Archive for January, 2010

IT’S OFFICIAL! Über -blogger and long-time hero of mine, The Bloggess has formally endorsed my campaign for the title of Best Australian/NZ Weblog in the 2010 Bloggies.

And by “formally endorsed”, I mean she’s posted something about it on flickr.

“How did this happen?” I hear you ask.

Well, a few days ago, I wrote her a series of emails politely requesting her support. And by “politely requesting”, I mean “pathetically begging”. And for the record, I do a very good line in pathetic begging. Don’t believe me? I’ll let you be the judge:


TO:  The Bloggess

Dear Jennie,

I am one of your blogging peers. I, too, am a finalist for the Bloggies. Except, well, if the truth be told, you’re like a finalist for the Bloggies and I’m like a finalist for the distant and possibly inbred cousin of the Bloggies. Yes, I am one of five Australia/New Zealand finalists. It’s a pity there couldn’t be six finalists because then all our region’s bloggers would have had a chance. Yes, I can make jokes, you know.

Anyway, I’m up against some tough competition… Is there some way you could please help further my cause via twitter or your blog? Wouldn’t you like to see the under-dog win? Although I’m loathe to use the term “under-dog” because I’m always worried it means the dog who’s taking it up the arse from the other dog on top of them.

ANYWAY, as a present to you, I am offering you this picture of a porn star I once made out of vegetables with my friend. I’m afraid that parts of her *did* get eaten some months ago – so my threat in the subject title was a little hollow. Although I’m sure part of her is still at the bottom of the compost bin, so I technically could still eat her except I expect that threatening to eat six month old compost won’t exactly spur you into action. But it might. You never know.

Yours sincerely and just an itsy-bitsy bit desperately,



TO: The Bloggess

PS. Did you like how I spelt your name “Jennie”? It’s just incase you were offended by the email and then I could claim it was intended for someone else.

TO: The Bloggess


It’s no wonder Australia never wins wars or anything. We’re fucking hopeless.


FROM: The Bloggess

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebloggess/4308592975/ For you.


My sincere gratitude goes out to the Bloggess for a) indulging me with her flickr post and b) not alerting the authorities. And also to all my friends and family who have put up with endless rounds of emails begging them to vote for me this past week. I promise it won’t happen again. No, really. 

Please feel free to add your own endorsement in the comments section below and remember to Vote 1 for “Not Drowning, Mothering”  before 31st January 10:PM EST (That’s somewhere-in-America time).

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Two years ago, we celebrated Australia Day in the traditional way by going to our friends’ house for a BBQ while a merry band of junkies broke into our house and nicked all our stuff. Now, if there was any justice in the world, they would have subsequently been apprehended, charged and transported to England, where they could have relieved the locals of their land, possessions and traditions. But no. 

Of course, I blame our neighbour for the break-in.

Two years ago, a young good-looking couple had just started renovating the house they’d bought across the road.  On that ill-fated day, “Darren” (not his real name) was out the front of his new house, painting the porch. We, in the meantime, had been packing up The Love Bus to go to the BBQ when we’d noticed a man on a BMX behaving suspiciously. Not only was this man extremely-very-obviously casing our joint, but he also wasn’t wearing a bicycle helmet. No helmet! I mean, it’s like holding up a placard that says “I LAUGH IN THE FACE OF THE LAW! HA-HA-HA!”. 

Anyway, because we were already late for the BBQ, my husband went across the road and asked Darren to keep an eye out for any further suspicious activity. Of course, when we returned some hours later, Darren had packed up his paints and gone – and so had all our belongings. 

Now, I’m in no way accusing Darren of stealing our stuff. And I’m not really blaming him. Not much. I mean, he was there to paint his house and not to stand sentry on our belongings, right?

However, just a few weeks ago, I found myself glaring at him through the children’s window as he painted his new fence. And I was thinking “Oooh, my name is Darren! I’m not joining Neighbourhood Watch! I’m joining Neighbourhood Don’t Watch!” and other such mature, sagacious thoughts. As is my way. 

And then suddenly I noticed that A) he wasn’t wearing a shirt; and B) he was looking back over at me looking at him not wearing a shirt. 

I did the first thing I thought of and ducked. 

Which would have just made him think I was just this bored housewife who was totally hot for him and his “Look at me! Look at me!” shirtless ways. Which reminded me of the time another young, rather good-looking man had to step over all my writhing children to get out of the local cafe and I’d thrown myself in front of him and jokingly said “Now you have to get past me, too!” and he’d given me this slightly-disgusted look as if to say “Get away back to your Tupperware Party, Frumpy-Jean”. Stupid Tupperware. 

Anyway, the point of all this is that I just want to reassure the neighbourhood at large that I am not a pervert. I am just a mean-spirited son of a bitch who can hold a grudge for years at a time and for no real reason at all. I mean, that’s better than being a pervert, right?

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Something has happened to the radio in the Star Wagon these school holidays. It has found itself tuned away from the usual independent broadcaster and over to “Gold FM”, home to the Good Times and Great Classic Hits.

This is partly because some of the music played on the independent station makes my children cry with fear. Which is not to say that they don’t cry when Gold FM is on – I just wouldn’t know because I’m too busy singing along to Orchestral Manouvres In The Dark at the top of my voice.  Yes, through the power of The Singalong, I’ve been finding that Happy Place in my head as I ferry my screaming children between school holiday activities. Also, I’ve been trying to drown out that Elmo Chicken Dance song that still haunts me from time to time. 

For a while there, I was worried that my husband might burst my bubble by calling me a “goddamn 80s tragic loser” and turning the radio back over to the independent station. 

But no, he came back from taking the car out, all smiles and exclaiming “That Gold FM plays hit after hit after hit!”

So we’ve both been driving around enjoying good times and greatest classic hits and life’s been good… except…

After a while, you begin to realise that there really aren’t *that* many songs Gold FM gives its Great Classic Hits Stamp of Approval to and that you’re hearing a lot of the same songs again and again. And again. And you hear a few too many songs by Christopher Cross, Phil Collins and Whitney Houston and you start wondering whether the 80s were really that “great” after all. 

And then you find, after one too many repeats of a song like “Eye of the Tiger”, that it slips easily into your head, like so much tanbark into your shoes, and that you just can’t shake the thing out, no matter how hard you try. Even when all is still and silent at night, all you can hear is “DAH! Dah-dah-DAH! Dah-dah-DAH! Dah-dah-DEEEEERRRHH!”

And then you start to find everything you do and say and write is informed by that song and that you’ve totally become this freakish Eye Of The Tiger Lady and the goddamn song has become the goddamn soundtrack to your goddamn life. 

And then you stop fighting it. You accept that this is how things are going to be from now on. And you google the lyrics so you can at least sing along to this stupid song in your head accurately and not just go “nah-nah-nah” in the bits you don’t know. 

And that’s when you find out that the lyrics that you’ve thought were “it’s the thrill of the fight” for twenty-eight years are actually “the cream of the fight” and there’s all these references to “rising to the challenge” and being “face-to-face out in the heat” and you realise that the whole song is thinly-disguised pornography and that the “eye of the tiger” is probably a euphemism for that hole at the end of a penis and now it’s LODGED IN YOUR HEAD AND YOU CAN’T GET IT OUT.

So much for that Happy Place in my head. Sheesh!

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Yes, the rumours are true. Through a heady combination of persistence, persuasion and outright blackmail, I’ve managed to get myself named as a finalist for the Australia/NZ category of the 2010 Bloggies.

Now, before anyone starts muttering “Whoopie-fucking-shit” and hinting that making the Aus/NZ finalists is like qualifying for the Alice Springs Ski Squad or being selected for the English cricket team, let me say this: there’s a lot of talent out down under and I feel very honoured (if a little surprised) to have made it thus far. Fact. 

Okay, so that’s enough of being gracious and modest and that. Let’s talk Strategy…

Honestly, it’s like an episode of The West Wing in my humble little house right now, what with the amount of campaign talk going down. Except that instead of all that walking and fast talking, there is a lot of running (kids) and loud shouting (me). Also there’s no talk of the Iowa Caucus because, although I’ve watched all seven seasons of The West Wing a number of times, I still have no idea what a caucus is or what the hell it is doing in Iowa. I just know that someone ought to clean that shit up.

ANYWAY, so far the only vaguely strategic thing I’ve managed to do is post a link on facebook. Oh, and I’ve briefly contemplated streaking at the Australian Open with N-D-M emblazoned across my ample arse. 

Yes, I’m a winner alright. 

Now, let’s talk Message. 

As I write, my quiet little blog is being trampled by hundreds of Bloggies Tourists wondering what the hell “yet another Mommy Blogger” is doing in the finalists. In fact, my Campaign Media Liaison (i.e. me) uncovered one critical remark on twitter accusing the Australian/NZ nominations for being “basically women’s mags done as blogs”.

I was deeply affronted by this allegation. For one thing I couldn’t think of a single women’s mag on the market that would call Elmo a prick, advocate anal botox or suggest microwaving underpants to get them dry.

Nor could I think of a single women’s mag that would publish this photo:


This is why you should never remove the dust baffle on your fridge, people.


Or this one:


Vegie Porn Star


Or even this one:


Too many gin martinis for the class mascot


Basically, you could say I’m “just another Mommy Blogger”. But if all Mommies (and indeed Mummies) are like me, then you should also start praying for the future of our planet. After you’ve voted for me HERE, that is.

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I was mightily surprised to spot a Chicken Dance Elmo toy at my classy friend JS’s house recently. Not that I was in any position to judge – we have an all-singing all-dancing My Little Pony called “Pinky Pie” in our house, after all. But that’s a whooooole other story. 

JS observed my horror when one of my children hit the button on Chicken Dance Elmo and it began doing that thing that it does – which happens to be being Elmo in a chicken suit, dancing and singing along to the Chicken Dance. 

“As you can see, I have only ever given my son the most educational of wooden toys,” JS remarked. 

“Yes, I’m sure it has the Steiner Tick of Approval under its left foot,” I replied. 

“Not to mention the ‘Fair Trade’ sticker under the other,” she added.

Need I mention that all that long car journey home, The Pixie and McGee sang and danced the Chicken Dance? Need I reiterate that it was ALL the way home? WELL, DO I?

“I feel sick because of that chicken singing Elmo,” Mr Justice proclaimed when our journey was finally at its end. 

I knew exactly how he felt. 

I have always considered Elmo’s meteoric rise to fame on Sesame Street as the show’s “jumping the shark” moment. Which, coincidentally, happened around the same time Mr Snuffleupagus stopped fucking with Big Bird’s head and became visible to everyone. Sheesh! 1985 must have been the Sesame Street writing team’s “annus horribilis” – which, incidentally, is one of those phrases that always makes me giggle because it looks and sounds much ruder than it actually is, especially when applied to the writers of Sesame Street

ANYWAY, ne’er an Elmo toy has graced this house because of my deep aversion to all things Elmo. Not in a chicken suit, not in a nappy, not in a PVC multi-zippered “tickle me” gimp suit. And I’m proud of it. 

But then there are really good friends of mine, whose opinions I respect and company I seek, who have revealed themselves to be Elmo fans. In fact, it’s fair to say that they love Elmo and want to marry him. And maybe even want to kiss him. On the lips. 

“You know how there are those things that you hate that you expect everyone else must hate too but then you end up being constantly surprised by how many people who you thought were just like you actually like those things? The ones that you hate, that is,” I asked my husband in a rather convoluted fashion later that evening. 

“You mean like the Queen?”

“Yes, the Queen and Pauline Hanson and NCIS.” 

“Shit! Not that show with that red-headed guy!” my husband said, appalled. 

“No, not that one. That’s CSI: Law and Order Special Investigation Unit Thingy in Miami,” I replied, a little uncertainly. 

“Oh, I hate that red-headed guy. That terrible hair. He should be ashamed of it!” he said, himself a redhead and with two redheaded children. 

“ANYWAY, I’m talking about Elmo!” I announced in an attempt to rein the conversation back in. After all, this was about my pet hates, not his. 

“Oh, Elmo… ” my husband sighed. “I once saw Elmo on Rove and he was talking to an adult audience about himself in the third person and in a high squeaky voice. And that’s when I realised he was a complete prick,” he concluded.

“What, Elmo or Rove?” I asked. The volume in my head had suddenly been turned right up on that Chicken Dance song and it was hard to think clearly. Next time I go to JS’s house, remind me to set our all-singing all-dancing Pinkie Pie onto that terrible redheaded thing – and no, I don’t mean my husband. At least I don’t think so. I just don’t know anymore…

Elmo want to be a chicken, Elmo want to be a duck. Cluck cluck cluck cluck.  

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Every time my husband takes The Love Bus out for a little drive, he returns with shiny eyes and a “Can we keep it, mum? Can we, huh? HUH?” attitude even though we’re supposed to be selling it. 

Every time, that is, until last weekend when he’d had to phone me from the side of the road. Then, it was more “Muuuuuuummmm…. Can you come pick me up?”

Yes, The Love Bus had broken down. Again. And surprise, surprise, it had broken down because it had overheated. AGAIN. 

For those readers unacquainted with the Love Bus and its little quirks, overheating is one of its more decadent pastimes. The last two times it’s overheated, we’ve had to entirely replace the engine. I suspect both times had something to do with my husband’s tendency to thrash it like a white 1970 supercharged Dodge Challenger on the open road, instead of driving it like the 20-year-old people mover it actually is. 

This time, however, he’d been driving it in much the same way Noddy might tootle through the streets of Toy Town, throwing in the occasional “Parp-parp!”  and all. And in fact, he’d barely driven more than 50km in it since the last engine overhaul. The injustice of it all. 

As I piled the children into the Star Wagon to go pick him up, I rehearsed a short but rousing speech I was going to make when I saw my dear husband’s face. It went something like this: “I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO!”

But then, I thought, he’d be feeling bad enough without me stating the bleeding obvious. So I decided to seethe quietly instead. 

“I know what you’re thinking,” my husband after I’d picked him up and had begun my seething in earnest. “But can you imagine what’s going through my head right now? Just two weeks ago a man offered me $2500 cash to take the damn thing off my hands but I said ‘No, I’d much rather wait a few more weeks so I can then fork out that same amount to have it fixed. AGAIN.’ In fact, you could say that when anything ever happens, I say to myself ‘What would a wise man do in this situation?’ and then do the complete opposite. I call it Tarago Logic.”

Throughout all this, I maintained an impressive and stony silence. It’s in the blood: when I was sixteen, my father had to pick me up from a highschool teacher’s house, having received a phone call from her to say I’d been rat-arsed drunk at the school play. All that long drive home, I babbled incoherently things like “Nobody’shh perfect” and “Shorryyy…” and he just drove, eyes fixed on the road ahead, his silence speaking volumes (although, admittedly, I was too rat-arsed drunk to hear it). 

Anyway, the point of all this is that I may have continued my Ice Queen treatment except something happened. While my husband ran into the shops to run the errand he’d originally set off in the Love Bus to do, I turned the radio on. There, I heard the latest news of Haiti… estimates of 200,000 dead… talk of it being the worst human disaster ever seen by the United Nations… devastation, despair. Unspeakable horror. 

And I realised that while the Love Bus breaking down wasn’t the best thing that had happened to us, it most certainly wasn’t the worst that could happen. 

When my husband returned to the car, I surprised him by hugging him tight. 

“Look, if it’s broke, it’s broke. It’s okay,” I said and hugged him tight again. 

And we drove home and phoned the Red Cross donation line right away. In Australia, that number is 1800 811 700.

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