Monday, January 31, 2011

I got this doll for RJ ages ago from the cheapo import crap shop. Cost maybe $5 or so. Anyway, it had a zipper on it and you could put batteries in. I didn't bother for ages and forgot about it until F noticed the battery part again today and asked for some. I put them in and we turned her over, ready to see what the batteries did. I assumed, that she would goo or gaa, or cry, or ask for Mama, or something a baby doll with a bottle would be expected to do. What happened, is in the video...



Friday, January 28, 2011

Australia Day was a couple of days ago, and with it came the usual controversy and butting heads between those who want to celebrate Australia and all her glory, and those who feel ashamed that in celebrating Australia Day, we are celebrating the white invasion of our country, and with it, all that our ancestors may have done to the natural inhabitants of the land (forced their culture on them, killed them off, took their children away to be raised the ‘British way’, introduced crime and other vices to their culture, etc).

I feel really confused by it all, to be honest. I am proud to be an Australian. I love this country. I love so much about it, the freedom, the multiculturalism, the nature, the progression... But I don't think Australia Day, the anniversary of that invasion, should be the day we celebrate this. I think we need a new day, free of past associations, a day of Aussie pride.

But let's not get caught up in that either. Let's remember how much more we have to do. Yes, we are a great nation, a relatively accepting nation, but we are also still a very racist nation. We are a very intolerant nation when it comes to religion, sexuality, race, politics... We band together when it counts, but why wait until then? Why wait for tragedy to help out the less fortunate? Why wait until then to let go of racist or religious beliefs that prevent us from helping someone that really needs it?

I read stories about families from migrant families, who were born here, who have children born here, but because of their ancestry, are told to fuck off chong. Fuck off wog. Fuck off dog-eater. This from people at Australia Day celebrations. "This is Australia Day not Chink day!" hardy har har. Abhorrent behaviour. Shameful behaviour. How can I feel pride to be an Australian, when this is how some of you carry on? :(

We are better than this. We can be better than this. We can move forward with our famous Aussie battle pride and we can show the world just how accepting and tolerant we really are. Who's with me?

Pre-Palooza Post

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I am not sure that I coined the term palooza (as I did prezactly and awkwidity) but I am certainly helping popularise its usage. A palooza is a party. With Alcohol. Or just an awesome time. With alcohol.

My first true palooza was last year, a hotel room, many bottles of alcohol, and good nosh. WIN! There've been a few since. There is an enormous one in my future. Next month, 2 friends and I are flying to Sydney for the weekend. 3 nights, much fun. I see a cocktail night on the horizon, and oh so many good times. One of my friends has also conned the other two of us into going on this jetboat on Sydney harbor, and we are also considering the skywalk (268m/880ft off the ground!) as well as hooking up with some of our lov-er-ly girlfriends up there. I think they are also insisting we hunt down Adriano Zumbo's patisserie, after seeing his creations on MasterChef. We may roll home...

It's definitely going to be a massive weekend. Keep your eyes peeled for the post-palooza blog post in late February!

Kanye West... Really?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Have you seen the new clip for Kanye West's song, Monster? It's trying very hard to be controversial. Sadly, in some places, that is working. A petition has been started to have the clip banned in Australia, because of the way it denigrates and objectifies women's pain and suffering.

I always have and always will disagree with the idea of censorship. It's a slippery slope, and one I hope that we don't go down in Australia. I think that you can be feminist without banning things left, right, and centre. I watched the clip over at Dailymotion, and it's pretty vile. Dead corpses, hanging models, severed heads... It goes on in that vein. It's not particularly creative, and it's not especially impressive in effects. It's what I'd call "try-hard."

I am not even certain I think this is any worse in it's treatment of women, than the plethora that use sex to sell their product, rather than talent (usually because that talent is severely lacking to be enough on it's own merit). But, the violence is centered on women in the clip, and along with Kanye and Jay-Z's incessant use of the word nigger, it's just off on every level. It's Kanye's hubris at an all time high, and I doubt this will be the last of it. The sooner this guy flakes it and fades from the public eye, the better. Ugh.

An Atheist Godparent?!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This past Sunday, I became godmother to two gorgeous twins. My best friends babies. How does one become a godparent when one is an ardent atheist? It sure is a challenge to one's morals and values. To be sitting in a church, and asked (in a group, thankfully) do I believe In God? And being required, as a godparent, to answer 'yes.' To be asked flat out directly if I believe that Gods son Jesus was nailed to a cross and crucified for our sins. Terrified someone will be watching to make sure my lips utter 'yes' but I can't bring myself to do it. The question I am asked about helping raise the godchild to be a good person, and to be there for them - even spiritually - I can answer with a booming YES! The others, I simply skip answering and hope no one notices. Awkward. I don't want to lie, but nor do I wish to decline the honor of being a godparent to some children that mean a hell of a lot to me. It's sort of hard.

I struggled seeing a 3 year old baptised last Sunday, he wasn't happy about it. Fair call. The babies sleep through it and I cope with that far better... The congregation laughed at the 3 year olds screams. I didn't really like that either. A baptism is by definition, is the rite of immersion in water, as admission into the Christian church. So, basically, an initiation. The certificate I receive states that my role as godparent is to pray for my god child regularly. To set my god child an example in Christian living. To help them to grow in the Christian faith, and to help them look forward to Confirmation (a further rite to full communion with the Church). Can I fulfill these duties? I'm not sure that I can.

Thankfully, the friends that have asked me to be a godparent, not only to their first child, but also to their second, third and fourth children, are not strictly religious themselves. They recognise the rite, but they see my role as a little different to the Church. They see me as Honorary Auntie. Which I think, is how I see my role as well. My friend said to me: "We're so lucky to have such a wonderful person in our boys life. Someone we know will always love them unconditionally, care for them and be there for them no matter what. A safe place they can always turn to. You have no idea how comforting it is to know that."

And I love being there for them! Not only did I take the babies gifts on Sunday for their baptism, but my older two as well. Because I adore them. I want to see them happy. I want to be someone they know and love. Someone they know is there for them, always. A child can never have too many of those people in their life. I wrote a letter to the parents of my godchildren, telling them how much it means to me to be chosen for the role. I'll copy it below.

Dear M & A,

I just wanted to write and thank you for today. I was sitting there, holding the delicious sleeping S, and I thought about what a privilege it was. Not only to be his godmother, but to have him named after me, and to have watched him come into the world. What a special bond I have with each of your 4 boys. I thought about how it seemed only a blink of an eye ago that I watched J be baptised in that church. Each time I see him, his face lights up and he shouts: "Kell!!" with such genuine love and excitement. It makes me melt every single time. I have loved being a part of his life, and of L's and now another two entrusted to form a relationship with. How special that is. How lucky I am.

I not only have my own 2 gorgeous kids, but I have 4 amazing boys, my "nephews" that I simply adore. I have tears! I just wanted to thank you both for your friendship. There are no 2 people in the world I care so much about and who are so valuable to me as you two are. Thank you for making me such a special part of your family. A family of so much love and sweetness. Mischief and laughter. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I hope that your day was as special and wonderful as you hoped, and that you and the boys felt loved and cherished by wonderful people.

Love, Kell xx

No mention of religion, or my role as a spiritual guide. Just love. Surely that is the better gift for these children? For any child? I hope that their parents think so. I hope that the boys think so. I hope I do them all justice and reward their faith in me. I certainly intend to give it my all.

Is reality really real?

Monday, January 24, 2011

I love stories that challenge your perception of reality. The Matrix, Inception... Do you really know what you think you know about the world and how it is made up? I guess this is partly why I studied philosophy. I recall my first class was on Sartre's Existentialism is a humanism. He talked about existence preceding essence, and using free will. I remember leaving that class with a whirling mind, I loved it. I sought more. My mind has always wondered about the human existence. Is the color I see as blue, the same as what you call blue? Maybe your reference for blue is my reference for yellow. How can I know?

My son asked me the other day, how do we come to be ourselves, and not someone else? He is 7. His mind works the way mine does, which both excites and terrifies me. He has also asked about life after death, from as early as age 4. I do my best to answer simply, but satisfactorily, but these are enormous concepts.

I was thinking about all this recently after seeing the movie trailer for The Adjustment Bureau. A supposed group that maps your fate and life plan, and makes sure you stay on it. Lord help you if you try to thwart it. Naturally, I don't believe in anything of the sort, but I admire the creativity of the idea, and the challenging of the general acceptance of life just being what we see.


my secret shame

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This was an older blog entry that vanished from my blog in recent times. I think in order to understand my true character, it should remain. This is one of the most mortifying moments of my life, thus far, purely for your entertainment.

I have to add a disclaimer or two first though. I was only 8 or so, as I said, and at the time, a lot was going on in life, and I suspect I was after some attention. Add to that, the fact that we had been doing stranger danger at school and had these kick arse stranger danger coloring books and so the seed had been planted...

We used to play in the street a lot, when we lived in Moonee Ponds. My sister, Rachelle, (would have been about 10) my brother was only 5 and I don't recall him being there; my next door neighbour, Adrian, who was also in my class, so he would have been about 8 too... we'd ride our bikes to the corner and back, as we were this particular day.

I don't know what came into my head, or what I was thinking, and I certainly did not expect what ensued, I had not thought ahead at all. Just thought to myself as my little legs pumped away trying to go faster than my sister had - I wonder what would happen if...

You know, I think my writers mind was working well even at that stage, the creative part of my brain that could see a character so clearly, almost as though they really existed, even though I was aware they did not. So, I was on my way back from the corner, cycling slower now, letting my idea sink in, deciding exactly what it was I was going to say.

I got back and dramatically threw my bike down, sniffling and coaxing out some tears. Rachelle and Adrian asked what had happened and I declared that a lady had tried to kidnap me! She had asked me to get into her car and go for a drive with her! Oh yes she had! I know! The horror of it all, how terrifying it had been for me!! I got into the role a little more as I went on, adding details and getting more upset. She had been in a dark car, a sedan, and had been wearing a yellow sundress and oh yes - a hat! She had dark hair, sort of longish, and an evil glint in her eye. I relished the fear in their eyes, it could have been them! I know! How unlucky was I!?

My sister said we had to tell my parents at once. I looked at her blankly, I hadn't realised that would be necessary. I just wanted she and the Adrian to think I was a little bit... well... interesting... I began to panic a little at this point, what had I gotten myself into? I thought about confessing to them that I had just been tricking, but they looked so impressed and in awe of me, and they were concerned! And they were interested! And I was the center of attention! I allowed them to take me into Mum and Dad and tell them the story.

They were, of course, horrified, and gave me lots of hugs and reassurance and asked me many questions. I got caught up in the moment and I suspect I even started to believe it myself as I cried some more and again envisaged my would-be kidnapper and her yellow dress. I solemnly told them again what I pretended had happened, how she had slowed the car and asked me to hop in. I added some details to my description of the car but alas, no, I had not remembered the number plate. I reveled in the role of victim and allowed them to get me a blanket and lolly, and snuggled into my Mum for comfort and sympathy.

It was about then that Mum and Dad said we had to call the police. My little eyes widened in horror and fear. I swallowed with difficulty. Surely this had gone on long enough now? Surely it was time to come clean? This was really a whole different ball game now, and I was way out of my depth. But if I told the truth now, that I had made the entire thing up, not only would I look silly to my sister and Adrian, be utterly mortified, but I would probably be in a lot of trouble with Mum and Dad too. In fact, they might even take my toys away or send me to my room - and I might have to stay there a very long time because this was a very, very, bad thing I had done. MUCH worse than hitting my little brother, or the time I broke Mum's good china vase. And I really didn't want to get in trouble and be teased by the others for making it up.

So, I soldiered on with the ruse. The police were summoned and came knocking, the police car could be seen in front of our house for all to see (especially, I hoped, Adrian, who had been sent home whilst we dealt with the "situation"). The police in their intimidating uniforms asked me all the same questions yet again. My voice shaking, I retold the tale, sticking to the original story. Too far gone now to go back, I felt. I described again, the car, the woman, what she had said, which direction she had driven off... my heart thumping as I watched them write it all down, quite sure I was telling the truth and determined to bring my attempted kidnapper to justice.

They were so intimidating in their uniforms with their guns in holster and serious faces. Mum and Dad looked so upset and concerned and I was desperately floundering and in over my head so far I was well and truly drowning. I looked from one face to the next, eyes wide and in absolute fear of my lie. As the police left, and my parents tucked me into bed, I was struck with the sudden horrific thought -


What if, there really was a woman out there, innocently driving around in her dark car, jaunty in her yellow sundress, brown hair blowing in the carefree breeze... AND SHE WAS GOING TO BE ARRESTED BECAUSE OF ME????? I suddenly felt like was going to be sick. I got out of bed and crept into the lounge-room. My mother, still concerned for her baby girl who had almost been taken from her (!) gave me a big hug, and I crawled onto her lap. I took a deep, shaky breath, closed my eyes, and in a rapid tumble of words, I confessed. Told her I had made it all up, that there had been no woman, no car, no kidnap attempt whatsoever. I cried and sobbed and wailed, the guilt and relief intermingling with the fear of the inevitable repercussions for my actions.

My mother, god knows what was going through her head - comforted me and assured me I was forgiven. I wailed my absolute horror that an innocent woman may be arrested for my lie!!! Mum assured me it was unlikely, and we'd deal with that if we had to, but that for now, we were best to let sleeping dogs lie. She didn't even make me tell Rachelle and Adrian, bless her!

In fact, I am not even sure my sister ever discovered the truth to this day. My Dad asked me the other week what had possessed me to make that up and go through it all. I had forgotten all about it to be honest, repressed it probably!!! I was still mortified, perhaps more so, as an adult trying to explain to my Dad now, than I was 21 years or so ago!

So there you have it. I hang my head in shame, still immeasurably, ever grateful, that no one at that time matched my fabricated description of a fabled kidnapper.

True story, there's probably a police report somewhere to verify it...

Long Distance is Hard Work

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This article is the best thing in the history of ever. I wish people understood how difficult these things are, and how much they can bend and break you...

Please read! 10 rules to make long distance relationships work.

Writing like a bandit

Saturday, January 15, 2011

This morning, the children were out with their Dad, I had a quiet house all to myself. So, I put on some music, and typed. Boy did I type. I wish I had that happen more often. I added well over 3000 words to my wee book. It's coming along nicely, but it still reads as a summary, I need to immerse myself into the details and moments far more than I have so far. That said, it's giving it a lovely shape and outline to fill in. It makes my heart happy!

As I wrote, I thought about what writers put of themselves into stories. Events, personality traits, fears, whatever it may be. A part of my writing this morning was to re-live when Hendrix was put to sleep. I was feeling sad enough at the beginning, but by the time I got to the end, I was sobbing like a baby. I hope that when I leave parts of myself in my writing this way, that the reader truly feels them when they read. That would be the mark of good writing, and one I will always strive for. Emotion in writing is one of the most powerful things to experience, either as reader, or author.

Speaking of happy, my irregular offer from Deakin was already accepted, I can do teaching after all! Not sure as yet how to manage the placements, but I'll take each bridge as I get to it. It's exciting! Mums biopsy was straightforward, she gets an answer on Thursday, keep her in your thoughts until then?

Oh the laughter!

Friday, January 14, 2011

This had me in tears. Seriously?! Wow. There are some funny people in the world, are there not?! Bless!

Seriously, leave the lime mineral water at home, okay??

Messy week

Thursday, January 13, 2011

This week has not been full of frivolity. And life should be frivolous. Or something.

Anyway, between the floods in Queensland and even down here, and mum having her biopsy today, and the kids on holidays going stir crazy with cabin fever from the rain... It's getting a bit stressful. Then things with Uni went arse up. The course I applied for, I received an offer for. Brilliant. But, then they said 'oh no, that's a mistake on the website, you can't do it externally.' SHIT. I have a 2 year old, I cannot do on campus!! Cue meltdown.

Thankfully, I am a stubborn cow. :D I did some more research and discovered the notion of irregular offers. I found the perfect course (naturally, through my beloved Deakin) and so I have put in a request. Unfortunately, it may not pay off unless they have free places next week. I am hoping. Otherwise I have no idea what I will be doing this year. I guess... more of the same?

Anyway, it is Thursday night. I can get through Friday, right? And then roll on the weekend - along with a better weather forecast and a fresh start. Bringing back the happy. PLEASE!?

Feedback on the Ebook

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I have added some information to the Ebook page, some responses that I have received on the stories it will contain, from some seriously respected authors, academics, and critics.

I read what they have written, read their qualifications, their experience, and their own work, and I am left shaking my head at their kind words. Each time I read what they have said of my work, I am inspired. Have a read here, and let me know what you think. I hope it has you looking forward to reading the anthology!


How do you know if a time you hold of yourself as a child, is a memory or a dream?

Right now

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ever had one of those days where you wake up, smiling to yourself, and then you read something that upsets you and you feel like the entire day is going to be a bust? That was this morning. I felt sad, insulted, and angry about something I had read. Before the horrible could sink its claws in too far, I spoke to someone about it. My best friend. And I got a reply that has had me feeling wonderful ever since. I feel beautiful today. I'm wearing a gorgeous summer dress, make up, and shiny hair. Pretty red toenails. And I feel wonderful. Because someone makes me feel cherished, even when I look none of those things.

I'm floating along in a haze of happy. Right now, this minute, I feel amazing. I hope it never ends. (And thank you, my friend xx)

Mild panic rising.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mum had a follow up mammogram yesterday. Today there are 2 concerns. One is a build up of fluid, which apparently sometimes happens, and is not concerning. They want to give her a local anesthetic and drain it. The other is a shadow that they are unsure about. Her oncologist and the radiologist both said it was probably just a cyst, but to be sure, since they were draining the fluid anyway, they'd also do a biopsy on it at the same time.

Now rationally, this all sounds fine, nothing to panic over. But, I can tell Mum is worried, and it makes my heart ache. it makes my mind race. I can feel that should I let it, the panic would overwhelm me. I'm stronger than that. And so is she. We'll both just wait it out. She has this done next Thursday, and then has to wait a week for results. It seems cruel that there is such a wait. She's been through enough, was it so hard to have a clear mammo again? Fuck it. Fuck cancer.

Stylish Blogger Award

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The ever so lovely, Cat from Life in Cat's Pyjamas, has awarded me a Stylish Blogger. So sweet! Thank you, Cat xx

My requested tasks to receive this award are:

* Thank and link back to the person who gave me this award.
* Share 7 things about myself.
* Pay it forward to 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
* Contact those bloggers and tell them about the award.

7 Things About Me:

1. I cannot bite icypoles. Ever. Maketh my teeth hurt and I get goothebumpth.

2. Half deflated helium balloons and whales freak me out. (Not together, that would give me a total meltdown).

3. I have an enormous scar across my neck. I tell people I tried to slice my head off. It's fun to freak them out.

4. I collect Harry Potter lego, and when the Pirates of the Caribbean lego is released, I'll be collecting it too.

5. I once climbed the Fletcher Jones Watertower in Warrnambool. It is large, and offers zero protection to 'illegal' climbers...

6. I have 3.5 degrees, and just applied to do another. #nerd

7. I have horrifically graphically violent nightmares. Almost every night. No idea why.

15 Blogs I Think Are Great, in no particular order:

1. Rezanow
2. Childsplay x2
3. Emma At Play
4. Truly Blessed Life
5. March of The Gray Haired Army
6. Vegan Chickie
7. A Study in Contradictions
8. Birds Eye View
9. Adventures of a Nanny
10. Babbling Dad
11. One Ping Only
12. The Haphazard Blogger
13. Fat Mum Slim
14. Pink Patent Mary Janes
15. Writing Out Loud

I'm sure you will love them all as much as I do, be sure to have a read :)

Family politics

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I'm feeling frustrated, sad, and confused about family politics this week. In August, my brother canceled on coming to Finn's birthday the night before it. I was upset, and deliberately didn't go to my brothers 30th the next weekend. Then, come RJ's bday, he calls again, the night before again, and cancels. I got angry and yelled at him. Said his niece and nephew were worth far more than he gives them and it isn't fair, and that I want nothing to do with him anymore. Christmas Day we didn't utter a single word to one another.

I listened to the way he talked to Mum. She had told me he barely called her when she had cancer and was sick from chemotherapy. I was furious about it all. So I emailed him and let rip. No reply. He apparently contacted her and asked if she did feel that way, and she said she had.

Now tomorrow is Mums birthday, she and my sister and possibly Mums twin sister are going out for lunch. Sister in law has invited herself along. What do I do?? I don't want to risk confrontation and ruin it for Mum. I don't want to not go and disappoint her with my absence. I feel stuck. Are all family events doomed now? I don't want to suck it up and peacekeep when I feel so strongly about all this. No doubt many people live and deal with family politics. How do you make it work? What would you do, in my shoes?

I found me some happy

Sunday, January 2, 2011

And I am not letting it go!

Simple pleasures, sometimes, can be the finest. Don't you think? This afternoon, the kids were out with their Dad, I had music on - loudly - and I was writing some fiction. Inspired. I felt so happy, in fact, the happy hasn't gone. It lingers. I am feeling the happiest I have felt in a while.

I am planning another trip to the States, to use up the ticket I didn't use in November. I found a great sale fare right around the time J will have enough leave to take again to be home with the kids, and he has agreed to do so for me again. I was initially thinking New York City, but, it is so much more expensive than anywhere else. That might be my 'next time' trip. Now, I am planning for a trip to Los Angeles, with a road trip on the side to Las Vegas. I am not really interested in Disneyland, but there is so much else there I would like to see. So, that has given me much happy too.

I also spent some time today, working on the promised Ebook. I want to go through each piece, and give them yet another editing, and suddenly, I have a wee bit of stage fright about sharing them. When they are ready, I will put a short synopsis and review for each piece on the ebook page. It's fun to have some sturdy writing goals again, and to be working furiously with them.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

And the perfect day to launch my beautiful new blog. Isn't it gorgeous? Emma from Little Cherry Tree designed it, and did an amazing job. She was easy and friendly to work with as well. If you think you're in need of a bloggy makeover, she's your girl!

I have many plans for this lovely blog of mine. As you can see, an EBook is coming soon. I am going to put together some of my short stories for you to read. I hope that you will like them, I am excited to be sharing them. I'm also hoping to post more regularly both of my writing, my ideas, and my life. I just know it is going to be a fun year on here. If you are interested in adding a link exchange, let me know.

I am so excited about this new blog launch, isn't she pretty!? Squee!