Sunday, February 28, 2010

Imagination grows when the TV is off...

We have lazy kids. It's true. Sure they like to run about the house and be silly and play imaginative games with their toys, but they aren't outdoorsey, adventurous kids. I blame myself because I'm such a mother hen and I don't like them being where I can't watch them. Also I'm not as keen to go hang out at the play park while they have a run about...I should just bring my book and let them have a go, that's completely my failing. The kids are like me, but like me as I am now. I'm content at home puttering about. As a kid I was always outside, mostly on my own, but often kicked out and told not to come back for hours. I couldn't do that. there are kidnappers in the bushes, you see.

This weekend we turned off the TV because there was absolutely nothing worth watching. The kids, on a rare moment, Sassy in particular, went outside to play. In the garden. As padded up super heroes.

TV off, Imagination grows!TV off, Imagination grows!TV off, Imagination grows!

I love how Shorty has her beads and bangles coordinated with her outfit. They make me laugh.

In my defense, I do take them to other parks a couple times a week, and they get to play on the school climbing frames after school while I natter. I'm a good owner Mother!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Doctor says...

Yes I have a bit of a double prolapse - a bit from the top and a bit from the bottom but it's not critical. Weakened perineum from episiotomy. My cervix is still roughly where it belongs. She says if it gets worse then my option is hysterectomy. Fuck that, I said kindly. I asked about pessaries and she said that's the old fashioned way of fixing it. The menstrual cup - which I brought with me to show her in case she'd never heard of them, which she hadn't, is not any worry. "It's no bigger around than an erect penis..." she says, shyly. So the cup can stay.

I've got a referral to a gynecology surgeon, a physiotherapist, and I have to have bloods taken to rule out poly-cystic ovaries and check that my hormones are up to par. I also need to lose weight, and I expected her to tell me that. I did mention I exercise regularly, I don't drive but walk everywhere and I've started to jog a 3-5K 4 days a week. I also mentioned that I've had a similar exercise routine for four years and haven't managed to get below 200lbs once. Both my grandmothers were well over 300lbs. My body doesn't like to give up its hard earned rolls. I'll gain muscle like nobody's business, but burn fat? Nope. Not shifting. Tried diet X,Y and Z? Yup. Starving, high protein, fat free, high fat, dairy free, grain free, name it. Still, she suggests 20kgs/44lbs. *pout*

But my heart is amazingly strong and my lungs are in fantastic shape. Blood pressure was in the high-normal range but it could be anxiety and caffeine. We'll see what my cholesterol is sitting at.

Feeling a wee bit defeated, but here's hoping the other two folks have something a bit more hopeful for me. I'll try and not beg for amphetamines.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What's going to happen in June??

A new thought has bothered me this week. As we wind down from the summer heat and I notice the signs of autumn, I'm struck by the familiar excitements of autumn and winter holidays. Yet, those aren't going to be there me this year.

I realized, there won't be any Christmas with bright lights during the darkest months. I don't know if Australia has any kind of equivalent. Halloween as an acknowledgment of the end of summer. The solstices certainly occur, but without the appropriate timings. Aussies celebreate the same holiday as the northern hemisphere. A winter celebration on the summer solstice. But for the Aussie winter solstice; where's the party to say Hooray! It's not going to be so dark anymore? The only holiday for June is the 14th of June for the Queen's birthday, and the Aussies aren't big Queenie fans.

Solstice is on the 21st/22nd and there's nothing. No parties. No lights. No songs. It's going to be strange.

I've googled about and there are music festivals and a couple solstice themed things but they're not national, they're local. There seems to be a lot around the Gold Coast.

I think I'll see if I can scrounge up some outside lights, and decorate for solstice this year. Maybe put the tree up again. Not going to buy presents and stuff, but just have the merriment feeling around the house.

I do, still, keep thinking it's August going on September. I have to remind myself it's February. I've zipped half a year ahead. The kids were saying some of the same, but I think school will be a sufficient distraction for them that it won't their senses off too much. I'm just buggered.

Wait, wait! What's this I've found? It's a Winter Celebration with lights! I missed this last year because we arrived the weekend after it finished. Oh, I feel a bit better now. I'm very much looking foward to this! You have to admit, religious or not, that the lights, sounds, smells of winter festivals, be they Christmas or any other, are wonderful and exciting memory makers when it's been cold and dark. We need cheery reminders that the light will return.

Monday, February 22, 2010

After a few drinks I'm free to explain...

I've made an appointment to see the "Lady Doctor". I do attend my regular smears and what-nots, but this appt is special because I have a particular problem that's finally manifested into a nuisance and I think it's time I had it fixed.

I have a vaginal prolapse. EW...cringe in horror! It's revenge of the deformed fanny coming atcha! Not only do I have no labia left on the left side thanks to Shorty's enormous head and the many stitches it took to repair the birthing damage, but now there's a bulging bit. Childbirth is a fucking pain and I don't mean just the physical ache but the aftermath!

I've had the merest incontinence problem. Tiny drips. If I don't drink coffee, they don't happen. If I don't jog they also don't happen. If I drink coffee and then jog, I must change my undies. *shrug* Not so much a hardship really but slightly embarrassing if I've been dehydrated.

I can still have sex, still do all the normal things that one does with a vagina, but this last menstrual cycle seems to have been a bit too pushy-outy and I can actually see and feel things I never could before and it's freaking me out. Also, I'm finding it hard to poop. When I poop, it seems to want to come out of my vagina and I have to push the bulge back where it belongs. That was where I draw the line and have decided to go to the doctor's and have it looked at.

Of course it's horribly embarrassing! My girlbits have been through enough. Have I mentioned the enormous heads of both my children? 95th percentile heads on both of them. It's no wonder I've started turning inside out. I think it's been like this since Shorty was born, but with extensive Kegels and watching what I drink and suchnesses, it's not gotten so bad. I wonder...if the menstrual cup has aggravated the problem. If the suction on removal has helped pull everything out? Seems a bit extreme. I'll have to ask on Monday.

I complained to the Dr before about painful movements during my periods but was told "It's normal". Now, since the bulging bit, the pain has subsided. It's all too weird.

Yet when I started looking into the possibilities I read that 1 in 2 women over 45 have this problem. Every other woman on this planet. That means half of the women you know have a bulging bit out of their hooha! Why aren't they talking about it?! Why did I have to think "Hmmm...I'll just keep that to myself!" Why do I have to be the one to say it loud and bloggy-like? Part of my vagina is poking out. It's totally normal, happens all the time. No, I can't just shove it back in, trust me, I've tried.

Appointment is next week. I'll let you know if I need surgery. I don't recommend the YouTube videos of the surgery if you're weak stomached. I had to stop half way through. But, it seems highly likely that's going to be my future. More vaginal sutures. Fucking hooray.

Where's that wine, I need a refill?

Pardon me while a swoon a bit...

Rufus SewellRufus SewellRufus SewellRufus Sewell

...don't wake me.

It's been my daily obsession...

I don't know why, but this comedy clip has been replaying in my head and making me giggle to myself all weekend. I must look a complete psycho. "Doesn't that pull your twat flaps?" "It really does!" and I'm smirking and laughing into my hands.

Bring back the girls from Smack the Pony. Spend the day with them on YouTube. I think i may have to buy the DVDs.

You silly mare. Ok more!!

Love her. Sally Phillips was the cussing angry one from Bridget Jones.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Semantics, Shemantics...

I get regular emails from The Christian Anti-Defamation League because (I like a good fight) they get all kinds of riled up about being persecuted for being Christian and like to rally the troops to fight their causes. Sad thing is, they often misinterpret or outright mislead the troops. Here is today's case in point:

Mayor's Christian Remarks a Hate Crime? Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 23:00
Mayor R. Rex Parris Mayor Rex Parris of Lancaster, California is in serious trouble over an innocent political remark he made during a State of the City address. Parris said of the city of Lancaster, "We're a growing Christian community and don't let anybody shy away from that."

So CAIR, a radical Muslim advocacy group, filed a civil rights complaint against the mayor. CAIR argues that the mayor’s remarks violate the “separation of church and state.”

Then a hearing was convened by the local Human Relations Task Force. They invited anyone who was affected by the mayor’s remarks to give their testimony. The task force then determined that Parris’s remarks constituted a hate crime under California laws.

Now Mayor Parris is facing ridiculous hate crime charges, but this is a political matter, not a criminal one. We can’t let Mayor Parris fight this battle alone.

So of course I have to go and investigate. Turns out, from what I can find, that's not quite what he said. It seems what he really said was “We’re growing a Christian community. Don’t let anybody shy away from that … I need [Lancaster residents] standing up and saying we’re a Christian community, and we’re proud of that.” so you can see why CAIR (Council on Islamic-American Relations) would be a bit annoyed. You could see how anyone who wasn't a Christian would be annoyed. He's not exactly representing his whole constituency, is he?

But, at least he's seen the error of his way and apologized.

Of course it's re-election time and whole lot of back pedaling is expected. Anyone think he's genuine in his apology? Well, let's ask him, he talked about it a few days earlier...

Christian Anti-Defamation League, I think you've lost this one.

Silver linings and whatnots...

Day three of the menstrual cycle is a great time to break in new jeans.

Jury is out on the practicality of day two shopping for new jeans. That takes a special kind of masochism. Sadism. No I think I was right the first time. It's probably a mix of both as the hormones make me moody.

However, I like these jeans so far even though they are straight leg and not bootleg. I've worn bootleg since I was 19. I feel very strange with the lack of material around my ankles. I'm almost tempted to peg them, because that's what I did the last time I wore straight leg jeans. Best thing, they were only $45 at Target and Target was having a 20% off jeans day. I only bought them because the bootleg style only had my size in short length. In fact they had a whole lot of short in all styles. Seems my neighbor hood are all regular or tall. Or Target thinks we have far more short women that we actually have and they're losing tons...perhaps hence the 20% off? I was lucky to find these.

Totally craving a new pair of boat shoes. I totally just typed totally.

***After posting this I did a wee search for boat shoes, because I was suddenly obsessed. I've ordered these and these in red. I hope I love them. If not, I'll return them, but I want to love them.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gum Wall

Something I pass on a regular basis. I admit I didn't pay it much mind as it's a wall and it's not my focus of attention, just an alley between A to B. From parking lot to post office out to the main road. Until one day, when the wall took on a whole real, full frontal assault of my attentions and made its true presence known.

Gum WallGum WallGum Wall

You can see that at some time, rather than remove the gum, someone just painted over all the gum. That did nothing to deter the gum stickers.

I'm most concerned by the ones proclaiming love. In chewed gum. Applied on an alley wall.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Taking on the CRE again

Both girls are now in the Christian Religious Education program at their school. Again I've requested the syllabus for both courses so I can follow along and offer alternate opinions. Ask more questions. Encourage the girls to ask questions, not just take what's being spoon fed to them.

It's patently obvious the current religious view is that the bible and Jesus and being a Christian is all wonderful, loving, warm, light, giving and goodness. I think it's interesting how picking out the nice and disregarding the frightening and tragic is in any way helpful to having these kids grow up be good Christians. I mean if you're going to be a Christian, you've got to know the whole thing you're getting yourself into, right?

Here are some the areas Sassy's 5th grade class are going to be looking at over the next few weeks:

1.) For students to understand that Jesus as the "light for the world" is a role model worthy of being followed.

2.) For students to understand that when they follow Jesus' model of loving, helpful, fair actions they brighten up the community around them like lights.

3.)For students to understand that God is like a forgiving father.

That's just a few, there are actually 13. Of course I have issue with some of it. Who is the more forgiving father: The one who says how bad it is to lie and steal coins from his bedside table and punishes by giving a speech about how disappointed he is and taking away the Nintendo DS for a week, or the Father that punishes by sending you into lake of burning fire for all eternity? Think about it if you need to...

I also don't know what bible they're reading from because I read my bible and there are definitely bits where Jesus was talking killing children and encouraging followers to mutilate themselves. He wasn't all "Light". In fact there's not one bit of Revelations in the whole year.

The stuff for Shorty is about how Christians are so good. Aren't Christians great? Butter wouldn't melt, you know. They do so many great things, blah blah blah. Like they have the market cornered on good. Not to mention both my kids have Muslims and Buddhists in their class. Think they'll quote any of Jesus' Jew hate? Not bloody likely.

Shorty's class is going right to the guts of the bible and telling the Easter story. I've never understood how the Easter story is supposed to be great and wonderful. God let his "son" die horribly by us/for us and didn't intervene. That's not a loving father. What is it about the bible and infanticide? People have tried to explain it to me and it's never made sense - God gave his only son to be killed by us so his blood could save our souls and erase our sins. What?! I'm a parent - fuck you, you're not killing my kid to save anyone. And what if I don't want Jesus' sacrifice? What if I want that serial murderer to get his proper punishment? It's all fucked up. I genuinely have no idea how Christians can talk about it like it's all good. I'm thankful that Easter bunnies and modern marketing have perverted the original story. Fluffy ducks, chicks and bunnies. Perhaps in another century it'll all be myth like the Roman gods.

So yes, this whole debacle winds me up. Australia likes to think it's secular but it's not. It has no clue what secular truly is, I hope everyone figures it out soon.

I also hope I don't come across too grumpy in this post. I'm not attempting to make my kids miserable in god wars. I honestly want them to know what's out there. I was told CRE was "just a bunch of bible stories." but it's not. It's indoctrinating kids into Christianity, it's another layer added outside of the church and it's not welcome. Not by me. The only reason the kids are in the class, and I've not opted them out is because Husband wants them to know the stories. Well, I'm just going to make sure they know the whole story. Their morality will come from us, not the bible. The bible's morality is sick and vile.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Whatcha readin'?"

Don't you hate that question? I hate when I'm reading on the tram or walking someplace and a stranger asks me what I'm reading. The book should pose an imaginary boundary, a wall that one should not try to penetrate. Especially a stranger. It's not rude to read a book in public, but it is rude to interrupt someone who is absorbed in their reading. Whether its the newspaper, book, magazine or bible*.

I've often taken my book on my regular walk to collect the kids from school. It's a route I know very well and can manage it with peripheral attentions quite easily. As soon as someone speaks to me - that's it you've overloaded my senses and put me at risk of stepping off the curb into traffic! Hope you're happy, you nosy prat! I exaggerate slightly. Rarely has someone aked me while I've been an active pedestrian. On trams, trains or buses however - all the time. Why they can't just do what a normal, polite person should do and crane their necks a bit to peek at the book's cover, I don't know. I could be mildly egotistical and say, perhaps I'm so stunning that they find the book question a wonderful way to enter conversation and perhaps more? Because "Whatcha readin'?" is a great way to open a conversation because the next question is "What's that about?"

"What's that about?" is the crux of the conversation. How you respond will determine if the conversation continues or stops dead. You could be honest or you could lie. You could stop the attempts cold and respond "You know, I just want to read my book, excuse me." but that will make for an uncomfortable trip until one of you exits the transport. Unless - please no - you get off at the same stop. At which point I'd have to immediately walk to the nearest shop in fear of being stalked. If you answer the question, the person will either inquire more about it if you sell the story well, or back off in conversation because you've failed to impress them. Aren't they obnoxious?! How dare they judge us for what we choose to read?! Who invited their opinion anyways? ARG - I hate them! And their book taste/ pompous judging ways.

Best thing to do, is read your book with headphones in place. Not on of course because if you happen to be walking you still need to be mindful of traffic and pickpockets. Also of when your stop is coming up on transport. But as a tool to discourage the "Whatcha readin'?" types from getting a chance to pass judgment or think they can get in your pants. Don't let them get a chance to think themselves smugly clever at our expense while interrupting our read.

*Which is a book and yet I offer it up in its own category because this becomes questioner's beware as bible readers are probably the only people who love to be asked "Whatcha readin'?" because then they get to tell you in all its glory and we shouldn't encourage such behaviour. Then again, serves the questioner right.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I don't care if they like it! It's Wrong!!

Sassyface was telling me that the chickens at her school really like chicken nuggets. It seems Sassy has been sharing her nuggets with the chickens. I told her that was a terrible, awful, bad thing to do!

"You're letting those chickens be cannibals!"

"But they like it!"

"I've heard that people who are burned on funeral pyres smell like pork. Would you like me to feed you some crispy people meat?"

"Don't say that!! I'll have nightmares now!"

"But you'll like it!"

"Shut up!"

I know I go to extremes, but I think I made my point.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Men At Work, neck deep in Kookaburra shit.

I have no clue why there are no posts here. I'm sure I had something to say at some point over the past week. I couldn't possibly have spent all my free time playing Assassins Creed II...

I have something I'm feeling a bit unsure of and need to have a discussion about.

Have you folks heard that the band Men At Work are being sued? Because the flute part of the song Land Down Under has a some notes from the famous Aussie song Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gumtree. The song was a hit in 1981. They (They being the people who now own the rights to Kookaburra) didn't discover the plagiarism until last year when it was mentioned on an Aussie gameshow as similar and once that was revealed, they got the lawyers involved.

Over that wee bit.

So now I come to the dilemma. Plagiarism is bad. I agree 100%. But does the fact that this song has been listened to for over 20 years and no one noticed the similarities - even in Australia where these songs are sung all the time - why sue now? To what end? Well obviously the end is money. It's always money. Reputation be dashed, fuck you - give us our money! watch the wee news show where the history is explained.

So Ms. Sinclair is no longer with us - I just can't understand the need to sue. As far as I know the band aren't together anymore.

sure I can understand that they've earned royalties for this song. Has that well run dry? Have they sold the rights? Does the rest of the content not matter? Does that snippet of music take away all the originality of the whole song?

When I think about Vanilla Ice and the Ice Ice Baby rip off of Bowie/Queen- that made me mad. that was so obviously stolen. This MAW one is innocuous. And yet I cannot justify it to myself that just because it's only a little bit stolen that makes it any less of a crime. I also have to remove my genuine affection for MAW from the debate, which is difficult.

Sure punish them. but does it have to be so harsh? Why not just do a charity tour and donate all the proceeds to the Girl Scouts? The song was written for them, annoying, petty, money grabbing music company.

What's kind of bugged me since, is Colin Hay has been saying they absolutely didn't rip Kookaburra. Sure the whole flute part isn't a direct rip, only a minute portion (I'm justifying again) and Hay is saying it was not intentional:

"When Men At Work released the song Down Under through CBS Records, (now Sony Music), in 1982, it became extremely successful. It was and continues to be played countless times all over the world, and it is no surprise that in more than 20 years, no one noticed the reference to Kookaburra. There are reasons for this. It was inadvertent, naive, unconscious, and by the time Men At Work recorded the song, it had become unrecognisable."

I don't think that statement does him any credit, unfortunately.

I worry what the financial consequence will be for Hay. 27 years back pay? If it were mine, sure I'd want it, no matter how popular the famous person who stole it was. Yet, I adore him. Also, if he lives in Melbourne, I may have to stalk him. I'm sure he'd appreciate it. He was in Scrubs and everything.

What do you think? I'm so obviously biased.

*Guides. It's the Girl Guides. but it's the same as the Scouts only they still wear Brownie uniforms.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Forgotten again...

I forgot my own blogiversary, again. On January 10th, this blog turned 5 years old. Hooray. Okay enough about that.

I'm back from my vacation!! We went to the seaside town of Warrnambool (it's spoken like it's spelled) and took some drives along the Great Ocean Road which is pretty fantastic and was very reminiscent of Cape Cod when it gets down to one lane both ways complete with small off the side of the road towns (Like Truro) (Of course that only makes sense to those who've ever driven to Provincetown). What was missing were the lobster specials. How can this place be coastal and not have lobster, corn on the cob, homemade coleslaw and fries at every roadside shanty - I just don't know. Colour me disappointed!

some pictures:

P1000526Great Ocean roadMartyr's CoveTower Hill KoalaSassyFaceShorty

There are more here if you're interested.

I had two days at the radio station and it was pretty cool to see how they operate. I had planned three days but they had folks on holiday and were short staffed. I sat in on the morning show and was stunned at how much is not actually live - almost none of it. They pre-recorded most of the content before the shift starts and any phone in things are done 15-20 minutes before aired. I spent a good bit of time in the news room and loved that part of the job. The editing down was challenging. Take two pages of news and condense down to three sentences. Take three minute phone interviews and edit out all the uhms, ahs and repetitive waffle for a 15 second sound bite. My story went to air as well which was pretty cool. I wrote a couple of adverts, too. The otgher areas lie prodiuction of the adverts I didn't get to do much as that was the guy on vacation. I figured, rather than hang about watching the stressed replacement guy slog through, I'd take an extra day to site-see with the family.

I read through the two Nora books (Sullivan's Woman and Island of Flowers) rather quickly. Neither were hot and heavy, in fact they both had marriage proposals before actual heavy petting (hence no sex in either story) but it didn't bother me at all. What did bother me was the over the top machismo of both men. Rude, brusque and obnoxious. I know both of these stories were written in the early 80's, but were men rally that insensitive before the advent of the Sensitive Man? Self-centered and closed off. I didn't get it really. Sure they were smart, handsome and passionate about what they were doing but still; ease up on the testosterone a wee bit or at the very least get a sense of humor. So. Intense. The men were by far the moodiest of the couplings. The women were pretty plucky but putty in the men's hands. meh. I didn't hate but didn't love either. They were a pleasant holiday like.

Which is why it was a good thing that at the last minute I decided to grab my Flowers From The Storm by Laura Kinsale because I was really needing an absorbing read. I think the first time around on this book, which was six months ago-ish, In my new book eagerness, I rushed it. I needed to know what all they hype was about!! It then became my favourite book. I've left it since then, even though I wanted to start it over again right after finishing it. I'm enjoying it just as much, and since I know what happenes, I'm taking my time over it. Reading it with an eye for foreshadow.

Question: Does Christian have a stroke or an aneurysm? I think a stroke as he's talking about the tingling in his fingers before it happens. But I don't know enough about aneurysms to know if that is also a symptom. I had the question when I read the first time through but don't know if I asked. Also I'm so shite about using tags I don't know when the post was and am too lazy too search it out.

Still reading it now, They've just absconded.

I'm needing my gym back.

I'm slightly tanned. I also have a weird tan in the four inches between my ankle socks and my capris.

We did not swim in the ocean once. Sassy had an infected toe and if she couldn't swim in the ocean, it was only fair none of us did.

I think I'm done.