Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Road to Relief

How hot does a guy look, when he's holding a child? (Answer: VERY)


I saw a photo of this next guy recently, which melted my hardened heart.

Popular actor Erik Thomson is Ambassador for the 2011 Vicks Road to Relief Campaign. He has really put his heart into what he was doing. SPUNK.

I have not been paid in any way to write this. I went to the chemist last week to buy this pack of specially marked Vicks cough lollies:

                                                      I had to ration them

Max saw them and was all, oh mum *ahem* my throat is sore. Rocco saw Max sucking on them and laid down on the ground, coughing like a crazy man. I NEED LOLLY TOO MUM.

My kids were pretending. Sadly, there are children in the world who aren't pretending, getting sick and dying from lack of immunisation.

Every specially marked Vicks product you purchase will be paying for one child to be immunised against measles, to help in the fight against pneumonia.
Like Vicks Road to Relief on Facebook

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The One-Armed Mermaid

I woke up at 3.11am in a panic about my blog. What have I done? Why do I put all of my stuff on the internet? Nothing about it even makes sense.

Schlepped around dropping off boys with bribes of bouncy balls. Went to the supermarket to buy chicken and filled one basket. It got so heavy. Then I filled another basket. I felt weary. Why are there so many things, to carry through life? I had so many baskets that I bumped into the bread in the aisle and apologised ... to the bread. Nobody noticed. Except me.

My ears prickled when I heard the opening strains of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" ... until I realised that it was just the sound of the meat-slicing machine in the deli. The deli tricked me.

Getting out of my car later, I looked at this guy.

                               Hi Buddha - why the long ears?

He's been there for years. I've never really looked at him before, like REALLY looked. Why do I even have Buddhas? What do they represent to me? Am I just being a show-off wanker? Probably.

We've had this guy for a long time. He's cracked, spilt, covered in cobwebs, and has bugs crawling on his face.

                                    What's your secret to happiness, Buddha?

He has sat there silently, on our driveway. Bearing witness to all of our trials and joys and heartache these past years. It's all the same. The good, the bad, happy and sad, fear and fucked-up. Guy's just chillin'.

                                  Even Rocco couldn't break him!

I was brought up a Catholic, even married Jesus in my white dress when I was seven. But Buddha? He's a cool dude.

I came inside and ate some boring corn thins with cheese for lunch. I meditated on the cheesiness of the cheese. We live in a world where cheese exists. Proof of God right there!

I opened my emails to one from a 17 year old girl from Georgia, America called Shelby.

Dear Eden,

I often tell my mom about your blog. "Mom, there's this neat blog. I've told you about it before. It's this lady in Australia, she's really interesting. She curses some, but it's okay. And she puts everything out there. She lives with no secrets."

My mom promptly replied something like this:
"I couldn't do that."

It always shocks me, that people read my blog. I write for a lot of different reasons, none of which I want to look too deeply at or I will start squirming. And possibly never write again. Shelby shared with me some personal stuff, which I felt completely privileged to read. Then:

" ... I find it overwhelmingly impossible to understand what it's like to have most, if not all, of your life completely exposed. I imagine it feels like a warm breeze, or maybe, a cold drink. A drink so cold that an individual can feel it slither all the way down to their own stomach."

Reading these words made me realise just how dishonest I have been with myself in my life, and exactly how honest I am now. I'm as honest as I can be. I think my life depends on it.

Shelbs, more than your cute sad-face in this post ... I love your one-armed mermaid. She has to swim twice as hard as everybody else, to stop going around and around in circles. But, she gets to swim down there in the deep .. watching all the underworld go by. Imagine that.

Thank you for writing to me. Letters like that make me feel ok about blogging again. So today, I write for you. You and Buddha.

And cheese. Thank God for cheese!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

I had to look the word "style" up in the dictionary.

I don't know what my style is and it's freaking me out.

This weeks theme for the Top 50 Bloggers thingy is "style." Which apparently means ".. a manner of doing something."

I've sat here for an hour now, and I don't know what to say. It's like I'm in year 7 again and I have a whole assignment due tomorrow and haven't started it yet.

So, I thought I'd cheat and see what the other four in the top five wrote this week. GENIUS.

Sandra from $120 Food Challenge stole my heart in her style post with the line "I could never take a compliment, not even from a lover."

Simone from Honey and Fizz did a snappy piece on words and images describing her style.

In writing her post out, Kellie from 1000 Homes of Happiness learnt to start trusting her own style.

And Melissa from One Crafty Mumma .... Mel, can you please postpak me that delicious layer cake in your style post? Thanks.


So, my style? I don't know. I've never known. I never gave myself a chance to develop it. If the stunning Nikki from Styling You was asked this question, she could answer it in a FLASH. All through my teens and twenties, I felt less than other people. Everybody just did things better .. did life better. I'm almost 40 and I have so much catching up to do.

I was very dorky at school. I was a shadow child at home. I never fit in anywhere .. and discovered the answer was to fit in EVERYWHERE. So I became a chameleon. New school, new town, new job, new friends ...   I could become all things to all people. I was ROCKIN'. Maybe I still am, a bit. That would explain my lump in my throat. (Why is this so hard?! Perhaps finding your style is like, knowing who you are?)

Dave went to bed just then and I said ... "Quick, hon ... what's my style in one word?"

He shrugged. "Funky? Retro? Dunno, hon."

Useless adjectives.

*Throat clears*

I'm a selfish idiot who often thinks the worst of people and is always surprised when they prove me wrong. I'm fascinated about where you go when you die. I adore being a mother but sweet JESUS I've often counted down the years until our youngest will move out of home. Once I have the house to myself I will be so lonely. I always want to wear groovy stuff but feel dumb so just always end up wearing jeans.

I have a rule that because I wear glasses, I can never wear dangly earrings. Too busy. Some days I think I like shabby stuff but then I like 70's things. I love modern. I love vintage. If I could choose, right now, what kind of place to live in, I would love one of those renovated factory studio apartments. With an industrial feel to it. I had utterly no input in our house design or layout when Dave built it. People were shocked, and I was all, look it's just boring to me. As long as the toilet is separate to the bathroom. Did you know, after you flush your toilet .. it takes seven hours for the particles of toilet water in the air to settle? YUM.

Pineapple does NOT belong on pizza. Chocolate does NOT belong in the fridge. I want to give myself a buzzcut but I don't have the balls. Maybe one day. Making lunch is so boring, I often just eat crackers and cheese or baked beans. I'd like to be buried in an environmentally friendly casket that is decorated by my children. The worms can eat me. Totally organic.

I loathed having red hair as a child - now I love it. This year, I finally allowed myself to accept the fact that I will never be super-organised, with a diary. It was so relieving. I often have to convince people that I do not need to drink to have a good time - I believe my brain was fried a while back so I can have just as much fun as you - often more.

EXAMPLE: Last night I went to karaoke with some other bloggers for a Digital Parents meetup at a kitschy karaoke bar in George Street Sydney. I decided it was up to me to get that party started, with a version of Eminem's "Lose Yourself."

             There's vomit on his sweater already - mums spaghetti

Looking back on the photos, I realised I forgot to put my hair up, and my arms were much skinnier in my head than in real life. I crucify myself in my head every single day ... I suspect a lot of people do. Why are we so mean to ourselves?

I discovered a trick to parenting last week - just BE the age of your kid. I wanted to know how Max was, what he thought, where he was at in the world. So, I just turned myself into nine years old, and we had the biggest chats. It was bloody cool.

I love movies that make me think - with imagery that doesn't stand out like dogs balls. I love music that makes me catch my breath. I hate it when you see someone you know in the supermarket and then you keep seeing them in the aisles - that makes me nervous and sweaty. I can sit in recovery meetings and share my darkest things but crumble inside when I have to do small talk with a stranger. I like things that make me feel tough .. leather jacket, cowboy boots, black tops. I need to feel tough. Finding my style is an ongoing crusade. I'm going to be the best-dressed, most decisive 70 year old you've ever met.

So, I have two questions.

1) What's your style in one word? (Mine is "haphazard.")

2) Hypothetically, if you were driving a hypothetical gun metal grey Ford Territory on the way home from karaoke and you went through a hypothetical speed camera and saw the flash light up the sky ... would you own up to the hypothetical competition holders? Or wait and see if you can get away with it?

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Breathe out ... so I can breathe you in.

"Breathe out so I can breathe you in
Hold you in ... and I wonder
... if everything could ever feel this real forever.

If anything could ever be this good again."
-Everlong, Foo Fighters

This is my husband Dave, in Bali last year.

                                American burgers built my arm

I like that I'm capturing him in a mirror. He didn't know I was taking the photo. I always notice things that he doesn't know that I notice.

Last Friday, he doubled over in pain from "a dodgy burger" ... we thought the pain would pass, but it didn't. He had it all night. As soon as I opened my eyes on Saturday I said, "How's your tummy hon?" And he just said, "Stuffed."

Usually, if a person has a tummy ache .. it's just that. When Dave gets a tummy ache, we think it is his cancer back. He was in a LOT of pain. So we called Tim over to mind the boys while we went to the first of three hospitals all weekend.

Dave, like every other human on the planet, has many faults. One of the more noticeable ones is arrogance. He was all, "GREAT. Now I have to go on chemo for another six months."

Can you see the arrogance in that sentence? It translates as, "Great ... now I have to beat cancer AGAIN."

We sat in stinky, stinky hospitals. Holding hands, looking at each other. I instantly grew angry. At people, at the world. I bitched about everything. I got road rage, I attracted all the arseholes. The world is FULL of arseholes, when you notice them.

I was putting my armour on, protecting myself from the fall - told myself I didn't care. Told Life ... "Fuck you, Life. You didn't surprise me this time! You'll never surprise me again."

I will never be taken by surprise in life ever again ... a Syrian army could abseil onto my back deck. The world could explode and shatter into tiny pieces. My fucking dog could look up and start asking me questions. And I'd just be, oh, sure Mischka. Whaddup?

I was thinking about the odds of the cancer coming back. In the past week, Dave and I have spent a lot of time in emergency waiting rooms.

                              I looked at this sign a LOT.

We waited hours, man. Whole catastrophes occurred and were resolved. We sat there watching bad TV. I wondered, what number did Dave come in at? IF he had his tumours back, surely that would be Number 1 - Life Threatening? But not really - a bleeding car crash victim has life threatening injuries. We weren't even having an emergency. I mentally put him in at Number 3 - Urgent.

Because it was. What if it's back? Horrible thoughts came - to both of us I'm sure, not that Dave would ever tell me his. Mine were things like, Well, at least Rocco knew his dad for three years ... I'll let Dave have the downstairs bedroom for his chemo wing this time .... What if it's mestatised ... And one that I'm particularly in awe of, in its utter selfishness .... I can't go to BlogHer now.

It was all a waste of time - the doctors were useless, not ordering the scan that I knew he needed. Sending him away with heartburn medication. Dave was presenting with the exact same symptoms as last time - "I can feel it in there, hon." It was terrifying all over again. I just kept thinking, over and over in my head like a mantra - "Life? You can suck my dick." It was very calming.

Finally, on Tuesday we got the Holy Grail of an appointment with his proper oncologist. The sky on the way down was so ominous, like it wanted to tell us something.

I just wanted to punch it

Free parking again. The free knitted beanies again. Sitting in the cancer ward. The same cancer ward I had just put art up in with Vee last month. I wasn't supposed to be back so soon, GOD.

                   All of these people have cancer, cancer, Spanish dancer

We live in a world where signs like this are needed. People = arseholes.

After a mere 1.5 hours, we were led into another waiting room. The same one we waited in a little over three years ago, when Rocco was fully grown in mah belly. I sat next to Dave, and started singing "Mem-ories ..... like the corners, of mah mind .."

I always know when Dave has passed the point of reason - when he joins me in song. "Of the way .. we were."

HA. Waiting for a potential cancer diagnosis can be FUN.

At the moment we walked in, Max rang me so I answered straight away. He wanted to know if I'd gotten him some Warhammer (HOW EXPENSIVE IS THAT SHIZ?!) I knew Max was ok so cut him short. Sorry kid - cancer trumps you right now.

I watched as the same doctor who originally diagnosed Dave, those years ago ... spoke to us. I remember his eyes. He's an odd kind of guy. I wonder what oncologists do on their days off? Does he go thrillseeking? Or just read boring books and play backgammon? He spoke for a bit, then simply pointed to the bed - which meant that Dave was to lie on the bed.

I mocked him behind his back and made Dave laugh.

                              Dave gets a physical, physical

I adored how Doc T's shirt was hanging out. It made it more informal - like, things were going to be ok. Then he spoke:

"I don't think it's lymphoma again."

Suddenly, that doctor was the hottest guy I have ever seen and I wanted to straddle him like a pony.

He looked at me.

"... and to keep everybody happy, I'll order a full CT scan anyway."


That's all I'd wanted for five days now. Only that scan would set us free. The doctor looked at me like he had looked at me three years ago.

"Where's your baby?" I told him he's not a baby anymore - he runs around destroying civilisations.

We all laughed.

Dave got the scan yesterday - he tried to put it off til Friday, grumbling about missed appointments and other such stupid things. We sat here last night ... at 10pm, he turns to me and says, "Oh - the doctor rang, did I tell you?"

"Ahh, no hon."

"Yeah - shit sorry I thought I told you - the scan's all clear, it's not cancer."

He forgot. To tell me.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a husband to ignore. BECAUSE HE FORGOT TO TELL ME THE RESULT.

Still no word on the cause of the pain - it could *actually* just be bad stomach cramps. Sometimes things aren't as bad as they seem. What?


There's a scene in one of the best movies ever made - Mel Brook's History of the World .. where the Romans smoke a joint and get all disheveled. "Um, I'm gonna walk round here in a circle."

I've been walking round here in a circle since Friday. The relief is washing over me, man. Everybody needs a cancer scare, to get grateful.

You reading this right now - you don't have cancer! Do you know what a miracle that is! Stop being so scared to live your goddamn life because there's people in the world aching to live theirs.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Stockholm Syndrome: Identifying with our Captor.

I laugh how Rocco ... my IVF baby ... would have punched all of the other embryos in the petri dish out of the way. CHOOSE ME, MOTHERFUCKERS!

The doctors chose him. When I was pregnant, "Rocco" was just a nickname we gave the baby. We'd all laugh and say, imagine if we actually named him Rocco!

We actually named him Rocco. It was Dave's choice. I didn't want to - I liked Stan better. But Dave was seriously ill at the time so I gave him full naming privileges. Those first few days in hospital, I was worried that the name "Rocco" was just too tough and hard for such a tiny baby.

Very quickly, I realised that the name "Rocco" may be too soft for this strong-headed, full-on baby. Swear to God, I will not even NOTICE when Rocco becomes a teenager. He was born one - attitude and strength and balls of steel. I'm still in shock at how different he is to Max - how opposite two boys with exactly the same parents can be.

Rocco has been here for three years. He runs circles around all of us .... Dave and I asked Tim to mind him last Saturday, at the Winter Magic Festival. Rocco went missing for half an hour - Tim told me later he was frantic, running around and around, pushing people out of the way, screaming his name. ROCCO!!! He ended up calling the police, who located him a few kilometres up the crowded street - with not a care in the world. He was in a lolly shop. With a kindly lady who asked him where his mum and dad is. "THEY NOT HERE I ROCCO RILEY I WANT LOLLY."

(I will never know who that lady was. And when I think about Rocco waltzing around town by himself I feel sick. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Kindly Lady.)

Tim bolted up and found him in there, calmly chomping on lollies. Tim is almost nineteen and was crying. Rocco is three - not crying.

None of this takes me by surprise. Rocco is the boss of the whole house. I have failed in so many ways, in being his mother. My method now is to just wait until he is five, hopefully he will be more civilised then?

In the meantime, I will shower him with as much love and patience and warmth and support as I can manage. I adore him so much. And, he kind of likes me, too. His hostage.

This parenting thing? Toughest gig in the world. All I dreamed of when I was pregnant with Rocco was quiet, sacred bonding with the baby.

Instead I got Screamy McScreamerson who shit all over the house.

You complete me, Screamy!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Roadtrippin' with my two favourite allies.

Back in the olden days, there were no DVD players for the car. Because DVD's weren't invented yet.

Both of my sisters had two children in quick succession ... in recent years I watched as one sister and then the other relented, buying DVD players for their cars. For long trips. I thought they were such a luxury.

I have resisted for so long. Dave asked me about it once - "Nope. I was bored in cars when I was a kid and it didn't kill me." No it didn't, but then again, this is what my youngest child turns into halfway through a long car trip:

                               Damien? Is that you?

Squashed into his forehead is the red crayon from the pack of crayons I bought him, to do some "fun playtime in the car."

The following week, I bought a DVD player with two headsets - OH MY GOD. It's changed my car-journeying life. The silence .... she is GOLDEN.

Back when Dave and I were just, like, boyfriend/girlfriend ... I used to make him mix tapes. (Except they were CDs, I was being ironic.) I'd call them things like "Davey Gravy .. with a Bullet! Or "Davez Eazter Hitz!" .. and take into account where he was travelling to. Sometimes to his annual African drumming camp at Bundagen, sometimes just down to his mums and back. I'd plan and plot those songs and agonise over which order to put them in. He needed something cruisy to start off with, then hardcore rock, reflective/bluesy ... and back to cruisy. He loved them.

I am the boss of music in our relationship ... he fully thinks he turned me on to Eminem with the Recovery album. The only way I could convince him otherwise was to break out into the full rendition of Cleanin' out my Closet circa 2001. We were out in public at the time and he hissed at me - Ok ok you found him first now SHUT UP.

Sometimes, I find an old CD mix tape that I made him and put it on ... how badly do songs remind you of the time you first heard them? Songs at the beginning of our relationship were Drops of Jupiter by Train, or Smooth by Rob Thomas and Santana. Completely vanilla. I grab Dave and remind him urgently. "Remember, hon? Remember back when it was just us and we'd go for drives and you'd light my ciggie for me in that old bomb ute?"

Back before everything got so bloody complicated.

Music is my essential part of any roadtrip. Rocco even has his own album, called "Do Fun Stuff." I would like to thank Ryan from Pacing the Panic Room for the song "Potty Time." You helped my child not take dumps on the floor, Ryan. I owe you. Big time.

What's your car music? Have you relented like me and bought a DVD player for the car? Or do you think the olden days were better?


This is a Kidspot Top 50 post on the theme "Roadtrip." The Ford has a DVD player in the ceiling. Technically, I could have two different DVD players, playing at the same time. My kids would never get out of the car.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

BlogHer? Get Ready ... the Australians are Coming.

I looked at all of the photos of BlogHer 2007 and thought, how cool. The following year, I was knee-deep in chemo and baby poo ... watching BlogHer 2008 unfold was fascinating and a welcome distraction. The Bloggess called dooce a mythical hobbit and dooce dissed her. (They're friends now, though.)

I was aching to go in 2009, but just couldn't justify it. My friends Gemini Girl (Happy 30th birthday, mon cherie!) and Heather shared a hotel room and I told them ... next year. The twitter hashtag meant I didn't miss a goddamn thing that year. (Except actually being there.) I watched live as the whole #nikonhatesbabies happened. I read live-tweets of the conference sessions, it looked amazing, inspiring. What must it feel like, to meet other, actual, real-life bloggers?

Last year, I was a BlogHer Voice of the Year. I told Dave I was going. And I meant it, and I knew I meant it. He came with me - for the first time in my life, I met other, actual, real-life bloggers. It was unbelievable. I silently decided to go every year.

The great thing about the Australian blogging scene .... is that there is an Australian blogging scene. After so many years of trying to find some blogging homies - they're here. I met the irrepressible Mrs Woog at the end of last year, at the Sydney Bloggers Festival. Not long after, we were having a chat and I told her I was going to BlogHer again. She turned to me and said, "Me too. Let's get sponsorship and go together."

So we got sponsorship and we're going together.

I'm Bringing My Significant Other to BlogHer '11!

I stayed the night at Woogsies house the other week. We talked and laughed and ate her husbands bundt and watched a chick flick with Sawhole. Mrs Woog is an amazing creature ... her blog got very popular very quickly. She keeps things real, talks to everyone, and calls a spade a spade. She's not afraid of anything. Either am I. Ready, America?

We made up a Very Official BlogHer Sponsor Us! PDF complete with stats and a proposal, and sent it off to all of the contacts we knew. We received a few nibbles, and then a chomp. Naked Communications wanted to chat to us. One of their clients were interested in a deal.


I have been a Ribena fan my whole life. I used to have it in my sippy cup as a toddler. And during my nap I'd hold my cup out of the bars of my cot and, facing the wall, shout out: 'MORE PEAS MORE PEAS.'

Mrs Woog and I walked into the offices of the gorgeous Larissa and Lorraine at Naked in Surry Hills. I see creative people ... my GOD I can't believe offices like that exist. So cool and hip and creative and amazing. I was bumbling and nervous, and had to go out halfway through because my parking meter had expired. I ran across the road to a guy writing me out a ticket. Nooooooo! He shrugged and said, sorry! His buddy came up behind him, looked at me and winked, and said Oh, she was here before. So the ticket got ripped up and I bowed and said "GOOD KARMA FOR YOU!" Walking back into the best offices in the world, I thought - it's a sign. We're totally going to BlogHer.

Woogs and I enquired about the Ribena Buggy. Maybe we could get it to take us to the airport in August? The Ribena guy said, actually ... it's over at Fox Studios for a promotion.

Woogs and I had everybody in my car quicker than you could say, "Photo op!"

We met all of the promo girls in the Ribena Buggy. They were friendly, and handing out free slushies. (I used to be a promotions girl at the Bathurst 5000. I used to be hot.) I was acutely aware that these beautiful, tall promo girls were so young ... we were two middle-aged mothers. So we pushed them out of the way and stole their hats.


                         THE RIBENA BUGGY IS A FORD!  Sponsors collide.

Mrs Woog is incredibly shy ...

Ribena is on  Facebook where they'll soon announce an amazing competition. They also sent me through some amazing recipes, including a salad dressing, smoothie recipe, and a "Ribena Blackcurrant Reduction for Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin." WHAT? 

I love how they trust us - it's been a while since our photo shoot, and I was convinced that the bigwigs wouldn't sign off. But they did. They're even going to post us a slushie machine each. For some reason, out of everything - that is what Dave keeps telling everyone. "And, guess what ... they're even posting her a slushie machine." I finally told him, hon .. pretty sure you can buy slushie machines for forty bucks from K-Mart.

I still hear him telling people about the slushies.

I'd like to thank Ribena for this Australian-first. I promise to take good care of your brand ... and the next time Mrs Woog tells me to go jump on a purple Ribenaberry beanbag? I swear I won't.

                    I was just so excited.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

On Blogging, Brands, and Selling Out.

The thought of taking advertising on this blog has always repulsed me. I've never had a PR page, or a media kit, or any of that shiz. My blog happened accidentally. These days, though, it's getting trickier to navigate offers being made. Why am I saying no? Maybe, I could say yes to some things without compromising my integrity? And why am I laughing at myself using the word "integrity" to describe myself??

I have always loved the way Frank from PostSecret never opened his blog up to ads. Touting PostSecret as: "... the largest advertisement-free blog in the world." At last count, it has had over 447 million hits. Can you imagine the money that guy could have made? He does speaking tours and sells books, instead. I like how it's more of a movement ... a community effort, than some big branded flashy thing. Sometimes you just can't put a dollar value on things. People have called Frank crazy.

There is a site simply called "Ad free blog" If you add the badge to your blog, it means that you:

"Oppose the use of corporate advertising on blogs. You feel the use of corporate advertising on blogs devalues the medium; and do not accept money in return for advertising space on your blog."

I like this. Everything doesn't have to be bought ... and yet, try telling that to my husband.

He has grown increasingly interested in this blog, and how "we" can make money from it. Recently he tried to convince me to take out a half-page Edenland ad in our local paper. To get businesses involved, pump the ads out and the sponsored posts. I tell him again and again that I just can't do that, and when he asks me why ..... I don't have a clear answer. I just know I can't do it. (In the meantime, Dave steals the Ford this morning, sticks his work magnets on it, and asked me to drive around with them on for as long as we have the car. And then he tells me to take a photo and post in my blog. I tell him I can't, and he doesn't understand why. I ask him, does he want the internet to know his mobile number? He says yes. Well, ok hon.)

In the coming weeks I am going to rebuild my blogroll (it got lost the other day, from my transition from blogspot to dot com) onto a different page, and probably open a few spaces for rent on this blog - to other bloggers only, or a mixture of brands and bloggers ... I'm not sure yet. I always thought that if I did that, it would compromise what I say. I feel like I need permission. Perhaps I should follow my own advice .. "You are the boss of your own blog."

I'd like to take this whole shebang more seriously. I've always likened it to stealing time away from my family, so if I had more time to focus, I can build it up stronger and better than ever. (I want so much to start returning every single one of my emails.) Holy shit - what if I've only just BEGUN to blog?

I wrote about the Disney day because Rocco and I had such a great time. Hell - I'm getting full sponsorship from a certain purple drink to fly to America for BlogHer in August. I'll write a whole post about that here tomorrow, complete with full transparency around how it occurred.

I'm talking about Ford lately, because they gave me a $60,000 car to drive around in for a while. It's just an extended test-drive, really. But I intend to use this space - and that car, to raise awareness of things that need awareness raised. (And in the process, take the goddamn focus off MYSELF, and my stupidly plentiful "issues." )

In my dentist post the other day, I mentioned how bad I felt at getting teeth whitening when a large chunk of the world's population has no access to clean drinking water. (Oh, the poor rich white woman with the guilty conscience! VOMIT.) Not long after, I received an email from the people at .. a company started by two college graduates to ship premium organic soap in to customer’s homes monthly. "LifeSoap gives 90 percent of their after-tax profits to bring cleanwater to children and communities around the world."

At first I thought, what a crock. It's probably just scam, and they've photoshopped the faces of smiling South American children into their website. Further investigation led me to realise that it was not a scam. If my two boys grow up with such a sense of caring and social justice, I will be SO PROUD. The soap guys mantra? “Growing up, we desire success. But growing wise, we desire significance. We want to know that our life meant something.” – Juwon Melvin, Founder, LifeSoap Company

Shouldn't they be running around town getting drunk? No? People like this exist in the world? How can that even happen?

So. In conclusion: I still have no idea what I'm doing, but I promise to try and make the right decisions here. As if I can ever change, anyway. I now get a LOT of PR pitches and they're always, "Of course, you can change the words to suit the tone of your blog." Yeah. The tone of my blog? Why that's the tone of a desperate woman trying so hard to live life the best way she knows, complete with swearing, major fuckups, and inappropriateness. I was telling my dentist about how I wrote about her on my blog the other day, and she said she was going to go home and read it. So now my dentist knows I've been to rehab. And she hasn't done my crown yet GREAT.

I'll tell you one thing for free - the one, single reason above all else, of why I blog, and would continue to blog for free for the rest of my days?

You. The things you tell me back, the way we all can identify with so much .. you people are AMAZING.

Life Soap Company is on twitter and facebook

PS Dave just rang me and said, "Hon, I've been thinking. Can you upload your tweeter to your video blogs?"

It doesn't even make sense.

The Circuit Breaker.

I have had an enormously dreadful week. I've thought about giving up, moving out, breaking down, shutting shop. Life continually hands me Difficult Issues - they pop up out of nowhere BAM!

I ended up exploding with rage and anger, all over my family. They pulled pieces of my flesh and (white!) teeth from their hair and face. They forgave me and accepted my apologies.

I keep having to remember that I got this - I can do this thing called "Life." I can do hard things. And when I live my life with Spirit .... all things are possible.

It's the goddamn motherfucking truth that I always, ALWAYS have to learn the hard way.

At one point, I rang my sister in a fit of hysteria. She calmed me down and soon we were laughing. My sisters and I share the blackest sense of humour ever. Dave told me later .."I heard you on the phone. I can't believe you would say things like that hon!"

I told him that my sisters and I are Vietnam Vets. We have a terrible, shared history. It is both our right and our duty to laugh at the terrible things. "For gods sake hon, our dad gassed himself to death in the car."

The rest of that whole day I was shocked at my own words ringing in my ears. He gassed himself in the car? THAT'S SO AWFUL!


So. It has been a week of a myriad of triggerpoints and dynamics and friends taking advantage and arguments and me learning how to be a "good" stepmother all over again. Except, to a beautiful girl this time. I don't want to fuck it up. It's hard.

I can do hard things.

This morning I woke up with a cry-hangover. I had a meeting with a guy about some writing work. We met in a busy local cafe up here, and I was all fakey-fakester. You know when you must pretend and put on a brave face? It was exhausting and my eyes were le Puff.

Then I had to get the train down to Sydney to pick up a Ford Territory, as part of that blogging competition. It was RIDICULOUS, considering all that's been going on.

But, it was exactly what I needed. A circuit breaker.

Especially the toilet ... on the train.

                                Shocking me out of my senses

I can't believe that I went into a car dealership today and they just handed over the keys. Don't they know who I used to be? And when the Ford guy John popped the bonnet to show me something in the engine, I laughed SO HARD. "Oh John, you know I have no idea what any of this is?" And he laughed politely and told me the boring things anyway and my eyes glazed over. I idly realised that they must not have done a criminal record check.

He was lovely. Very straighty-one-eighty, so I pulled my sleeves down so he couldn't see my tattoos. I acted professional and charming. Me - the inspirational arsehole.

I told myself, back when I wrote the original Drive post ... that if I got up to this stage of the competition, I would do something in conjunction with Stewart House. (That post touched on Dave's tricky childhood and him being in Boys Homes - Dave never went to Stewart House, but he always says how great they are.)

The car is a seven-seater, after all. I'll call the people at Stewart House tomorrow. See what we can do. I'm sure we can come up with something. I'll explain about the blog and they'll be all, what's a blog?


Naturally, the first question I asked John at City Ford today was, "So, what happens if I crash it?" He laughed, politely. Said something about excess and blah blah. So boring. Then he said, what's a blog?

John, what you are reading right now is a blog.

What you are seeing right now is a photo I took of you unaware when you were telling me all the boring things:

                      Broom broom! (Thank you for being so lovely)

This next part? Is called a vlog.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The Corpse with the Beautiful Teeth

                                                  My teefs

Ever since I was ten years old, I haven't smiled without being self-conscious. One night, I was playing around with my cousin, trying to shove her blanket up on my top bunk. I was laughing, jumped up, and cracked my teeth against the railing. Half of my front tooth came off.

I remember clutching the two broken pieces so tightly in my hand, rocking back and forth on my haunches, crying. Begging with God to just rewind Time for just five minutes. It was a horrible, dreadful feeling and I'll never forget it. Even worse? The fact that I had to tell my mother and stepfather and knew I would be in the biggest trouble ever. So I lied about it but then they found out anyway and I had to go downstairs and my stepdad gave me this stupid stern talking to for about half an hour and the whole time I was thinking ..... seriously? I'm missing half of my front tooth you idiot.

The next day, we all did what was planned .... went to Bullens Animal World. There is a photo of me somewhere, sitting dumbly on a horse. With my mouth firmly shut ... I remember my cousins and sisters teasing me. "Smile, Eden! Oh, why don't you smile?"

I ended up getting a porcelain veneer. My smile was never the same again - you could kind of see a shadow behind it. And if I didn't get it replaced every few years, it would get discoloured and I'd get teased at school. I felt ugly for the rest of my childhood. And when I finally grew up and was allowed to get a crown - pfft. As if I would spend valuable drinking money on such a thing.

I was terrified of dentists by that stage anyway. Swear I got every bad dentist west of Sydney. Pricks that would drill with no anasthetic - I once got a filling, went and sat in the waiting room, and it FELL OUT. I didn't tell my mother. Just quietly spat it out when nobody was looking and put it in the bin. It was easy. Nobody was ever looking.

Not looking after my teeth has led me to some awesome "emergency" dental experiences in my twenties. Getting teeth ripped out, mainly. I only went when the pain was overwhelming - I can put up with a lot of pain, before I seek help.

Once when I was 27 and in another rehab down in Sydney, I needed a wisdom tooth out. The dentist there hated all the clients. He didn't give me enough anasthetic, so as I wept, he threw his tools down, and muttered how "... the painkillers are never enough for you people."


My sister Linda even offered to pay for a crown - for my wedding. Can you believe I said no? It's just pure terror, sitting in that chair feeling powerless. (Aside - in subsequent years, BOTH of my sisters have broken their front teeth and needed crowns. What's that about?)

A month ago, I woke up one day, and thought to myself, Eden - just go to the goddamn dentist. Get a nice smile, for the first time in your adult life.

SO I DID. I made a family appointment - me, Dave, Max and Rocco. That morning I tweeted "Today I am going to the dentist. I would rather pat a pet huntsman and call him Hubert." I received a lot of replies of support - the one that stuck in my mind was from Allison at Life in a Pink Fibro. She told me to man up - I could do this. Al, I could and I did - but I didn't just man up - I WOMANED up, baby.

My plan was to go first by myself, and then take the boys in to watch Dave. The opposite happened - so I had to pretend to be brave in front of my children. I wrote on my form under "Anything we should know?" .... "TERRIFIED OF DENTISTS."

A young, beautiful blonde woman with glasses is our dentist. My questions all went out the window when I saw her - all I wanted to ask was, "WHY would you pick this career path?"

I sat there and had a check up. She was so nice and gentle - I banned her from using the pick. You know, this thing -

                                    The pick and I go waaaaay back

This is the view of the ceiling ... genius:

Max and Rocco were braver than me.

My guys were utter troopers. Max needs one filling. Rocco is fine. Dave and I both need two fillings each, as well as teeth whitening, my crown, a few fixes for Dave.

I have been back to get my fillings - two appointments down, and two to go. My big news, for any of you out there who are dentist-phobes? It doesn't hurt anymore! Technology has come a long way. As soon as I sat in the chair she put numbing cream on. Then the needle - then she started her work. She told me, "If you have any questions, just put your hand up and I'll stop immediately."

She starts drilling - one second later I put my hand up so she stopped.

She looked at me, waiting for my question. All I wanted to ask was, "Are you fucking serious?" Because it still feels so terrible - sitting there while people hammer at your mouth. It's not right.

Instead I asked exactly what she was doing - if I knew, it would help. She said it was a good question - sometimes people don't want to know a thing. I made her show me each tool before she put them in my mouth - it's only polite.

It took less than hour, and did not hurt one bit. I kept thinking, I am the toughest bitch in town. And kept stroking my own arm, to calm myself down. I realised I had the P&O ad song from the eighties stuck in my head and it was very fitting. "Take me away, lovely lady, OH YEAH."

The appointment after that was the tooth whitening, which Dave and I flippantly decided to get. Halfway through it, I was so ashamed of myself. Some people in the world don't have access to clean drinking water and I'm sitting in a chair getting bleach and UV lighting on my teeth? To look pretty?

I sure didn't look pretty during the process.

           The sunscreen on my nose? Why that's coz I'm so hot right now!

So. Two down, two to go. Next appointment is to get my current veneer off, a temporary one placed on. Then they take a mold of my teeth to send down to Sydney to get my own, proper crown.

The very crown I should have got many, many years ago. (My sister Leigh has made me promise to take a photo before they put the crown on. What are the odds I will post that photo here? What IS a blog for, again? I always forget.)

Also - how sad is it, when you get a tooth pulled out? I always feel so low afterwards - like the loss of a friend. Tell me your dentist stories, computer. Who has the worst one of all?


Today is the 11th of June - on the 11th of every month for a year I'm doing my Year of Turning 40 series.

March I turned 39 - the stupidest age. Made a video about ... um, lapsing.
April Controversially announced where I live, after four years of blogging.
May Alex. That post has touched a lot of people around the world. I will do a follow-up of it soon.

This month .... I am giving myself the gift of a smile. Something I've wanted to do for - thirty years. Obviously, as soon as I get my crown I'll be killed in some kind of terrible accident so I won't get to show it off.

My dying wish will be to not only have an open coffin, but an open mouth .. this shit's costing a fortune and I want to get my money's worth. Can the mourners please single-file past my casket and admire my beautiful teeth? Luckily they'll have sunglasses on, so the white enamel won't be *too* blinding.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Curious, George.

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our face toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate ... is strength undefeatable." - Helen Keller

It is said that adventure must start with running away from home. So I did - with my husband, almost a year ago. We flew from Sydney to New York, for the trip of a lifetime. A gift from his cancer ... was to stop putting off an amazing trip until the kids were old enough, or we had more money ... just do it. And do it now. People wake up every day around the world, not knowing that today is their last day on earth. Dave's cancer has taught me to live my life with a pressing sense of urgency - the nowness of now will never be here again.

I wrote about landing in America here. At the end of that post, I talk about how it was 6pm and Dave and I were headed out for a burger. Here's a photo of us before we got ready to go:

                      New York, the disheveled Aussies have arrived!

America makes the best burgers in the world. I doubt anybody can dispute that. When Dave and I set out into Time Square that first night in NYC - oh my goodness. I had the bright idea of asking a local where the best burgers in town were. Just as soon as I stopped flirting with the local coppers.

                                        My feet look like flippers

We went to this electronics shop and I asked the guy behind the counter where the best burgers in town were. He was busy, but INSTANTLY he got excited. "You sure asked the right person!"

And wrote down instructions of how to get there. Which I kept. It's stuck on my fridge, as a reminder.

The Burger Joint, Le Parker Meridien

We had no idea in hell where we were going, but just followed the street numbers until we got to 6th Avenue. On the way, Dave kept saying "Look hon - there's a burger place. Let's just eat here." I had a really good feeling about this Burger Joint, so we pressed on. We came to the Parker Meridien - a REALLY fancy hotel. Walked in, looked around - nothing. The cafe looked shut. I told Dave let's just go back, but then he goes to ask at reception.

The guy on reception pointed ... to behind a velvet curtain.

We walked around to this huge queue, snaking all the way around the corner. It seemed to be moving pretty quickly, so we waited. It was all very covert. And fun. And cool. Finally we got to the front, to find the hippest, coolest batcave of a place you've ever seen in your life.

We were STARVING. It was packed, so I grabbed a table while Dave stood in line and ordered. Everybody had American accents - except us, the two country-bumpkin Aussie hicks. Dave came over and sat down while we waited for our order. I think all we did is just look around, and stare at everything in wonder.

Dave noticed a guy who needed a seat, and in his usual way, said "Here ya go mate, there's a seat here if ya want."

So the guy comes and sits down, we say hi. His name was George.

He quickly asks us if we were from Australia, we were all excited and shamelessly gushing. "YES! We just arrived here today and everything is so big and amazing! OMG!"

He sized us up a bit, and then said, "So, how did you guys even know about this burger place?" I showed him our directions. He was pretty cool.

And then he started telling us about his job. Instantly, I could tell he was a bigwig. A BIG bigwig, but I played it cool. Our burgers arrived. Oh, heaven in a bun. America? The Creator of the world called ..... she wants her burger recipe back. George, Dave and I bonded over ketchup and fries. George used to work as a Chief Digital Officer at NBC. Now he was a CEO at Hearst Entertainment. He chewed on his burger for a while, and then tells us that just yesterday he was having lunch with an Australian. Rupert Murdoch, in fact.

I said, are you shitting me?

No, George wasn't shitting me. He then launched into this huge amazing story of the meeting - it was a pitch, actually. George sat there telling the two Aussie yokels about a multi-million dollar pitch and subsequent deal on a new mini-series that Rupert Murdoch gave the green light to. About how it was a world-first, never been done, etc.

At the end of our chat, George asked what we both do. Dave said he has been a builder for his whole life. Dave pointed to me and said, "And she's a blogger."

George went WHITE. "Oh, really?" I said really ... that I was to attend my first-ever BlogHer at the Hilton the following day. I gave him my business card. George made me promise I wouldn't blog about the new series. Of course. He asked me if I was on twitter, I said yes I was edenland.

Was George on twitter? "Yes, I'm under Goldfolder."

Dave starts laughing. "Goldfolder?"

"Yes ... it's where all the million-dollar ideas are kept."

George's twitter is here. When I publish this post, I'm going to tweet him - I don't think he'll remember me. You can tweet him too, reassure him that I did not tell the world his secret.


The next day I was on a double-decker bus around the city. The tour guide says, "And here we have the world-famous Hearst building." I looked up in awe, and thought about my new mate.

George I kept your secret. I think you at least owe me a burger.


This post was for the Ford Kidspot Challenge .... the topic is "Adventure." I've spoken to Ford, my car is coming in the next few days. I'm currently not talking to Dave because, well ... marriage is stupid. I may pile Max and Rocco into that car and drive off into the sunset.

Tell me, what's one of your adventures? Do you think George will remember me? And who the hell invented marriage?

Monday, 6 June 2011

All My Bitches

Last week I was in one of those shops that has a spelling mistake for a name. I think it was called "TEMPT" or "DEVINE" or "WET DREAMZ!" I made a beeline for some awesome jeans, but the sizes were all 4, 6, and 8. Nothing larger. When I asked the shopgirl if she had them in a size 12 .... she sneered and laughed at me.

Swear to god, a laugh escaped her thin lips. I loathed her in that moment ... with her filthy hair extensions and fake nails and streaky face and tiny waist. LOATHED.

The music was incredibly overbearing, some rap guy 'singing' ... "I'm here with all my bitches/all my motherfucking bitches. I'm here with all my bitches/all my bitches/all my bitches."

It was absurd. I stood to the side, waiting for a fitting room after finding a surprisingly cool dress to try on.

The whole shop was filled with chicks with their boobs out. Young girls, flaunting something they could hardly know anything about. Looking at myself in the mirror, I realised I didn't look as cool as what I thought I did. I looked old. Muttonish. I forgot to put makeup on and my hair was cowlicky and I really felt like a complete idiot.

I wanted to walk out of the shop but it was so tight and narrow and I didn't want to draw attention to myself. On the other hand, I wanted to draw attention to myself. I wanted to tell all these bitches, all these motherfucking bitches .... that youth was fleeting. That I would have done more hardcore partying in one month than they'd do in years. That I was cool, dammit. I wanted to tell them that I was cool.

Everything was too loud and shiny and annoying. I pulled out my phone, to keep myself distracted. Scrolling through my emails, I came to this.

Dear Eden,

I’ve been reading your blog(s) for months now, and am constantly amazed by your courage, truthfulness, and humor; you are an inspiration.  I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your blog, because, well, because, I’m a chicken-shit.  We have some things in common, but in a warped universe way.  My daughter was 16 when she was diagnosed with cancer (she’s now 29 with 2 kids!), and it was for her, then, that I busted out of a seriously abusive marriage.  It took a few years to be completely free of him and I’m still broken in some ways, but hey, that’s who I am!  Stronger at the cracks where the glue holds me together!  And you are part of that glue. 

There are days when I wonder how I’ll get out of bed and why, and then I remember:  Dude!  Eden does it!  And then I tell the universe to “Bring on the fresh horses”!

By this stage, I was crying. This email brought me back to myself. The connections people can make in the world .. the act of opening yourself up, of letting people in, letting them get to know you, is profound. Whether it's on a blog, or in real life, or via email.

My motherfucking bitches.

The song that would never end. I looked around, still standing in the same spot, but suddenly having all my power back. It was just a shop, man. Hanging the dress back on the rack, I caught the conversation between a lady giving the shopgirl a dressing-down. "This music is utterly ridiculous and not appropriate at all!" I started laughing, and nodded in agreement. Shopgirl didn't say anything, I think she just wanted all the mutton out of her shop.

Gladly. Before I left I heard shopgirl talk to another customer ... "The clothes aren't all priced yet .... because I have to price them all, like, individually. Like, with the pricing gun."

Like, WOW. But I had a rush of compassion for Shopgirl. I have no idea who she is, what she's been through so far in life. One day, after she's had two children ... she may even be like, a size 12 too.


I replied back to Debra, thanking her and asking her if I could use a snippet of her email. She wrote:

I would be so honoured to have you quote or talk about my email. In your spirit: I’m tired of being scared… so, please use my name if you’d like. You’ve inspired me to get my dusty ole’ blog back up and running; take off the lock, and join you in letting my light shine. I LOVE that you’ve included me among the best! I usually warn newcomers in my life that I’m fucked-up, but from now on, I’ll say it with my head held high rather than with shame.

Debra on twitter here 

And she included some lyrics from a song called Ashes on Your Eyes by Deb Talan.

"Now you only
Dream in peaceful blue
The morning doesn't even scare you anymore
You are a phoenix with your feathers still a little wet
Baby the ashes just look pretty on your eyes
Pretty on your eyes
Pretty on your eyes."

Phoenix was the name of the very first rehab I ever went to. I was such an IDIOTIC WANKER back then, but it was the start of all the recovering I've done since. One day during my month-long stay, I went to the library to find out the origin of the Phoenix, and why it rose from the ashes. I photocopied it, took it back to the rehab, and stuck it on the fridge with a magnet. Then I went to group therapy and had a tantrum about being told that for a chance in recovery I had to give up both drugs AND alcohol. What the hell? How was that even possible? THAT'S NOT POSSIBLE.

Such pure ignorance of youth. Thank goodness I'm older now.


Here's the song Deb linked to. Thought I'd put it here for you - you, all my bitches. My motherfucking bitches.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Baby loves me, yes yes he does.

I didn't get my drivers license until I was thirty years old. Is that embarrassing? Probably. I lived in the inner city of Sydney for my whole twenties, so I didn't need it. I was busy.

Max was born up here in the Blue Mountains when I was 29. We were renting a house around the corner from the main street of Katoomba, so I still didn't really need one. After a while, an opportunity to own this beauty for the princely sum of $1000 arose. Dave and I saved and saved ... soon it was ours.

He had his ute, and I had my shitbox. We were a two-car family! All I had to do was learn how to drive. How strange is the feeling of getting used to drive a hunk of machinery around the earth? I'll never forget how repulsed I was at the power I felt behind the wheel. It seemed obscene.

A few years later, after many arguments discussions around getting married (Dave did NOT want to, I wanted to) ... Dave had this funny look on his face and asked me if I wanted to go "for a drive to the block, hon?" The block was where he was building our house. We went there a lot, to marvel at the fact that one day we would live there in a house that he built.

Max was getting minded. I waited at home for Dave to pick me up, he did in one of these:

A Mitsubishi Mirage. It was so luxurious! We drove to the block and he parked the car. A Neil Diamond song was on the radio, and Dave asked me to open the glovebox to pass him something. I opened it, to find a card addressed to me. Dave was laughing - he never did anything like this.

I opened it. He had bought one of those "Congratulations on your Engagement!" cards, and written in there the words:
"I hope you like your pressie hon. It's an engagement car! Will you marry me?"

It remains the most romantic, beautiful, extravagant thing he's ever done. I cried, he cried, and we smooched to the strains of Cherry Cherry.

I felt like the richest chick in town, driving around in that thing. A heater! No rips in the dashboard! Dave slowly cottoned on to the fact that if we were to get married (which we did eventually) ... I needed an engagement ring. He was spewing. "What? Why? Well do I get an engagement ring? I can't believe you get something else after I already got you an engagement car hon. Jeez."


I've had to write this Kidspot Top 5 post on the sly - Dave wanted me to write all about HIS first car, the one he got when he was seventeen. Remember these cars, in the early eighties?


What was your first car? Did you feel repulsed at learning how to drive or is that quirk just mine? And Ford haven't sent me the Territory yet ... do you think they're trying to back out?
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