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Archive for June, 2010

In an attempt to be the Healthiest Me I could be, I decided earlier this year that it was time for me to join a gym. Yes, I was going to become a Gym Person. Just like that!

Of course, four months later, I hadn’t even managed to get to the gym to pick up their application form, let alone do any exercise.

In the end, I was forced to concede that a gym membership might not be the smartest way for me to spend my money. So instead I went out and bought myself a Wii Fit Plus pack. This way I could do exercise in the comfort of my own home without having to purchase an AbTronic SuperPro 2000 or some other ‘as seen on TV’ home fitness solution that utilises NASA technology and is only used by people with impossibly white teeth.

To begin my Wii Fit journey, I first had to do a fitness assessment – with mixed results. After declaring me to be ‘overweight’ and having my Wii avatar (my ‘Mii’) literally inflate like a balloon in front of my eyes, it then assessed my ‘Physical Age’ as being that of a 31 year old. And since that was the age I was before three successive pregnancies laid complete waste to my body, I was pretty happy with that. A couple of days later, however, I saw my Wii Fit Age fluctuate from 22 years (in the morning) to 39 years (just shortly before ‘wine o’clock’). Although, that may have had more to do with the fact that I’d had all three kids home all day with a vomiting bug than any inconsistencies in the Wii Fit program.

But ‘Wii Fit’ is more than a Biggest Loser-style weigh in. There are dozens and dozens of games for you to play in the name of fitness on the ‘Wii Fit Plus’ disk. Personally, I love anything with the word ‘Plus’ in it because it gives me the sense of getting something extra, even when I’m not entirely sure what that something is.

One of my favourite Wii Fit Plus games is where a guy right out of a Guy Ritchie film teaches me ‘Rhythm Boxing’. Man, is that grumpy geezer hard to please! At the end of each session, he always and says “I know you can do better than that.” Perhaps he’s training me up for a jewel heist? Other favourites include the Kung Fu Rhythm (I am the Karate Kid – except with Kung Fu instead) and Super Hula Hoop (it’s all in the hips, people!). However, I’m yet to be convinced of the health benefits of dressing in a penguin suit and sliding along ice on your stomach in the imaginatively named ‘Penguin Slide’. Still, the kiddies love it and that’s got to be a good thing, right?

The kids’ favourite is the ‘Zazen’ (Zen meditation) game, which involves sitting on the Wii Balance Board in contemplative mediation while a candle burns on the screen in front of you. When you finish your mediation and move, the candle blows out. Mr Justice loves it because it’s a serious challenge for him to sit completely still for more than 15 seconds and the boy seriously likes a challenge. The Pixie, in contrast, thinks the purpose of the game is to get the candle blown out as soon as possible and so is always punching the air and shouting “YES!” whenever the flame is extinguished.

Of course when I sat down to try it and had Tiddles McGee immediately jump on my back, the program gave me a one-star rating and declared me to be ‘Unbalanced’. I guess someone had to say it…

Anyway, I just realised that this blog post is as close to a Product Review as I’ve ever got. And no, Nintendo have not asked me to write this, nor have they crossed my palm with gold and/or other games compatible with the Wii Fit program (hint, hint). Nor have they sent round the Wii Fit limo, replete with a magnum of low-joule low-alcohol champagne and a handsome personal trainer called Pablo who offered to massage my feet. In the low-joule low-alcohol champagne. While I drank vodka shots lined up along his back…

But I digress. I guess if this really is a product review, I need to end with a summary.

PROS: You can wear your pyjamas while exercising.

CONS: My ‘Mii’ needs bigger breasts.

Yep, that should do it. Let the Product Review requests and the free stuff roll in. Woo hoo! (*punches air*).

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I’m pretty certain that [Famous Person] had no idea what was about to hit him when he turned up to GT’s party and got introduced to some girl who looked like Liberace-in-make-up-and-heels.

“Eeeekkkkkkkk!” I squealed as I shook his hand just that little bit too vigorously, in a “You! It’s really you!” kind of way. “I’m such a big fan!”.

[Famous Person], for his part, kindly listened to me while I prattled on (and on) about some early highlights from his career.

“Oooh, I remember you did [very cool thing] and I was only 14 and I thought you were the coolest person on the planet!” I gushed. And after a bit more small talk about how we knew our hostess GT, I went back to incoherent gushing: “You! [Very cool thing]! Cool!”

“Uh, I think you’ll find [Other Person Altogether] did that [very cool thing],” [Famous Person] gently informed me.

I stopped dead in my tracks.

“Yes. Yes, you’re right…” I said, realising I had totally mixed up his early career highlights with someone else’s. Good one. Time for a feeble joke: “Is [Other Person Altogether] coming to the party?”

[Famous Person] luckily laughed at my joke and it was then that I got to realise that [Famous Person] was way cooler than any [very cool thing] he might have done circa 1985 and, in fact, had gone on to have a much more impressive career than I had even known. That’ll teach me not to more thoroughly cyber-stalk famous people before I meet them.

Anyway, his wife, [Mrs Famous Person], was also very lovely and mercifully tolerant of this strange person gushing all over her husband. There was only one slightly awkward moment, however, when she told me that she’d been in the film  ‘Classification Board’ and I got all excited that she was a movie star but, after some clarification, it turned out she had actually been ON the Film Classification Board. I was kind of relieved because I hadn’t actually seen ‘Classification Board’, although I’ve heard it’s quite good.

The conversation was helped along by the fact that the friend the [Famous Couple] had come to the party with had just bought a piece of art – an etching, in fact. It was therefore only natural that [Mrs Famous Person] should challenge him to use the “Would you like to come up and see my etching?” line on an attractive single woman at the party.

“In fact, there was that really attractive girl standing next to you at the bar, holding a goblet,” [Mrs Famous Person] said.

“Indeed, I complimented her on her goblet,” Etching Man said.

“As long as you didn’t compliment her on her gobletS and say you wanted to sip from them, that’s a good start,” I remarked.

“There’s the girl over there!” [Mrs Famous Person] whispered, pointing very discretely.

We all looked to where she was pointing.

“Oooh, that’s my childhood friend!” I exclaimed brightly. “Let’s get her over here.”

It didn’t take long for Etching Man to drop the line on my childhood friend. I felt he needed further coaching, however.

“Pssst….” I whispered. “You should offer to buy her a drink.”

He offered to buy her a drink, saying something along the lines of “Let me refill your goblet”.

“Pssst…” I whispered again. “Now, you should offer to buy me a drink so it doesn’t look so obvious.”

Yes, there I was, revealing my true colours, having had no hesitation in pimping out my childhood friend to get in with the [Famous People] and then grifting their friend for a drink.

Still, at the end of the evening, [Famous Person] gave me a hug (A HUG!) and said he would send me a copy of his most recent book. Although, now that I think about it, I expect it’s probably called something like ‘Restraining Order’ and that it has to be personally hand-delivered to me by a very special courier… With a bit of luck, though, it will have [Famous Person]‘s signature on it and that, in my mind, is a result. [Famous Person]!!

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When I was originally diagnosed with osteo-blah-blah-blah, the doctor I saw gave me two suggestions: take glucosamine and do the dishes.

“You ladies are lucky,” he said. “Your therapy is part of your work.”

Like washing dishes was automatically a woman’s work! Shuh!

Admittedly, though, it is technically this woman’s work in this house. Yes, I am the Domestic Dish Pig. Sometimes, as I feel like I stand at that friggin’ sink all day, washing dish after cup after splade after saucepan, pausing only to fix another meal for my rabidly hungry children.

The problem about the dishes, of course, is that they cannot be ignored – unlike laundry, which can be left for a couple of days until someone runs of out underpants or I lose one of the neighbour’s kids under one of the huge piles.

Anyway, after my recent weekend in Sydney, I had the worst flare-up of my osteo-blah-blah-blah in my right hand. It was only after a few days of being back home that the terrible truth hit me: I had been in such pain because I hadn’t had to dip my hands in warm soapy water for over 72 hours.

It was like the thing that I hated the most was the thing that saved me. How ironic! Stick that in your stupid song, Alanis. Because it’s actually ironic, unlike “rain on your wedding day”, which is merely unfortunate, or “ten thousand spoons when you just need a knife”, which is some kind of crazy spoon-invasion situation. I say to Alanis, “The spoons are coming! Get out of that damn cab and run, run for your life!”

Anyway, I decided I should see a doctor about my flare-up but couldn’t get an appointment for a few days. (See how smoothly I got out of that spoon-invasion scenario just then?)

While I was waiting for my appointment, I quickly discovered that the best way to forget about arthritic pain was to get a cold sore – it gave me something else to focus on. And the quickest way to stop worrying about the cold sore was to start developing one of those kaleidoscope-vision migraines. And the most effective way to transcend a migraine was to have one of your kids throwing up All. Night. Long.

And then the best cure for the whole damn lot was to drink lots and lots of champagne in honour of Australia’s first female Prime Minister.

On the morning that Julia Gillard took charge of the nation, I came home from the school run to find a message from the Mild-Mannered Lawyer insisting that I drop everything and join her and our friend MGK to drink champagne.

I looked at the time. It was less than hour and a half to my doctor’s appointment. Could I honestly go and talk to my doctor about my ailments after chugging champagne and risk her lecturing me on the perils of drinking before noon?

So I did what any responsible person with a sense of occasion would do: I canceled my doctor’s appointment, forgot about my persistent headache and my cold sore, left the dishes undone and hot-footed it over to the MML’s house, where we drank champagne and watched events unfold on the television for many hours.

And that afternoon, when I picked the kids up from school, I looked into the eyes of my small red-headed daughter and told her “You can do whatever you want to do!” and really truly meant it. It would seem that the position description for a woman’s work just got a whole lot broader.

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