Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I don't even know what to title this post

And following on from the prayer for our daughters.... this.

Have you heard of Kiki Kannibal? I hadn't -- until I read a magazine article this morning.

This kid, all of 13 years old, started a MySpace account and with her fashion sense and quirky style, quickly developed a large following and some equally large haters.
One thing led to another and before too much longer, she was getting hate mail, death threats (actual real ones, not just made up climate scientist/politician sookiness) and her family had to move out of their home because of vandalism and the like.
She was targeted by a paedophile, posted provocative pictures of herself on her blog, and started running a business making jewellery.

You can read about it here if you want.

At no point, it seems, did her parents say ENOUGH. They say now that they made some mistakes but they had to hit rock bottom to realise that. They wanted to encourage her creative side, which I'm sure we can all understand, and they really wanted to help her overcome the loneliness she felt from being bullied at school.
I get that.

I also get 'Kiki' wanting to be Someone.

What I don't get is why it took all this drama for them all to realise that the Internet is not a childrens' playground. No parent would want to see their child (or their family!) go through what these people have, but bad decisions lead to bad outcomes.

That poor little girl has lost her innocence, and her childhood. Her family has lost their financial security, and their peace of mind. All to allow a child to express herself.

And it's not the fault of the Internet.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

a prayer for our daughters

I saw this today on Pinterest and it rang so true in my heart. Even though I didn't know what Hollister was and had to Google it.

Tina Fey's Prayer for her daughter:

“First, Lord: No tattoos.
May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.

Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes. Amen.” -Tina Fey

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

the biggest difference between boys and girls...

.... is, apparently, spiders.

The Princess screamed in panic when she spotted a Daddy Long Legs in the bathroom.

Mr 10 ran off and got his Nerf gun and shot its' leg off, laughing maniacally.

Mr 18 was very impressed and the two boys discussed how its' leg looked like a four, and enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

Boys are weird.

P.S. I do actually know that Daddy Long Legses aren't really spiders. But they should be.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

these are a few of my favourite things....

So, this is what I've been making in the last couple of days. They're not as fancy as the ones I saw that gave me the idea, but I love them anyway and I think they'll make a cute stocking filler!

Like? not like? what do you say?

Monday, November 21, 2011

whose is that strange child??

Have you ever played Three Little Words?

(each person takes a turn to say just three words, and you make a story)

I taught the kids to play while we're in the car, and yesterday the story went something like this

some pretty coloured autumn leaves fell in

me: the witches' cauldron

Mr9: and she made

The Princess: a COLLAGE!

Cue hysterical laughter for about 4 kms.

I'm a playah

Dear Blog,

I do still love you, honest.

It's just that I've been busy. Really busy. No, really REALLY.

Oh, alright, if you must know, I've been playing my new Assassins' Creed game. You know I pre-ordered it months ago, and I've waited a very long time and it's completely awesome and cool and I promise I'll be back when I've finished it. K?

We good now?


Thursday, November 17, 2011

park it here

Our local library has a very small parking lot. 14 spaces.

And today, 7 of those 14 spaces are RESERVED.

2 are reserved for library staff. Both empty.

1 is a loading zone -- NO PARKING. Empty. (seriously?? a LOADING zone? for a LIBRARY? How often is THAT needed?)

3 are handicapped spaces, and I have no quibble with that at all, except 1 of them has been 'stolen' by the library for the use of contractors who are working on something out the back of the library. And the other 2 of them were empty.

2 are reserved for contractors. And they were empty.

So out of the whole parking lot, there were 7 spaces available to the general public, all filled (YAY for a town where at least 7 people read) and 7 spaces closed to just anyone, only one of which was in use. By someone who was NOT using the library.

I am applauding the law-abiding citizens of BeachTown (including myself) who will park over the road at the supermarket and run to the library in the rain; but BOO HISS to the council, because that is a poor effort.


Yesterday, at school, I pulled into the first empty space I came to, and realised mine was one in a row of seven silver cars.


day a) it is raining outside, grey and windy, all the way through breakfast and while the kids are putting their uniforms and finding their shoes. I take the umbrella (feeling very parental) and when we get to school (7 minutes away) there is no rain.

day b) it is sunny out, and stays sunny through the breakfast eating and the uniform-putting-onning, and the shoe finding (why it it there's always one child who can't find its' shoes???)
and we get to school and it's pouring. And the umbrella is snug and dry at home.


My dogs sleep next to each other in the exact same positions, but heads at opposite ends.


Is the universe just messing with me this week?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

best EVER Christmas tip

This is the best Christmas tip I have.

Get yourself a cheap spiral-bound notebook, and cover it with pretty paper.

Now glue or tape the FRONT of an envelope to the inside BACK cover of the notebook, like so.

VOILA. You have yourself a Christmas organiser.

Use the notebook for lists, gift ideas etc, and store all your receipts in the envelope in case anything needs to be returned.

I made myself this one in a hurry about 5 years ago, so it's functional rather than pretty, but they also make a nice little gift idea, especially if you take a little care and use a pretty envelope etc.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

40 days??? are you KIDDING me??

Christmas is coming!

Yes, yes, I know it comes every year but it really is approaching fast, and THIS YEAR I'm gonna be READY!

So I've been busy making gifts and cards and sorting out teacher gifts and buying stuff from eBay and Pinning madly for decor ideas.

I LOVE Christmas!

I'll have some sneak peeks up soon, and I'd love for you to tell me about your Christmas when I do!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

can't blog, busy pinning

So my Pinterest application was finally accepted yesterday, and I can't seem to stop pinning!

For a glossy-magazine-addict like me, Pinterest is as bad as crack cocaine. Well, maybe not THAT bad -- I haven't had to sell the kids for my next hit at least.... because it's FREE! (lucky for the kids)

If you're a Pinterest newbie, imagine having a giant virtual pinboard with pictures of things that make you laugh, or inspire you, food and drinks, clothes, art, architecture, places to go, and people to see when you get there.
Only it doesn't take up any room, and nothing gets lost. AND you have the whole entire interwebs to pin from! not just whatever magazines you've managed to pinch from the doctors' waiting room recently bought.

I'm placing a button on the side there -----> so you can follow me if you want.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some more pinning to do before bed.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

treading on my heros' shadow

Firstly, you should know that I'm an avid Stephen King fan.
I cried when I found out that I'd just missed out on being in the same city as him a couple of years ago (true. Embarrassing, but true) and that I have all of his books and in fact, have read several of them to pieces.

For me to say that I'm not completely rapt in his latest book is tantamount to heresy, for me.

So let me explain.

11.22.63 explores the possibility that someone could travel back in time and stop the assassination of JFK. Which, if you know anything at all about politics, would change the world we live in now and affect millions of people.

The idea is intriguing.

Stephen Kings' masterful storytelling is -- well, masterful. He has a wonderful sense of character, able to draw a picture of someone in a few words.

He doesn't fall into the trap of depicting the past with a rosy tint, describing segregation in a way that's a bit of a slap in the face for this generation -- hard to believe that those things could have been not only accepted, but normal.

And I AM enjoying the story. (about halfway through)


The 'set-up' seemed clumsy. I was reminded constantly that it is, in fact, the set-up, the vehicle that drives the plot. It felt laboured, which for SK is almost unheard of.

He briefly mentions characters from another novel -- one which I've read many, many times -- and uses the wrong Christian name for one, and places anothers' body in the wrong spot.
These breaks in continuity COULD have been as a result of previous time travels or alternate universes or some other plot device, but they feel like mistakes.

I feel awful even writing this. I'm a nothing no-one blogger, no literary genius or even respected reviewer. What I am is a fan. (NOT the Number One Fan, though! God forbid!) And long time fans develop a sense of right and wrong.

And parts of this book feel wrong.

Maybe on the second read-through I'll feel differently. Because, yes, there will be a second (and a third) read through.
It's not THAT wrong!

Friday, November 11, 2011

and now we lie in Flanders fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

what to do? what to do?

These are the books I've read in the past two weeks -- all excellent.

And these are the ones waiting for me...

ALL of these books are OHmiGOD-I-HAVE-TO-READ-IT-NOW!

I am in a pickle, a quandary, a delirium of delight -- which do I choose first?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

walking in a bloggy wonderland

Today, in my Everyday Life, I picked up dirty clothes and ran some errands and cooked dinner and read some of my book and took a short nap and worked on a Christmas gift I'm making.

In my Bloggy Life, I read about an act of kindness, learned how to insult someone on-line (no offence), wished my husband would QUIT FRICKING SMOKING, remembered why I didn't take up mountaineering as a hobby, found a yummy recipe for pea and ham soup, read Kristins' post on sexual abuse on-line over and over, and dipped into a few books.


Monday, November 7, 2011

my restaurant rules

Today, Fabio took me to lunch.

Now, I have a bit of a 'thing' about restaurants and cafes -- so there are only a few where I can relax and enjoy the food without worrying about germs, or Bandaids in the soup, or whatever.

I've had some bad experiences -- we went out with friends one night in Kalgoorlie, and they picked a place I didn't like the look of, but I forced myself to eat, and then half-way through dinner, a HUGE COCKROACH RAN UP MY LEG and I'm NOT EVEN KIDDING.
Talk about ways to kill an appetite.

Anyway, today was not like that. This particular place is clean and efficient and the food is really good, and there are a lot of other things I like about it.
While we were waiting, I started compiling a list of My Restaurant Rules -- things that will bring me back time after time, or send me away before I've even had a chance to order.

See how many of these tick your boxes, too.

1. Your place better be clean. I understand that on a busy day, individual tables might not get cleaned off as quickly as I'd like, but I can tell if you don't regularly clean thoroughly.

2. I don't care how convenient they are -- do NOT use plastic tablecloths. They're ugly and feel cheap and greasy.

3. If your waitress calls me 'love', chews gum, or says 'youse' (as in, what can I get for youse?) I will probably get up and leave.

4. I HATE noisy restaurants. Tiled floors, metal chairs and assorted clatter is a big turn-off.

5. Buy chairs with a wide, deep seat, PLEASE? and try not to pick the ones with backs that tilt back so far I have to sit perched on the edge of the seat for fear of falling over backwards.

6. Men will LOVE cutlery with long handles. And I LOVE cutlery with rounded edges that feels comfortable in my hand.

7. Use nice big plates, wide bowls and decent sized cups. I feel embarrassed when I accidentally push food off the plate because it's too small to allow me to cut anything up.

8. Think carefully about the decor and design -- the place we went to today has 2 full length walls of glass looking out onto the street, which provides a view BUT lets in so much glare that I often have to eat wearing sunglasses. Not cool.
And one of the (two) doors blows open when it's windy and raining, letting in Arctic blasts of air -- the only way to stop it is to lock the door. That's bad design.

9. TRAIN YOUR STAFF! I don't want my waitress to settle in for a chat and become my new best friend, but I expect a certain level of friendliness and efficiency.

10. Finally, please for the love of God, buy steady tables. It's really disconcerting to have the table rock everytime someone leans on it. The small ones with a central pedestal should have supporting ribs under the table top to keep it still.

Do you think I'm being picky? Or is it reasonable to expect comfort in the little things when you're paying for it?
Tell me what you think.

PS. if you're interested .. I had the chicken and pesto linguine without mushrooms, and it was YUMMY.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


So, yesterday we took the kids to the Beachtown Show, where we patted alpacas, ate hot greasy doughnuts, investigated tractors and saw a ram with enormous knackers.

Like this. Only grey. (the ram) (and the knackers)

Doesn't that make your eyes water? (and look, his knees are buckling under the weight)


We saw electric bikes and Fabio took one for a spin. We didn't buy any though -- $1700 is why. The hefty pricetag doesn't stop me from wanting one.


The Princess got a Barbie showbag with a big silver tote, 4 nailpolishes, 4 lipglosses, a brow kit, a hairbrush, a makeup bag and a diary. It's cute and it's keeping her very busy.

Mr TenInACoupleOfWeeks got a gun that fires pingpong balls across the room and it's keeping him very busy.

He didn't get to enjoy it till this morning though because we foolishly let him ride on the SuperDooperMegaVomiterator and he was DREADFULLY sick, couldn't even walk afterwards, and stayed that way for the whole afternoon.

You may feel free to nominate us for Parents of the Year.


We found a fudge stand -- and I can't resist fudge -- so we bought me some creme brulee fudge and some nougat for us both. Last night while reading in bed Fabio thought a little nibble of nougat might be in order, so he scratched out his nougat brick and prepared to open it.
But the nougat was determined not to be eaten and defeated all his attempts to tear the wrapping.
After a minute or so of cellophane rustling he managed to tear off a piece the size of a pencil shaving which was only outer wrapping anyway, and he was reduced to gnawing his way through the plastic, but it came loose in tiny eyelash sized bits and I'm not kidding, it took him about ten minutes to open the thing.
By which time my stomach was aching and my glasses had filled up on the inside with tears of laughter.

He enjoyed it eventually though. And the good part was that he worked off a heap of calories opening it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


OK I hope you're sitting down to read this....

On Friday night, the power went out. And in the morning, my modem was dead.

I know.

Shocking, too devastating to think about -- but true! and of course, it was a long weekend so everyone was away and I waited till MONDAY with NO INTERNET, and I rang Westnet and ordered BoB.

He arrived today.

Isn't he sexy?

But you know what? after 6 days without the net, I wouldn't have cared if he looked like this

I would have sat on his lap and kissed him if he would just. GET. ME. BACK. ON-LINE!