Sunday, 30 October 2011

A few good blogs, and the winner of my $2 LA Ink yellow plastic blessed rosary beads.

There are so many blogs out there. I get blown away with the people who come to mine, and write such amazing and interesting things. I'm in the process of changing over my commenting system, to individually reply to comments. I often can't respond to all of the comments and I feel terrible about it, can't WAIT to be able to do it here straight away.

Here's some of my faves today:

I've read SCHMUTZIE for years, and met her in the flesh twice. She's a thinker, a dreamer, a writer, a noticer. She runs Five Star Friday every .... Friday. It showcases the best blog posts from the net each week, which is an incredibly generous and bountiful thing for her to do.

LIZOSAURUS lives in Sydney with her husband Jarod. She loves dinosaurs and cats. She's so soft and shy and gorgeous - and a kickarse web designer. She posted HERE about the amazing makeover she recently got. She looks AMAZING. Happy birthday Liz!

Kit from BLOGGING DANGEROUSLY is a legend. She created #wineparty on twitter ... and even lets me join in, and I don't even drink wine! I met her at BlogHer this year. Her About Me page states: "I've spent my entire life listening to people ask me, "You didn't really say THAT, did you?" and having to answer, "Well, yes, I did." and watching them roll their eyes and walk away."

Allison Tait from LIFE IN A PINK FIBRO is an Aussie chick living near the beach ... I *suspect* she lives in a pink fibro. She's a writer ... a real proper one and everything. She also has a wicked sense of humour, she's very smart, and I sometimes have fun with her on twitter. And she's a night owl - us hardcore nightowls need to stick together.

(That's all for now, but I will be doing this again.)


It's Sunday morning, and instead of being at church I used Random Number Generator to choose the winner of my $2 yellow plastic rosary beads bought from LA Ink and *allegedly* blessed by my local Catholic priest. I forgot to take a photo of the winner's comment number, which was 13. So I went back to Random Number Generator and sat here for ten minutes trying to get number 13 back on the screen. It's Sunday and I should not be blogging at all. Rocco is jumping on my back, making a cubby with cushions. Saying, "Mum, my bloody hell cubby house keeps falling down."

Finally, the number 13 came back up again! Alison, please email me your postal address, you have won! I looked for your blog in your profile page, but I don't think you have one? I loved your comment:

"I love discussions about spirituality. The journeys are as unique as the person. I'm not finished seeking, but so far I feel strongly that God is Love and Truth and Light. And the word 'God' is just a name for the unexplainable."

A funny thing happened when I was trying to get 13 back up again ... I kept getting 31, over and over again. I thought, "Does God want commenter #31 to win? Should I fix my giveaway?" I decided not to, because that's probably bad karma. But how easy would it be to fix giveaways?! Number 31 is the honorary Aussie Heather Spohr ...  who lives in LA, and is an athiest. I'll be writing more about her next week .. in the meantime, Heather? God totally says hi!


Saturday, 29 October 2011

You are what you eat. I am a cake.

I have made my body do lots of very naughty, very unhealthy things. It's a wonder it still functions at all. My kidneys and liver still cleanse, my heart pumps up the volume, my bladder fills up with obscene amounts of manwee, over and over again.

One day it will stop. It's amazing, when you think about it. Kind of miraculous.

Last night I was explaining to Rocco that he started off as this teeny, tiny little thing. And look at his big boy body now! His chest puffed up with pride. "Mum, when I grow up I will be bigger than you and bigger than the WHOLE WORLD."

When I was a kid, I suddenly grew these long legs and big feet and my face changed. Women in my family would remark on how lucky I was, to be so skinny. At school I noticed other girls struggling with weight insecurities, when I didn't. All my insecurities and problems were in my head, where nobody but me could see. I would have preferred to struggle with my weight.

Over the years I've eaten like a pig and not exercised. Except for now .. I've been carrying some extra weight around for over a year now. I blame America ... specifically, Five Guys. It's harder to work this shit off, so I point-blank refused to. This past winter I made a conscious decision to cancel my gym membership and get cable TV instead, because I couldn't afford both. Pass me the goddamn Cheetos. Why are my arms so flabby?

It's spring now. I'm making a concerted effort to eat well, and move more. Here is my body now:


Wait - that's not me. That's a bullshit, highly offensive and bordering on child-porn misogynistic ad for Steve Madden. Reminding me to never buy anything related to Steve Madden, ever.

In my early twenties I read the "Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women." by Naomi Wolf. As well as Susan Faludi's "Backlash, the Undeclared War Against Women." Two top books, that I HIGHLY recommend. The constant media messages women get regarding their looks make me stabby .. when my teenage stepson kept leaving his Ralph and FHM magazines around the house, I instantly put them in the recycling bin. And he would say, "Where are my magazines?" and I would say, "I have no idea."

Why do starlets and young women still feel the need to get their kit off and pose in these magazines? I'm all about empowerment, but come on.

Over at We Heart Life it is "I love my body" day. Bloggers are taking photos of themselves and publishing them on their blogs. All shapes and sizes, some clothed, some not. I like it. I like real things.

This old grey mare .... I turn 40 next year, man. I'm back at the gym and eating healthy food for one reason only - my mental health. But I would also like to have my body hot at least one more time before I die.

And then I breathed out.

Check out all the bloggers participating in We Heart Our Bodies HERE.

And the seriously unreal Curvy Girls Guide is HERE "We aren’t fat. We aren’t big boned. We are gorgeous, sexy, desirable women."  WORD.


Thursday, 27 October 2011

God Talks to Me Through Demons.

"Yeah I'd break bread and wine
If there was a church
I could receive in.
Coz I need it now."

God talks to me through demons. I found this out the way I find everything else out in life ... the hard way.

I had to go to church every Sunday when I was a kid. First Holy Communion, Confirmation, the whole shebang. Why do the Catholics have the biggest, most gory Jesus's in their churches? Is it a competition? I'd walk in, look up at the blood and the pain and the thorns. And think only one thing .... "This is all my fault." I would not have enough sins to tell the priest, so I'd just make them up. That was when I knew I was going to hell.

When you know you're already going to hell ... why even try to be good anymore?

A few months after the suicide of my dad, I had a meeting with my priest. I just wanted to know if he was ok, or if he was in purgatory. The priest wrinkled his nose in disgust and told me it was too late to be worried about him now. Nothing could be done. I walked straight out of his office without saying a word, did not even shut the door. I had just turned 17, and started my long walk down some pretty dark paths.


A few moons ago, I had a rough trot. This is code for, "losing my ever-loving mind AGAIN." Badly. It was bad. I can't elaborate ... what happened in the mental breakdown, stays in the mental breakdown. It's between me and God. And I say the word "God" out of habit. I lost my shiz, all in my head. Some demons may have made guest appearances. I'm actually being literal. (I realise that I sound like a complete lunatic. That's because I am a complete lunatic.)

At the end of it, I went through a series of spiritual lessons. Or something. I made many deals with God. I got into my car, both of my dead dads ghosts were in the back seat. In the middle was the sad red-haired child they ignored and that was their punishment. I drove us all to recovery meetings. We got through it, and now I'm stronger than I have ever been in my entire life.

Any questions?


My friend Lerner is an Americano living in England. She said she'd love some rosary beads but she can't because she's not Catholic. I said mate, I'm Catholic. I'll get you some rosary beads. So I did - purple, because they're her favourite colour. From the Catholic shop in Katoomba Street called "Sanctus" I don't like this shop, it's too expensive and the last time I checked, the Catholics were filthy rich.

I thought I'd go one better, and get the beads blessed by the local Catholic priest. I took my yellow rosary beads too ... I bought these for $2 at LA Ink back in August. I wondered if the priest would say no, to blessing yellow plastic rosary beads?

I toyed with the idea of sitting down with the priest, and doing my confession for the first time since I was 17. Not to absolve myself, just to watch his reaction. But I wasn't allowed to see him - the lady in the parish office told me to leave the beads, the priest would bless them, and come back at 4pm. So I did. When I picked them up, they felt holier.

Then I went to the post office to post the purple ones to Lerner.

I found the most appropriate card. Lerner got the package yesterday, and wrote about it HERE.

Ironic that I bought a set of rosary beads from a shop I hate and got them blessed by a man whose religion I don't believe in anymore. But my faith in God is the strongest and most rock solid it's ever been.

(How do you athiests do it? I'm fascinated.)

I've decided to do the strangest giveaway the blogworld has ever seen ... I'm giving away my blessed $2 yellow plastic rosary beads.

                          They're called boobs, Ed.
They're pretty cool. I bought them from Kat Von D's gallery next door to LA Ink (High Voltage) the day I got my skattoo. See HERE.

If you want them, just leave me a comment. You don't have to say why, or have a blog, or be Catholic. They'd look pretty cool hanging from a rear-view mirror. I'll pick the winner randomly this Sunday.

When I should be at church.


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Once upon a time, there lived an Evil Stepmother.

What if, Cinderella missed all of her curfews and stayed out all night? What if she spent way too much time sending carrier pigeon messages out to her friends, bitching and moaning about how hard she had it? And how about Hansel ... little turd. So rude and sullen. What if he just kept doing the wrong thing and did not care? What if Rapunzel was an angry feisty minx who wanted to run away, hating everybody in her path? How about the time years ago, when Snow White's stepmother agreed entirely with Snow White's real mother?

What if ... look, I know it's hard to believe - but what if, all of the evil stepmothers worked SO HARD to try and make their families work? Rising above, time and time again. Going to therapy ... for her own issues, working on herself to be a better person. Making sure everyone felt comfortable and it all ran smoothly, yet in the end, she gets all the blame for everything anyway? She was the easy target, the one they could all comfortably point the finger at, as the reason for the breakup of their original family. No matter how nice she was or didn't engage or dug her fingernails deeply into her hands.

And after it all, after being exruciatingly aware of not showing her own children favouritism, of not arguing, not reprimanding or saying anything that might be perceived as nasty.

After all that she ends up with not even a name. Just a whole lot of disrespect and a really shitty label.



Tuesday, 25 October 2011

These are my weeds.

This is officially the worst our veggie garden has ever been. It's a trainwreck, an abomination. Makes my heart sore, just looking out the kitchen window.

I have some exciting news.

That was the Before shot, now here is the After.



Just kidding. There is no After shot. It still looks like this.

I owe the whole world an email, there's towels to be hung out, my entire wardrobe needs sorting. Dave still parks his motorbike in the living room, Rocco styled his hair with lube this morning, (I am not kidding) ... the paint patch on the wall near the stairs has been there for two years.

And the veggie patch is overgrown, over-run. Gone to seed then come back again.

If I die today, I die with weeds in my veggie garden. But I also would have kissed all of my boys and meant it, cooked a roast dinner, lit some candles, allowed Max to have a friend over (in the middle of the WEEK) .. and acknowledged Buddha this morning. Got through another day in the world - no mean feat, for lots of us.

Last night, I whispered in Dave's ear before he fell asleep. "Hon, I am SO going to clear that veggie garden one day. Soon. Maybe next week."

And he just laughed at me because he knows me too well, and I laughed as well.

Then he said, "Well, the great thing is now the Rosellas come - just to eat all the seeds off the tops of the weeds."

I'm sure that's symbolic of something.


Sunday, 23 October 2011

Seven Highlights from the Problogger Training Day you simply CANNOT afford to miss out on reading. (Is *that* SEO?)

I probably should write a recap of the Problogger Training Day, but I've never been one for "shoulds." I felt incredibly self-conscious the whole time I was away. Usually I can swing it, and am ballsy and talk to everyone, but this time I was so shy and kept looking at the ground when I walked through the sea of people.

The sea of people stayed for post-conference drinks. I was keenly aware of the rising crescendo in the room. The tension being let out, the edge being taken off. I asked for sparkling mineral water but they didn't have any so I drank orange juice out of a tall glass and felt stupid. I had to get out of there quick smart with nary a goodbye to anyone.

The day itself was great ... Darren has achieved so much. If I were his mum I would be proud of his beautiful heart, above all else.

                                     Darren, are we related?

Most sessions were informative, I always love meeting up with bloggers. We are a mixed bag of lollies. Some were posturing wankers who would look straight through you, but most are beautiful and friendly.

In one session, I felt like I was doing my blog all wrong. Who *is* the blog co-ordinator of the world, anyway?

Walking by myself out into Melbourne streets, my soul caught its breath. I looked for Bat Baby again.

                                        I love him and I don't know why.

Took a photo of this really cool ladies toilet. It would be a great image for a blog post on being a woman. There are blog post inspirations all the time, from things out there in the real world.

I found my hotel completely by accident, went inside and just sat there. Scratching my metaphorical balls.

Cool things I took away included:

1) Taking a photo of my water bottle penis getting hard for Shae's pink Cons.

2) Listening to Mrs Woog on her panel. The woman cannot pretend, which is why so many people love her. She called SEO "SAO's." She brings a beautiful sense of irreverance and fun to the Aussie blogosphere. Her secret to success is not wondering what her secret to success is.

3) Meeting the team from L'Oreal Australia with Nikki on Thursday. They are all so glamorous and beautiful. I ate two macarons and two cupcakes, while they all ate nothing. At one point I said, "My GOD you are all SO BEAUTIFUL! With your cool jobs in your awesome building! I wish I was like you in my twenties. I was too .... busy."

4) Managed to strike up conversations with two amazing bloggers I didn't know before - Lady Smaggle and Rhi from Hummingbirds Song.

5) Valerie Khoo machine-gunned advice and inspiration towards me in under ten minutes, which she should probably invoice me for. She is the founder of Sydney Writers Centre. I first did a course with her five years ago, it was so nice to see a friendly face.

6) The Social Media for Social Good Panel with reps from World Vision. They are actively seeking to work with Australian bloggers. (Twitter is HERE.)

7) Seeing #OccupyMelbourne tent city for the first time on Thursday, by the time I got back there on Friday to talk to them all, they had been arrested by riot police and a huge wire fence had been erected. I asked a copper, "Did they go quietly?" And he ignored me because he was a prick.

                                  They did not go quietly at all.

It's midday and I'm still in my pyjamas. Dave will be home with the boys any minute, I need to get up and look productive. I miss them so. Who am I, without them? Last night I had the house to myself for the first time in years, and ended up eating pizza in bed and watching a series of short horror films on SBS. Felt sure I could hear my murderer hiccuping in the closet, but I was wrong!

I'm so often wrong, and it's such a relief.


Friday, 21 October 2011

Fleas and Bloggers

Every morning I take my coffee, walk out onto the backdeck, and do a daily Buddhist reading. A knot unties in my stomach when I read this .. think it's, like, Zen or something?

Nothing is as ever important as it seems. It only feels like it.


Yesterday I flew to Melbourne to attend the Problogger Training Day. I made Mrs Woog and St Murphy miss their flights. It was a fiasco, I was crying, accidentally parked at the international terminal instead of domestic.

Don't know if I will ever see my car again.

Then as we were waiting to board, we spotted our close personal friend Hamish McDonald talking on his phone, dressed in a smart blazer. Mrs Woog and I kind of photobombed into him ... he was the host of the George Negus Show the night Mrs Woog and I were on. (HERE)

We went up to him and he had no idea who we were - at first. I gazed at the back of his head during the flight.

And turned to St Murphy and told him that if the plane crashed, we would all die with Hamish ... and can you IMAGINE our blog stats?

St Murphy says he is never travelling with me again.


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Suddenly and too soon.

                                    Wild poppies, Katoomba

A woman I knew died recently - alone, in her car. Suspected overdose. It's all I can think about. She told me she was struggling, then going well. Then struggling again, well, etc. Her youngest baby was about six months old. She had older children, all with the same tired look in their eyes.

Some people have a glass of wine or eat chocolate or do an exercise workout, to take the edge off.

Some people inject heroin into their veins to take the edge off. Sometimes they die.

And all of the people around them are not *that* surprised, because a using addict is only really half a person anyway. Shadow people.

Such a terrible waste. Such selfish, horrible, no-good, shame-filled, vermin, bloody junkies.

There but for the grace of God go you - if you don't think you are addicted to anything, you need to look again.

I saw her for the last time two weeks ago, looked straight into her eyes as I crossed the road as she sat in her car waiting for me to pass. And I wondered how she was going.

And now I know.


Monday, 17 October 2011

Corn handlebars and the colour blue.

On the weekend we rode to a cafe near the beach and I ordered eggs on toast. I received these instead:

                   I cannot ever get away from ballsacks.

Sniggering like Beavis I said - "Dave, Dave ... what do these look like to you?" He answered with "pigeon eggs." Which left me feeling sad - couldn't he see what I see? I took a photo, which annoyed him more. Then I realised I was a 39-year old woman taking a photo of her eggs in a cafe because they looked like testicles, and I thought, what is wrong with me?

But I uploaded the photo to twitter anyway, because I just KNEW twitter would be more appreciative. Isn't this what social media is for?


Thank you for your comments and love on the Ambi Pur post. After two hours of it going live, the lovely lady in charge of the actual real Ambi Pur campaign called me. She told me that the first time they watched it, they were all ... where is she going with this cat?? Then they watched it a few times and there were sniggers all around the office. I imagined an office full of professional, beautiful, glamorous PR people watching me on rollerskates, and kind of died a little. I assured her that while it was not conventional, every person who saw it would definitely notice Ambi Pur more in the cleaning product aisle in the supermarket. She agreed.

The boys and I were at the Beach Bong House on the weekend, and had a surprisingly good time. No fights or major meltdowns by anybody. Dave bought Rocco some special corn-eating tools.  Rocco shouts with glee: "CORN HANDLEBARS!"

Walked to a local restaurant and ate the best meal since that awesome pizza in New York last year. I impressed Dave by writing to him upside down, so he did it back to me and I laughed and took a photo and he kind of sighed.

Until I told him if he starts calling me Eben I will stab him.

I know he will start calling me Eben soon.

The food was so delicious, we ordered entrees, mains, desserts and coffee. This is what the boys looked like by the end.

                 Annoyed as hell.

This is what they looked like the next day when I bought them toys and lollies and took them to the park and the beach:

At the exact moment I took this photo, Rocco was happily doing a wee in his pants.

I love seeing quotes out there in the real world, like a message straight to my heart.

"Life only demands from you the strength you possess. Only one feat is possible ... not to run away." - Dag Hammar Skjolo

In my current incarnation, I'm trying not to run away. Feels like I'm rebuilding myself back up again, for the 3,479th time. When I was stretching on the beach yesterday, the horizon looked like this:

The sky was holding the water up. It's important to look at the world from different angles. Remember the teacher in Dead Poets Society, telling students to stand up on their desks so they could see the classroom from a different perspective?

All the different shades of blue were like a depression colour chart. I wondered which shade I was. Until I heard the boys laughing at me and I realised I was exactly where I needed to be ... at the beach on a warm day with my feet in the sand and my bum in the air.


Friday, 14 October 2011

Blogger wins Cannes Lion.

A little-known fact about me is that I once held a promising advertising career in my hands. Of course, this was in my early twenties and I crushed that dream easily like a wet paper towel, but still.

I know stuff - what works and what doesn't. I watch TV, and often critique the latest ad campaign for things. I coulda been a contender, and even have a Diploma in Copywriting .. with a wax seal and everything. (From a really expensive and dodgy "college" in North Sydney in the early 90's.)

I read recently that the best and talented brains get snapped up by advertising agencies. Is it true? Not sure - but I do know, in this changing media and advertising landscape, that companies are branching out into the world of bloggers.

And most of them don't know how to do this.

A little-known fact about the blogging world is that it actually really does contain the best and talented brains. Bloggers are smart, funny, and intelligent. Searing and refreshing in their honesty. They get pitched a lot with crappy random press releases, asked to write about products for free.

Their blogs have been lovingly and painstakingly built from the ground up. Out of nothing. It's a little annoying to see big brands come along and try to get in on the action without offering much in return.

I don't know the answer to this dilemma, but I do know there are certain agencies out there leading the way. ... light years ahead of their competition. Places like Hausmann, Naked Communications, and Ogilvy (click on each for links) are all actively involved in getting to know bloggers, and working with them on campaigns for their stables of brands.

I was offered a free trip to Thailand courtesy of Ambi Pur. It really was stunning, exotic. We stayed at the stunning Scent Hotel and did really amazing things .. the best one being meeting Chandler Burr He is the NYT perfume critic and one of the best and most gorgeous people I have ever met in my life. We all took it in turns to interview him, and I was last. We talked about the power of scent - both on a person and in the home. He knows his stuff, man. At the end I pulled out my bottle of perfume and asked him if it was right for me? He laughed, smelt it, and said no WAY. I needed something much more hardcore.

I could write a perfectly acceptable gorgeous post about the trip, what we did/ate/wore. The good people in charge of Ambi Pur would love it.

Or I could do this.

My cameraman is only nine years old and I pay him in Mad Magazines, so please forgive the shakiness at the beginning. Need to keep my production costs down, because bloggers don't get paid much.

I did this for a lot of reasons ... but the biggest one? Hands down, the most fun I've had in a month.

Ambi Pur Execs, I hope once the shock wears off, you like it too.


Wednesday, 12 October 2011


A really cool thing is watching Rocco start loving the same movies that Max did at his age. On the weekend, I hired out the Incredibles and he LOVED it. He gets obsessed with putting discs into the player. "I DO IT MUMMY!" He swapped them around and put the second disc in.

I had forgotten all about Boundin', my favourite short film of all time.

"Now sometimes you're up, and sometimes you're down,
When you find that you're down well just - look around!
You still gotta body, good legs and fine feet.
Get your head in the right place and hey -
You're complete."

I love how the most philosophical things are often the simplest.

The sight of Rocco and Max watching it together laughing and unwittingly learning about resilience was worth every penny of the $3.39 it cost me on iTunes.


Tuesday, 11 October 2011

My heavy overcoat of shame.

"Gonna rise up
... find my direction magnetically."
- Eddie Vedder

I sat listening to a panel at BlogHer in August, called "Your Perfect Imperfections: Blogging Your Way to Self-Acceptance." (Full transcript HERE.) After Brene Brown, Mr Lady and Gluten Free Girl spoke, there was a call for questions from the audience. I asked Brene about not shielding the truth about my story to my children. When she answered, to my horror I started to cry.

"WHY ARE YOU CRYING YOU IDIOT? STOP IT!!" (I have very caring self-talk.) Sitting across from my esteemed work colleague Mrs Woog, I wiped my hot tears away and silently thanked her for not looking up and giving me one of those bullshit sympathy looks. This is why we are friends.

Brene saw me cry, though. Her answer was as beautiful as she is, and I haven't forgotten something she said:

"We cannot love our children any more than we love ourselves."

I thought wow, if this is true? My kids are screwed.


Last week I was looking for something on the internet, but found myself instead accidentally on Brene's personal blog, Ordinary Courage. BAM I was met with an invitation to join her in doing an e-course in ".. the power of owning our story and the path that unfolds when we decide to cultivate shame-resilience instead of allowing shame to send us into hiding, numbing, perfectionism, or lashing out."

I clicked away and thought - sounds nice, but pffffft. Then clicked straight back five seconds later, signed up, registered, paid, bought a DVD and two books.

I do not do shit like this on the internet, have never done an e-course in my life. Never believed in them.

Like every other human on the planet, I have deeply entrenched core issues that could do with a big cleanout every once in a while. I carry around a lot of shame, like rocks in my pocket. It gets really heavy, and stops me from doing a lot.

I suspect a lot of this shame was never really mine to begin with.

Dr Brene Brown is a research professor who has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. She's like, a Shame Professor. I started her course today. Last night I cracked open her book "The Gifts of Imperfection." Rocco was still awake at 9.15pm and running into our bedroom and I just gave up and let him sleep there. Dave was talking to me, so I had to re-read the same paragraph six times.

"Courage originally meant 'to speak one's mind by telling one's whole heart' .. over time, courage has become synonymous with being heroic. Heroics is often about putting our life on the line.

Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerablilty on the line. In todays' world, that's pretty extraordinary."

So, I'm doing an e-course. Bono says he always wants to remain teachable, and goddamit so do I.

I don't feel any different yet. Especially today after a particularly spectacular text-fight with my husband, then getting cranky at the mess in my house, walking around in circles and feeling useless because the social media job I was offered a few weeks ago is now withdrawn because I don't have a university degree.

As if I could ever get a university degree ... I'll be battling to see if I can actually finish this e-course, because I find life tricky. It's hard to do things.

I still have Hope, though. That has to count for something.


If you want to make a cup of tea one night and have a spare fifteen minutes, check out Brene talking here on the "Price of Invulnerability." Anything that cuts through my jaded heart like this is pretty cool.

This is October's Year of Turning Forty entry, but not the one I was planning on. Every time I have an idea for one, it gets pushed aside by something else.

Like a fucking e-course that I know is going to have a profound effect on the rest of my life and will cause a ripple effect to all those within close proximity.

Life is weird.


Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Boob and the Slap.

                             "Breastfeeding" by Tamara de Lempicka  

Breastfeeding is one of the many things I've failed at in my life. That's cool - I'm ok with it. Neither of my boys suffered, and I'll never forget the distinct relief both Max and I felt when he downed a whole bottle of formula in one go. He was hungry! I'd bought fenegreek and rested and pumped ... but no boob in the world could have kept up with that guy. He was a feeding machine. I got shamed in mothers group, which was annoying. All of the mums went around the circle giving me advice, trying to "help" ... until I said, "Actually, you know what? I've made my decision, and I wasn't really enjoying breastfeeding anyway."


I didn't last long in that group.

A breastfeeding mother is so vulnerable. When Rocco was about three weeks old I took both my guys down to a huge repulsive play centre. Max was six, Dave was sick at home, and I just wanted to do something different. As I sat on the couch quietly breastfeeding, with my long scarf draped over me, a woman came up to me and said, "Excuse me, how old is your baby?" I told her and she shook her head. She told me that he was too young to be out.

I couldn't defend myself, sitting there with my boob stuck in my infants mouth. I was bone tired, and just gave her the death stare to rival all other death stares. Nearby children cried, such was the dark energy of that death stare. About an hour later, I went to feed Rocco again and noticed this guy sat across from me. I had to stay where I was to keep an eye on Max ... this guy watched, intently, as I got Rocco to latch on. My face was burning. Thinking about it now I get angry. He was a weirdo, man. The look on his face was just pure lust. Like, I was starring in his own personal fetish porno. That's where the lines blur ... when people think that breastfeeding is sexual. It is not.

All mothers carry their breastfeeding stories with them. It's a hot button topic ... I never felt comfortable breastfeeding in public, and it was such a relief to whip out a bottle of formula instead. That's such a shame.

Last week I read THIS PIECE over on Babble Voices called "My Take on Breastfeeding: Just do it, but discreetly." The author got hammered for her opinions on covering up, both in the comments and on twitter, until the editors at Babble had to issue a statement that the views of their writers were not necessarily Babble's views as a whole. Then Babble got some cranky questioning, about "cutting their writer's adrift." It was all fascinating and I sat there silently reading it all, eating my popcorn, keeping my own views safely at bay.

I sat in a meeting just this morning, and a woman's teeny baby was squawking. So she breastfed, very discreetly. I watched a guy watch her and I wanted to punch him, but that's because of my own issues. It felt a bit odd to hear the *gulp* of the baby drinking her milk ... again, that is because of my own issues.

How can it be acceptable to buy your morning newspaper and milk from a shop that sells booby magazines that people don't bat an eye at ... but a slip of a nipple in public for a millisecond while a hungry baby drinks causes an uproar? It doesn't make sense.


Yesterday, I watched the first episode of an eight-part series called "The Slap." Based on the novel by Christos Tsiolkas, it "traces the shattering repercussions of a single event upon a group of family and friends." (You can see it HERE.) Beware: Even though his character leaves a lot to be desired, Jonathan LaPaglia is a HOT HOTTIE. Who knew Anthony had a brother?

Basically, a child gets a slap by an adult at a party. The controversial factor was supposed to be that the adult is not the child's parent. Yet inadvertently the controversial factor was that the child was still being breastfed at four years old. I haven't read the book, so I wondered how much of a character set-up the whole breastfeeding storyline was ... did the writers all sit around talking about ways to make the childs parents look bad? "I know ... let's make the mother STILL be breastfeeding!"

A lot of people think that four years old is too for a child to still be breastfeeding. A lot of people think that women should not breastfeed in public, and a lot of people will vehemently defend the rights of any type of breastfeeding, anywhere. I met Annie from PHD in Parenting at BlogHer this year, she presented THIS VIDEO called "Covering Up is a Feminist Issue" at the keynote. Sitting behind the stage, I watched it backwards ... to my horror, as the images of beautiful mothers with their beautiful babies doing the most natural thing in the world went on, I became aware of my own hidden prejudice and beliefs around breastfeeding in public. And I am a person who has breastfed in public!

Why is breastfeeding so controversial? Shouldn't we all direct our strong views on, say child hunger .. instead of child hunger being met in a completely natural way?


Friday, 7 October 2011

Fighting in the Dark

Let the moon be your therapist, and the sun be your guide. When you're doing the hard yards, in life ... you're not alone. Somebody has already been that way, sprinkled a trail of fairy lights for you to follow.

This vlog annoyed the hell out of me, to do. So self-conscious I took five takes, in the end I thought fuck it, just ad-lib. So I did. It's a bit blurry, which is ok. Sometimes, so am I.

It's dedicated to you - yes, you. The one who needs it most.

Interview with the founder of RUOK Day, Gavin Larkin on Australian Story HERE

Sidenote: When RUOK was trending on twitter, I kept reading it as FUOK. Which is still funny.


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Fully sick!

I have manflu, now with added manperiod! It's a special kind of hell, doing all the parenting and cooking and washing when you're sick. Dave finally got home yesterday. We were standing in the kitchen and I was forcing myself to be nice, not bitchy. Then he said, "Oh I've missed you!"

And at the exact moment I said, "Hon that's so nice!" He finished off his sentence with ".... coffee machine."

My mouth dropped open and he grabbed me to do a funny dance.

No. No funny dance.

I went to bed after making dinner and showering Rocco and putting him to bed - and I watched three back-to-back episodes of Downton Abbey. Dave tossed and turned and I silently dared him to say something. But he knew better and put a pillow over his head and went to sleep.

This morning he walked around to my side of the bed, where a calvacade of used tissues lay on the floor and he kissed me gently on the cheek. "I love you hon."

I grunted. If I didn't have a thousand horses pounding in my temples I would have said, "Shouldn't you be telling that to the goddamn coffee machine??!"

Mid-morning I came back to bed. To see this:

Look closely, underneath the mountain of dust on my wooden sailboat I place next to my bed for my Soul to sail off onto during dreamtime.

And I climbed back into bed and collapsed and my heart grew warm and all was forgiven. That's all it takes.


I have a follow-up post to write on the Anti-Social Media I published the other day. SO many thought-provoking comments on it.

I also have a big fat heavy vlog that is weighing on my heart so I'll goddamn just do it this week. When I *don't* look 100. And then, a light follow-up vlog afterwards, to make everything ok again.

But first I need to sleep. I feel shizenhausen ... but I have lavender from my lover and it's helping me get through.

PS Men readers, avert your eyes ..... ladies, does your monthly cycle get worse as you get older? I'm not joking about the manperiod.

PPS I was interviewed in BlogHUB HERE

PPPS Dave, if you really are reading my blog now, don't talk to me about it. I don't want it critiqued. Go away. I love you X


Monday, 3 October 2011

Anti-Social Media.

There was a moment at BlogHer in New York last year that has stuck with me ... it was at Sparklecorn, and all the friends I went with had already left because they were tired. I didn't want to go yet .. what a surprise that I should drain every last drop out of a good time even if it means standing alone in a sea of women who all knew each other.

I sat down and watched a group of about four women all pose for photos together. There was something really strange about it that I couldn't put my finger on at first. They were all doing ridiculous poses with each other, snap snapping away (nothing wrong with that) ... but as soon as the photos were taken, they'd all pull apart and silently dive into their phones. Tweeting and uploading and facebooking their awesome time straight away. Thing is, they seemed to be pretending to be having a better time than they actually were.

I imagined the friends who saw these photos would feel a little envious, that they were not there having all the fun. Yet, they didn't dance, or talk, or look at anything else. They just sat there for ages, tapping away at their phones.

I ended up going to dance all by myself, feeling like a complete tool. I was stone cold sober and didn't have anyone to dance with. Then I found some people who were lovely, then I went on to another party and ended up on the couch talking to Fadra for the rest of the night.

And I didn't twitpic any of it - because I was too busy, you know ... actually living it.


Social media lovers need to be careful. There's a lot of joking about being addicted, but trust me on this - it really can be an addiction. I know what full-blown addiction feels like. It leaves a person feeling empty, vacant. Missing something. Hollow. Not living life properly. Nothing is ever enough.

I was recently asked to go on a media junket for Ambi Pur, over to Thailand. This was straight after I'd just gotten back from BlogHer in America, courtesy of Ribena. And I said yes - I should not have said yes. You know that scene in Meaning of Life when that waiter is teasing the obese guy with dessert? "It's wafer thin!"

I was the fat greedy blogger and that trip to Thailand pushed me over the edge. I was incredibly flattered to be asked, unfortunately it wasn't the right decision for me, and especially for my family. I imploded when I got back home ... for a number of reasons. I didn't check any modes of social media for a full week, and I could not have given the slightest shit.

It all felt ridiculous. I don't care about my blog stats, my PR pitches, the next invitation, the next party, the next blog conference.

I *do* care about my family. Very much. When I pulled back I realised how deeply I was "in" there. I realise that when I open the lid to my laptop, I may be in the same room physically as my family, but not emotionally. I check out - like, the screen is made from liquid and I stand there in my cossies and say, "See ya suckers!" to my husband and children and just dive in.

Sometimes, I resurface hours later and everybody has gone to bed already.

My children watch me. Scariest thing? In a few years, they will have their own online world - their own facebook accounts. (Newsflash: if you are over 25, facebook doesn't give a shit about you. It's the young ones they target.) I need to start setting a good example right now, today.

An iPhone in my pocket is a computer in my pocket. I've been forcing myself to stop checking mine so incessantly, to leave it in the car when I'm at the park. It's not healthy. And it's not fair. I signed up for Pinterest and Google+ but I have no clue how they work. I hear that Facebook has changed - it's just all too much and nobody can keep up.

Stop inventing things, tech people! Give us a chance to catch our breath - why do we need to communicate with each other so much?

Liz from Mom 101 wrote a great post HERE called "Love, love will tear us apart. Or was that Klout?"

I told her that after I'd pulled back from social media for just one week, Klout emailed me with the subject line: "Oh no! Your Klout score has fallen!"

Which roughly translates as, "Oh finally! You are being a really kick-arse wife and mother this week!"


I blog the same way I live my life ..... floundering all the way. I may never look at my stats - but I do care about my blog readers. And my fellow bloggers ... you are all real people. Don't forget to live in the real world.

And if you base your self-worth on your blog or how many hits you get, or when the next event is ... be careful. It's a fine line, man. It's wafer thin.

PS I am plotting a tribute to my Ambi Pur experience ... to showcase the creativity and originality that us bloggers have to offer. I'm not obligated to do this in any way. I think their reps are slightly alarmed.


Sunday, 2 October 2011

My Sunday Porno.

Kidding, it's not really a porno. But it *could* be, if I hired a Swedish film crew and some buxom actors.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Australia wants to kill you.

I can't find any photos of our dog Mischka in my computer. If she was a lion made out of stone with a massive ballsack, she would look *exactly* like the pic above.

She almost died yesterday. Five bad-arse ticks. Thank God Dave noticed the first one on her leg, he bent down and pulled it off and said, "Is this a beetle?" And we realised it was a tick when he threw it on the driveway and it popped and Mishka's blood sprayed everywhere. By the time we got her to the vet, her back legs were all shaky and her throat was raspy from the swelling. The vet took three more and out, looked straight at me and said (in front of the kids) "I can't promise you she will make it through the night. These are the worst kinds of ticks you can get and they've been pumping poison into her for a while."

The blood in my face went cold, and I pretended I was completely ok. I'm so great at that! The dog after us was euthanised and the sad owner walked its limp body out soon after. Death was everywhere!

It always is.

Mischka is fine - the good people of twitter cared more about her than the kids did. Probably because I am so awesome at pretending in front of the kids. Max turned to me a few months ago, accusingly. "Mum, you never told me how serious dad was when he had cancer."

I said mate, I didn't want you to worry! I was doing enough worrying for our whole entire family!


So, our dog didn't die. But I came home anyway ... did you know, that if you are away on a family holiday and it's cold and wet and rainy and you are the one doing most of the child-wrangling ... it's easier to just wrangle at home? I drove the kids home today. A two hour trip was a five-hour one, because I suck at solo-parenting and had to take a detour when we almost ran out of petrol. And then stop for burgers. Then milk, also: DVD's. At the end I was gripping the wheel, driving - thinking, this is so boring. I hate driving. Being an adult sucks.

Dave stayed back at the Bucket Bong Beach House. He's obsessed with clearing all the lantana, and all the changes he's going to make. We didn't argue at all, I just know when to call a spade a spade. Now I'm here and I get the bed all to myself and the kids are contained.


On the drive home I thought about many things. Like, how come people aren't offended by Eminem anymore? Also, why would the creator of the Universe invent ticks? It doesn't make sense. I asked the vet yesterday, crouched down on the floor patting Mischka. She answered, "Just to annoy the absolute shit out of us."

My friend Kit told me on twitter that she doesn't know if she could come to Australia ... we have too many deadly creatures.

And we do! How hardcore - venomous snakes, deadly funnelweb spiders, crocodiles, sharks, dingos that steal babies, tiny tick murderers. And us Aussies are all just used to it. (Or, we develop internal anxiety that runs deep to our cores.)

So, rest of the world? Come and visit Australia. We'll *try* not to kill you, but we can't promise anything.

(There's a faraway shot of Mischka HERE.)

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