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Archive for November, 2010

Yesterday morning, my husband woke up to a grim reality. Not only did he face the  possibility of a conservative State government, but he also had to deal with the memory of FatherOfCrankyPants and I singing karaoke the night before. In his mind, it was hard to know which was worse.

“Perhaps the new government will do something about the karaoke problem in this area!” he said, trying to look at the brighter side of things. “The Brumby government had eleven years to fix karaoke but they did nothing. Nothing!”

“Huh! To think that our rendition of ‘I Will Survive’ might have been avoided with a more robust policy making process at a state level,” I replied, shaking my head.

Still, we’d had ourselves a great party. A chance meeting on the street had led to us inviting the CrankyPants family over for an afternoon barbeque. And then, when Mistress M had rung, scratching around for something to do on a wet Saturday afternoon, the party was complete.

I must admit that I’d had a few misgivings about having nine children trapped in our tiny house by the rain, imagining they’d be bouncing off the walls like silly putty. But the stars must have been in alignment for us because the kids quickly broke into splinter groups and discovered the dress-ups, the Wii and the Lego, leaving the adults to eat, drink and make merry for six hours.

And merry we made. Even the Glügg came out – to a far more receptive audience than the night of my 40th, it must be said, but perhaps only because the vodka came out, too. Even Mistress M’s husband ‘The Sculptor’, a naturally temperate person, entered a world of “Yes, please!” once the vodka arrived.

And then I cracked open the karaoke on the Wii. Although, FatherOfCrankyPants was the only taker amongst the adults, I did notice that The Sculptor stood in the doorway in a nonchalant “I can turn and leave at any moment” kind of way but was singing along all the same. Yes, I saw his ‘karaoke potential’ in that moment and swore to bring out the vodka and the karaoke earlier next time to fully convert him to (what my husband calls) my “karaoke ways”.

[An aside: I later found out that The Mild-Mannered Lawyer was at that very moment in the city being forced to play charades with a group of senior insurance managers, wherein she found herself having to mime 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon' to her husband's boss. So it's fair to say I'm not the only person who knows how to have a great time.]

At eleven, our guests left in a big walking bus (or, rather, “staggering bus”) outside our house and my husband turned to me.

“Now that,” he said. “That was my 40th.”

“What? Even though your birthday’s not until next June?” I asked.

“Well, if I was going to have a fortieth, that’s exactly what it’d be like,” he replied. “Maybe not with the karaoke, though.”

Yeah, right. As if he has any choice about that.

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Some people like to procrastinate quietly in a corner with a good book and a family block of chocolate.

But not I. No. I like to gently avoid putting away the mountainous piles of clean laundry and/or stand at the kitchen sink for the fourth hour that  day by thinking about how much I dislike mermaids.

Yes, I am a mermaid-basher, but you already knew that, didn’t you?

The other day, I jumped onto twitter with the following question:

The general consensus from my twitter friends was that mermaids didn’t eat fish because “fish were their friends” and that they were sea-vegetarian. I, for one, don’t buy that for a moment. C’mon! They’re half-human! Don’t tell me they don’t have carnivorous urges. I mean, they must be at least pescetarian, if not omnivorous. I mean, the occasional cow must fall overboard a freight ship, right?

Still, what goes in must go out. How do mermaids shit? If they’re anything like Mr Justice’s neurotic goldfish, they must swim around half the day with a long string of faeces coming out their fishy arse. But you don’t see that pictured in any of your mermaid fairytale books or in the Barbie Mermadia series. Oh, no.

As I was thinking about all this, I could see Tiddles McGee’s lunch plate balanced on the edge of the arm chair from the day before.

Vaguely, I wondered if it would eventually make its own way to the kitchen. And that’s when it hit me. Like, really hit me.

If McGee had eaten his lunch under the sea, the plate may well have drifted to the kitchen with the tide.

Moreover, it wouldn’t need to have drifted to the kitchen because it was already under the water.

Which is why mermaids look so well-groomed and beautiful all the frickin’ time. Because they never have to worry about the fucking dishes! Or the laundry, because they don’t have any clothes to wash. I mean, those shell bras? Puh-lease. A bit of scrubbing to get the algae off may be required from time to time but if you can’t be arsed doing it, its not  the end of the world. You’re naked from the waist down anyway and you have all that great hair to cover your breasts, anyway.

Talking of great hair, even my hair looks great under water. It’s all soft and flowy and beautiful. Whereas out of the water, even one hour after washing it I’m grateful if it’s raining outside so that anyone who sees me will think my hair looks like that because I have just bravely run through the rain and not because I’m a complete and utter skank.

Here are some other things mermaids don’t have to worry about, just off the top of my head:

I think that’s enough about mermaids for now, don’t you? Next topic for procrastination: why Geppetto never had children of his own and had to make a puppet for company. Did he never meet the right lady or was he gay?

Uh, maybe I should just put away the laundry…

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I always felt that, given half a chance, I would make a most excellent seamstress. There was absolutely nothing to support this theory, save a poorly-sewn and never-completed skirt project from Home Economics in 1982, which I’m pretty sure the Australian fashion world mourns to this day.

Twenty-eight years later, I’m finally getting my chance.

You see my husband – no doubt hoping to start up a sweatshop on our kitchen table and kick-start an alternative income stream – pooled together with my mother and my parents-in-law to buy me a sewing machine for my 40th birthday.

For a few weeks, the machine sat intimidatingly in its box until one day last week, I pulled it out to see if an old dog really could teach herself some new tricks.

Now, I’m not sure how hard they must have whipped us in Home Economics classes but the memory of how to wind on a bobbin and thread a machine came back to me very quickly – with the aid of the instruction booklet and a healthy continuous flow of top-shelf expletives, that is.

And before I knew it, I was sewing. Actually sewing (*weeps with happiness*).

Now I know that what  I may lack in excellence as a seamstress, I certainly make up for in enthusiasm. In five days, I have made a total of four bibs and a zip-up bag – all thanks to “Sew La Tea Do”, the latest book from Melbourne-based blogger Meet Me At Mike’s. Here they are:

Now before anyone gets too excited, please note that this photo is taken from a healthy distance so as not to show my (many) sewing errors – errors which I’ve subsequently decided are entirely deliberate, made to give my work a happy-clappy folksy home-made feel. Yes, that’s my “value-add” to the world of sewing.

Anyway, excited by my successes, I decided to contact the force behind “Meet Me At Mike’s” on twitter to say how much I was enjoying her book. However, I got a little sidetracked by her twitter handle.

Which is probably something she gets a lot. Almost as often as people ask me if I’m affiliated with the NDM-1 superbug virus or the National Democratic Movement in Jamaica, which happens, like, all the frickin’ time.

And of course, me being me, I had to take it a little further:

Which pretty much stands as the textbook example for getting in contact with someone whose work you admire.Yep, that’s it right there, people. Watch and learn. WATCH. AND. LEARN.

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Leave a comment on this post and get a chance to win a bib made by yours truly, which handily can be worn while you drool over my deliberate-yet-mildly-charming sewing errors.

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