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Archive for February, 2011

A lot of people say to me “How’s the book going?” and I always give a gay little laugh and reply that I’ve started a Microsoft Word document and called it ‘synopsis.doc’.

The people then chuckle merrily and say “No, really. How’s it going?”

It’s usually at this point of the conversation that I hastily create a diversion, such as pulling a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Powder out of my bag, wrenching off the lid and, shouting “POOF!!!!”,  throwing talc over us all and then running away very very quickly.

Yes, I’m trying to shield us all from the terrible truth is that it’s the end of February and I haven’t done much  more than start that Microsoft Word document.

There’s a commonly-held belief seems to be that now I’m not blogging three times a week, I must have lots and lots of time to dedicate to writing my book. And while I do have a bit more time, I am spending it on other, way loftier pursuits.

The following random thoughts that I recently had provide a sterling example of such way loftier pursuits:

- Hmmmm…. Why does the word ‘umlaut’ not actually have an umlaut actually in it? It seems somewhat hypocritical. Note to self: write a book called ‘The Hypocritical Umlaut’ (and by ‘write a book’, I mean open a new Microsoft Word document and name it Synopsis2.doc).

- Wouldn’t it be better to rename ‘The Hypocritical Umlaut’ as ‘The Hypocriticäl Umläut’?’ That’d be ironic and cool people like irony, in an ironic kind of way. They tend to wear ironic hats while they do it. Which is never a bad thing.

- Perhaps the irony would be lost on those less cool readers (without the appropriate ironic head wear) and I should rename the book ‘The Ironic Hypocriticäl Umläut’?

- Is ‘The Ironic Hypocriticäl Umläut’ too wordy or is it not wordy enough? You know, considering the recent trend in literary titles like ‘The Incredible Amazing Tale of the Women Who Knit Stuff And Solve Mysteries In Their Spare Time Secret Club Society’ (And yes, I made that title up. Note to self: create a Microsoft Word document called synopsis3.doc because I could totally be onto a winner with those knitting female detectives).

- It’s definitely not wordy enough. The title should totally be ‘The Incredibly Curious and Staggeringly Loud Incident of the Ironic Hypocriticäl Umläut’. Yep, that’s it RIGHT THERE.

- You know, my blog post titles are never long enough. It’d be so cool to have a blog titled ‘The Incredibly Curious and Staggeringly Loud Incident of the Ironic Hypocriticäl Umläut In The Blog Post’. In fact I should write one right now. It might feel more satisfying than creating another Microsoft Word document.

- But hang about… Would titling the blog post ”The Incredibly Curious and Staggeringly Loud Incident of the Ironic Hypocriticäl Umläut In The Blog Post’ kind of ruin the punchline of the blog post?

- Um, is there a punchline? Is there ever a punchline?

-  No, there’s never a punchline.

- Fuck.

And this, people, is what I think they call ‘writer’s block’.

(*throws a handful of talcum powder, shouts “POOOOOFFFFF!” and is gone…*)

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Every now and then I write something which I think is so funny that I have to pause my typing because I’m laughing so hard.

Generally speaking, however, I am the only person on the planet to find those things funny.

The other day, my husband (who, as some of you may remember, never laughs at my jokes) was spending some quality time tuning his Other Woman (also known as his motorbike) when I approached, chuckling heartily to myself.

Our subsequent conversation went something like this:

ME: I just wrote something really funny on facebook!

HIM: Really? That’s nice.

ME: Yeah it really was really really funny. No, really. You see, I wrote something about the humid weather in one of my status updates and [The Mild-Mannered Lawyer] made some reference to that Nelly song about  how it’s “getting hot in herre” and I was all, like, “so take off all your clothes”.

HIM: Yeah, that’s really funny.

ME: No, no, no, no. That’s not the funny bit! I haven’t got to it yet! Anyway, so then somebody else said something about how someone must have brought the weather from Sydney and, you see, that’s EXACTLY what Mr Justice accused me of that morning. Of taking the weather with me from Sydney. You know, because I just came back from Sydney.

HIM: Yep.

ME: And then The Mild-Mannered Lawyer – obviously in her capacity as my legal counsel – advised me that Mr Justice was plagiarising Crowded House lyrics…

HIM: (eyes glazing over) Uh huh.

ME: So I said – and this is the funny part right here – I said that Neil Finn should either sue or get together with Nelly and write a song called ‘Everywhere you go, you always take off all your clothes’ !!!!!

HIM: And?

ME: That’s the funny thing I wrote. ‘Everywhere you go, you always take off all your clothes!’.

HIM: (gives blank look)

ME: You know, because of that Crowded House song that goes ‘Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you’. And because Nelly tells everyone to take off all their clothes – although, technically, nobody actually does take off all their clothes in the film clip, just a few superfluous top layers. Although I expect ‘take off a few superfluous top layers’ didn’t scan quite as well. Not that ‘take off all your clothes’ scans that well anyway because, let’s face it, it doesn’t even rhyme and it should be something like ‘So take off all your gear’ or ‘Let’s drink our body weight in beer’. Although you’d have to spell ‘gear’ and ‘beer’ with a double RR, you know, to be consistent with his creative spelling of ‘herre’, which I’ve always thought could also be an alternative spelling of ‘hair’ and, for reasons I can’t quite explain right now, makes me think of a bunch of heavily bearded guys in leathers dancing around in a nightclub where the roof is on fire. And no, I don’t know why I’m telling you this, either.

[Long silence]

HIM:  Oh. Okay. I’m glad you had a nice time on your Facebook. [Turns back to his motorbike].

Look, if my husband just bothered to accept my facebook friendship request – or, indeed, even joined Facebook – he’d see just how funny I was, like, ALL THE TIME and he’d be writing “Good one! LOLZZZZ!!! :-D” all over my damn wall.  Don’t I know it.

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In just over a month, I’m attending a blogging conference in Sydney where a group of about two hundred people will get to see what I really look like. Well, not what I really look like, because I’ll probably brush my hair or something, especially for the occasion.

For a while I contemplated going in disguise as someone called Stephanie who had a blog called “RAINBOWS! AND! LOLLIPOPS!” (Please note the creative use of exclamation marks). Either that, or hiring a body double with more shapely ankles and a better dress sense than me to attend in my place.

I also thought about wearing a KISS mask, which I could take off to reveal full KISS makeup. Which would be totally cool…  if about 30 years out of date.

See, the truth is I have some anxiety about not meeting the expectations people have of me – especially since I don’t know what those expectations are. I mean, what do those precious few people who read my blog who aren’t blood relations or currently involved in a lengthy court dispute with me think I look like? You know, other than extremely drunk.

I’ve been thinking about this even more since an incident on a weekend visit to Sydney,  where I randomly ran into fellow-blogger, twitter personality and all-round hottie Kerri Sackville on a train platform.

Kerri, to her full credit, recognised me immediately because she has the privilege of being my Facebook friend and thus having access to the trillion photos I post there and my deepest, most intimate thoughts about what I’m cooking for dinner and the price of bananas (“Bananas… WTF?”).

However, while I was initially sure it was her, I quickly became filled with doubt.

For one thing, the Kerri-in-my-mind was at least six feet tall, perhaps even seven. I’ve based this assumption on the few head shots I’ve seen of hers and the way she writes. There’s something about the lack of exclamation marks in her copy suggests stature. I’m sure there’s a scientific study somewhere to support this.

But the Kerri-on-the-platform, however, was positively elfin. Why, I wanted to pick her up and tuck her in my front pocket she was so petite.

So to cut a long story short, I ended up dissing this apparent Kerri-alike and continuing my train journey by myself.

Turns out, via the magic of twitter, it really was her (and, it should be noted, it really was me, too) and so we ended up meeting up for a power breakfast the next morning, where we fell in love over the course of a two hour power conversation.  I won her heart by telling  her she had spinach in her teeth and she won mine by spitting poached egg all over me.

Who said that romance was dead?

Anyway, the point of all this is to say the following to any bloggers attending the conference next month: please go all zen and empty your mind of any expectations you have of me and, in turn, I promise not to vomit on your shoes and/or drag you up during the dinner-dance to do The Macarena, okay? That way, I think we’ll all be happy…

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The first rule of Walking Club is that there’s supposed to be a President, apparently.

You see, when I recently agreed to go for an hour long power walk with my friend Mistress M, my husband got pretty excited.

“Why, you’ve got yourself a Walking Club!” he enthused. “Who’s President?”

“What do you mean?” I asked, somewhat bewildered. “How can there be a club and how can that club have a President? There’s only two of us.”

“Well, I formed a wine club with [MGK] at that barbeque the other day and I’m President,” he said, somewhat cockily.

“MGK let you be President??” I was a bit incredulous. After all, that didn’t sound like our friend MGK at all.

“No, not really,” he replied. “I voted myself in as President while she was getting more salad.”

“Have you actually told her that you’re the President??” I asked.

“Uh, no…” he said.

“Are you planning on telling her?”

“Probably not,” he said, wandering off to no doubt attend to some Important Wine Club Business, such as open another bottle of wine.

So much for the democratic process.

Anyhoo, the inaugural meeting of our Walking Club was some weeks ago and, to be quite frank, not a lot of walking has taken place since.

“How is your Walking Club going?” my husband asked me the other day.

“Good. Very good,” I replied. “In fact, the other day we walked into the backyard with a bottle of wine and then we walked back into the kitchen to get ourselves another bottle.”

[Mistress M and I had been celebrating the start of FebFast. Without actually talking about, we had both independently decided that the ‘fast’ part of ‘FebFast’ just meant that we had to drink our wine more quickly.]

“Anyway,” I continued  – and, let’s face it, ‘anyway’ is a good word to continue with. “KT has asked me to go for a walk tonight!”

“Ah! A rival Walking Club!” my husband exclaimed.

“How can it be a rival Walking Club when I’m a member of both? That kinda means I’m my own enemy…” I trailed off because I realised I really was my own worst enemy. Just recently, I’d decided that I was going to take up potato printing as a hobby and, indeed, carve out the shape of a potato into a potato half so that I ended up making potato prints OF potatoes. Now, if that’s not a cry for help, I don’t know what is.

“So, who’s President?” my husband asked. We were back to that old presidential chestnut.

For the record,  KT was more than happy for me to be President, while she took on the all-important role of Treasurer. Which was just as well, really, as I probably would just spend the club funds on wine and not whatever Walking Clubs are supposed to spend money on and then I’d just be playing straight into the hands of my so-called-husband and his so-called Wine Club. Shuh!

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