Monday, August 31, 2009


So, today I am preparing for tomorrow. Not working today. I woke up with a ratshit headache. Lay there wondering if it was lack of coffee? (no shouldn't be, but Clokes made it really weak yesterday), period? (possibly, I'm due for a bleed, but I'm no headacher. I give 'em, don't get 'em), stress? (don't think so, not much stress in my life at the mo. Which is good. Touch wood, be grateful, the buddha says the only thing that is permanent in life is impermanence.)

Is it because I didn't drink over the weekend and haven't since sometime last week? I don't think so. But how about that people? After I got my rant on I decided it was time to dry out for a bit. Almost wavered Saturday night but Clokes reminded me of what I'd said, for him not to bring wine near me.

I had ground to a little bit of a halt with my own writing. Annoying, at 65k words to start having thoughts like "I don't think this is any good" and "what's my fucking point?" I think my problem is too many ideas, then I get immobilised or go around in circles a little bit. Anyway, I've pushed through and am back on track. Have to pitch it to the class on the weekend.

I have taken 2 Nurofen Plus, eaten a slice of toast and am feeling better. I have to take the Gigi out for a run, move the car out of the clearway and get to the chemist before picking up the Princess at dance. I also have to cook tea because Motherrrrr (Norman Bates voice there) is coming over tonight.

I've noticed that my relationship with my mother is strained the last few years. I feel like I'm not the daughter she would like to have, and any time I'm critical of my sister, I am just proving the point. My sister is kinder than me, though she would probably argue that she is not kind (but compared to me, she might grudgingly accept it.)

The thing is, young people, (and I noticed a new person reading, a 15-year-old-babe, makes me think I need to be motherly, teacherly and responsible. Does your mother know what you are reading online?), you don't ever really Grow Up. Of course, as you get older you DO grown-up things, but inside, you are still just a snotty kid. Of course, there might be real adults out there, who are as they look. But I don't feel like one of them, which is very disconcerting because I look old.

Managed another blogger eyeball last week, with the divine Miss Magical_M. I have "known" her ever since I first started blogging. She was living in Sydney then, but now is living in Melbourne. We went and had coffees and toast at Orange in Chapelli St Windsor, and we just went blah blah blah non-stop. We didn't even really talk about blogging. Next time!

Back to my comment about preparing tomorrow. It's my first teaching session with the new job and I will have to do the following:

- say "pre-cum" and possibly "head job" when talking to front of Year 10 studentos in front of my boss
- wrangle a dildo and put a condom on it correctly
- make the students practise in small groups and make sure they don't nick any of the condominiums
- try to scare the boys, telling them that an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 17 or so with someone you may not even like and just drunk-fucked would have a big impact on their lives too, especially if the girl chooses to keep the baby, there's nothing they can do other than fork over 17% of their wage. Once they're earning, until the baby turns 18.
- possibly talk about sexual arousal if it's appropriate
- talk about consent
- talk about the laws and sexual activity
- talk about different types of contraception
- talk about safer sex, and prevention of STIs.

Fuck there is so much I have to cover in 50 minutes I'm scared, but I'll have a powerpoint thingo to give me the structure.

Wish me luck!

Friday, August 28, 2009

What's the message? Warning - high level of preaching follows, and a low level of editing. A somewhat serious post.

Melbourne's street violence is on the rise, and going out on the weekend in certain hotspots seems to be a "taking your life into your own hands" proposition.

It's scary out there. Sometimes it feels like I'm living in that wonderful old Chuck Heston movie, The Omega Man. There's been an apocalypse, there is no one else except me and mine, and you have to be indoors by sunset otherwise faceless mini-beings in hooded cassocks will fix their red eyes on you, and get you. Yes this movie was remade recently with Will Smith, yeah it was ok, but it had none of the impact for me of Omega Man. Probably because I'm a woman now of mid-age instead of an eleven-year-old, skinny-legged girl.

So we huddle in our home, in one of Melbourne's Danger Zones and we hear the drunks rolling up the hill, and down the hill. But things haven't been as bad as several years ago. On once occasion I hung out the window in the middle of the night and told a man who was abusing a woman to fuck off, and that I was calling the police. He wasn't touching her, yet, just yelling at her, really ugly stuff. He told me to fuck off. Another time I hung out the window (this Mrs Jessop lives upstairs) and told a guy pissing in our garden to fuck off and piss somewhere else. I got invited down to give him a headjob.
Apparently, it's the fault of the baby boomers who have "over-indulged their kids to the extent where they think they can do whatever they like." (The Age, today, page 11.)

So who are the baby boomers and how can we tell them off?

Wiki has a good page, which lays it all out, but of course you go somewhere else, and there are different year cut-offs.

Baby Boomers, the generation that was born just after World War II. So my parent's generation, although my dad possibly slips inside the Silent Generation, being too young to have fought in WW2 (like about 2 years old at the start and 7 at the end of it.) It makes sense him being in the Silent Generation because he really doesn't say that much.

So it's not me and my friends out on the streets fucking it up for everyone else. Which generation is out there being dickheads and who are their parents?

It's the late Generation Joneses, on the cusp of Gen-X. Oh those guys.

Parents are indulgent, don't say no to their children, want to be friends instead of parents and are scared of their children not liking them. They are hanging on to their own lost youth, desperately trying to stay hip, and that includes procuring alcohol for their underage kids and their friends, and drinking far too much themselves.

This week I was at Princess' school one night for a Drug and Alcohol educational parent info night. Parents were there, as were Year 7 students. A speaker from a foundation spoke about the dangers of alcohol, about harm-minimisation, and encouraging our adolescents to delay their drinking as long as possible. All well and good. Then we split off and did activities, kid-run games and competitions with the topics of drugs and alcohol.

Then, after the fun and games, we went back to the hall. For the alcohol presenter to clarify a point.

He took to the podium again and said [I'm paraphrasing]:

I just wanted to clarify something from my presentation. I didn't want you to think that drinking more than 2 glasses of alcohol is binge drinking. Our message is that to lessen risk to health etc, drinking less than 2 standard drinks in any one sitting assists that, and to maintain those lower levels of risk, over a weekly period, blah blah, women this much, men this much. But binge drinking is drinking to get drunk, where that is the purpose, people going out thinking "I'm going to write myself off."

Do you see what he did? He just undid a lot of what he'd said earlier, where he was talking about safeR levels of drinking.

Do you know why he clarified? I think people in the audience, or even just one person (a rich, powerful parent?) had complained. They didn't want their kids to say to them the next time they have more than 2 drinks, "Hey, that's binge drinking." So the message to young, impressionable adolescents was tainted for the sake of the adults in that room.

We all fucking binge drink. But not according to his revised statement, in order to get drunk.

There were jokes made by parents in the activity sessions, it was all light-hearted and fun, with quips about "where's the refreshments" etc.

I'm not a wowser. I drink too much as a rule. I use it like medicine, a reward, it's a habit to drink, I was brought up drinking. Anyone reading my old diaries will appreciate the amount I have put away over the years. It's a wonder I can function, my poor old brain has been soused and pickled. It's a wonder I've never had an unwanted pregnancy, gotten any nasty sexual diseases, been raped, had a car accident, run over someone else, been in a fight, a punch-up, a stabbing. I've not been kidnapped, fallen off a balcony, drowned while swimming drunk, been hit by a car while crossing the road at 4am.

I'm not saying these things happen if you drink. I'm just saying there's a much higher risk of injury and Bad Things Happen if you are drunk. Not just tipsy, but drunk.

People don't like to be told they drink alot. People joke about getting to Friday and collapsing onto the couch with a glass of wine, they've made it. They don't drink through the week, and feel that they are on top of it, then drink way too much over the weekend. And then it becomes Thursday that is the marker.

We are all lying to ourselves. And our kids are seeing this. Of course they are going to go on to drink, and abuse alcohol. When I was a kid, my parents divorced when I was about 14. But before then, even though I can't remember, Dad would have been drinking beer every night. Mum didn't, and still doesn't. She came from an abstemious family. Even as a teenager, going to my friends' houses, I don't remember parents casually drinking. Like lollies for kids, it was something that was for a special occasion. Like lollies and chips and other party food, these things have become every day things, not just treats. Party food is packed into kids' lunch boxes for school. Adults go out for lunch and have a glass of wine almost automatically. People who don't drink are noticed and wondered about. They are suspect.

I don't know what the answer is, but parents have to realise they are not being hypocritical if they drink alcohol but are not permissive when it comes to their young people wanting to drink. Parents have to realise that the notion of introducing alcohol at home, such as wine with dinner for example, does not (according to studies) "help" their children learn better how to use alcohol in a responsible manner. It even be can be counterproductive.

In our home, we are conscious of our drinking. I am the biggest culprit. Values and attitudes are transmitted to kids within families without sitting them down and telling them stuff. It happens by osmosis, and by modelling behaviours. Parents are the greatest influence, until kids' peer groups become more important during adolescence. You can be the greatest parent in the world (I'm not, I just aim to be "good-enough") but you can be sure you will fuck up your kids some way, some how.

The question is. What are you doing in front of them, that they are learning? They take it all in from a very young age. Then they will act it out, and pass it on to their kids. These can be good things and bad things. What are these young people seeing at home, or wherever, that makes them king-hit someone in the city, and stomp on their head when they are on the ground? Is it just the alcohol, and then the testosterone? What is it?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Many distractions today

Today it is so windy, unbelievable. We've had a bit of wind in Old Melbourne Town recently, but today takes the cake.
Which leads me to my next distraction. Cake. Yesterday in my new job I saw the same video twice and there was a scene with cake in it. It looked like a really nice cake, and people were eating it. Then, on the Sopranos last night, they had birthday cake.
So it got me thinking about cake.
The other distraction is a website (in addition to blogs, twitter and the newspaper).
It's called This is Why You're Fat and I only got up to page 14, looking at all the food.
This is a place where dishes like this
look NORMAL.
It's a place where bacon is the leading ingredient in many of the recipes, followed a close second by Spam.
It's a place where dreams of eating something called The Fat Bitch [cheese steak topped with 2 sticks mozzarella, French fries, bacon, tomatoes, ketchup, mayo and marinara sauce] can be seen to be reality for some.
You can find toasted ravioli, bacon tempura and The Pink Panther - a brioche (sweet) bun filled with Fairy Floss.
I even saw reference to zillion island sauce.
But this takes my gold medal for best lookin' dish. The Rubix Cubewich.
Other distractions today. I've been hearing mention of something called True Blood. I have decided to look it up and find out about it. Seems it's a show also books. I saw the trailer for Season One and it looks interesting. The Sopranos are getting a little yawn for me.
Happy weekend everyone. May you stay out of the wind and away from underneath trees, especially gums.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Inappropriate crush

It's okay. I've confessed to Clokes about this one. He made a comment about me writing that Robert Pattinson is a fucking spunk, but I told him this is the double-standard I'm allowed to have. Men have a bunch of them, I'm going to have this one. (Although as Clokes said, yes he might think other women are fucking spunks but he doesn't write about them. The difference, ladies and gentlemen, between me and him.) (Also, I didn't think he read my blog anymore. So there you go.)

So, today's story. Princess and I went to Borders earlier this week to get her a book. I tell you, she is mental about reading (a good thing) and she reads prolifically (also a good thing) and she is starting to branch out a bit more from fantasy (also a good thing.) However, we can be spending heaps of money every month because seriously, she reads like a book every two days. Yes, big fat thick ones, with small writing. So my new economy approach is I'm trying to encourage her to read from her school library so I don't have to buy everything straight away, she borrows, she reads, and then over time if they must be in her collection, I will buy. This is working out pretty well so far.

So, we were at Borders and were served by a baby Zac Efron (how do you spell his name? I mix him with Nora Ephron.) I swear this guy is about 19, his chest is an inverted triangle, he is short and so cute and he knows how to make eye contact. After we left, I told Princess I thought he was cute. She got embarrassed.

Age difference much, motherrrrr? is what she said.

Then I made some pathetic back-pedal like I wasn't thinking for myself, I was thinking for a younger girl. Like you, for example.

Now, I've got a couple of friends who always talk about sex and are incredibly stupidly inappropriate when they talk about guys being spunks, and will even embarrass their daughters by talking in this way. I've always hated it, and thought I was above it. I don't think girls need to be sexualised or made any more aware of all those world issues than they already are by their mothers for godsake. She doesn't need to hear me prattle on about good-looking guys, or stuff like that. Daughters are desperate to separate from their mothers, and it's a hard battle. They don't want to be like their mothers in any way, and thinking their mothers are sexual beings is just another undeniable piece of evidence that mothers and daughters are so alike. So young girls claim the sexual world as their own, and mothers are shut out. But that's good. It's wrong, so wrong I reckon for me to be talking about boys with her. It feels wrong. She's my daughter, not a gf I can cackle with about things like this. Not that I cackle. I don't like it when my friends talk about sex, it's boring and try-hard in some way. I'm not even interested in this sort of stuff. I'm sure I'm not. I've always prided myself on being down to earth, don't care much about my appearance, more about the intellect than looks, etc. I appreciate beauty just like I appreciate other aesthetics. I could stare at my daughter for hours, I drink in her youthful beauty and I love to look at magazine pics of beautiful people and all that. But I have always reared away from what I see as that kind of skanky-talk. The hurr-hurr stuff that can go on between men, and women too.

See, I'm learning about myself here. Even at this late stage. Maybe I am repressed. I probably am.

So today. Was in Borders again. Went in to see if they had two books that I read about today. One called The Danger Game, the other Affection, by Krissy Kneen.

I'm at the old self-serve computer screen doing a search. I've typed in the Affection one, and it's come up. Five copies. Yay. Then, over my shoulder, a voice:

Do you need help?

Well, I said, not looking around, I can see you've got five copies, but I'm not sure where they're located.

I look. It's him. Baby Zac. I daren't look to my left, which is where Princess is standing. I know if I catch her eye, I'll giggle.

He looks at the screen, I shift a little so he can get his extra-large torso in front of the screen.

It's in... Sex, he said. Do you know where that is?

No, I say. Looking dumb. Trying not to look embarrassed.

He pointed to where it was, near Self Help, near Psychology.

Do you want me to help you find it? he asked, looking at me. I can't look at him. No big smiley eye contact stuff going on this time, unlike last time. I'm hopeless. I've never been a flirt. Never been able to do it, to know how to do it or what it is. Surely he's not flirting with me. He hasn't made a bee-line to me to ask if I need help at the catalogue screen? There were three screens in a line, a guy on the left one, a girl on the right one. Mother and daughter were standing at the centre one. Was it my age that made him offer to help me? I'm so old, maybe I don't know what I'm doing? Do I look like a grandmother to him?

There was an awkward moment where he seemed to think he was going to come with me and help me find it. I thought I'd made it clear I could find it myself, and that I just wanted to be in the Sex section by myself, scanning shelves pathetically, not with a Baby Zac Ephron. At the point, Princess said: Mum, I'm going back to wait for the others (she was going to see a movie with friends, and they were running late. She just had to get away from this car crash.)

Baby Zac and I disengaged, I hesitated, he said Are you sure? I said I can find it, and I walked away. Of course, it took me ages to find it, and there was a creepy guy hanging around there while I was looking. When I took it up to the counter, I wasn't served by Baby Zac. It was some other guy who had a normal torso and face.

Driving home, and knowing I'm going back to pick up the girls, I'm thinking what excuse can I find to go back in there.

Germaine Greer's Boy I'm thinking.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's been a good week

Some snippets:

1. I want to sleep. A lot. I am wondering if I'm at the opposite end of the life spectrum to "teenager" and whether that once we pass some physical mid-point, we start going backwards, and do things that the other people at the same point on the other side do. This morning, for example, once the two children who were going to school were packed off out of the house, and the other one (day off, fucking teacher inservice or some rubbish, but anyway she's sick so it's for the best) was in her room, I went back to bed with the paper, so obligingly supplied by Clokes. I read that. Then I read some teenage fiction (I read what Princess reads, I trail behind her though because I also like to read my old-person shit). Then I closed my eyes. When I woke up it was 1/4 to 12. NOON people.

I've heard it said that this is a sign of depression. I think it's just a sign of tiredness and my body needs rest. In the old days, ladies took to their beds with the vapours. These are my vapours.

2. I started a new job last Thursday. It's teaching but it's SEX ED teaching. Oh my. I think this is going to be the best job I've ever had. Not that I'm a sex freak but it's just so danged interesting, presenting these programs to kids. And the other people I'm working with are all really cool women, no shrinking violets there. It's ace. So far. I'm not going to blog much about the job. But just to let you know I've stopped the CRT work and have two days a week regular. Nice one.

3. Walking the dog I was thinking about Bad Boys. As a sideline to this, I am convinced the reason Robert Pattinson is so damn attractive is his sideburns. And his hair. Obviously, he's a fucking spunk in the face, but the hair and sideys really make him extra spunky.

Anyway, Bad Boys. They will just break your heart each and every time. The Good Girl wants to fix him, so that she is the one he changes for. This is the biggest fantasy in the world, and never happens. Unless you wait until he is 50 or 60. Then maybe.

4. Squib sent me a wonderful badge and two gorgeous hair bobbin thingos. They are great. So thanks squib. You've made my day.

5. It's a beautiful day (oooops, sun just went behind the clouds. OH NO!) It's mild and sunny [waits] and the idea of winter coming to an end is pleasing. I have felt the cold this year and it seems to have dragged on. It's the worst thing about this city. Last few years I've wondered if the winters were getting milder. Well this winter and the last one have stuffed my theory.

6. Tonight for dinner we are going to have a big-fuck tuna salad. Mmmmmmmm.

7. Last night I went out to an obligato school mums dinner. Twenty women screeching and clucking and cackling and talking and drinking double wines. It was at a horrible place, think Tabaret, and while I chatted to a couple of newish people, all I really wanted to do was be back at home, in bed with my hot-water bottle and book. One of the women was suggesting a trip away to a Qld Island - a group trip for 5 nights. HOW WONDERFUL WOULD THAT BE??? she shrieked in my ear. I smiled politely. I was thinking how I would hate it. This dinner, stretched over 5 or 6 days.


8. My meal was crap. I ordered nasi goreng with seafood. Big mistake. The seafood was horrible - apart from the calamari. Oddly, that was delicious. The rice and vegies inside were good, the mussels disgusting. Even though I don't like mussels I thought I'd eat a few. Horrible, not fresh, wrong.

9. Tomorrow I think we are going to look at some houses. Daughter #1 is sick, has been all week, and even before that. It's turned into a post-viral asthma which is worrying. But we'll try and get out tomorrow to see some fuck-off expensive houses. We have to get out of this flat though. Anyone with a house wanting to trade lives? It'll be 2 years in December since we've been here and it's wearing a little thin.

10. Princess (daughter # 2) went off to school this morning. They were having a cultural diversity day. It'll be interesting to hear what they did; whether it was just a superficial treatment or something a little more real. She wore a red top of mine and tied a white ribbon in her hair to symbolise the colours in the Turkish flag. She wore a little Australian flag pin on the hem of her top, and also a Turkish crescent moon on red background charm around her neck. She's proud of her heritage, which is so good. I have gently tried to flag with her the possibility that she might come across some negative vibes to do with Muslims. She knows that suicide bombers and terrorists are usually described as Muslim, but I don't think she knows about the attitudes that are around re the Armenian genocide and particular, people's feelings generally about Turks.

And finally, number 11 is the little snippet in the paper yesterday about Tony Abbott's daughter calling him a "lame, gay, churchy loser." It tickled my fancy alot.

Anyway, enough of that my lovelies.

Diaries this weekend. Just a teaser: the Pat saga is not over. Oh, not by a long-shot.

UPDATE - more evidence of the vapours. I've decided not to go to the supermarket. I just want to stay here and do my toe-nails a bright red to match my finger-nails. Then I might do some writing. I've started making chicken stock, the sun is out again, and I JUST DON'T WANT TO GO OUT. I LIKE IT HERE.

But I must move the car from the clearway. Ok, doing that now. With my badge on.