Monday, June 27, 2011

THE TWO OF YOUSE





The year was 1995.  John Howard had become Leader of the Opposition again, Bill Clinton was "not having sexual relations" with Monica Lewinsky and Peter Andre had a top 40 hit. It was shaping up to be quite the screwy year.  It was also the year I met my future husband.


You don’t know it at the time of course.  That this person you first spy across a crowded room, exchange words with, kiss shyly, will one day be your husband, wife or partner.  Although some people will say that they did know. That from the very minute they met them, they would be with them forever.  I can’t say that was the case with me though.  In fact, I really wanted to flip my future husband off and tell him he was a complete tosspot the very first time I met him.  


It was a summer’s day and I had just pulled up to the beach with my girlfriend.  I immediately clocked him sitting with my brother on a seat watching the surf.   He slowly gave me the once over and then returned his gaze to the surf.  We walked over to say Hi.   His only words to me at the time were “Would you like me to call you a cab so you can get back to your car?”  I turned back to look at my Mazda 121, which granted, was parked a little farther from the kerb than necessary but certainly not smartarse comment worthy.  In response to this, I asked if he’d like for me to call 1987 and see if they wanted their Top Gun Sunnies back.  I was also tempted to kick him in the shins and run but I was nothing if not mature.   See, the first couple of times I met my future husband; he was quite the arrogant wanker.  Sitting smoking a cigarette quietly in the corner of any social situation, answering my questions with short, sharp and witty observations that made him sound both untouchable and seemingly, a bit of a cockhead.  A very attractive cockhead, but a cockhead none the less.   All irrelevant of course, we were both in long term relationships, not like anything could happen anyway. Right?


I don’t know about you, but I've always been intrigued about a couple’s story.  How they met. How they got together.  Was it fate?  Was there just a teeny, tiny bit of stalking involved?   In fact, it’s usually my first question when I meet a new couple and not because I’m a fan of small talk, I honestly want to know their story.  Because there is always a story. 


Here is mine.  It’s pretty quick.  It’s not at all romantic and it certainly won’t be something I’ll be regaling the grandchildren with one day.


So, like I said, it was 1995.  Tommy Lee and Pammy Anderson had just spontaneously gotten married down the beach and given women all over the world new lofty romantic ideals.   I was 19 and in a relationship with a guy, who although nice enough, wasn’t my lightening bolt.  He wasn’t even my flickering light bulb, he was just my first real boyfriend.  And the bong smoking and drinking wasn’t really doing it for me anymore.  We’d stalled and my eye had started to wander.  It genuinely took him by surprise when I told him it was over.  It was sad. It was rough.  I’m pretty sure he’s never forgiven me.


So of course, like any good single 19 year old girl, I, along with my best friend, proceeded to go out and get completely shit faced at a friend’s birthday party.  And whattya know, who should be there celebrating also, but Phil, being as big a bastard as ever.  He made some smartarse comment to me and I returned the favour in kind.  It was then that he gave me a look that I’ve never quite forgotten.  It was almost like he registered me.  I was after all, his mates little sister.  Who’d grown up.  Suddenly it was on. Like Donkey Kong.


We all proceeded to get quite merry and before I knew it, we were dancing in Cocktails and Dreams.  He was dancing. I was dancing. Suddenly we were dancing together.  Hands in the air, getting rather into it on the dance floor type dancing, revolting and in hindsight, unrepressed dirty dancing that needed to be relocated to a private room type dancing.  Sadly, we couldn’t find a room so we went down the beach.  And yep, I was the girl who slept with the guy on the first, well, not even date.  Turns out it was the longest one night stand in history.


But from that night on, we were inseparable.  Every time I saw him I felt sick and happy and like the hours spent away from him, would most definitely kill me.   I think that is the technical description of love.  We got married 4 years later.  Complete with 5 month old baby in my belly.  You can say it - Shotgun, although to be honest, it wasn’t forced at all.  Because I knew I wanted to marry him from probably the 5th time I met him.


So I guess the moral of the story here is this: every small snippet of time adds up to something.  Possibly even something big, like meeting the person you will fall in love with.  And you probably won’t recognise it at the time, but in retrospect, you’ll see how the puzzle came together, piece by inexplicable piece.     


What is your story?  Please, at least one of you, have a story about meeting your lover in Paris when they saved you from being sucked under a bus.   Give a girl something to dream about tonight.    


Hush now.  I know. You're welcome.

Monday, June 20, 2011

WINNING







We've all run through the hypothetical situation right?  The winning the lottery scenario?  Telling your boss to jam it (not mine of course, Hi Nadia *waves*) paying off the house, buying a bigger one, purchasing a yacht, leaving town and never coming back. Doing whatever the hell it is you can’t do right now because you have to WORK.  To you know, live and stuff. 


Assuming my heart wouldn’t stop when the lotto official rang me up and advised me of my multimillion dollar windfall, actually, wait, as an aside, is that not the coolest job in the world?  The ringer-upper person?  “Hi, it’s Joyce from Gold Lotto, I’ve got some top news. You’re now a freaking multi-goddamn-MILLIONAIRE!!!


I digress...


Back to me receiving the phone call and being informed that I am now 10 million dollars richer.  Again, let’s assume I would take this all in my stride and would not pass out in the middle of the Woollies bakery section (where I generally am at any given time), and simply thank Joyce and make some arrangements to pick up my cheque, well straightafuckingway, then I guess I’d call Phil right?  Yes of course I would. I’d tell him to down tools and get the hell out of the ditch he was digging, and to oh, tell his boss he’s a righteous prick and that he'll see him in Hell.  Or maybe not.  Just an idea.    


Here’s where my thoughts get muddled. 


Because it’s always been my desire, should I win the lottery, to pay out my very close friends and direct families, mortgages.  But on the sly.  You know, go into the bank, ask how much they owe and BAM, pay it out. When Mum was alive it was my first port of call to buy her any house she so desired.  One night Phil and I sat down though and ran through this hypothetical.  He was like “Um, do you really think we’d have enough to pay everyone’s mortgage out?  Maybe we should like just give them $100K each.”  So this is where it started to go all pear shaped. 


We went through the process of friends thinking we were too selfish, too generous, too up ourselves and/or just too different now had that we "had money".  We even had a mini argument over it.  Who needed it more?  How much would we need to live comfortably.  Really?  We were fighting over a situation we would more than likely never find ourselves in anyway?  Crazy talk. 


I can see how having too much money could be just as problematic as not having enough.   I guess if we were smart, we’d just keep 10% out, chuck the rest in the bank and go study something we were really interested in.  More than likely though, we’d probably end up like that dude in the UK who bought a massive parcel of land, bought dirt bikes and wasted all the rest on hookers and blow. 


What would you do if you won the lottery?  Already got it planned?  Or perhaps like me, a good place to start would be to actually buy a ticket.


Side Note: It’s my birthday today (on the 21st) and Phil surprised me by organising 2 of my best friends, their husbands, my brother and his gorgeous partner meeting us at a restaurant on the weekend.  I reckon I might have already won the lotto. Love you Guys x


Myself and Bonnie

Myself and Phil


Jodi, Jeremy and a photobombing Bon


My brother Les and Rozy

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

THE GOOD OL' DAYS











I know on paper, life appears a lot better for our kids than it did for us.  But I fear it's not.  Maybe I romanticise the past. In fact I know I do.  Afternoons hanging out in the Mango tree in the backyard and disappearing for hours on end at the creek probably were borne from boredom more so than an adventurous spirit, but it struck me today, that my kids, or even those a little older, will miss out of some great, and some not so great experiences.  Things that are either no longer available or no longer exist.




For example: writing out, word for word, song lyrics.  Hey, imagine if James Reyne decided to release HammerHead today.  We would simply Google what in the fuck he was on about.  I challenge you to listen to this song and write down the words as you hear them. Unrelated: My hairstyle has not moved on from 1987 according to this film clip.     








I digress.

During the 80's on any given Sunday, that is what you would find most of us doing: Taping all the songs from Barry Bissell’s Take 40 Australia on on our double tape decks and then pressing play, pressing pause, writing down a line and then repeating the process until we had the entire song written down.  Come to think of it, we must have given our parents hours of alone time as a result. Nowadays kids have YouTubed, downloaded and Googled the lyrics to a song within 1.45 minutes.  They've streamlined 1987 and are bored brainless as a result. 




Another example, my kids won’t ever have traditional pen pals.  For my money, nothing beat the feeling of receiving a letter back from a pen pal, two months after having last corresponded with them from some far exotic place like Los Ranchos, Albuquerque U.S.A.  It all started with Expo 88 in Brisbane. There was this one place you could hit a button and it would spit out a Pen pal’s details.  I got Lawrence. Now Lawrence was possibly the most illiterate kid in America bless his cotton socks. Which, hey, would not have been an issue if, you know, our whole relationship didn’t revolve around the written word.  Needless to say after 3 indecipherable written letters about presumably, his life in the U.S of A, we lost contact.  But man I thought I was worldly.   And sure, these days our kids with the click of a mouse, can meet a kid overseas over the internet, but let’s face it, it’s a good chance that 12 year old Kurt from New York is really 61 year old Barry from Nebraska who is creeping on kids in his singlet and undies.  




The handbag Dance.  A dance borne out of necessity.  We had handbags. We were in nightclubs. We wanted to dance.  So we threw them in the middle of the dancefloor and then danced, almost encircling and worshiping said handbags until they played a shit song and we would gather up our bags and leave.  I was discussing this with my 23 year old workmate today and she said these days, they only take clutches.  And they put these under their armpits when dancing.  I’m sad. Because this must mean they can’t be getting loco and throwing their hands in the air when a song requires and/or demands them to.  Shame.  You kids just have lost the art of a good time.




Neither will they get to shit their pants sliding around on the back seat of their parents car. I’m going to say it, wait, wait.... Back in my day, we would hop in the car and drive around town with no seatbelts on. Sure seatbelts existed, it’s just that they were slack and not compulsory and let’s face it, in the event of a major traffic accident, would be completely fucking useless.  Hence the sliding around and gripping the back of the front seat when your father took a corner at speed.  Nowadays, our kids are more likely to hurt themselves adjusting the air conditioning vent than getting whiplash. By the way, even though I joke, I am so very thankful for these technological advances.


Bad photos. There will be none come 2020.  I don’t mean embarrassing ones, they will always be kept for blackmailing purposes but there will be no “I look like complete shit” photos.  Which sucks, because you’ve got to have those to look back on and think, damn, at least I grew out of the acne stage.  Or, “At least I stopped acting like a sulky little bitch when I didn’t get my own way” Life is not perfect.  We should all stop pretending to photograph our lives that way.








Epic Movies.  Life changing ones.  Are they going to know them?  Ones they can mark a period of their lives by?  I know I was in year seven when Dirty Dancing came out.  It was practically illegal for me to be there watching it with my girlfriends, but hey, no one puts Baby in the corner.  I clearly remember seeing Kevin Bacon get a ridiculous dance ban overturned in Footloose.  I also vividly remember falling in love with Elliott from ET and then seeing the three Star Wars movies in a movie marathon with my brother and cousin.    Now, well now how are these kids going to mark where they were in their lives with so many freaking Twilight and Harry Potter chapters?  High School Musical? Puh-lease. John Hughes and his 16 candles will be sadly missed.




So what do you think?  Am I just choosing to believe, like my parents did, that things were better?  Cooler?  Eaiser? Or will the whole iPhone, iPad, iWantitnow, generation be a game changer?     




PS, to get right back into 1987, I have listened to a lot of 1927, Icehouse, James Reyne and Darryl Braithwaite tonight. Now I must shower.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

COME FLY WITH ME












Maybe I’ve been watching too much Love Actually.  Maybe I romanticise situations far too much, but there is something about airports that I just dig.


Over the past 6  months, I’ve been at an airport and flown more times than collectively, I have in my entire life.  It doesn’t even matter where I was going or for what reason, there is something very magical about preparing to hop on a plane and leave.  In fact, there is something fascinating about just watching people arrive and depart.  What is their story?   Are they arriving to attend a wedding? A funeral?  Here for a holiday?  Business? To have a clandestine affair?  To break up with a long distance love face to face?  Or are they simply returning home from work.


And  I wonder if it ever gets old?  If sitting there waiting and  people watching, eventually, does nothing but give you the shits.  I pondered this today, as I had to sit and wait an unanticipated 3 hours when my cousin's flight from Melbourne was delayed due to heavy fog.


There was the AFL team returning home after annihilating our local footy team.   There were the couples with their children, the mother shout-whispering at her children to get off the floor and "to stop being little shits."   There were the businessmen on their laptops making very important phone calls to very important people and making sure everyone in their vicinity were aware exactly how very important they were.  There were the lovers. Clinging to each other and occasionally kissing like their very lives would end if they let go of one another.  There was the older gentleman who was tired and pissed off and checking his watch every two minutes. Shaking his head with irritation everytime the airline announced another delay.


I do have a least favourite thing about the airport however.  Security.  And this is not because I’m packing an explosive device in my shoe, but because I feel instantly guilty the minute I pass through the sliding doors.  It starts when they ask me if I’m carrying any aerosols.  I give a very unconvincing “No”  because to be dead honest, I haven’t got a fucking clue what’s in my handbag.  There could be a can of WD40 in there for all I know.   And am I the only one who feels instantly guilty walking through the scanner thing, even when I know I haven’t stashed a butter knife down my underpants?  I walk through making crazy eye contact with all the security people and acting all goofy which automatically alerts the drug swabber’s that they’ve got a live one. All because I’m trying to act like I’ve got nothing to hide.  Admittedly the one time this happened I was dressed like a 16 dollar hooker on my way to a Cocktail party in Sydney at 10am in the morning. Whole other story. And I guess, if being swabbed by a guy who may or may not take great delight at touching my leg is the worst thing that can happen at airport, I’m not going to complain. 

I think my adoration for airports comes down to the fact that I love that people are going somewhere. That they have a purpose.  Maybe I like the fact that even for a day, they are getting to escape.


Do you love good airport??  Or am I, like Tom Cruise post Vanilla Sky, a little Loco?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

EPIC FAIL











So last week we were sitting down for dinner, eating our bog standard spaghetti and meatballs, on an equally bog standard Wednesday, when my husband alerted me to the fact that his Public Liability Insurance had not been paid and was now overdue. Jack, the 4 year old turned to me and said, “Mum, you know that is just an epic fail right?”  I paused. a) who is teaching this kid the term Epic Fail and b) how does a four year old have me pinned already?




Do I fail at stuff?  Yeah.  Do I fail epically?  Um. Well. Yes. At times I definitely do. 




For instance:






I have failed to monitor my children’s Television intake:  Probably, when you have a four year old who tells his older brother to Dere-lick his balls and that he has the black lung when he coughs, it’s time to take away the Zoolander.  And to stop using the television as a babysitter.




I have failed to pay the bills:  OK, so just because my day job involves looking at other peoples finances doesn’t mean I am the least bit interested in my own.  Ever since we have been together, it has been my job to pay the bills and I have always done this, albeit reluctantly.  Case in point: Recently someone saw Phil’s trailer on the highway, thought it was theirs that had been stolen and called the cops.  Cops turn up, we provide evidence that he legitimately owns it and happy days.  Oh, until they notice the sticker that says it’s out of rego.  Shit. That would be my job.  I was POPULAR that night. Although to be fair, I never once mentioned how insane it was that we only had one toilet between five of us for 3 years even though his day job is to be a plumber.  




I have failed to successfully donate plasma (blood): I’ve donated blood before and I found it no challenge, so when the Blood Bank called me and said I had been identified as a potential Plasma donator, I didn’t hesitate to sign up. Unfortunately my silly body when into “I am dying mode” and I passed out.  Nothing says you’re a loser like being dipped back and fed oxygen in front of a packed waiting room.




I have failed to be a good wife:  Trust me on this. In fact read about my past failures HERE.  I just haven’t been a good one of late. A little bit selfish. A little unkind.  And not particularly appreciative.




I have failed to enrol my child in High School:  So Maddie starts year eight next year.  And she still hasn’t got a high school to actually go to because I’ve been “meaning to” enrol her in one of the three we have chosen.  Our zoned school scares the shit out of me and the other three require a deposit, a whole lot of sucking up and for her to be a potential Olympic gymnast. I’m working on it. 




I have failed to be a good friend:   It is becoming abundantly clear to me that I spend more time speaking to people on line or at work than I do my wonderful, loving best friends.  I read recently one of the five things people regret on their deathbeds (Yeah, yeah, I’ll contribute a coin to the cliché jar in just a sec) is that they lost touch with their friends.  Oddly, no one regrets not spending enough time in the office.  




So above are just a few of my failings of late.  I intend, now that I’ve written them down, to rectify all of these.  I will call my friends more, be nicer to my husband and pay some bills.  And even though he does a bloody good Blue Steel, lay off the Zoolander  




Blue Steel.  Courtesy of far too  many hours watching Zoolander. 




Perhaps you’ve got a few of your own?  No.  Just me then.  Right.  I’ll show myself out.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

HIDDEN GEMS









Music is so subjective. So personal.


I guess the one thing we can all identify with though, is that to find a new song or a artist we love, is a little like finding a double rainbow, rare and beautiful.  


And, like every creative art, the best selling song doesn't necessarily mean the best.  If anything, it often just means most promoted.  How else can Willow Smith and Two and a Half Men be explained?


I choose my music carefully and with much love, but I've found I've missed a lot over the years.  There are so many hidden gems out there that you may know about, but I do not. And vice versa.



So, below are the songs I would love for you to hear. And appreciate and love.  On top of that, you will discover gems from others who have shared their songs, like I have.  Please, please, add your own to the comments section and I will do my best to put them up.  ;)  A lot of these will need to be clicked through to Youtube. 




Sarah Blasko - Flame Trees Cover






Basia Bulat - Little Waltz (Gorgeous)




























      




























Jeff Buckley – Witches Rave













~~~~~~~~~



And here are the suggestions from the many great people on Twitter - Enjoy, it's given me a lot of new songs to appreciate.




From @squigglyrick and @TherecipeBinder (Amazing song)






From @skkng and @shaunurie (Also one of my favourites)









From @Maya_abeille, @beloverly and @faeiresaeries








From @handmethepanda







From @Says_she






From @bertmaverick









From @nickseemore (still not entirely sure he wasn't taking the piss)







From @mystic23





From @discobisc







From @fender4eva







From @genmaynard






From @bigwordsblog




From @SirLeachAlot





From @sparklepanda






From @Carly_B




From @krispykris






@keeganbuzzer






From @nickimoff




From @NomiePt






From @lgcollard







From @kylie_ladd








From @outbackexpat







From @Rob_399 (Who was very generous with his recommendations)






From @TMD05






From @macsnorky


















From @claudia_aitch
















From @caldron_baidu





From @yukkymummy








From @angelapj







From @CateP36 (This is amazing)







From @andrewfaith





From @easypeasykids







If any are missing or wrong, I either had trouble getting it from YouTube or (more likely) I was so clutterfucked after putting them all up, I've missed it.  Be sure to let me know.