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Archive for October, 2009

So, it’s official. We have a NEW CAR to replace The Love Bus, now dearly departed (see “The Long Journey Home“). This is the first time I have ever experienced this NEW CAR feeling. By the time I got my license to drive in the winter of 2007, The Love Bus had already been with us for over a year, and around for at least 20 years previous to that. This NEW CAR is not only NEW to us, it’s also NEW within this decade. That’s worth the capitalisation of NEW CAR, wouldn’t you say?

My NEW CAR joy, however, has been somewhat dampened by the extreme pain I’ve been experiencing following my little oral surgery “holiday” (see “Result“). Some holiday that turned out to be. I can bet, though, that my oral surgeon is thanking his lucky stars that I have had that NEW CAR feeling to distract me. So, instead of marching into his office and kicking him where it hurts so he can experience just a small taste of the pain I’ve been in, all I’ve done has been to mutter vaguely on twitter about dropping the words “fuck” and “arse clown” into my next exchange with him (as in “I’m in fucking pain, you arse clown”).

[For the record, when I did actually ring "Dr Nick", he was extremely dismissive about my complaints. "Oh, that's just muscular," he said, after I'd explained how I felt like I'd had to squint directly into harsh sunlight while being forced to smile for the camera and repeatedly slapped on my right cheek for 24 hours straight.]

[Also: I have a theory that while I was sedated, Dr Nick and his anaesthetist made me their Ventriloquist Bitch and video-taped me for hours doing a testimonial for their upcoming late-night infomercial by squeezing my cheeks together repeatedly and making me appear to say stuff like "Even when I'm heavily sedated, I am extremely happy with the services of Dr Nick and Associates". Or that they tried to fit a whole basketball in my mouth as part of some kind of sick bet and then posted their results on YouTube. Either way, I really can't explain the "muscular" pain, otherwise. Or why people keep recognising me on the street.]

Anyway, the NEW CAR came to us with its own name. Because it is a Mitsubishi “Starwagon”, we have rather imaginatively named it “The Star Wagon”. 

Other than being NEW, The Star Wagon has other some other qualities to recommend it:

For one thing, it is white. Just like the A-Team Van. Except that the A-Team van was actually black. Whatever.  From certain angles, it might even be taken for a “light commercial” vehicle. The Mild-Mannered Lawyer, in particular, was impressed with its “loading zone potential” and my husband and I are currently looking into buying some magnetised Australia Post signage to slap on its side when we need a handy parking spot. But don’t tell anyone. 

Also, it has “walk-through” from the front seats through to the back. I think this particularly excites my husband because the next time the kids won’t quit their jibba jabba, he can shout at them “Don’t make me come back there!” and it will actually mean something. Because he can. Go back there. Using the power of the walk-through.

It has a “vacation stripe” down both sides. 

It hasn’t broken down (yet). 

It is NEW.

On the downside, it lacks a certain “personality”. When Mistress M first saw it, she exclaimed “It looks great! But it’s not very ‘you’…”. Which suggested that The Love Bus had been “me” and made me wonder what part of “unreliable 80s throw-back champagne-coloured rust-bucket on wheels” she was referring to. And I’d appreciate it if you didn’t say anything right now. 

Anyway, as wise friend LSK pointed out, “too much personality in a car can be a bad thing.” Just as Dr Nick is about to find that too much personality in a patient can also a bad thing, if my pain doesn’t disappear by our appointment on Monday. Which, also for the record, I will be driving to in my NEW CAR.

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One of the hardest things for me over the past week has been my medication management post-oral surgery. The antibiotics I’m on are supposed to be taken four times a day half an hour before food and two hours after I last ate. 

“Shuh!” I commented to a friend. “Two hours since I last ate?? I mean, when is there ever two hours in a day when I’m not eating?”

(It’s true: I graze all the live-long day, constantly stuffing my children’s left overs in my mouth such as apples with one single bite taken out of them, saliva-infused toast and cold fries languishing at the bottom of the Happy Meal box.  I’m like the Noo-noo from the Teletubbies, who must surely suffer acute indigestion from hoovering up all those Tubby Toast and Tubby Custard accidents. And if you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, I would count yourself very lucky, if I were you. Very lucky indeed.)

“I’m reading a very interesting book about overcoming overeating,” my friend replied. 

“And what’s the secret to overcoming overeating?” I asked.

“I don’t know. I haven’t finished it yet,” was her response. Which is exactly my problem with any kind of book or article or even gate-fold pamphlet about dieting because I have usually wandered off to see if there is any chocolate left in the Treats Cupboard before I get to the punchline. Particularly if there are things like milligrams of fat or “points” to take into consideration. I mean, if I’d wanted to spend my days measuring and counting shit,  I would have become an Apothecary or gotten an apprenticeship with someone like The Count von Count, who is called The Count because he loves to count. 

Anyway, it made me wonder if there was a book about under-reading about over-coming over-eating. Probably. But I’d never finish it. 

Interestingly enough, my issues with alcohol are same same but different. Health Care Professionals recommend between two and three standard drinks per day for women. And yet, as a mother, I’ve identified at least fifteen Key Alcoholic Beverage Opportunities (KABOs) of an evening:

KABO #1: Having a drink to celebrate my husband arriving home from work.

KABO #2: Having a drink while I’m making dinner (also known as “The Chef’s Perogative”). 

KABO #3: Having a drink so as not to Officially Die Of Boredom when supervising bath time. 

KABO #4:  Having a drink when The Pixie’s squealing hits its upper-most register (circa 7pm).

KABO #5: Having a drink while watching television with my husband, particularly if it is really bad television. 

KABO #6-13: Having a drink after each appearance of a child at the door saying they’re “scared” or claiming that one of their siblings “whacked/smashed/looked askance at me”. 

KABO #14: Having a drink to celebrate that moment when the kids are finally asleep.  

KABO #15: Having a drink when the TV is turned off for the night and I realise that the next working day is virtually upon me.

So, with so many opportunities for drinking, you’d think I’d spend most of my evenings blind drunk. However, contrary to popular opion, I am much better with alcohol than anyone might think. You see, I’m a “delayed gratification” kind of girl and I totally wait until the kids are asleep, so that all that white noise and static electricity they create doesn’t hamper my enjoyment of a nice glass of ice cold bubbly. Then I really enjoy those last two KABOs for all their worth, all within the remit of the Responsible Drinker.

Unless, of course, it’s been a bitch of a day. In which case, nothing’s standing between me and that bottle. Nothing. 

Food and drink issues? I’ve got dozens of them. Dozens, I tell ya! I’d count them all, but I’m far too busy stuffing my face with party-bag booty. And there’s the truth.

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When I originally accepted an invitation to the Members Area at The Races with the freshly-single Mild-Mannered Lawyer, I imagined that I would mostly be there on some kind of security detail. You know, screening the menfolk as they approached her: “Sorry, your shoes are too beige, git away back!… How much do you earn? Okay, you can talk to her but you Can. Not. Touch…. You? You’re cute. But I might have to snog you first as a precautionary measure…” Etcetera, etcetera. 

I also imagined that I would look reminiscent of a slightly older yet still beguiling Audrey Tautou in the black 1960s cocktail dress I had chosen to wear and that we would both be sitting around on a red velvet chairs in the Member’s Lounge, being elegant and witty and drink champagne from crystal-cut glasses. 

What I didn’t count on was that I would still be in incredible pain and heavily medicated following my oral surgery the previous week. That the only way I could possibly be said to resemble Audrey Tautou was if she were to play the role of a mad woman who’d decided to store nuts for winter in one half of her face. And that I would make a last-minute – and somewhat uncharacteristic – decision to wear heels. And that there would be nowhere at all to sit – not even along the long concrete ledges where there’d be some girl sitting with a couple of half-drunk alco-pops who’d say “Sorry, those seats are taken!” and make me mutter loudly to the MML “Oh, the poor dear. She thinks those bottles are her little friends.” Not to mention that she counted a narrow concrete ledge as “seats”. Desperate times, people. Desperate times. 

Nor could I have foretold that the MML would insist on placing bets with the independent bookies and that I’d end up saying “I bet you don’t get to see big money like this very often!” to one bookie as I poured a handful of twenty cent coins into his hand for a “$1 bet each way on Horse 14″. 

Or that I’d win $42 off the $9 I placed in bets.

Or that we wouldn’t get an iota of male attention until the very last race, by which time we’d have drunk three bottles of champagne between us and all my weight would have slowly transfered to the front of my feet so that my two big toes were essentially holding up my 75kg frame. And that I’d be almost pathetically grateful for the pain because it at least took my mind off my aching jaw. 

Anyway, let’s just say that I wasn’t exactly in a discerning state of mind when a gaggle of 30-something boys in crisp suits and pastel ties surrounded us and started making remarks about gettin’ them some sweet cougar lovin’ even though we clearly weren’t that much older than them. Clearly. Good-natured creatures that we were (we were also very drunk), we let them take photos of us and examine out our fingers for wedding ring marks and The MML even spot-checked each of them for “beer girth” – although, ostensibly, that should have been my job in my capacity as her Door Bitch. Some friend I turned out to be. 

Then, when they suddenly disappeared off to the bar and the one left behind to “mind us” decided to call his mother – yes, his mother – the MML and I had a quick conference.

“Do you think they’ve gone off to buy us a magnum of Moet?” I asked her, always hopeful.

“I don’t know,” The MML replied. “They might just come back with five coldies for themselves.”

Which it was, we’ll never know. We chose to slink off mysteriously into the crowd, like the cougars that we were. And actually, it was lucky we didn’t stay because, as the MML herself put it later, if she’d drunk any more champagne she might have thrown up and that might have “ruined the magic”.

Anyway, the point is this: who’d have known that I could wear heels and drink as much as I did on the amount medication I was on without falling over?  Or that my fascinator would end up staying on my head and not falling in the toilet? Or that I’d end up spending so little and laughing so much at a day at the races?

Thanks for a great day out, MML.

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