Thursday, July 31, 2008

you've come a long way, baby.


back when i was young and the kids drank big ms and the mothers drank tab and the fathers drank melbourne bitter, or vic bitter, none of that fancy shit, and when no one really thought much about going to the shops on your bike and buying a bag of lollies; when fish and chips were a weekly treat, when going out for dinner meant the local chinese restaurant, and chicken and sweet corn soup was exotic but not too outlandish so that it was the only thing, along with dim sims, that fussy 7-year-old male virgos would eat. back then, thinking back, it's easy to think that things were simpler.

that men and women were a little more cut and dried in their gender roles.

i know things were being challenged in the '60s and '70s - hell, at the moment i'm re-reading nancy friday, and i've read greer, as well as naomi wolf who kind of tries to pick up, along with paglia, the new wave of thinking.

but why, when all is said and done, am i still washing a man's underwear and hanging them up, working out what to eat for dinner, worrying about the management of the household, AS WELL AS THINKING ABOUT EARNING MONEY, thinking about my mortgage, trying to summon some sort of interest in sexual pleasure (fuck nancy friday and her libidinous life; she was/is childless).

at least i don't iron his shirts. what a fucking emancipated woman am i.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

so, it's that time of year again.

it's time to do the french thing.

this time of year, the mind turns to french desserts and what other kind of main meal there might be that's not boeuf bourgignon, that's not belgian, that's french enough for our once-a-year tour de france night. minds turn to the bottle of absinth that is packed away in storage, left-over from the tour meal two years ago. hearts turn to cheese, and lots of it.

i know the tour is on every night for many nights at the moment (is it 2 weeks? 3? so shoot me, i don't know, i'm not a complete tour-head) and many of us are up until 1am, watching the boys in their lycra, and trying not to stare at their bulging crotches (some of us that is; others don't really care. about staring.)

so this year it's at my sister's, and they are doing main and i have said i will take dessert. for us and the kids. the kids don't get to eat the real french food. we fob them off with a quick pasta bake or something.

i've decided to make creme brulee, which was the dessert that we always ate in paris when we were there. it's like being in an italian restaurant. if they have tiramisu, we had to have that too.

so i've got the ingredients, i've got the little ramekins. i've got the friggin expensive vanilla beans. i don't have the blow torch cause i thought i'd see how i go just grilling them.

the test run is tonight. and the plan is to make meringues with the egg whites (because the brulees only require the yolks.)

so, that's the food.

last night was the second night for the tour to be passing through the mountains. i watched until 11.30, and by then i'd had my fill of crotches and it was making me tired just watching these dudes cycling up the mountain. how on earth do they do it. i reckon they are machines, they would just have to do that, and when they're not riding, they wouldn't be able to have a conversation with anyone, they'd be too used-up, don't you think? do they have wives? i know cadel does, she plays the piano or is a singer or something, but do you reckon she's over there? it seems such a hard thing to be doing, riding a bicycle up a mountain. he wouldn't be able to go back to the hotel and summon a smile for his wife, would he? would he be up for a romantic dinner on the terrace, with champagne and then some lovin'?

i think not.

i've blogged about the tour before*, but i have more questions now.

1. why are their crotches so prominent and big? my sister said that a few days ago one of the men had a big stiffy. BIG. HUGE. she said it was really distracting. i wonder if he was wearing white lycra. i bet he was. i swear, sometimes i reckon i can see the different parts of part, if you know what i mean in the white-suit boys.

2. the rest of them are so skinny. i know they probably have to consume three times as many calories or whatever than the rest of us who are sitting around on our arses. but they are still really skinny, in the arms mostly.

3. it bothers me that they just throw their rubbish to the side of the road - drink bottles, everything. i know people probably clean this up, do the cars do it? but what if they miss a few drink bottles. that hard plastic is just so bad, so ugly, and france is so pretty.

4. i still don't get how it works. when cadel had his crash and they were talking about robbie mc ewan (?) dropping back to get anti-inflammatories from the doctor and then taking them up to cadel. how does that work? wouldn't he have to be a better rider than cadel to drop back then catch up?

5. what do these people do for the rest of the year? there'd be other races, lots of other races i guess. do they travel the circuit like tennis players? how do the teams work? do they team up for certain races, and in other groups for others? are any races just a normal A to B first over the line wins race?

6. would you serve something with the creme brulee? probably not. i'll get some cheese i think for later when we are watching the race.

* several posts, july 2006 if you can be bothered looking.

Monday, July 14, 2008


so it's been a while between memes. and thanks to the delightful magical_m, we now have a new one.

i love that this is about clothes. ages ago i did a post about clothes i have loved and lost. i think the clothes and shoes we have worn and inhabited are as nostalgic as old photos and houses. does anyone dream of houses? i used to have a recurring dream which featured a building in the city which was unlike any i've seen, but seemed so real. i have never been to the nicholas building, but when i do finally go, and i will, i fully expect it to be the building from my dream.

to the meme.

WHEN I was 1, my parents dressed me in...
some sort of frilly shirt i imagine and wool tights? i don't know, ask my mother why don't you?

WHEN I was 5, I dressed myself in...
i don't think i was dressing myself at five. i would have been the spoilt and over-parented oldest child until i asserted my independence and moved away from mother at the age of 18. (just finished re-reading my mother, myself. by nancy friday. buy it and read it all you daughters/mothers.) what am i talking about, when i was five my bro was 2 and into the saucepan cupboard and under the sink and eating the toilet freshener and the cat food. i probably did dress myself. there is a photo of me in red woollen tights, mum's silk, spiky-heeled wedding shoes and a faux-fur ski hat, with glomesh evening bag, but i think that was "dress ups".

WHEN I was 7, my favourite outfit was...
it's a toss-up between my white, lace-up knee-length boots and cream knitted poncho which got spag bol sauce on it at leo's spaghetti bar one time; and an all-red outfit - a pants suit with flared trousers and a red top (with some white, horizontal bands across the chest) and white skivvie underneath. i remember i had pale brown boots that went over the pants, they were quite loose and went mid-calf. it was almost like the at-home-aboard-jupiter-2 outfits that the robinson girls wore, so i felt very penny in my red pantsuit.

MY favourite school photo outfit was...
the one when i was about 8 or so and i was wearing illicit gym boots (converse high-tops for you young people out there). my primary school had a uniform, but i would take my gym boots in my bag, and change into them on the street on the way to school, because my mother wouldn't let me wear them to school. but there i am, deceit fully displayed, right there in the front row of my grade 3 or 4 school photo.

IN high school the fashion trend I started was...
the school shoes with the t-bar strap. when i was in hsc everyone was still wearing the lace-up black school shoes. at the beginning of the year, i got a pair of the t-bars (well, me and another girl but I swear it was just us two and it was coincidental and a concurrent, non-conferenced decision). by the end of the year, many others did too. and then by the time my sister was in year 12, everyone had them. do you see the lace-ups anywhere now? i rest my case.

ON my first date the outfit I wore was...
i can't remember my first date. i don't think i had one (see '80s diaries). let me think...

nup. my first relationship went like this: i met a guy at a party, we pashed that night, i stayed at his place, but nothing else happened, honest, and after that we started hanging out. i was 18. then we moved in together. i wasn't a dating sort of person.

FOR my high school formal I wore...
a polyestery, burgundy-red frock with an elasticised waist, and some sort of shirring over the chest region. i think it had some sort of puffy sleeve as well. it wasn't awful, it was quite grown-up and mature and certainly not an '80s taffeta catastrophe. can't remember the shoes, but i think there was pantyhose involved. the shoe would have been a plain court-shoe with an ugly, conservative heel.

AT my 21st I wore...
i didn't have a 21st party. to celebrate my family and i went to tolarno's for dinner in st. kilda but i can't remember what i wore. i was living with my boyfriend at the time, and my mother gave me $300 to spend on myself. i spent it on bills. then later, when i was travelling i spent $300 on some gold jewellry, as a replacement present. then it all got stolen a few years after that while i was living overseas. (irrelevant information included because there is no substantial answer to this one).

THE oldest item of clothing I still wear is...
some fishnet stockings my mother had in the '60s. oh ok, i don't wear them, but i still have them. and sometimes, occasionally, almost never i do wear them. i plan to wear them next weekend, because we are going to a tour de france dinner, and while we eat french food, i will be wearing my fishnets.

THE item of clothing I wish I still had was...
those 2 mohair cardigans i bought more than 20 years ago, which have recently featured in the diary excerpts. also my shiny-lycra black full-length leggings - i reckon i could give them a red-hot go under a skirt with flat shoes.

MY current favourite item of clothing is...
the cheap ankle boots i picked up at dfo, but only teamed with my jag wide-leg jeans (the first i've had in years that aren't always slipping off my arse). i'm also still really digging the glossy black patent-leather handbag i got in florence (benetton). oh, and my geelong beanie - the hat of victory.

and i tag the following:

and so the boys don't feel left out:
do it or not. as you will. no pressure.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

for my 360th post

let me list the ways:

1. i have a sore eye-socket. left.

2. my right arm is stiff, has been for ages. no i haven't been pumping iron.

3. i am cold.

4. i am eating too much ice cream.

5. i confess three and four may be connected. if not, they are evidence of my foolish, foolish nature.

6. i am housebound with 3 children.

7. i am bored.

8. i am wearing purple, velvet tracksuit pants, with a black skivvie.

9. i just forgot i'm heating the hair straightener in the bathroom.

10. i am going to straighten my hair.

11. then i am going to read the age.

12. we have two copies of the age today, because clokes put the copy bought in the morning on the table in the hall. i went out the back door and didn't see it.

13. last night we watched the first episode of dexter. i liked it except the ending was stupid. i hope it settles down with the stupid endings.


15. we went back to mirka on friday night and had a bombe each. EACH. decadent and delish.

16. i bought some new undies recently. it hasn't helped.

17. the dog needs a wash.

18. the dog needs a flea treatment.

19. i enjoy the school holidays because i can sleep in. i don't enjoy them because i don't have my quiet space.

20. i need to earn some more money.

21. there is mould growing in the bathroom. see number 20.

22. ali asked if princess can go visit him again this year (either turkey, or the states over christmas. long term readers, this is a mistake, right? but she's older, right? not sure about it.)

23. ah the sun is trying to break through the clouds.

24. the hairstraightener might start to smell soon.

25. big brother is so fucking boring. i hate them all. especially cherry.

26. no, i don't hate them all. but they are all boring.

27. whatever happened to memes? i swear, i got sick of them for a while, but now they are nowhere. sociologically, are memes for newbies? did we all just go through that stage, or are there new ones out there? i'd be up for a meme. i miss meme'ing.

28. i feel that my little corner of blogworld is struggling. i know i can go on and on forever. i'll be blogging until i'm 90 and blind i think. but people who have more to do in their lives, are like living their lives, and falling off the blog-dar. it's ok, i understand, i am not bitter.

29. except for fits. i miss fits. this is what i've had in drafts regarding fits.

* * *

title: on the passing of ms. fits. it still hurts.

this is what happened on the fateful day. the same day as our first anniversary, may 26th, 2008

[melbournegirl is talking to husband clokes on their first anniversary, this evening about 6 o'clock]

mg: i'm devastated

clokes: yeah, i wondered how she'd keep it going. she's so busy.

mg: yeah i know, but it's so sad.

clokes: it's ok. another one'll come along...


clokes: yes!

mg: [leaves the room]

* * *

[later that night, during the festive and romantic celebrations]

clokes: are you on the computer?


mg: you don't understand

clokes: yes, i do. it's our anniversary.

[sound of handbeater struggling to cream rock-hard western star in the kitchen. the kids are icing a cake.]

* * *


princess [opening new idea]: ok, this is an article on relationships, you guys need to read it.

mg: i don't need to read it, i've read it already.

princess: well, clokes, you need to, dude.

clokes: don't call me dude!

princess: i call everyone dude.

* * *

i still check her blog. i still hope. i am bereft. an abandoned child. she was my mother-ship. my touchstone. my corner-stone. my hero. my idol. my shiva.

and now she's gone. gone.

other "outlets" are not satisfying. i don't listen to her. i don't read the gg articles. i always forget about the book show. but for me it started with the blog. i need the bloggy goodness of ms fits.

is anyone else feeling this way?

it's a bit freaky, isn't it?

just call me mel.

* * *

30. sun is out now, i feel better. i have purged and now i go to straighten my hair.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

don't judge me but when i was in paris

i bought a hermès scarf. or is that an hermès scarf.


the point is, i have been reading for years that if you are to have one, just one, genuine designer fashion accessoire (let's face it, most of us can't afford a genuine designer fashion item, ie frock, coat, etc) then it has to be a/n hermès scarf.

so, when the family were at eurodisney (why didn't i want to go, you ask? are you mad? i hate theme parks. i even hate luna park. apart from the scenic railway the rest. is. crap. bring back the giggle palace, i say) i set off to look at the designer stores. mostly from the outside. i did go into chanel to see if they had those trashy studs with diamante interlocking c's - they didn't. maybe just as well. i found them in chinatown in new york for $4 and haven't worn them because they are so gaudy and wannabe.

then after chanel i walked to hermès. it was quite a hike. i had been walking all over paris, which was lovely. it's lovely in the spring-time. it's lovely in autumn. paris is just lovely anytime. even winter with snow on the ground. the only time i haven't been in summer. i bet it's... lovely.

so, i get to hermès. i look in the window. i look at the display of scarves. i go in. there is a bun fight at the scarf counters. women pushing in to look. i find a space and when a snotty lady asks me if she can help me, i say yes, i would like to look at a scarf. i can't remember if i said je voudrais voir une... er... un... [pointing madly at the scarves] or whether i said it in english. i think i just said it in english. as she had probably spoken in english to me. this last time in paris, i didn't even really try to speak french. it was woeful after being in turkey where i was proficient. my french isn't terrible, after all i did do it in hsc and i can still conjugate a verb like you wouldn't believe. my sister, who is a francophile and vce french teacher, is still amazed by my ability to read french text and translate it into english. but that's the thing, i can do the words in written form; spoken is (as always) more difficile.

so, back to hermès. and back to the snotty saleslady. i asked if i could look at a traditional print. she showed me a couple, not looking at me, not smiling, kind of looking over the top of my head. there was absolutely rien de politesse. i asked her if i could see a geometric print. she showed me a couple. after about 6 scarves, i asked to see something with animals. i just didn't know what i wanted. she thought i wasn't going to buy. she wasn't looking at me. she was looking around me. and huffily pulling out scarves.

when she laid out a gorgeous print in browns and yellows of leopards, i said i'll take that one.

she looked at me, eyebrows up somewhere near her hairline. well, maybe i'm exaggerating with that, she wouldn't have been so déclassé to show her distaste and scepticism that overtly.

i ignored her complete about face, her fawning smile, her of course, madame, follow me, madame. all of a sudden i was a madame, whereas before i was some sort of gypsy mama who had wandered into the great shop, smelling of onions and alcohol, with an unseen visa gold card in her shabby pocket.

i related this story recently to my sister and her husband. when i got up to the part about the saleslady being rude and offhand with me, before me saying i would buy the fucking thing, my brother-in-law said i wouldn't have stayed, i would have walked out, that would have been worthy of a door slam. you need to understand my brother-in-law has a great story about a friend of his storming out of paterson's cake shop in prahran, trying to slam an unslammable door which is on one of those airy piston things, so that he had to go back into the shop, after the door had exhaled its gush of quiet air and say consider the door slammed!

but i wasn't going to storm out of this place. it wasn't a simple matter of my order of party pies and sausage rolls not being ready. this was hermès. this was paris. i wouldn't have gotten my lovely, leopardy, hermès scarf. all done up nicely in its orange box with a brown ribbon tied just so. i wouldn't have gotten the story. i wouldn't have gotten the satisfaction. i would have been just standing out there on the street, going all teary. instead i skipped away, enjoying my once in a lifetime feeling of walking through paris with the distinctive orange shopping bag.

what would you have done? would you have walked out?