Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Not All Blogs Are Created Equal.

"I was playin' in the beginnin' .. the mood all changed."
- Eminem, Lose Yourself

Once upon a time in America, mommyblogging was invented. And it was good. On the seventh day, Heather Armstrong rested .. which naturally freed up some space for other mommybloggers to rise up with their varying battlecries.

Some people start a blog to earn money. Some to save their sanity, or to connect. Show their sewing skills off, update their families, take over the world ... whatever. I started because I wanted to document my IVF process as I was so so clucky and wanted another baby. Mel from Stirrup Queens took me under her wing and let me "belong" ... I will be eternally grateful.

After almost a year of blogging, I clicked over to a site and looked in the sidebar for the bloggers infertility journey. And she didn't have one. I KNOW - can you even believe it? You're allowed to just, have a blog about anything at all! Amazing.

All of the women I started reading were American. I don't know what it is about you yanks but you do EVERYTHING first. That's ok. Even though Australia has a long associated history with cultural cringe, we can do our own thing well if we just goddamn believe in ourselves enough. A chick from LA left a comment on my blog the other day .. "You Aussie women bloggers show a really strong Spirit. It's great."

I liked that very much.

Back in America, I ate popcorn as mommyblogging wars broke out like an episode of Dallas in 1986. Jealousy, rivalry, betrayal. Such anger! It still continues today ... people's noses get very out of joint when it comes to other blogger's "success." Why does this happen? One word: money. Big companies and brands started taking notice of the strange yet extremely effective world of blogging. And the thing with these mums who blog is ... it was a way to earn money from home while their kids were little.

Why such a big emphasis and courting of these mumbloggers? Because they control the household finances. The hand that buys the cleaning products, rules the world.

I have my own freelance writing business. I get the odd article every now and again ... my aim was to always build it up and just have the work piling in. Last year was a complete write-off in that area for me, because I was battling to just hang on. So I thought, I should get a job a few days a week in a shop. For the first time in my life, I realised that I really SHOULD have gotten a trade but couldn't when I was younger as I was having a succession of years where I was battling to just hang on. (I sense a theme here!)

This is my life, man. It's stupid and strange to write it on the interent, but it is also the best thing I have ever, ever done. As the tide starts to change down here in Australia, I really hope we don't rip each other apart like our Northern Hemisphere counterparts. Because that SUCKS.

Why would a blogger be offered stuff? How come some bloggers get invited to things, get flown around ... get PAID? Maybe because they have kept writing and crafting and devoting time and energy to their blogs on a consistent basis. Taken risks, opened up themselves and their lives. Been bothered to take original photos, to just be real and cut the crap, or take the time to craft their words in such a way that other people connect. It has taken me five years to feel comfortable with it. I found my voice! (Cue single tear, streaming down my face.) It was there all along. When I was a girl, I had the weakest, softest high-pitched voice. I was painfully shy. Now I have a boomy man-voice. I like it very much and I have a lot to say.

Blogs are as evolved as the person writing them ... hell, my blog has been a CAR CRASH. Can I make it through my life to the end without it all imploding spectacularly? I don't know. Do you want my blog? I will sell Edenland to you right now for one dollar. I'm not joking ... but on one condition: you take my brain with you.

Nobody would want that.

Today I started writing over at kidspot.com.au  This is a paid gig, which I am THRILLED about. I've slogged away for a while thinking, "Really, Eden? Still broke?" I keep stealing time away from my family to blog .. I will always do that. It fills me up in a way that I can hardly describe. I balance it out with parks and riding and books and all the responsible stuff. But nothing beats the boner I get at the end of the day when I slide into bed with my laptop and a block of chocolate and a cup of tea.

If I can try to earn some money from it, it will really help my self-esteem. Having kids has left me behind in careery things man, I'm floundering. I'm learning from amazing bloggers and businesswomen right here in Australia ... Nikki from Styling You, Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim, Nicole from Planning With Kids. And there's more - heaps more.

I will always be a blogger, whether I get paid or not. It's now in the fibres of my psyche. It's my Wolverine blades. It's the only thing I have ever been good at, and I'm just not used to being good at things. Are bloggers allowed to be good at what they do?

This Thursday, my friend Mrs Woog and I are going to the headquarters of Nickelodeon in Sydney, to address their entire staff on blogging and social media in Australia today. This is also a paid gig. How did this come about? Because the wife of Nickelodeon's CEO is an avid fan of Woogsworld, and told her husband about it. Because Mrs Woog writes a bloody awesome blog on the internet. She makes me laugh so hard - even on really unfunny days.

Two tired, middle-aged chicks will be talking to an audience of young glossy people in marketing. THIS IS FUNNY AND COOL. We'll take their hands gently and say, social media is safe and amazing. Trust us - we're bloggers.

You don't have to drop intensely personal stuff in your blog to get noticed, or post three times a day, or create drama to write about, or do a million e-courses. What makes a good blogger? I don't have the answer to that question. It's subjective.

But an authentic voice, a kind heart, and an enquiring Spirit are some great places to start.


Monday, 30 January 2012

How To Tweet a Tweet on Twitter.

Sound quality is strange because I was filming from twitter.

Things are always strange there.


We Are All Still Made Of Stars.

Three different people in the past week have made mention of the bum post I wrote in May last year. I think a lot about the bum that day too, and want to go back and see if he is still there. He won't be, but you never know. If I had been in a cranky mood or had my kids with me, I wouldn't have spoken to him at all. I would have walked straight past.

It reminds me to try and walk the earth with an open heart.

Here's the bum post. (Caution: swearing ahead.)


On Monday morning I drove two hours down to Sydney, thinking my man bladder could cope. I was wrong. By the time I hit Parramatta Road I was busting. In the Cross City Tunnel I was in agony, and by the time I hit Double Bay I knew I was going to wet my pants.

I haven’t wet my pants for decades, and wondered what it was going to feel like. Flicking the radio off I crouched, gasped, breathing like a mofo, over the steering wheel. Suddenly, some public toilets appeared before me like a beacon of Hope. THANK YOU GOD. Miraculously swinging my car into the car park, getting out and staggering like I was walking over hot coals, not caring who saw. Didn’t even lock my car.

When I finally let go of that wee?


Not long into it, a man shouted into the women’s toilets. "Anybody in here?"

“Um, yeah.” He was probably a cleaner. He was definitely in for a long wait. Kingdoms were lost and won in the time it took for me to complete that wee. I remember being a young girl, listening to older ladies do the longest wees and I found it so repulsive.

I am a repulsive older lady. When I finally finished, I came out of the stall and watched in the mirror as I braced myself - for the tyre iron to belt me in the face when “the cleaner” stole my purse.

It didn’t happen! I didn’t piss my pants! Best day ever already.

There was a bum sitting on a bench right next to my car. I walked past, looked at him drinking his Riesling straight from the bottle. I could tell he wanted to say something to me so I kind of stood there, waiting.

“You …” he lolled his head around, shut one eye, then finished. “You are a fucking SLUT!”

Except he didn’t just say SLUT, he said SEEELUT for added effect.

I thought it was the funniest thing. He continued.

“With yer fucken four wheel drive and yer fucken BABEEEEE in it. Fucking. Seeelut.”

I said, "Mate, I don’t have a baby in my car! How you doin’ today, anyway?”
Instantly he changed, and laughed, his face crinkled into a smile. “Hahahaha oh love! I dunno how I’m gonna get home!” I said mate – where do you live? He laughed and pointed a short distance away.

“Just over there! AHAHAHA!!”

We laughed together. It was Rose Bay – something told me he hasn’t shared a laugh with too many people today. He told me he was from Alice Springs. I said I’d never been there, but I’ve heard it’s amazing. He was so drunk he kept talking over me, but desperate for me to talk to him at the same time. I told him it was a beautiful day. I told him – “Mate! You’ve got it bloody good, sittin’ in the sun with your radio, watching the day!”

He looked up at me, fair square in the eyes. “Oh sweetheart. I’m FUCKED.”

I leant over close to him. I had so much compassion – I know exactly where he is, in that Lost and Hopeless place. I spoke directly from my Spirit to his Spirit. “Mate – we’re all fucked!

And we had the last laugh, together, standing in the ritzy park next to the fancy boats. The bemused hoity toity businessmen and the hot mums with babies steering WAY clear of us.

I finally got to my sister Linda’s house in Bondi, regaling her with stories of wee and alcoholics and Hope. I’ve thought about that beautiful bum ever since.

One day, I hope we all can see that there is no us and them. There is only us.


Friday, 27 January 2012

Somebody call out to your brother.

I heard a snippet of this song last week in the car ... some guy was singing about being brothers. I thought of my guys so I shazamed it.

The only Australia Day tradition I have is listening to Triple J's Hottest 100

Yesterday, Matt Corby's  "Brother" came in at number three - you can easily see why. This guy is twenty-two years old. The only thing more amazing than the beginning of this version of Brother .. is the end of it. First time I watched it my hands were clasped together, like in holy prayer.

How are some people just so talented? How can I bring up my boys ... those two brothers .. to feel this free?


Wednesday, 25 January 2012


Last week, I took the boys on a long walk down to the slippery rocks. Rocco jumped in puddles the whole way and I didn't rush him once. It took a LONG time.

On the way back, it started to rain. Heavily. We stopped under some trees for a bit, then I thought, who cares if we get wet? It's just water. We strode through the pouring rain, getting soaking wet in seconds. The boys screamed and I laughed.

Max ran up ahead. I was behind Rocco as he stood in the swirling torrents of water in the gutter.

Rocco is three and a half years old. Max is ten.

Back on Max's first birthday, we held a huge naming day ceremony for him, with lots of people. He was christened by a friend using water from the lake. No godparents. There were bushfires that day, and a water-bombing helicopter kept flying overhead and hovering, scooping up water next to us. It was awesome.

I've been so slack when it comes to doing those things with Rocco. Walking behind him in the rain, I had a sudden urge to just baptise him myself.

So I did. I cupped my hands and splashed water all down his head. He didn't even turn around, not even when I said "I christen you Rocco Riley with no middle name. May you live a long and happy life. Just really live it."

Now my boys are both the same.


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A Thousand of my Closest Friends.

Disclaimer: This post covers extremely delicate and sensitive information, including a very traumatic childhood experience. It may trigger some people.

Something really, really bad happened here recently. It was hard to know whether to write about it on my blog or not. When I found about it, I was so ashamed. I felt sick, and cried. Dealt with it as best I could.

I'm ready to write about it.



I had really itchy hair one day, needed somebody to check my hair. That's a mark of a true friend, isn't it? "Hey, can you see if I have head lice? Thks."

Luckily, my sister Linda was visiting that same itchy-hair day. I laughed, said mate, I need you to check my hair for nits. She laughed, then checked my hair for nits. Then we both stopped laughing because I had nits. She didn't even want to stay for a cuppa. "Nuh - mate, you've got nits."

I was in filthy, vermin-ridden shock. I actually blustered ... "But - but mate! I had so much to tell you but I can't tell you anything now BECAUSE I'VE GOT NITS."

She kissed her son goodbye. "See ya son. Try not to catch nits from Aunty Eden." She threw me an air kiss and left.

It was late afternoon, the kids were hungry, and the chemist was closed. I walked around the house and thought, what the hell do I do? Stripped my bed for starters. We just don't get nits. I was not prepared.

I had a case of headlice once before, when I was in grade six. I knew I had them. Used to excuse myself from the dinner table and go off into the other room, put my hair upside down to furiously scratch until my scalp was red and throbbing. Then calmly walk back to the table and finish my dinner. I don't know what I thought ... that they would magically go away? The back of my neck was embedded with bites, which my long hair hid.

Finally, we were in the car one day .. to get a haircut. I kind of knew that I should probably say something along the lines of, "Oh, so, I have nits." But thought it just best to stay quiet. I will never forget the horror on the hairdressers face as she came over to start cutting my hair. One look at my head and she actually walked backwards.

Those nits of 1983 caused me to have a whole week off school .... when I finally went back, EVERYBODY knew I had nits and Benjamin Williams had made up a rumour that my nits were so bad that I had to put a paper bag on my head every day to treat them. Fuck you, Ben Williams.

So ... I had no KP-24 hanging around my cupboard, the chemist was shut, and there was a very likely chance that my boys had headlice too. I remembered a rumour I'd once heard .. that hair dye kills headlice. BRILLIANCE. I had a L'Oreal hair dye in my cupboard from a recent blogging event ... THANK GOD FOR BLOGGING. As I was applying the dye, I ran the bath for Rocco. Who decides to climb up onto the wooden frame of the bath, do a nudie run, slip, and go careening off the edge. I saw it happen and just threw the hair dye up into the air where it sprayed everywhere as I ran over to Rocco who was screaming hysterically.

My towel came off so I was naked from the waist down. Just as I was wondering if headlice can live in pubic hair, Max came running in at the sound of the commotion, starts laughing at Rocco who starts screaming at Max and I yell at Max that Rocco almost broke his leg so Max starts crying but tells me to put some clothes on before he flounces off.

Hair dye was dripping from the ceiling. My head was itchy. Tell me you're jealous of my life.

The next day I bought all the paraphernalia. Shampoo, wire comb, a mirror .. the works. I told the chemist lady it was for my daughter. It was weird to be out in society, like, everybody knew. That afternoon, combing the eggs out of my own hair, crying from disgust. Why does headlice exist? Do they serve any purpose? No wonder Buddhist monks shave their heads ... they're never faced with the moral choice of killing headlice.

How utterly revolting are the eggs - and so tricky to miss. You can get every single egg but if you miss just one?

It's the one egg, to rule them all. And it hatches and you start all over again.

For days I sat on the warm wooden boards on the back deck, combing and sifting. In the end, it was kind of soothing. I was a beast. We are born, we get nits, we die.

We're just animals, after all.


Monday, 23 January 2012

Naked blogging is dead. Long live naked blogging!

My kids are watching Simpsons re-runs and I just promised them I'd take them somewhere - anywhere, if they'd let me get this written. If I don't write on my blog for more than a few days I get antsy and skittish. A lot of you know that if I don't write here for a few days, there's something wrong. A lot of you know me very well. It's strange and also cool and very weird.

I asked if anybody had any blogging questions .. everyone asked the same thing. "How do you feel about writing personal things on your blog?"

Why does anyone write such personal things onto the internet ... broadcast them for the world to see? The babyboomers are aghast, muttering behind their hands. "Have you SEEN??"

I wrote my first blog post almost five years ago. Under an assumed name, to document my IVF process. Shit happened, man. But the one defining thing for me is that when I very first started writing on the net, it was anonymously. It must have set the tone for my writing. When you're anonymous, you don't care what you say.

I didn't care what I said ... and I had a LOT to say. It wasn't your normal infertility blog, not at all. A few months into my stilted start on the internet, I read about the term "naked blogging." Oh shit. I'll have to delete everything.

See Jonathan Fields post on strip blogging HERE.

I kept writing anyway. When I was a kid my sisters friends used to call me "the shadow." I was meek and weak and let people walk all over me. (Sometimes I imagine travelling back through time to when I was young, punching and headbutting people who would squish me down. The surprise! I wouldn't be scared at all. I used to be so scared.)

Maybe my timid weakness back then is directly proportionate to the roar I have now. To have a voice was kind of empowering and I liked it. I wrote about being pregnant with Rocco in 2007 and 2008, and interspersed it with stories of my past and the shit I'd done. I had maybe a hundred readers. It was fucking cool. Sometimes I'd feel weird and not write, then get an email from some chick in Tennessee who felt weird about emailing me but did it anyway. To tell me she connected with my words so much, and thanked me, and told me to never stop writing. When people tell me their own stories back to me? That they don't have a blog and never will because they're too scared? That's why I keep writing.

I accidentally blogged pieces of flesh and bone into the computer screen. Shards of teeth and cracks of pain. Life is a bullshit seething mass of humanity! It's beautiful!

I blogged through my husbands cancer diagnosis and chemo. How he was a beige turdburger. How pissed off I was that chicks weren't perving on him in the street anymore. How badly I was struggling with a crying baby. How thirsty I was. (Very.)

Instead of shutting my blog down ... I only wrote more, in my real name. Before I wrote the Compelling post, I knew I couldn't write it and publish it. It's in a rulebook somewhere. So I wrote it and published it. Thank you, for commenting on it .. I haven't read the post since I wrote it, but I have read all of the amazing comments.

I may make some people feel uncomfortable when I cut too close to the bone. If my blog was an ecstasy tablet, I'd be peaking right now. If my blog was Eminem's career, I'm right about in the middle of the Recovery album. If my blog was a potters clay, you'd almost be able to see the finished piece but still need to iron and smooth out a lot of the kinks.

If my blog was Bill Hick's standup comedy routine, I'm when he travelled to the UK and branched out and started to realise a lot of shit.

There's a finite number of blog posts left in me. But I'm not done yet.

I joke about it a lot, but I honestly have come too far to turn back now. Even if I did delete it all, it's always going to be there. I lose out on jobs because potential employers google my name. I get odd looks when I pick my kids up from places. I've been hiding from people my entire life, scared and worried about what they think. I'm sick of it. I used to keep my recovery people separate from my school mum people separate from my online people.

Now, everybody knows everything.

I still am the shadow. I only care what two people think of me ... those two people are having a punch-up on the couch right now and Smithers is releasing the hounds.

I know who I am because I wrote it here. The strangest thing.

Do you care what people think? What's your favourite blogging style? And who's your favourite Simpson?

EDITED TO ADD: I do care about what people think. I just don't let what I think they think control my life. And I try to be appropriate in my blog posting. Knowing what's ok to say and what's not is kind of important. I don't like this post at all now and wish I'd written something cute about my kids instead. With pictures, and funny ditties.


Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

                    artwork by Meek

I believe in small, symbolic revolutionary acts.

Today I was pushing my son in his stroller and saw an old guy coming towards us. I decided to smile at him, you know how the gurus say to smile at a stranger and you both feel good? Well as this dude walked past, I looked at his face, tried to catch his eye but I couldn't catch his eye. Both his eyes were too busy staring at my boobs. It happens ... I'm a female and he has a penis. It startled him when I laughed.

I'll try to lift a strangers spirits again another day. I won't lose hope.

I've stopped numbing myself and started to feel my goddamn pain again. It hurts. It's glorious. I'M ALIVE.

The only thing more important than standing up for yourself is standing up for other people who can't stand up at all. Once I even got arrested for it.

Breaking free from consumerism, attitudes, and expectations is key. Especially routines. Take your kids out for lazy fish and chips at the lake and let them get muddy and stay up late. It's so cool. So not boring.

I turned off the satellite navigation system in my car and was like Luke Skywalker using the force. Took a wrong turn into Chinatown ... it was so vivid and colourful and I vowed to go back for the Chinese New Year Parade next week.

Years ago my counsellor in group therapy listened to me harp on for twenty minutes non-stop. He didn't acknowledge anything that I told him ... just ordered me out into my backyard to plant my feet in the dirt. The whole group laughed and I hated them. It was to teach me to literally get grounded.

It worked.

You either feel the revolution burning in you, or you have a vague unease of something more. It will not be televised, not be televised, not be televised.

Do you want to know a secret? The most revolutionary act you could ever do, in this day and age?

Is tell the truth.

Pass it on.


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Shit: Bloggers say it, toddlers do it.

At first, I didn't understand why my sister Linda text me a picture of her drinking a delicious coffee from Harry's in Bondi.

                                ... until I noticed the penis.

I love my sisters. We call each other bro, discipline each others kids, laugh the laugh of a thousand maniacs. Last night I cooked them both chicken schnitzel for dinner. We laughed the whole way through, right up until 10.30pm when we tried to take a decent photo of the the three of us together. It was impossible.

I kept them up til midnight before they both flaked ... a personal best. Today we went to the beach. I was standing right on the edge of the water, watching Rocco, turned around .. and saw him under the water. Ripped my skirt off I wailed ROCCO and went running in ... Leigh's like, mate he's right there, he's fine.

I collapsed, shaky and sick with adrenaline. Still with no skirt on.

When we came back, Rocco ended up shitting throughout the entirety of Leigh's house. I tried to back-track and see where ground zero was - like an episode of toddler CSI. It was not possible. There was poo under the dining room table, poo all over the floorboards of my nieces bedroom, smears over both rugs. Trails of poo. Nuggets and turds everywhere. I ran to Leigh, innocently filling up the kiddy pool.

"Mate you will never know what happened after I clean it I promise. Now where is your mop and can I throw out this t-shirt?"

Rocco had made attempts to clean up said poo, and grabbed a shirt of his cousins which was embedded with .... fibres. Seemingly from a horse.

Leigh gagged. On my way to the laundry I accidentally smeared a bit on their bbq cover too. It was like, Hansel and Gretel for scatlovers. The whole house stank. I mopped everywhere with vinegar. I kept apologising.

I'll bring Rocco back for a sleepover when he's five. I love my children but will never get over the shock of cleaning up other human beings bodily fluids. One of the rugs is so bad ... it's sitting out the front of her house, going to the tip tomorrow. I will be buying her a new one.

Vale, Ikea rug.

Halfway through the clean-up I was so enraged, I went outside and leant down to Rocco and almost popped an embolism. "MUMMY DOES NOT LIKE CLEANING UP YOUR POO! PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS AGAIN!" I looked up to see the new French guy right there, Leighs new tenant. She was shaking with laughter. I told her I could not say hello right now and walked off .. to a professional skype call. With poo-fingers.


I have other sisters too .... my bloggy sisters. Please meet Beth from BabyMac, Nikki from Styling You, Mrs Woog from Woogsworld, Bianca from Bigwords, and Glow from Glowless.

I much prefer saying shit than cleaning it up.


Friday, 13 January 2012


"Last year I relapsed after ten years. Wait - Eden, don't say that, it's too much information. What will people think? Write something else - anything else."- My brain, ten minutes ago.

You know what's worse than wanting to kill yourself? Wanting to kill yourself but you know you're not going to. That shit SUCKS, because you know you're trapped here. On earth.

I first tried to kill myself when I was seven years old .. left a suicide note on my bed, climbed inside my cupboard and waited to be suffocated. My sister happened to walk past my bedroom at that time, came in and read the note. She dobbed on me so I got out.

I don't know why I wanted to kill myself at the age of seven. That's a pretty full-on thing. Obviously I had issues. Pick a card, any card.

A few years ago I was sitting late into the night with that same sister, and she said, "Remember you tried to kill yourself that time when you were a kid?" I was shocked that she remembered. I've never forgotten it, all these years .. but to hear somebody else talk of it somehow made it real.

My real dads name was Bill and he was from Glasgow and he had red hair. He played tennis and acted like Roger Moore. My stepfather of eleven years was from Manchester in England. His mother used to keep him and his brother home from school and get them to break into the neighbours houses to steal things. We shared a love for horror films.

They are both dead now, and I have a category in this blog called "dead dads." It's a very flippant category, isn't it? I'm very black and wry, aren't I?

Recently I bumped into a very dear, old family friend in the street. She looked me in the eyes and told me I need to get over my childhood.

I'm trying. It was a trying childhood. My whole life to this point appears to be some kind of series of comedic, large events. My theory is that before I was born, I was up on some cloud going, "Ok ok I got it. Make this next life a DOOZY, like, so many challenges. Let's see if I can remember how to get through them."


Then? I thought I was home free. I was all settled down, married with my beautiful son and another on the way .. and the moment my husband got those goddamn fucking cancerous  tumours  in May 2008? Every single bet was off, from every single thing in my entire life. How much can a koala bear? HA.

I went nuts. But pretended I didn't. Until I couldn't pretend anymore and relapsed the relapse of a thousand dead junkies and here I am, back again. The soles of my feet are charred from running out of hell. What does that mean? You wouldn't want to know what that means. I tell you something right now .. the past while has been hard. Like, bad.

I write posts here that are freaky and scary, then I wake up and think you IDIOT why do you keep writing your crazy on the internet? PEOPLE WILL KNOW.

Guess what? There is no internet.

There's no internet, no twitter, no blogging, no infernal facebook. All there really is, is people telling their stories. Like cavemen.

You know what I did today? Took my boys to the public swimming pool, came home, and weeded a whole veggie garden. Then I made fresh coriander pesto chicken pasta. Then Donna Hay pancakes from scratch. I like to bake! I put ice cream on those pancakes and walked out to my back deck. The sky was pink and my ice cream melted and I was deeply ok.

I can do normal things too. I can be just like you.

Lately I feel a strength that has not been there for a long time .. maybe ever. I can be quite hugely powerful, if I give myself the chance. So can you .. you! The people who read here but will never say anything. That's cool. Thank you for the good thoughts ... I felt them. I feel you.

My two sisters know I will be ok and so do I. They tell me they are not worried about me anymore, that when I go dark and deep, it's cool.

It's cool.

I had to give up being a stepmother, for a while. Too hard. I'm married to a man who would die for his kids - all of them. He has a good heart. So do I. Life is messy.

My stepdaughter is the most amazing firecracker of a girl .. she gives me faith in the future. She reads my blog. If I was allowed to blog about her I would write a beautifully-written story about how creative and talented and amazing I really think she is. That watching the solid love between a father and daughter kind of crumbled me, a bit. (A lot.) That it is all my stuff, all mine.

I told myself I do not miss what I never had. It's a lie.

"Get over your childhood Eden." "I'm trying."

This is the post I could not not write. So annoying. It's dedicated to Cherie's people:

"I'm just a tiny little nurse, in a metropolitan city of Australia, who reads your blog to my patients every Friday.

And you mean something to me. And you mean something to my patients. And that matters.

So maybe you have 1 or 2 haters? Meh. You have 9 people who request a dose of Eden over any other drug that's prescribed to them.

Every. Single. Friday. And it's been this way for a long time now :) "

That right there is the power of a "blog."


To rebuild some semblance of  credibility, I will be blogging about blogging for most of next week. Do you have any questions about blogging? Or the fact that these days I do not take drugs ... I AM THE DRUG. (insert lolcat here).


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

You have the right to remain ridiculous.

" ... Wild maverick outcasts like us who cannot be tamed."
- from Happy Feet II

Last week I caught myself lining up some potatoes that had grown shoots so I could choose the one that had the best-looking penis.

And I thought ... really, Eden? You're doing this?

Damn straight. I do ridiculous things all of the time, I have to. To balance out the dark. Poking fun of ourselves and the absurdity of life is a right.

I dance in public, talk to strangers, rap to my stepson and all of his friends until they clear the room, allow myself to look like the biggest tool ever. And I just don't care. It's taken years to get to this point ... you know how you see self-conscious, stricken teens? Remember being so painfully shy that you almost died? From the shy? I will never be like that again. I love being a tool.

The other day as part of Fat Mum Slims January photo challenge, the prompt was "daily routine." I posted this.

           It's hard outside for a pimp.

Max took the photo without even batting an eyelid .. he's used to it. My sisters kid Tommy was here, he was looking at me like .. are you serious?

"Um, Aunty Eden? But why?" I told him, just to be silly and to make people smile. He was down with that, and asked if he could have a go of the shaving cream. Then Max asked. I let them, told them one day they will be men, shaving every day. I gave them a few pointers for when they do.

           Best mates .. Tommy is older by three months.

One day they will look back and realise their first-ever shaving tips were given to them by a 39-year old woman.

Speaking of which ... today is the 11th. For almost a year now I've done something big or kick-arse or meaningful on the 11th of each month. And I actually stuck with it. When I turn 40 in March I'll recap all of them. (40 HOLD ME.)

This month is dedicated to giving yourself permission to be a complete nutbag. Like, printing these up and sticking them all over town.

These posters were pretty lame. They were just to brighten somebody's day. The next ones I do will be all political and even more culture jammy and make people think. (Seriously though Philip .. put your jazz hand to a phone and call me!)

Lastly, here's a one-minute video of what happens when my ten year old dares me to do something. I'm screaming in abject terror because I was abjectly terrified.

Skin your knees. Nothing makes a goddamn bit of sense and some truths are too heavy to bear ... you may as well have a bit of fun on the way.


Monday, 9 January 2012

God is a Blogger.

God has been tapping the keys of her Royal Standard No. 5 typewriter since before they even existed. She's cool like that.

She's a blogger. Each day she writes a new post, sitting perched on the Appalachians, admiring her handiwork as the sun breaks into her sky.

Sometimes she lights a Drum, hand-rolled just like she hand-rolled that one snake to put in Eden, back in the beginning.

There's no such thing as coincidence and she has too many secrets. So she hides them in places we'll never find .. our own hearts. She never wonders how it's all going to end because she's already there.

She writes of love, death, and herself. The three true themes. You can see her font in fields and trainlines, waterfalls, the notes of a symphony, the tightness of a newborns fist.

God is a blogger. Her only inspiration is from the people who've given up all hope but keep going anyway.


Friday, 6 January 2012

Guess who's back?

                     Straight from a bacchanalia festival!

We ate cake and candy canes. My hugs were shrugged off but I kept giving them anyway, then we all went for a drive to get chocolate.

Straight after that photo was taken, a huge punch-up occurred after Max pushed Rocco off the couch and Rocco came back swinging. I shouted and sent them both to their bedrooms. There's six years difference between them, I never actually EXPECTED the fighting. It's the one thing above all that just gets under my skin, so I'm always going in with my whistle calling time-outs, trying to work out who done wrong by who. When they are teenagers I'll be calmly sipping tea and handing them boxing gloves, telling them to take it outside.

Rocco was all ... are you mum or are you Eden? Max was all ... I'm bored, when can I have a sleepover?

And I was all ... my babies that grew in my tummy! *smother*

This morning, Rocco asked to please put Neminem on. I want chicka chicka Slam Shady. So I put it on and he went back into his bedroom, comes out ..  I want Not Efren. He rocks out to that for a while .. comes back.

"And now, I want Sorry Mama."

He is three years old. I don't know whether to be appalled or proud of my mad parenting skillz.


So - my last post. Doozy! I'm slowly replying to everyone who commented .. thank you. I realised from your words that most of the time, the biggest haters live in our own heads. Fuck that.


Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The force of what's attacking us.

"Now let these words be like a switchblade to a haters rib cage
And let it be known that from this day forward ..
I wanna just say thanks cause your hate is what gave me the strength
So let em bic's raise cause I came with 5'9 but I feel like I'm 6'8."

- Eminem "Lighters"

If you are a person who continually and deliberately goes out of your way to make somebody feel bad .. you're an arsehole. Simple as that. I picture you sitting at your computer, opening up your browser, clicking around and spewing your venom out in the dark. Quickly, like a snake.

In 1991, U2 took themselves away to Berlin when the wall was falling, to reinvent and reconstruct themselves. They were hated on by the press, critics and journalists. For being "self-important and insufferable." It was really hard and they almost split up. Self-doubt was huge .. they kept going anyway. Even though all their sounds and songs were wrong and it was freezing and there was no magic.

The breakthrough point came during the first workings of Mysterious Ways. The two extra, unused bridges at the end were used as a whole new song ... One.

It's in our nature to want to create. It feels good. Beautiful meals, poems, a garden, a song ... a blog post. We make something. Sometimes we make something and even share it with other people. Sometimes people respond in kind, a shared humanity opens up, and we feel connected.

Sometimes people take a huge dump on it. People will always do this because people will always be arseholes. I'm not talking about critical thinking or opposing views here .. I'm talking out-and-out vicious and hurtful behaviour. Thing most worrisome about hate websites? The sheer volume of commenters on them. I've been around the net since before Chickenliver came and abruptly left. I've seen attacks, stone-throwing, suicide threats, closed-down blogs. Anonymous twitter accounts trawl the net every day, looking for blogs and people to publicly shame.

I have a thick skin ... manskin. I know that my personal memoir genre of blogging is looked at as pretty strange by members of the general public. But I keep doing it anyway, for lots of reasons.

Know this ... every single word I ever write on my blog, I am accountable for. I've said it and I own it. Nobody can use my own words against me. I wrote them! And I'm being very deliberate when I choose them. I'm not going to stop the anons and haters who try to get in via email and hurt me, especially as they appear to be getting more personal.

I just want to thank you, haters. For feeding me fuel .. making me push past and be ballsier than ever before. How dare I write a website that people read? How dare I be honest and open? Actually, how dare I not? My light burns bright. What am I supposed to do .. run inside my bedroom and hide it under my bed and plug the doors, to not offend people who limply live their lives in their limp jaded houses?

You can gnash your teeth, gnashers, but you can never hate me as much as I hate me. I win at hate - and if I *was* a hater, that's just another thing I would be better at than you. I'd aim for the fuckin' jugular. Your words make me better and stronger than before, and I sincerely thank you.

When the band finally made Achtung Baby and nobody knew yet and they were STILL getting dissed in the press? Bono said:

"Let's use the force of what's attacking us .. to defend ourselves."

And he swaggered out there in his rockstar jeans and fly sunglasses and filthy attitude. To this day, people hate Bono and call him a megalomaniac arsehole. It's hilarious - he's not, and he know's he's not. And now he's past the point of caring. He went back out there but couldn't do it without armor.

"If I was going to expose my heart, I needed the right kind of armor. To protect the rest of me."

My armor is cowboy boots, the Buddha on my back deck, the knowledge that I stay clean in this godforsaken world. And the power I feel in knowing that although I'm nowhere near perfect, I still have integrity.

It's sad to see so many people scared or worried about what people will think or say, if they dare to start creating something. What if you were about to create the next masterpiece? Even just a masterpiece that five people see? Do it despite the haters .. hell, do it to spite the haters.

We need a call of arms to the risk-takers and the seekers of truth. To keep going, past the gnashing naysayers of doom. To look at a blinking cursor and think, "You know what? Imma write my heart today."

Lastly, if you are one of the few people hatin' on me .. and you wake up in the middle of the night with a distinct sense of somebody sitting next to you in bed, don't worry. It's just my psyche, stroking your hair.



Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Oh. So quiet.

The past few days at home by myself have been shocking. I've stayed up late, slept in, bumbled around, and done things completely on my own. I'm me again. It's fucking outrageous and I've needed it so much.

When I wake up in the mornings I freak out .. which is nothing unusual, I always freak out. Usually along the lines of "Ah no .. ANOTHER day? Didn't we just have one?" That's just one of my Truths in this lifetime .. I don't like life or the world very much, and have thought about cutting it short many times, but I'd miss the ending. It's like a marathon.

You know what I do like? My sons. I've walked into their bedrooms just to smell their smells. I'm going to be a better mother this year. Last year I dropped the ball. I want to look into their faces often and mean it. Listen to them more, read lots of books, help Max with his maths, teach Rocco how to do everything. (Because that's all he ever wants to do.)  No more short-tempered swat them away like flies. Oprah once said the best thing you can give a kid - any kid, doesn't have to be your own .. is to light your face up when they walk into the room.

I need to honour myself, before I can honour my children. Never realised that before.

I just want to be a strivey striver, man. And never stop.

It was so much easier taking the Christmas tree down instead of putting it up. For the first time ever I wrapped the lights around my arm like a lasso and packed them away carefully so they aren't a tangled mess next time. You know, like normal people probably do.

Yesterday I went to a women's recovery meeting and I announced it to be the best meeting I have ever been to in my life. We all shared about being alone, creativity, and giving yourself the space you need in the world. That meeting has saved my life for the past few months.

I felt jiggly and decided to go for a quick walk around the block, so I plugged my ears with Eminem and walked. My neighbours stood at the end of the road talking, and I felt viciously self-conscious. Sometimes I can't talk to people and I don't know why. I turned off early to avoid them and ended up walking all the way to the lake. A few times I even broke out into a run, and after I got my breath back and my stitch subsided, I felt victorious.

That walk ended up being two hours long. I listened to the entire Recovery album, then Eddie Vedder, Adele singing the Cure .. suddenly I HAD to hear Nick Cave's Ship Song immediately. Downloaded it straight from iTunes as I walked past the metal bridge. Because we live in the future now.

It's such a beautiful goddamn song. I cried. I'm lonely. It's not killing me. I'm completely ok.

When I got home I cleared out clutter and crap for hours. Both boys bedrooms are now ready for when they get home. I sculled Red Bull and ate chocolate and watched the new U2 documentary From the Sky Down. I felt like I'd cheated on Bono with Eminem lately, but it's cool. There's enough room in my heart for both of them. Fascinating that Em is only just now realising spiritual shit but Bono has been on that path for ages.

I opened the window near the kitchen sink, to free a trapped black butterfly. It didn't notice that it could just fly off at any time.

When I was in my first rehab I did some family of origin work about the roles we play. Even as adults, we can use survival mechanisms that we don't need anymore. It's like we're soldiers stuck in some Korean jungle, still fighting long after the war is over.

I blew a gentle breeze on that black butterfly, and you know what he did? Swear to God, he flew straight outside and started soaring and divebombing past the window, back and forth. Like an eagle. I think I saw a teeny fistpump, before he flew away.

I cried for a lot of reasons. It's good to notice things again.


Sunday, 1 January 2012

Midnight is where the year begins.

Two photos of things that got me through the past year:

These boys. Oh my god, these boys. They force me to get honest and grounded and just keep trying.

Mrs Woog and I, blurry and triumphant on the dancefloor at Sparklecorn. Bring on NYC.

Had waaaay too much time on my hands this New Years Eve. Here is the video to prove it. It's quite offensive in parts. Like me.

Happy brave new year. It's gonna be a bloody ripper.

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