Saturday, September 09, 2006

Grumpy no more

ThirdCat tried to beta herself and it really didn't work.

You will find her in a slight pickle, but much less of a grump over here.

This blog will stay for a while, but wordpress can't import beta blogger yet.

A piece of advice which you can take or leave as you will: don't jump to beta just yet, however seductive the labels might be.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Bad luck saints

The good thing about not being in the finals is that you can't lose.

If the Power lose, I don't go for the Crows.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wednesday night

I'm not an overly-competitive type (you can't afford to be, when you're average as me), and this is the kind of house where it's not about who wins and calling people losers isn't very nice (your house would be too if you were trying to bring up two genetically-competitive boys).

And I love Myf and her laugh and she gets me through a couple of my day's ugliest hours. But if they invited me on, I'd want to be on Alan's team. He hasn't lost for weeks.

Also: Hamish Blake. Gorgeous as. And I know I'm kind of Robinson Crusoe here, but I really liked their Hamish and Andy show.

rising panic

Shit. The bowl full of eggs just fell off the bench, and the floor hasn't been washed for weeks.

don't panic

If you want to make an omelette, you have to break the eggs.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

If ThirdCat could have any pet it would be:

ThirdCat with the alpacas, Royal Adelaide Show 2006

Credit: FirstCat (ThirdPerson)
Time: About thirty photos before ThirdCat taught FirstCat about the zoom

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Born in a tent?

Because of leaving the back door open, there are three flies in the study and a pigeon in the kitchen. That is the second pigeon this week, and it is only the beginning of the flies.

Once inside, both flies and pigeons are difficult to remove.

Also - and really, you'd think I'd know better - never miss the meeting when the tasks are being handed out.

Oh! to spring

August thirty first.

Forecast twenty six degrees.

Warm breeze, edging close to being wind.

Bring on the anthistamines.

I hate spring.

Monday, August 28, 2006

A patriotic family

The most mature of the fruits of my loins knows the second (and the first) verse of Our National Anthem. I've just watched him singing it this morning at school.


Also, his jeans were falling down just a tiny bit, because I forgot to get him to do the bounce test (do these stay up my love? bounce, bounce yeah, these will be fine) after he put them on and before we left home. Anyhoo, details.

He seems to have learnt it (the national anthem) the traditional way - by his teachers at school - whereas I learnt it because my mother liked a bit of a sing after she had a brandy or two. Or three. That's when I learnt all my best stuff.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Pluto isn't a planet, but here's a star

This is a picture of me standing on a shooting star.

Friday, August 25, 2006

book week dress-ups

‘It could be as simple as a sarong over their clothes’. The notice about the book week parade (suggested focus: our Asian neighbours) is probably intended to reassure. And if ‘Asian dress-ups’ stretch you too far, then any fairy tale or book character will be welcome.

So, you could take this opportunity to help your child think of something interesting and imaginative to wear. Perhaps you could use some of the many hundreds of bits of paper now strewn across the floor of the car. They had lots of things about our Asian neighbours written and drawn on them.

Or, when you are in the market buying the ingredients for your father’s Birthday Feast, you could just pop into Chinatown and spend five bucks on a stereotype.

Then, the next morning, when your little boy decides he doesn’t want to go as Chinese, but would prefer to go as the long-time favourite super-rabbit

you cajole him into wearing the stereotype hat you spent five bucks on (there's no rabbits in Asia you lie), because while you trust that you have raised a resilient, independent-thinking child who won’t be crushed by big boys dressed as Jack Sparrow chanting some rhyming equivalent of ‘you’re wearing pink, fluffy bunny ears there’s nothing super about that’, you aren’t ready to have that trust tested in the battleground that is the school yard. And there’s nothing wrong with that really, is there, because it is a mother’s job to protect her child. You can use that mother-love idea to justify just about anything.

So, in the great race to raise children free of stereotyped and laden thought patterns - thus taking advantage of her real chance to make a true and a great contribution to lasting change, because let’s face it sitting on stalls and stuffing envelopes hasn’t been especially effective, has it - she has stumbled at the first, second and third hurdles. And fallen flat on her arse at the fourth.

She closes her eyes for a moment, wallowing in the liberation that failure brings. Then she picks herself up, dusts herself off, sighs and stuffs another 500 envelopes.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

beta blogger

Now with more ways to procrastinate...should my titles be this shade of pink, or should I go for something a little more mauve. Apparently, green would match this colour scheme, but I'm not so sure.

And this is why I will never, ever, not never do a renovation, because you have to start to care about such things (exactly which shade for the bathroom tiles), and in renovations it all costs money too.

Of course

I'm doing that beta blogger thing and I've lost my sidebar. It wasn't much really, and it had lost its witty edge, but I did kind of like it. Plus, it took hours to do all those links to my favorite blogs.

Did I back up my old template? No, of course I didn't.

Cool to have labels but.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Today, my littlest boy had his first day at pre-entry which is the thing you do in the term before you start pre-school (kindergarten). And so, I spent the day reflecting on how different my life will soon be, and how very sad I am that I won't be having any more children, and particularly won't be having any more babies, and I was thinking how much I love babies and what an excellent baby-mother I am (not too good on the three-year-olds, but ace with babies), and how wonderful the days alone in hospital with my littlest baby were...

And then I remembered the strangest thing.

The extra sheet that they put on top of your normal sheet in your hospital bed (to collect seeping blood and other associated muck) is called a kylie. The nurses say such things to each other as 'did you bring the kylie' or 'oh, do you think you can sit up while I just change your kylie'.

And being of the era when kylie could very easily have been my name, and also having a Best Friend at school with that name, I do think someone should have put more effort into that name.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


School Governing Council minutes: done.

Washing status: incomplete but in control.

And my bedside book pile, has recently been augmented by a nice big stack of mags courtesy of the recent house guests. I can, therefore, report on the:

Acquisition of new knowledge:
'If you put on weight all over, like Kelly Osbourne does, you could be a classic C-type. "These types are either very short or very tall," Dr Walker says. "They don't tend to be of average height, and they tend to have round heads and young faces. When they put on weight, they tend to put it on everywhere."

Major craving: Dairy products. "A C-type is much better off on a higher-protein, high-fat, low-carb and lower-dairy diet," he says.'

Best workout: Cardiovascular/aerobics with muscle conditioning.
Source: Woman's Day: June 26, 2006, p. 73
(it's the one with Katie's wedding diet battle, pregnant Nicole's wedding drama, Shannon's new baby joy Heather Mills' skinny crisis
plus her new divorce scandal, and the exclusive Kerry Whelan's hubby begs 'tell me where my wife is' on the front cover)

Friday, August 18, 2006

At the movies

'You know, if there were a situation when we might bump into each other, I reckon I'm the kind of person James Spader might possibly be able to love and marry and live with happily ever after,' she said.

She looked into the lolly bag. He had chosen all of his favourites - bananas, bullets, milkshakes - and none of hers - chicos, freckles, sherbs. It was true that when he had asked do you want any lollies she had said no. But still.

'Yes, you are,' he said, holding tightly to the bottom of the bag.

'So do you reckon, if James Spader did happen to be in Adelaide right now, and he did happen to come to this movie, and he did happen to fall in love with me, do you reckon I'd go home with him?'

'No,' he said, reaching past her indecision and grabbing a banana for himself. She thought of making a joke about the price of bananas. Are lolly bananas expensive? she thought of asking. But the bananas weren't worth the joke anymore. And anyway, this was the movies. Of course the bananas were expensive. Six bucks for a drink and a couple of lollies, and that's on top of the fifteen dollars each to get in, because their membership had expired not long after their first child was born.

'Really? You really think no?' she asked. She looked at him, and when he looked at her, she did not have to look away.

He bit the banana in half before he spoke. 'No, you'd still be going home in a metallic-coloured station-wagon.' He put the other half of the banana in his gob.

She looked back into the bag, decided on a milkshake and pulled it out.

'They never used to be square,' she said. 'They're supposed to be cylindrical.'

'They're the imitations,' he said. He scratched his cheek. 'The pretenders to the throne.'

She unwrapped it. There was less wax on the paper these days. She put it in her mouth, chewed.

'Tastes the same,' she said.

'Yeah, and they still get stuck in your teeth,' he said.

And then the usher opened the door, and they said thank you to him as they walked in.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Thursday afternoon

Here's what I wanted to do today:
Write first draft of synopsis of first (unfinished) draft of new big writing project for submission to the September round of project assistance grants which would probably not be successful this round, but would at least help me to focus myself and clarify thoughts and provide pivot for further developing my ideas.

Here's what I could be doing which wouldn't be achieving the Most Important Thing, but would at least be productive:
Typing up minutes of school council meeting for distribution as promised.
Hanging out washing that has just finished.
Folding clean, dry washing.
Bringing in dry washing from the line.
Tidying, then cleaning, desk which is such a mess it is getting me down.
Thinking about tea, because there are house guests who will want feeding at some point.
Writing interesting blog post about family holidays or about rotten things in my fridge.
Cleaning fridge.
Defrosting freezer.
Sending proposal of Very Good Idea for an article to an editor who will ignore my email.
Ringing The Mister to apologise for being a bit grumpy on the phone earlier on, then explain why I am feeling a bit grumpy, thus making him feel slightly bad for forgetting once again, thus regaining the upper hand and the power to choose where we will dine tomorrow evening and which movie we will see this evening while house guests care for children.
Unpicking the toes of the socks, find out how to do proper socks, then finish socks, then deliver to friend.
Ringing Grandfather to ask how he is getting on.
Reading a book.
Gathering information about internet censorship and China and contacting people who might be interested in campaigning on said issue.
Similarly, gathering information about child soldiers and contacting people who might be interested in campaigning on said issue.
Going for a walk, thus gathering ideas and momentum, improving health, the chances of losing a bit of the red wine pudge and well-being.
Organising father's birthday present.
Playing the piano.
Finishing essay which someone is interested in.
Studying more about organisational diversity.
Phoning a friend to moan about pathetic life.
and so on...

Here's what I am doing:
Hitting refresh on bloglines every five minutes, listening to Days of our Lives and getting pissed off with myself whenever I look at the time

Book meme

A meme. From Kate. My first ever.

1. One book you have read more than once

I have two children, ages five and about to turn four, so many books are on current high rotation. More than once. More than twice. More than a thousand times. Some of the ones that I am happy to read over and over:
Mr McGee
(but a lot of the other Pamela Allen is extremely difficult to read aloud - I know this is slightly controversial, but it's true);
Diary of a Wombat
, Jackie French;
Gordon's got a Snookie
, Wayne Harris:
Let's Get a Pup, The Gruffalo's Child, pretty much anything by Martin Waddell, Maurice Sendak, Pierre, a Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue. And for the nights when the day is just over: Rosie's Walk. 27 words (update: this is wrong, it is 32 words).
And the current favourite: Tashi. Tashi and the anything. Genie. Demon. Giant. Anything.

2. One book you would want on a desert island
Something about survival skills and how to light a fire and so on. Or else a phone book from a really big city - preferably the yellow pages. It would give you lots of ideas and new things to think about.

3. One book that made you laugh
I read The Commitments in a Las Vegas laundromat. It was very, very funny. And so was Las Vegas. One of the best nights of my life. Shane Maloney's books make me laugh, and I laughed a lot at the first couple of Janet Evanovich books I read. The first part of A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson was hilarious.

4. One book that made you cry
The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. And if I need a cathartic release, I go to bed with it, and read until one o'clock then cry myself to sleep.

5. One book you wish you had written
I'm not letting myself lust after other people's writing at the moment.

6. One book you wish had never been written
Every book has it's purpose? You have to write one crap book before you can write another, better book? This is copping out, isn't it? I get really annoyed by stuff like The Rainbow Fish, which was a full-on marketing exercise, not a book.

7. This week, the two books I am reading before I go to bed are:
Black Swan Green
The Comedy Bible: from stand-up to sitcom - the comedy writer's ultimate how-to guide. Which I think says something about the true potential of my latest idea.

8. One book you have been meaning to read
Dark Victory. It's on my shelf, but I just can't bring myself to read it yet.

9. One book that changed your life
Vector Mechanics for Engineers.
You'd have to fall in love with someone who's got that on their bookshelf.

Now tag five people:
I think I've left it too late. Go and do it if you haven't already.
Thanks Kate. That was ace.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Sweet and sour sobs

'Hey Mum, don't forget to look in your drink before you go to sleep. I gave you a surprise.'

Thursday, August 10, 2006

More on airports

And then, not long after I finished posting about my visit to the airport, I was back in the car and I heard that there has been an alleged threat to explode bombs which have been carried onto planes in hand luggage. It is serious, and people in airports are not worried about which magazines they will buy.

Of course, the post is rendered pathetic. And I am thinking I'm glad I live in Adelaide in the most feeble and self-congratulatory way, and I almost let myself think I should stop listening to the news, and it is taking all my effort to remember that we must condemn terror, not our human rights.

At the Adelaide International (and domestic) Airport

This morning, I dropped my father off at the airport, because he is going on a short trip. This is a job I performed with the good grace and maturity you would expect from someone my age. I do not have a photograph of myself being graceful. Such moments are hard to capture on film.

At this time of the day, there are very few Men in Suits at the Adelaide Airport, because by now they have been in their Very Important Meetings for well over two hours. There are, however, very many people using their out-in-public tone of voice to say: ‘I told you to stay away from there.' Also because they are in public, they add such reasonable codas as: 'it’s dangerous, and I don't want you to hurt yourself’.

Here is my father’s plane. As he was boarding, I squinted for a bit, and it made him look like a rock star boarding his private jet after last night’s sold-out performance at the Entertainment Centre.

These are some of the places from which people will be arriving today. They will also depart for these places. However, I happen to know that you cannot go buy a ticket to Moomba without getting permission from someone or other. When you get to Moomba, you get a drink bottle and training on how to recognise the signs of thirst. This is second-hand knowledge. Live vicariously or not at all.

Here are some faux-retro bottom-holders:

Which are, I imagine, the kinds of things you can whip next door and get from here:
I can't say for sure, because it is a place where I have never been.

The newspaper stands in airports make me feel connected to the rest of the world and today I bought two newspapers, but one of them was The Advertiser. The woman behind the counter made me hand the newspapers to her so that she could scan them, and I was a bit scared of her fingernails. They were long, and the nailpolish was more than a little chipped. They are the kind of nails which are too thick to bite. For some reason instead of taking a photo of the newspapers, I took a photo of the books and magazines.

For a long time after my father’s plane has taken off, I watch the planes coming and going, even though I know that it will cost me a fortune in car park fees.

In a few minutes, this plane will turn to the left and fly directly over my grandfather's house. When I was young and slept on a fold up bed in the smallest room of his house, the planes woke me up in the morning because I wasn't used to them. I think of the times I was living in places away from Adelaide, and my grandfather came to meet me. My father would have done it, but he lived two and half hours away. More by bus. I remember how flat and how purple Adelaide used to look to me then. I think of the meetings in Sydney I don't go to anymore. I think of the trip to London I made last year, and how it was, being two flights away from my boys. I think of the trip to Portugal my heart wouldn’t let me make.

I think of saying goodbye and of saying hello.

It is just a trip to the airport, but nothing is straightforward.

Always on time

By storing a replacement toner cartridge in my cupboard, and remembering that I have done so, I have foiled the universe's attempts to foil my attempts to never miss a deadline.

Be upstanding with me in my moment of victory.

Please be seated.

As you were.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Not so relaxed or comfortable

On Sunday, when the late-winter sun was at its most perfect - warm, not too low, clear of clouds - and when my children were at their most playful, and when my partner was at his most relaxed, I went into town to listen to some "Comfort Women" tell their stories.

And one of them told us that every night when the sun starts to go down, she starts to feel the fear. Because that is when the soldiers would start lining up outside her door.

Today is the International Day of Action for the Justice of "Comfort Women". Go here to see what you can do.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ridiculous things I have said to my children, part #2zillion

All right, keep using the bookcase as a climbing frame and launch pad, but don't come complaining to me when you break your neck.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Music to suit your mood

Pour one more glass of red. Let it slosh around the sides when it pours, let there be a clunk when the bottle goes back to the bench.

Turn down the lights, lean back in your chair. Sip on your wine, sip again, close your eyes.

Augie March. Moo, you bloody choir.

Go back to the best, the best, the very best night of your life. And then further back to the one that was better than that. The one you can only bear to think about every now and then.

What a night. What a song. What a night.

When the sun comes out

None of this:

A bit of this:

And a shit-load of this:

Friday, August 04, 2006

TGIF (but without the drinks, because I'm still sick)

Sometimes at the end of the day, at the end of the week when nothing's been done and nothing's been achieved, I look at the bench and the Rice Bubbles haven't even been put away and I really do think what's the bloody point.

And then at just the right time, a little boy says mum, would you like to come and see how good I've got at my skipping.

And I don't say can't you see I'm cooking the tea or I'll just finish hanging out this load.

I say yes.

And at the end of the day at the end of the week, thank goodness, there's always a point.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The trouble with Tuesdays... that on Monday nights, Boston Legal doesn't finish until 11.30 pm, and then there's Scrubs.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Shock! Prime Minister to contest next election.

My mother did not teach me that 'if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything'. She taught me to just let fly.

But I haven't got anything to say about the report I have heard on the radio regarding the Prime Minister's decision to stay on to contest the next election.

Excuse me. I am off to sit in a dark room with my hands over my ears and my eyelids down.