Thursday, 12 January 2017

How The Murderous Downstairs Neighbour Made Me Re-evauate My Life.


We're all recovering from something .. you even need to recover from a hangnail. A death. A relationship, a bad meal, abuse, poor bedsheet linen thread counts, loss, zigging when we should have zagged.

Recently the incredibly unbalanced and scary downstairs tenant finally got evicted. He yelled at the real estate people that he was "GOING TO MURDER EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU." Real charmer of a guy - a woman hater, though he didn't mind me because I was very cordial and pleasant to him. He left behind the stench of a thousand hobos, his grubby couch, and a tattered Donald Trump newspaper article stuck to his wall with the headline "Grab them in the pussy." Unfortunately, he also left behind a whole extended family of mice. Who had nothing to gnaw and eat anymore so they scattered and migrated throughout the entire apartment block. One night I'm sitting in my living room and see this tiny face with beady eyes peering out at me from underneath my bookcases full of books that I haven't read.

I can barely tolerate rodents even though when I was a kid I had a pure white mouse as a pet who I named "Whiskers." Naturally Rocco subsequently named our new mouse "Kevin" and we all know that once you name an animal it makes it harder to kill it. 6am one morning Kevin woke me up by crinkling the half-eaten packet of corn chips I'd left next to my bed and when I looked over he's just there, munching away until I said "DUDE!' He scurried off. So I bought mouse traps for 99c. Baited them with peanut butter like the people of Facebook told me to. No dice. I baited them with BBQ Chazoos from Aldi but he just ate the Chazoos. Rocco kept telling me that Kevin *knew* we were trying to kill him, that Kevin was smart. I didn't want to kill Kevin! I wanted to catch him and let him go at Echo Point after declaring him the Winner of the 2017 First Annual Mouse Hunger Games. But Kevin grew bold. And bigger, from all the food.

So we go to the hardware store - the humane catch-and release traps were $59 - no. I'm not even shitting you when I say that the mousetraps on the market are unbelievable. There's electric shock traps, guillotine traps, traps that catch 30 mice at a time ugh. Finally we decided on this one:

                                          The Starship Enterprise of Mousetraps

In the end, Kevin outsmarted us at every turn and I'm sorry to say I've resorted to Ratsak. I KNOW it's a horrible way to die and I felt horrible leaving those pellets in a ceramic green dish underneath my bookcase. The pellets have all been eaten and I imagine Kevin inviting all of his friends up to my flat to share in all of the delicious poisonous Hor D'oeuvres. Or as we like to say in our family "Hoovers Doovers."

No sighting of Kevin since but I had to clean out my entire bookcase, office, paperwork, photos, diaries, ALL OF THE OBJECTS that have been following me around for many years. Going through photos taken over the past fifteen years was as painful and excruciating as it sounds. All the happy days, baby photos, pics of our houses being built, holidays. It took all day, I cried (a lot) .. you know at the end of a big cleanup you just go into a mode where you start chucking everything out? I threw out things I've been holding onto for my whole life. Entire diaries written throughout my twenties, my 80's jewellery boxes. Tore up a lot of photos because fuck some of those memories ... I even threw out my sons first teeth because would they want their first teeth one day? I don't really think so. You ever gone through your stuff and wondered if you got hit by a bus tomorrow and people had to go through your stuff they'd just chuck most of it out anyway because they wouldn't know the significant sentimental value of your things? I am a sentimental person but I need to move on from "the wreckage of our past" as they say. Filled up two huge otto bins of my stuff, all because of Kevin because he'd been crawling over everything and it revolted me.

One thing I found was a letter I wrote to my brother Cam dated June 1999. He was leaving home to go work in my cousins ski-shop in Cooma. Since Cam's death I've often thought about this letter (sentimental ugh) and never knew I kept a copy. Here's some excerpts:




Yeah. The letter went in the bin. It was an interesting read but I didn't even cry over it, for a lot of reasons. Although I am angry at him, this isn't the "anger" stage of grief (I believe there are no clear stages to grief.) There's a sense of clarity about a lot of things that happened before and after Cam took his own life. Hindsight, perspective, blame. Bad judgement calls. Carnage.

ANYWAY. I cleaned out most of the haunting remnants of my past and when we clear shit out like that it makes way for new things to enter and begin. Which is what's happening. And it's good, positive, rich stuff. So thank you to the murderous downstairs neighbour and a huge sorry to Kevin but also a thank you to that mouse for helping me really see that the past is in the past and there's no changing it unless we invent a time machine. I chucked out vases that reminded me of bunches of flowers long decomposed, love letters that will never be written again, shoes that reminded me of where I've walked, SO MANY irrelevant photos. I threw out an entire box of my stuff that I didn't even sort through. Living dangerously but I haven't touched that box in years. Obviously I didn't need what was in that last box.

Or did I? Because finally when bin night came around I pictured all of my things waiting there out on the kerb. Considered creeping outside in the dark and rummaging through the boxes to make sure I really didn't want whatever was in the boxes. But I didn't, and the next day when I heard the creaky garbage truck I thought well, there goes that. It felt good, and like that guy with the awful mis-spelt neck tattoo that regularly makes the rounds on the internet I have "No Ragrets."

New year, new day, new possibilities, new perspectives of looking at things, new parenting, new writing, new friends, new boundaries, new me, new everything. Everything. Except Aldi BBQ Chazoos. I love that shit.



The lyrics from this song have been stuck in my head since the clean-up. Women like Madonna also have no ragrets.

Monday, 9 January 2017

There Is No Failure Here Sweetheart ... Just When You Quit.

Just quickly wanted to say I tried to set my intentions for this year and failed. And I got all this other bunch of stuff going on but if I wrote about it I'd scare the shit out of people because it's literally terrifying and I've done enough damage. Pinpointing the exact moment in your life where you completely and irretrievably fucked things up is as awesome as it sounds! No claret here, just clarity. The biggest fucking christmas miracle since Jesus was me getting through this holiday period, period.

In other news that was a lie up there, I did set my intentions, very calmly out loud but I don't think people are supposed to set intentions the way I intended mine? The fuck am I to say - everything is horrendous and nothing is good? Boring. The other night I walked outside really late and sat down on the stoop, listlessly scanning instagram. The beautiful swirly soul Lou who works for World Vision tagged me in a photo and I was innerested. She and I were in Uganda together and saw some stuff. Then we went on a safari together to help decompress from the stuff we saw. So right at the eleventh hour - literally, five seconds to midnight when all real miracles occur, Lou made me look at this:


It hit me all at once. Haven't spoken or emailed Lou for so long, she hasn't much idea about where I'm at but there it was right at the right time. Just when you give up on the Universe, it displays itself back again tenfold. It's possible the Universe isn't ever allowed to give up on us and this year so far I've been much crying, gold for Australia for the salt water tears. I AM SO SICK OF CRYING. And feeling. Also eating is difficult at this point too but my youngest son has been here with me for a long time now which makes me cook and clean and be motherly and keep giving love, keep giving and reassuring and answering his questions and frank statements. Like my mum would say, no flies on him. The other night I told him he was psychic and straight away he sat up and said "NO I'M THE BIG GUY" because he thought I said "sidekick." He calls his Adams apple his "applesauce." I'll never correct him until one day he'll find out of his own accord and come to me asking why I didn't tell him the proper name. I can't - too cute.

So I guess I'm just fucking owning it. All of it.


The other night AGAIN I was sitting in the same spot outside and realised, nuh. Can't even. Which is putting it mildly. Instagram saved me for the *second* time hey how odd is it that the most simple little things can save you one increment at a time. Pink roses and peonies .. camellias. Pasta bake. A text in time saves nine. One - just the one kind word. One sentence from one person in one meeting.

Not to put anybody off or anything but it was a U2 song that played through my telephonic communication device which wafted through the air at midnight while my son slept soundly telling me the next day all about his dreams. I've always asked my children what they dream about - it's important.

I'd completely forgotten about Miracle Drug. The lyrics don't mention once what the miracle drug actually is but obviously they have to be talking about love - the most powerful drug of all.

And the exact moment of the exact bit that came on right then was "There is no failure here sweetheart - just when you quit."

Wonder how many lives music and lyrics and words have saved? Probably millions. Or as Rocco would say .... QUADRILLIONS. I watched the clip in full where Bono bangs on about falling in love with Chicago back when he was a young Irish lad of 24 years sitting in a hotel room, discovering the music of Miles Davis for the first time. I keep forgetting that we all need to draw our strength from somewhere - anywhere, especially just when we quit. The extraordinary thing apart from me remembering and singing every single lyric of this song was when Bono paused and spoke. "We don't really look back that much in our music. We don't look at the past. The best bits of the past .. we try to bring with us. And they're our songs - our best songs. The best bits of the past and we'll take them with us. Because we're interested, and we're excited and we have faith .. in the future. Because that's where we're headed."

Currently trapped in my past - it's a dangerous place to be trapped in because it's not the past anymore and replaying all the bad shit will not get me anywhere. Hard to look forward to the future when it feels like I don't have one but as my current least-favourite inspirational quote goes: "It is what it is" I mean obviously it is what it is because if it wasn't it wouldn't be what it was?

I think too much.

Shout-out to music for saving quadrillions.




"I want to trip inside your head 
Spend the day there 
To hear the things you haven't said 
And see what you might see  
I want to hear you when you call 
Do you feel anything at all? 

I want to see your thoughts take shape 
and walk right out 
Freedom has a scent 
Like the top of a newborn baby's head 
The songs are in your eyes 
I see them when you smile I've seen enough, 
I'm not giving up 
on a miracle drug 

Of science and the human heart 
There is no limit 
There is no failure here, sweetheart 
Just when you quit 
I am you and you are mine 
Love makes nonsense of space and time, 
will disappear 
Love and logic keep us clear 
Reason is on our side, love 

The songs are in your eyes 
I see them when you smile 
I've had enough of romantic love 
I'd give it up, yeah, I'd give it up 
For a miracle, a miracle drug, a miracle drug 

God, I need your help tonight 
Beneath the noise, 
below the din I hear your voice, 
it's whispering 
In science and in medicine 
"I was a stranger, you took me in" 
The songs are in your eyes 
I see them when you smile 
I've had enough of romantic love 
Yeah, I'd give it up, yeah, I'd give it up 
For a miracle, miracle drug 
Miracle, miracle drug."


Thursday, 29 December 2016

At This Point I Should Write A Country And Western Song Titled "Waiting For The Meds To Kick In."

Hey I keep writing facebook status updates about where I'm at but for those of you who don't do facebook (good on you, by the way .. I call it "the necessary evil) then you don't read what I say there so here's my Facebook status update of this morning. But before I copy and paste it I need to tell you something:

This year I had to put a PayPal button on this site, whereupon I promised to write a memoir of sorts. I started, and it was going ok, and THANK YOU for paying my rent when I couldn't pay my rent. I'm not dissing anybody, but I couldn't pay my rent and was terrified. But then my PayPal account got subpoenaed to prove my "earnings" and I shat myself because the money was paying my rent so I took the PayPal button off, thanked as many people as I could via email addresses, and then unpublished all posts about my memoir of sorts because seriously. Then I started selling random shit around my house to pay my rent, then I depended on friends to help pay my rent, and I can't get a flatmate to help pay my rent because Rocco needs his own bedroom here to know that he has his own bedroom here. I thought about setting up an Air'BnB here but I can't because I'm renting and I'd get into trouble. It's terrifying not knowing how to pay your rent fyi but somehow I've managed to and things are looking up. So to all the people I promised the memoir of sorts to ... patience is a virtue and if I die with a half-written memoir inside me then somebody else would have to finish it and just make shit up but nobody can make the shit up because the shit is so outrageous and awful and funny and dark that you just can't make that shit up.

I've not written many entries here this year sometimes because I have nothing to say but mostly because I have everything to say and had to pull out, we've hit an artery. Fascinating to go back and read some of my old entries from years ago CLEARLY WRITTEN WHILE BEING INCREDIBLY MENTALLY UNWELL but not knowing it at the time. Frankly it was some of my best work. Also cringeworthy and embarrassing. To write here like I did before would be proof of .. craziness. And I'm so very tired of being the crazy one but I always have been, even while fully-functioning.

I have more readers here than ever before, I've never gone out of my way to attract readers, I've never asked to be internet-known, and I definitely have never blogged for comments. All I've done is cut pieces of my bloodied heart out and given them away freely. Doctors will tell you hearts don't grow back but they do. I've changed, I've evolved, gotten better, gotten worse, gotten worn down lied about rumours galore blah. To many people's surprise, I am still here on planet earth breathing oxygen so maybe don't kick a person when they're down because they might get back up again and make you feel - surprised? Bad? Scared?

I got my last post to publish here tomorrow, the last entry here for the year. Next week will be 2017. Rocco told me that humans won't exist for much longer "because of what we're doing to the planet." Rocco tells me a lot of things. Listen to kids, they're extraordinary. Told him the other day that I don't want him to grow up and please let me be in his life when he's a man. His reply: "I promise I won't grow up if you play a game of Cluedo with me right now."

Life is a game of Cluedo WHO IS RESPONSIBLE AND WHAT ARE THE RULES.

Here's what I wrote on facebook today. Maybe the most fucked among us are the most intelligent because a lot of the time we see how hard life and the world truly is? Maybe I'm wrong. There's no instagram filter for reality. But Rocco if you ever read this in the future - then humans still existed for a while, sweet guy! And I need to give you more hope for the future which I can do now because I have more hope for the future.

I just opened facebook to see who was dead today. This morning I literally leapt out of bed to take my meds. My brain tells me I'm a piece of shit constantly but these days I reprogram my synapses. Brains are apparently computers that need a constant cowboy reboot. An article this morning says: "Some of Carrie Fishers friends doubted she was ever truly clean and sober because she got doctors prescriptions to treat her bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety." OH REALLY TELL ME MORE ABOUT THINGS YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. My brain health bonanzas have affected every single person in my life. Negatively. So here's my face right now waiting for the Lamotrigine to kick in but you can't see the demons because they hide and trick. Undiagnosed and unknown stuff led my brother to suicide but it was the stigma that pushed him over the edge. I call for the hashtag #breakingbadstigma .. if you're inclined, post a pic below of your face or big toe using this hashtag. Carrie Fisher has left very big shoes to fill. The last bastion of all the awareness about mental health and suicidality is the nitty gritty of the grit of saying how we feel. I feel shit and messed up and misunderstood but my mum gets it now, so does my uncle, my aunt, some cousins, my good friends. Mental bonanzas are not a moral failing - but piling shit upon those who deal with them daily? That's a moral failing.




Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Which Bit?

Most people appear to be naming 2016 as the worst year ever but I don't actually think so. Well I guess I do because for the past five years at least I've been calling that year the worst year ever but I don't want to do that anymore. A year's just a year .. the new year is approaching but every morning of all days is a new year really. A lot of people died this year, not just famous incredible musicians who reached the heights of their talent .. a whole bunch of other people died too. Millions? Maybe, who knows the exact number. People die - it's a thing. Death is coming to us all, eventually inevitably.

People die with lives half-lived, half-finished, not ready, it's not fair. People die with a mountain of dirty clothes that'll never be washed, cups of tea undrank, photos not put in albums, cheesy crust pizzas uneaten, chess games half-played. People die with amends to make that'll never be made, relationships soured, browser histories undeleted. People die with things they still wanted to do, places they still wanted to see, children they'll never get to watch grow into adults. Life can be unfair, death can be more unfair, then there's all the unfair stuff in-between. A LOT of people die from boats sinking while fleeing wartorn countries they never wanted to flee but had no choice.

I heard a story this year about a woman and her adult daughter walking into a cafe loudly arguing. Sat down and ordered their lunch, their lunch was served but never eaten because the mother collapsed and had a heart attack and died on the fucking floor of the cafe with the daughter laying down on the floor next to her mum screaming, "No, mum I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry! Don't die!" But the mother died in spite of the paramedics efforts. That's shit. I don't want to die while I still have unresolved conflict and bitterness with people because the end is the end, no time for forgiveness or grace or stuff we needed to say while we can still say it. People are going to die all around the world today, casually picking up car keys, quick pecks on cheeks, cars ending in mangled messes.

As for the global unrest .. hasn't the globe always been unrested or are we just more aware of it now? The globe needs rest, the warmongers need to stop, people in power need to come back from the Dark Side of the Force. It's said true charismatic leaders only come round once in a hundred years (JFK, Martin Luther, Gandhi, et al.) The hell will happen to earth next, with ignorant people in control? Dunno ... but like I said to the Australian CEO of Greenpeace, we have to start taking our beliefs to the streets and risk getting arrested for the things we passionately believe in and KNOW are wrong. Wise women crones started the whole Standing Rock DAPL protest movement and a whole bunch of people are still there in freezing snow conditions, refusing to budge like the Zax. The pipeline stopped being built 48 hours after US Army veterans arrived and joined the protest because governments shit themselves when the military get involved in protests against the government why? BECAUSE THEY KNOW THE POWER OF PEOPLE POWER. In democratic countries, WE'RE the bosses of the government .. they are our employees meant to do the right thing. Not everybody does the right thing. Nobody does the right thing all the time it's impossible but at any time we can choose to do things differently. (Choose Life, oh George!)

So, I'm determined to think my way out of negative shit, keep going forward, and not die with things unsaid, unfelt, unwritten inside of me. Because THAT'S a big shame. This christmas two days ago was the actual worst christmas of my entire life, even worse than the christmas of 1988 in a shit holiday house with a literal shit septic tank, all of us in shock after the suicide of my stepdad two weeks beforehand. Things were heated and just yuck, and there was a broken little 8-year old boy pining for the loss of his dad. Pretty sure us four siblings went out into the water of the beach together for ages, laughing like maniacs over stupid stuff. Pretty sure that happened, can't remember. I've a habit of re-writing history according to my version of how things went down. Maybe we all do.

I yelled at my grandmother once in the middle of one night this year, she passed away years ago and I've never been angry at her in my life but I was SO ANGRY. It's been The Year of Living Angrily. It took me a few months to apologise to her and at this point I don't know if I was apologising to thin air because these days I don't know my beliefs about the afterlife anymore. Is dead dead or is dead still life? Sometimes when I'm out I count how many guys remind me of my brother, just count in my head, not crying or even sad just count. "One, two, three." One day I got up to five and I was just, REALLY, DAY? But I don't dwell or wail about him anymore. My sons deserve my energy and love and a balanced healthy mother and how will they know if I don't do that and they don't see that? Worst thing about not drinking myself to oblivion this holiday season is not drinking myself to oblivion this holiday season. Because oblivion doesn't last and I'd wake up with all my problems again but magnified tenfold and I'm really over feeling ashamed of myself. I'm over my sorries now. You can say sorry till the cows come home and the birds come back but unless we change our behaviour, then it's not a proper sorry.


I love this pic but not in a hateful angry way to the world or people. I'm giving the finger to myself and my mire pile of bullshit and self-loathing. (And oh. I. Have. Been. An. Arsehole.) What's the point of waiting for other peoples karma to hit them? What's the point of pointing fingers anymore? Not my business, circus, monkeys, or bullshit. There will never be closure about stuff unless I close my own door and white sage my own soul and make my bedroom pretty by getting some cheap bedside tables and hanging up nice paintings. Move on, let things go (LIKE, REALLY HARD THINGS TO LET GO OF) - clears out space for the good stuff. Good stuff is coming, through my grit and through the universe aligning and seeing me trying.

After their uncle died I told my boys over and over, probably a bit hysterically "NEVER GIVE UP." Rocco thinks it's "Never forgive up" and I can't correct him ever. (How beautiful is it when your kids say the wrong wording but you know what they mean anyway?) I never corrected his brother when he called his heart his "love heart." Beeping, instead of beating - seriously how much do our beating hearts withstand a beating? You can't beat something's that already beating. You can't fight fire with fire when you are the fire.

So many people have asked me how I'm going this year and my answer has always been the same. "Which bit?"

So yeah, bring on 2017 but more people will die, more governments will be shit, more atrocities will be committed but more babies will be born, more animals will be saved, and more truckers keep on truckin'. So bring it and this time I'm not going to wing it I'm going to live deliberately and keep making a difference in my small pocket of the world because there is such thing as a ripple effect, no matter how small or invisible it may seem. We think we have time but we don't, we don't know hardly anything really. Like John Darnielle says .. "When people want you to quit, stand there in bright colours and just wait there to be hit. Maybe spit some blood at the camera - just stay alive."

You know why Sia doesn't show her face? Google it - her reasons are fascinating. And she hides her face but how much does she show of herself anyway. A lot.


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

"Mum, now I get it."


Jumping with his shoelaces untied - this guy has been living dangerously since he was born.

"LANDED ON A MOONROCK!!!"



We've recently discovered the lamest of lame free online two-player games. Our favourite is "Bad Ice Cream 3" and when either of us dies our ice cream just deflates and up on screen, the words flashing "You have just had a meltdown." 

I may have recently ignited in him his life-long love for Eminen, sealed when I found the t-shirt I bought at Em's concert five years ago when we took his big brother for his birthday.


The other day he turns to me in the car and said "Mum at least you weren't as bad as Eminem's mum" which I didn't really know how to take. Do I agree, or do I tell him Eminem has forgiven his mum, that she did the best she could, that mothering is all relative? I just laughed and said thank you.


Rocco is in LOVE with his second-cousin, Logan. Logie calls him Dodo, sometimes they have sleepovers together at my cousin Rini's house where when anybody farts, we all laugh.



Straight after his soccer presentation one day he asked me to teach him how to cook but only he can choose the ingredients which has made for some interesting meals. This was a sausage, egg, vegetable curry stir-fry which didn't taste half bad .. he wore his medal to bed that night, this guy could kick a soccer ball like a champ since he was 18 months old. I wrote out the recipe instructions on a piece of A4 to take to his dads house and cook it again there.


He often writes me letters and hides them before he leaves, tells me that when I find them I don't have to miss him so much. (We miss each other so much but we're getting used to it.)

When I put him to bed at night he asks me to lay down next to him and just talk. So we talk and talk and talk - about everything he wants to. He asks me so many questions and I answer them all. He tells me that he loves talking to me. He tells me his dreams, new thinks he thinks, who his girlfriend is (but DON'T tell anyone mum) ... he says he tells me things he doesn't tell anybody else. I tell him he has the most incredible imagination and heart ever and I'm so, SO proud of him.

Just then we were jumping over the pavement cracks on the way back from the post office and when I drew him in close for a hug, he hugged me back more, said "Mum, now I get it." 

I said "What do you get, mate?"

"Now I get why you always want to hug me so much. Because right then I wanted to hug you at the exact same time. Love you so much. I'm going to have a really fun christmas but I promise to call you and see you when I get back."

Told him "Sweetheart, I'll be right here. I'm not going anywhere."

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Is Someone Getting The Best Of You?

UGHHHHHH. Fuck. I hold back, don't write this, don't write that. Used as evidence, stay balanced and cool.

Sometimes I can't. Have had a recent slew of messages from people thanking me for writing about my brain/heart/spirit. Which is nothing new but UGH. All going through our lives. I was whining on the phone to someone tonight about being hardly done by and they started into shit about being grateful/thankful/appreciative. Which I am, truly. But I just said "Dude, live in my skin. Feel my feelings. Have my experiences. I've been to the furthest reaches of the actual literal world which I think about a lot but sometimes .. shit's just hard." Then this person says "Hang on a minute I gotta buy a white magnum." And left me hanging on the phone while a white magnum was bought at a service station and I thought - hilarious. Seriously. Mental breakdowns happen legit weekly for me but sometimes you need to wait for somebody to buy a white magnum before they come back and start talking to you again. Like waiting on hold for a mental health team that is useless except a white magnum buyer is better.

ANYWAY here's a song that I'm listening to. What are you listening to? Please tell me, I'll be embarrassed if you don't. My comments are back on on on. A year and a half ago I went through a horrendous psychotic breakdown when I thought Dave Grohl was God and his book This Is a Call was the bible. Don't judge. I'm better. I am not that anymore. (But seriously how good is Dave Grohl.)

Anyway here's to somebody getting the best of us. Here's to music as therapy. Here's to music keeping us afloat. Here's to #stillhere.

FUCK.


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