pride

We make the difficult possible

For the joy of achievement

And the honour of taking part
This is our moment to shine

We are TEAM2006!

Let's make this the best

Games ever!

(excuse me while i vomit)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

2005 in review as tagged by my favourite furry green friend, BEVIS

because most of my answers are going to be a little boring, i'm going to give two answers; one true, one false.

1. What did you do in 2005 that you hadn't done before?
heroin. studied methodology.

2. Did anyone close to you give birth?
no. yes, a good friend had her first child, a son, last friday.

3. Did anyone close to you die?
no. my bro's best friend. still feel numb.

4. Did you travel? Where did you go?
london, paris, new york, munich, everybody's singing mmm [fill in the blanks]
one good holiday was to sydney at the beginning of the year. it was a nice calm before the storm of my crazy busy year.

5. Best thing you bought?
a gorgeous black dress with white trim which makes me look nice.
a powered yacht.

6. Where did most of your money go?
into shares, diamonds and investment properties.
onto my mortgage and dog food.

FUCK!! how could i forget the gigi. as best purchase. put her in there at number 5. scrap the dress.

7. What do you wish you had done more of?
exercise. proper writing.

8. What do you wish you had done less of?
blogging. procrastinating about my thesis.

9. What kept you sane?
princess and my man and my mum and sister.

10. What drove you mad?
i can only say myself here. the brain that never stops. no lie.

11. What made you celebrate?
best celebration is coming in two days. another birthday for my mum. think of her on saturday, friends. this woman is a fighter. after that i am looking forward to waking up on christmas morning for the first time with my sweetie.

12. What made you sad?
fuck, you got an hour? it's like my sorrow-strings are connected to everything sad in the world. i'm trying to not feel it all so much. but just quickly, try tsunami, earthquakes, petrol-sniffing children here in australia, child abuse, even seeing saddam pulled out of a hole in the ground made me sad, to see him in those photos in his underwear. and the abu graib stuff, the hoods, the indignity.

closer to home the fact that my dad couldn't make princess' birthday made me sad. the fact that earlier in the year he failed to stick up for me in a fight with his partner over money, that made me sad too.

my princess missing her dad so much makes me sad. my mum never having had a remission makes me sad. seeing my brother's best friend's daughter at his wake made me really, really sad.

13. How was your birthday this year?
my birthday was excellent. the best i have ever ever had. and i don't say that lightly. so much care and thought went into the planning of it. just briefly, think romantic secluded cottage surrounded by flowers, birdsong and sweet sweet rain hitting the roof, pillows on a [machine-made] oriental carpet, huge spa bath with bubbles [both of the soap and drinking variety], chocolates, a special meal of oysters kilpatrick and whole baby snapper, a lovely and bonding walk through mud and ferns, lots of loving and being able to sleep in two days in a row without children telling us they need breakfast. it's really so annoying the way they do that.

14. What political issue stirred you the most this year?
oh, here we go again. ok, it was the whole bush-howard joint-leather-jacket thing continuing in iraq, "muslim terrorists are the new russians" thing, and now the anti-terror legislation. i think it's going to be bad, really bad, that people like you and me can possibly be "disappeared" because someone with some power thinks we might know something about something bad, and then we can't tell anyone, and the media can't report it. that is more scary than anything else that has happened this year. and "rendering"? bloody hell.

another thing, the whole indigenous issue, again being ignored and pushed to the backburner by our politicians. also, the ir thing, which i admittedly don't know much about but i can tell it's bad. what else. that's enough. more than.

15. Were you in love in 2005?
yes. oh yes.

16. What would you like to have in 2006 that you didn't have this year?
another birthday for my mum, next december. and a baby. ooops. back to the lying thing now.

17. What date from 2005 will be etched in your memory and why?
dec 2 for two reasons. one, a birthday and the other, an execution.

18. What song will remind you of 2005?
the channel 10 station promo in between simpsons and neighbours

19. Compared to this time last year are you happier?
yes, but just a matter of degrees of bliss. cloud nine this time last year. cloud ten now.

20. Biggest achievement this year?
turning our rascal chew-everything, bite-all-ankles, dig many, many holes puppy into a more socialised good girl.

21. Biggest disappointment this year?
not winning the mc-mansion house at mermaid beach, brisvegas that princess and i took out a lottery ticket on. i really thought we were in with a chance.

22. What is the one thing that would have made you more satisfied?
a serious fitness plan, and really getting around to buying a couple of canvasses and painting something. did you know i paint?

23. Best new person you met this year?
i am tempted to say, all of you. i feel i have met you, so don't need to talk about virtual versus real friends. but i have to say in addition to all of you, the people i have been interviewing for my research are all fantastic and so interesting and i feel so privileged to have been allowed into their lives. they have opened up and really given me some wonderful stories.

i also have to say the optometrist specialist guy who helped me and princess with her learning stuff, so she could improve her spelling and writing. this. has. saved. us. both. from. despair. you cannot imagine the feeling of relief we have here.

24. A valuable life lesson you learnt this year?
to try to let go of things that don't matter, and to stop being a control-freak-bitch all the time. just choose your moments. (i don't say i can do all this yet. but i know it's important to get there somehow.)

i'm going to follow BEVIS' lead and make up my own question. because i want to leave on a high note, after all my sadness talk.

so, number 25. what made you happy this year?
getting a scholarship; deepening my love for mr oh-so-right; princess all of her, moods and smiles, each and every day; the gigi, she spreads her love like no other; this new house, it has a tennis court!; my mum and i being back to mother and daughter good times instead of me having to look after her and worry about her health; my sister and i, back on track with fun and love; a continuing good working relationship with my ex-husband; some good buddhist sessions which remind me of the true path; no major health problems for me or mine; some good times with my group of seven girls, the shazaamers; champagne; gardening; hot-action lurve; food.

notice how food came last. i surprise even myself sometimes.

Monday, December 05, 2005

ten thoughts for the day

1. why do i eat so fast? i just devoured a fruche in about 20 seconds.

2. why are some friends such hard work? i want friends who don't get shitty when i don't call them. who understand that i am just too busy to indulge their high-maintenance needs. don't call me, i'll call you. and if i don't, just get over it.

3. why do i have such problems with my feet? my feet and my hands. they are always sore or blistered (feet, not hands). i have never had a pedicure or manicure. i think i will try to one day.

4. following on from that, the one disadvantage of wearing thongs, like every day, is that my feet are dirty come bedtime. like every day.

5. i need some more pictures to put on the walls.

6. should i try and upgrade to a phd or finish my masters?

7. what should i get my sweetie for christmas?

8. is my little toe really broken. it's still really sore from falling of the stool last sunday. it's over a week now, surely it would be feeling better.

9. where should i take all my stuff i don't want from clearing out the garage? i don't want to take it to an op-shop to be picked over by dealers. i want to give it to people who have nothing and who really need something. any ideas? last time i tried to get stuff to people who needed it, they didn't have a truck to collect it. but this stuff is smaller; kids' books, kids' clothes, some kitchen stuff etc.

10. why does my mojo come and go? what is mojo?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

the meme for ladycrackerland [warning. this is pretty dull but i did my best.]

10 Years Ago:
1995. hmmm. well i was married and it was the year before i got pregnant. i was teaching english to overseas students here in melbourne, and had just gotten back from several years overseas. i was living in east melbourne in a bland one-bedroom apartment. i went to freedom furniture and bought all the furniture i needed in about 30 minutes. a boy with a clipboard followed me around the store as i pointed out what i wanted. i was driving my brother's car - it's a '61 valiant s-series, with fancy wings and blokes used to check out the car at red lights. it made me feel cool. otherwise, my life was fairly boring so i won't try and dress it up for you. i was pretty unhappy.

5 Years Ago:
um, 2000. we were in turkey, living in istanbul. still fairly unhappy. we were in the big earthquake and it was fucking terrifying. we had to sleep outside in the park and elsewhere for a couple of nights. there were aftershocks for months afterwards; one would happen and we would all go running out of the apartment and up the hill to the park. maybe that was 1999 actually. yes, it was. sorry about that. this is a shite effort. my mum had just been diagnosed with cancer, while she was staying with us in istanbul. it was a terrible time. fuck, why couldn't this meme have been a 20 year ago one. things were probably a bit brighter or more interesting then.

1 Year Ago:
2004. shit, i can't remember yesterday. but, the last two years have been good for me. i met a beautiful man after 4 years on my own. my life has been a lot more peaceful, with lots of pleasure and enjoyment, that i had not had for many many years.

last year i went back to study and my brain re-ignited with all the intellectual things i'd been missing. it was wonderful, i was on fire. everything was good last year. everything. except princess' school was crap so i decided to move house so she could go to a new school. we did that last september, a week before her birthday.

Five Yummy Things:
ice cream. spaghetti marinara made MY way. champagne. mango. kisses.

Five songs I know by heart:
most of the evita album. which is more than five songs.

Five things I would do with a LOT of money:
buy a house
put some away for princess' education
buy lots of nice clothes and shoes
start some sort of thing, like an orphanage overseas, or help street kids here. do lots of good works.
help out friends and family

Five things I would never wear:
any type of sports top/football jumper etc
a g. sorry, can't fucking stand them.
a boob tube
white boots
a chastity belt

Five favourite TV shows:
the office
get smart
fawlty towers

Five things I enjoy doing:
reading the newspaper
reading novels
reading non-fiction
reading trash magazines
everything else except falling off stools, cutting my finger while cooking, stubbing my toe, scraping my leg when shaving, getting shampoo in my eyes, rushing around being too busy.