I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I see a Slurpee in your future

I recently had the opportunity to have a reading by a tarot card reader -slash- clairvoyant. Now normally I wouldn't engage in that kind of crap, but it was free and the Jew in me couldn't pass up a bargain. Before I tell you what she said, it's best if I say what my feeling is on these things to begin with. Basically I think there are people who, for whatever reason, have a sixth sense about things. I don't think they SEE the future, per se, but I think that for whatever reason some people are more in tune with these kinds of things. I also think that for every one of these, there are thousands and thousands of shonky fakes whose most marketable skill is being able to make general shit sound specific, and to read people's personalities within a very short time. So that being said, I headed into my free for today only reading.

I walked out of my reading suitably confused. Some of the things she said I couldn't really 'place' into my life - but she was pretty adamant that I would be able to fairly soon. Other things she said were suitably detailed and creepy - she knew I had 3 kids, knew their sexes, knew my individual concerns for them, knew I had a birthday in the very near future, and some other bits and pieces. I don't know that I really had any major "a-HA" moments in there. I didn't even ask her any questions, nor did I tell her anything about myself. Perhaps I should have asked specific questions, but the whole thing kinda spun me out so for once I found myself speechless.

I suppose that clairvoyants, and mystics, and psychics, and whatever else is out there really only serve one purpose: they provide comfort to the person seeking their guidance. No difference to religion really - and my MIL would say that mystics, etc are basically a type of religion anyway. I think she's right - really anything that provides a person with guidance, support, insight - heck, some sort of purpose for living each day - can be considered a religion. Some people would say it's just their non-belief in anything (other than, perhaps, themselves) which is their religion (although I'm guessing they wouldn't use that word).

So - am I any better or different or enlightened after meeting with the clarvoyant slash tarot card lady? In short, no.

But I did find it supremely annoying that she used North American Indian cards with all North American animals in it. Who ever heard of a Brown Bear (new beginnings) or a Bald Eagle (starting something new) or a door mouse (introspection) wandering around Melbourne, anyway? *grin* (You knew I'd find something to bitch about, didn't you?)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Oh The Pressure

Note: edited below.

So as we all now know, having my birthday on Xmas Day sucks. For a number of reasons, but we won't list all of those here. I have recently come to the conclusion that there is yet another reason why an Xmas birthday sucks. It's the pressure of others always want to know what you are doing for your birthday. Bear with me as I explain this - it makes sense in my mind but it might not translate onto (virtual) paper.

I have a high profile birthday - and it's ONLY because of the date, and the fact that I share it with ol' Hey-soos himself. People KNOW about my birthday even if I don't tell them. It's a HUGE DAY in the calendar, regardless of ME (much as it pains me to admit it, a vast majority of the world doesn't even know I exist.) Of that small cache of people who do know me, and know of my sucky birthday, they all want to know what I am doing on the day. There is an enormous amount of interest generated from, about, and by my birthday. People just have this desperate NEED to know what is going to happen on that day for me. In part because everyone has the day off - so if I'm having a "do" they can be there, or if I'm alone they can come visit, or whatever. It's like my birthday gives them something to do on that day (assuming they are not with their own family that day.) On the one hand, it's NICE that I can have my friends and family there. On the other hand, it sucks. I CAN'T just say - you know, this year, I want to stay in my smelly pajamas and dirty undies and lay in my stale-smelling bed while reading back issues of trashy celebrity magazines and eating white bread toast slathered with peanut butter and drinking milk with ice in it. Oh yeah, and I want to be LEFT ALONE.

I just can't do that - the social pressure of having to DO something on my birthday means that I have to get up. I have to get out of bed. I don't have to go to work, but I probably DO have to make small talk. I don't want to host an event because then I have to worry, cook, and probably do some cleaning. I don't want to go out because it will involve pork, and we all know that's a no-go zone. See what I mean? I can't hide behind the "let's just go out to dinner after work" plan. I have to have PLANS, with a capital P-L-A-N-S.

This year is an example of this conundrum. I had my birthday event planned 12 months ago. We (me, DH, kids) were going to repeat last year and have a picnic on the banks of the Yarra River. Anyone who wanted to come, could come and if not, not. I was going to sit on my big behind, with loads of yummy food, my kids and my hubs, and just NOT think *all day*. ....and then those arseholes at the Weather Bureau fucked it all up, by announcing it was going to be the coldest Xmas Day in Melbourne's recorded history. So now I have friends, family, and extended persons all wanting to know, SO NOW WHAT?

I'm thinking those smelly pajamas seem like a good idea.

Pajama party at emzee's house - all invited! (You may not all fit into our bed, though, so could you please ask the bouncer at the door which seating you are booked into. Thank you.)

Editorial Addition: There is one MASSIVE positive to a high profile birthday: people don't forget the date! I had a fabulous day full of phone calls (both Skpe and normal), text messages on my mobile, and e-cards. Thank you all for making my 31st a fabulous day. (And I spent most of it in my PJ's...)

Sometimes Technology is NOT a good thing

Last week my Dad casually mentioned to me that we should set up a web cam. To be fair, he's been saying this for a few years, it's just that this time I listened. So less than 48 hours later, and with some help from Poppet's Mom (and Skype), we were web "camming" with my family. For the first time in 18 months I got to see my sister and her family. As in LIVE - waving to me. My neice, Baby E, probably now thinks her Auntie emzee has a square box around her head - but that didn't stop her from singing, talking, and making faces at me. So far this web cam thing is loads of fun - and I've since gotten to see my brother, parents and various crapola which is lying around my sister's house. I have also learned a few major disadvantages to being doing the ol' web cam thing:

- They can see just how fat you have become

- They can COMMENT on just how fat you have become

- You can't pee, do the dishes, or otherwise multi-task, while you're talking to someone on a web cam.

- It's harder to come up with a bullshit reason why you "gotta go," if they can see that you have jack all happening

- Other than the whole fat thing, your family can see if you have a bad hair day, are wearing nothing but a towel, or some crap stuck in your teeth

- Normal pauses in conversation just sorta feel weird when you're staring the other person in the eye. You feel kinda obligated to say something - anything - so you're not both sitting there like dorks

- 2 adults and 3 children do NOT fit on our office chair, but they DO fit in the screen of the web cam so my family can see us all at once before the chair collapses

- Adults seem to think small children are performing seals and web cams are the best platform on which to show off their children's tricks

- The stress you feel when your kid doesn't perform is not helped by the fact that you can't tell your kid off, poke them in the ribs to perform, or otherwise hiss, "COME ON! Sing, dammnt!" -- because you have loads of people watching you abuse your poor seal (kid.)

Overall the whole thing is a lot of fun, and I think it will really make a difference to how my family and I communicate. One of the suckiest things about them being so far away is that I don't get to see the things they do, I don't get to watch my nieces and nephew grow up, and I just feel like I miss out on that sort of stuff. Now, thanks to a camera and wireless technology, my parents table will always be set with one more space - for a small member of the family named "Logitech."

By the way, you can find me on Skype via the SkypeName 'emzeegee' if you want to say hello. I'm am left wondering one thing, though: when will the novelty of sticking my tongue out and wiggling my fingers with my thumbs stuck in my ears wear off?

I'm hoping for never.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Bored in Melbourne

Okay, summer is here and emzee is getting bored. In the comments, I want you to give me something to do this summer. So, pick one or all of these and:

1. Name a book you think I should read. No historical novels, bodice-rippers or hard core sci-fi, thanks. All other genres are fair game.

2. Name a blog you think I should start reading. My regulars are still witty but some of them are getting like day-old bread. Still edible, but fresh is best.

3. Name a food you think I should cook or bake. Either include the recipe or just tell me about it and I'll figure it out. I promise that if you do this one, I will not only make/review the item in question, but I'll take a pic of it and post it here. Some little birdies listened when I loudly announced "I WANT A NEW DIGITAL CAMERA FOR MY BIRTHDAY" so after Dec 25 I'll be posting loads more pics here. Give me something to photograph, would ya?

Okay, I'm leaving this blog challenge up here as the top post for a little while. Go on, people, get me outta my boredom funk (because when I am bored, I eat, and I'd rather not eat any more than I already do!)

...and only 7 more shopping days left! :)

A who me? Meme

I read this on someone else's blog and I'm in a typing mood, so suffer this meme.

(Some) Things I want to do before I die (in random order):

1. Career-wise, do something in the food/media/education arena - be that writing, television, teaching, food styling ...whatever. I'd like there to be another facet to my skill and love of food other than being in the kitchen.
2. Bungee jump in New Zealand. Seriously.
3. Meet Colette Peters and spend some time learning from her.
4. Compete in some sort of culinary competition
5. Run the Melbourne half marathon (planning on doing this in Sept 2007.)

Things I cannot do:

1. Stop eating at one cashew nut. Seriously, can ANYONE do that?
2. Spatial things - I often can't tell if one thing will fit into another, or fit several things into a small space, or 'eyeball' clothing sizes.
3. Play any sort of instrument at all, unless we are counting the tambourine, in which case I can't play that either.
4. Convince my sister to come and visit me in Australia

Things I can do:

1. Make all my children laugh, even when they don't want to.
2. Bake the best freakin' chocolate cake you ever ate. Seriously. Dense and chocolatey and gorgeous without being 'muddy.'
3. Use a piping bag filled with buttercream icing to pipe my kids' names on their outstretched index fingers, and have it be neat and readable.
4. Cross-stitch
5. Paint realistic theatre scenery - a skill I've not needed to use since I learned it.

Things I love about my Husband:

1. He seems blind to the fact that I am fat and tired and spotty at the moment - if anything, he just cuddles me more.
2. He reads my blog religiously, and he's quite proud of the fact that I write it in the first place.
3. He's got a cute butt.
4. He is currently growing the "Birthday Beard" - I think DH is soooo sexy with a goatee, but everyone else hates it. So for December/the summer, he grows one just for me. :)

Things I say most often:

1. Seriously? (or) Are you SER-ious?
2. No-fucking-way! (I don't use this one around the kiddo...or at least I try not to.)
3. Ummm, heeelllooooooo!
4. *SO* not, as in "SO not cool" "SO not nice" "SO not true"

For this one I'm tagging....well, anyone who wants to really. Heck, I stole it from someone else, feel free to steal it from me (but post a link here so I know you did it.)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

*falls over*

It's been a long week, people. I had a jillion cakes to do - which was great but tiring as I was worried they would not all work out (they did! YAY!), plus it was the start of my most favourite holiday of all (Hannukah), which meant cooking and shmoozing and cooking and shmoozing and in general I'm just feeling beat. So this short blog post is to say, as far as I am concerned, this is one of the coolest things I've seen in ages (well, from a chocolate point of view, anyway!) Seriously, it's ALL chocolate. Not a fish in sight. Gotta love that - pure chocolate genius!
And I'm kinda peeved that my request for a shout out (see below post) went unanswered except by one totally cool chick in Las Vegas. What's up with the rest of you?!?!?! Should I be insulted?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Pump Up The Volume

I am loud.

Very loud.

My normal speaking voice is loud, my talking-on-the-phone voice is even louder, and in general the words "quiet" and "me" are never found in the same sentence. Part of this I blame on my Israeli heritage, where everyone shouts and needs to speak ever louder in order to be heard about the din of 10 other people also trying to be heard. Part of this I blame on my height, because I need to shout so those shorter than I am can hear me from way up here. One more part of this I blame on the fact that it's just, well, very ME-like to be loud - who ever heard of a big, jewish, 6 foot tall, intelligent-bordering-on-perfection woman being quiet? Poor DH has suffered the effects of my volume on many an occasion, saying, "No need to shout, emzee, I'm ---->right here<----!!" (A comment which annoys the shit out of me.) Of course I blame his hearing loss on his advanced age, but let's be kind for now and blame it on my volume. I don't have an internal volume sensor, which means that even when I think I'm being quiet, I'm still being loud. Sometimes this is useful (crowded rooms) and sometimes this is very NOT useful (stupid comment made in crowded rooms). However I have discovered that while I never go down to quiet mode, I do go from loud, to louder, to freakin' deafening. Whispering? *snort* Yeah, right. As I said earlier, I'm not always aware of just how loud I am - until either someone comments on it, or I just kinda suddenly realise that I am shouting. This afternoon I was chatting (yelling quietly) on the phone to my Dad. I didn't realise how loud I was being until I hung up and suddenly was enveloped by silence. There was practically an echo. So clearly, with my Dad, my volume level is on Very Loud. I also have a special mode - VeryLoudAndVeryFast, which I reserve for when I am super mega excited about something (YYEEEEAAAHHH My cakes rock!) or super mega annoyed about something (Damn that woman's kid is ANNOYING) or in general feeling like nobody is listening to me (Are you listening? Are you? Because I'm talking and I'm thinking nobody is listening. Do I need to repeat myself?)

So you get the idea. I'm never quiet. I talk incessantly, and I talk loudly. No wonder some people find me so annoying. (They, of course, have yet to realise that talking a lot, loudly is The New Black.) Recently I have come to realise that DD2 has inherited the internal Loud button. Lord, but that child is LOUD. And she doesn't SHUT UP ... and I find myself saying things like, "Sweetheart, I can HEAR you. I'm --->right here<---! There is no need to shout!"

...and I'm sure my nearly deaf DH is thinking, "Payback is a bitch."

In honour of my volume, can I get some of you to shout back at me? According to my site meter thingie-whatsit (there, on the bottom right corner), I've got readers from the US, Australia, Malaysia, France, Taiwan, Israel, Brazil, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Japan, Iran, Unknown Country (!) and Canada. Now given that I can identify some readers from Japan, the US, and Australia: who the heck are the rest of you? Shout back - press the comment button below and introduce yourself. (But then cover your ears as I reply.)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


My kids are obsessed with surprises. Everything has to be a surprise: from the mundane to the important, as in:

Surprise! We came home from pre-school!

Surprise! I'm getting out of the bath!

Surprise! I'm hiding around the corner breathing really hard but you can't see me so it's still a surprise!

Surprise! I'm supposed to be getting ready for bed but instead I'm hiding under my bed, ignoring your requests to please brush my teeth!

Surprise! I broke yet another one of the things you told me to be really, really careful with!

This whole surprise! business is really, really annoying. Firstly my anal-retentive-don't-like-spontaneity Capricornian self hates surprises in the first place. I want to know stuff NOW, before it happens. I don't want to be surprised, okay? (This also applies, of course, if you are trying to cheat by giving me gifts before the event the gift is meant for, in which case that's not ruining a surprise, that's breaking the rules. The rules are holy. I know, I made them.) Secondly, if I god forbid somehow ruin the surprise - then an all out crying hissy fit then ensues, filled with indignant "you *ruined* the surprise mummy!" and frowning, annoyed faces. Now by ruining the surprise I mean something like ...oh, maybe opening the front door when I hear the car come in? Major crime, that one! Or - walking around the corner behind which lie 1 or more annoying surprise! people. Or - asking what's for breakfast. This is how I, on a daily basis, ruin my kids' lives. I ruin their surprises. A lot. Not on purpose, but that doesn't matter to them. They care only that I've ruined it all and they say, with all sincerity "I'll NEVER EVER give you a surprise again!"

If only they meant it.

Random "Kids say funny shit" Mention: DD just got out of the bath and on her way to get dressed for bed, yelled back to DH, "DAD! When you're dead I'll always remember you!" *grin*

Monday, December 11, 2006

To Lighten The Mood

'What will your obituary say?' at QuizGalaxy.com

This obituary came from here and was inspired by the one I saw here. Okay, so the grammar is atrocious, but hey, they mentioned baking *and* they recognized the royal we of "me myself and I"! Clearly all three of us shared a lover - in a hot tub, no less! Guess I'm not as daggy as I once thought. (Then again, I finally get to do something cool and I die. How uncool is that?!)

The Sad Reality

The above is a photo of my face two days after I fell down at work (yes, I know, flattering, right?). In this picture the bruising is pretty bad but the swelling has gone down - it started out as a big golf ball right under my eye. (Note to my family: I am *fine*, it just looks horrible, please don't panic.) The sad thing is, it looks like I have been beaten - and everyone I've met has made the assumption that I'm a battered wife. The truth is, it really was a work accident - but that explanation doesn't satisfy most people, who feel the need to joke that it must have been my DH, or that I *wink* *nudge* "ran into a door." Now to be honest, at first I made those jokes, too - saying that DH "didn't like dinner last night." I suppose after years of hearing about spousal abuse and seeing various video and media representations of what happens to battered women, we're sort of 'conditioned' to look at females with bruises and to think the worst. In my stupidity and desire to cover up my embarrassment about it all, I joined in the joking.

It's a few days later now, and several things have happened. Firstly, I've been out and about in public with people who don't know what happened to me. These are strangers to whom I cannot explain what happened. I've gotten a lot of strange looks, a lot of "gee, that looks like it must've hurt" comments, and plenty of people who you can tell are dying to ask me what happened. Secondly, I have been totally surprised by how I feel about all this attention. I am embarrassed. I feel humiliated. I feel ashamed. I feel self-conscious. I feel hurt. I feel depressed. I feel helpless because I can't make it heal any faster. I feel like I want to crawl into a hole and hide my face, because I feel all those feelings I just listed. I try not to look in the mirror to be reminded of how ugly it is, and I desperately wish my workmates would not stare at it, or ask to see it up close, or say silly things like, "Ooh, that looks NASTY!" I can't crawl into that hole, though. I still have a job to go to, children to pick up at pre-school, and a life to lead. I have no choice but to try and hold my head up high as I go through my daily activities.

Now imagine if this injury really HAD been the result of being battered by my husband. Dear god, just imagine. The pain, embarrassment, humiliation, self-consciousness ... all of that would be a million fold what I am feeling right now. In addition to my face injury I have a big bruise on my arm...and every morning I'm thankful that my sleeve covers it so I don't have to explain that, too. Add all of that to the terror of having to go back home to a partner who might do it again, and again and - just typing this is taking my breath away. How many women are out there, suffering like this? How many feel helpless to stop it? How many have survived this, only to fall into it the trap again? How many hide it well enough so that we don't even know it's happening to them?

Here you can find some statistical information about domestic violence in Australia - and these are only those people who speak up about it. Here is where you can find some help if you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence.

I am so very, very lucky. My injury was the result of clumsiness on my part, and nothing and nobody else. I have a loving, gentle DH who wouldn't dream of lifting a finger on me - no matter how much I annoy him. This experience - of walking around looking abused, even though I have not been - has been a humbling one. I've been given new insight into just how horrible abuse must really be - and I've only really experienced a tiny, tiny bit of what it must be like. This post is just to wish strength and hope to the people out there who are suffering this for real.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

What I Didn't Know About Cheffing

It's a contact sport.

I learned this the hard way, as myself and 10 dozen eggs went ass over tit on our way out of the cool room. This normally wouldn't be an issue, except that my head connected with Very Sharp Thing (not sure what it was exactly) on the way to the floor. I now have an enormous black eye which is not only puffy and purple and scary looking, but has 3 of those sticker stitch things on it. It required a speedy doctor visit, several pieces of work-related-injury paperwork, and rotating ice packs for the last several hours.

So it looks like my modelling career will need to wait a few weeks, and as DH pointed out, I now officially should only be photographed on "my good side."

Top Five Things To Say When People Ask What Happened:
(and I don't want to admit my ass fell down)

1. Heck, this little thing? You should've seen the other 3 guys!
2. Yeah, rugby can be a mean sport sometimes!
3. Ummmm, I ran into a door/fell down the stairs
4. Purple is the new black
5. At least I can still play the piano!

This blogger might need a day or so to recover (and be able to see out of my puffy eye). Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Pool Politics

We live right near the local outdoor pool (yes, I know, pools are cess pits of other people's pee and fluids, but when it's a billion degrees out and my kids are whining, heck, I'll swim in ANIMAL pee if that's what is required to calm everyone.) So. We live about 5 or so minutes walking distance from an outdoor pool 'complex' which looks pretty much like all the ones you've seen at the movies. You know, gajillions of kids wandering around half-naked, followed by gajillions of adults wandering around half-naked (and most of those really should be covered up). Teenagers flirting, lifeguards guarding nothing but the view of the ass of the other lifeguard, and so on and so forth including the overpriced Coke and Popsicles. You get the idea.

Because it's close and it's cheap entertainment and it exhausts the children to the point of delirium, we go there fairly often. As in, more than once a week. During the course of several summers, it's occurred to me that there is a bit of an unwritten code of pool conduct which can be summed up as follows:

1. There will always, ALWAYS be a random kid whose parents are ignoring him, so this kid will latch onto DH or I like a freakin' LEECH and we won't be able to get rid of them. NO, KID, I DON'T want to play with you and I DON'T want your mangy, pee-wetted arms around my neck choking me to death. My own kids do that just fine, thanks.

2. There will be several mothers (myself included) who have yet to realise that no matter how loud you yell, "KID! I *SAID* GET OUT OF THE POOL RIGHT *NOW*!!" your kid will still either not hear you or pretend not to hear you. In any case, you'll feel the need to yell progressively louder and louder. It won't help, but you'll keep yelling. You won't learn. See #7.

3. There will be several fathers who really should not wear see-through Speedos.

4. The number of minutes the kids spend in the pool is directly related to the number of times you will say, "No, sorry, no Popsicles today." (and you'll feel like the Grinch parent - but what am I? Made of money?) Whoever sets the prices for snacks at rock concerts or movie theaters does it for the pool as well.

5. No matter how many drinks and snacks you bring, it'll never be enough. This means you'll have to deal with #4.

6. There will always be some kid whose behaviour warrants evil laser eyes pointed in the direction of his mother, who is blissfully ignorant of him because she is too busy complaining about how her butt looks big in her bikini. We hate her (and her terrorist of a kid.)

7. It will take forever and a day to get everyone ready to go to the pool - there are bathing suits to be found, sunscreen to be applied, complaining to do, towels lost and so on. Once they are in, it will take forever and a day to get them out. Children are programmed to move at whatever speed you don't want them to: fast when you have all day, and slow when you are in a rush to get somewhere.

8. The pool will always be better than the beach: a) no sand in various body cracks, b) no sand in food and c) no sand anywhere. Plus no need to take furniture with you! However, the beach has fewer evil children per square metre of actual water, so you'll need to think which way to go before you leave the house.

Needless to say it looks like it is shaping up to be a long, hot, glorious Melbourne summer. Strawberries, stone fruit, sunscreen, slippery bodies - hooray! Expect lots of yay-its-summer posts along with other-kids-suck posts. Oh wait, I do both of those already! Okay, expect not much to change.

(Public Service Announcement: Now only 19 shopping days left.)

Monday, December 4, 2006

Only 21 Shopping Days!

(until my birthday.)

So here is the thing. I adore Xmas. I love the lights, the whole leaving-cookies-for-Santa thing, the carols thing, the people fighting in malls, the holly wound around the majestic staircase, the cinnamon-flavoured everything, the tree and the twinkles, the decorating of the houses, the whole damn Goyish kit and caboodle. Truly. However. One small problem-o. I am a Jew. (Born on Xmas, which is what I blame my Xmas interest in. That, and in the 6th grade play I was chosen to play Mrs. Clause. Santa himself was a 6 foot high total hottie black kid. So who says we were not progressive in the 80's?) So no Ex-Maas for moi. No tree. No lights. No decorating. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nary a fah-lah-lah.

As previously noted, I am what one might call...cheesy. I love all that corny stuff. If I was a Christian, I would so be incessantly singing carols from November onwards. I'd be wearing cheap earrings which look like Christmas baubles and I'd be sporting a flashing reindeer pin, WITH the matching reindeer sweater, while I baked star cookies and tied fat red velvet ribbon everywhere. I would make people kiss under the mistletoe. Hell, I'd even spray that fake snow stuff around my window sills. That would be ME. But it's not me, because it can't be me, because there is this small matter of being one of the Chosen People.

In the US, Channukah is an event. Newscasters in large cities wish "their Jewish friends" a happy "festival of Channukah" on TV. In stores you can often find Channukah stuff one shelf over from the Christmas stuff. My BIL (and other people in desperate need some fun in their lives) say that the gamut of Christmas-like Channukah stuff (plates, towels, lights, decorations, gift giving, etc etc) is just "an American reaction to the commercialisation of Christmas." When I moved to Australia, I was kinda surprised that none of this happened here. I *love* Channukah, in the absence of the Jolly Fat Man in my life (excluding DH - sorry DH! *grin*) So I grew up DOING the whole house decorating thing (in blue and silver, natch). We gave presents. We played dreidel, ate the latkes, sang the songs and in general made a big whoop-dee-dee about Channukah. In Australia it's not the done thing...until now, that is. Over the years I've kinda pushed the family into gift giving (on a small scale), I decorate my house (although not with lights), and I give presents. The BIL I mentioned above thinks this is ridiculous. He puts a supremely irritated face on when he encounters it and thinks it's all a bit American and ridiculous of me. He tries, very hard, to take a long thin pine needle of grumpiness and pop my balloon of Channukah Happiness.

Know what? I DON'T GIVE A FLYING DREIDEL. Or a flying reindeer, for that matter. As far as I am concerned, Channukah and Christmas and Kwanzaa and whatever the hell holiday it might be in December (did I mention my birthday?) - it's all about having FUN. I love to give presents. I love to get presents. I like lights, I like food, I like good cheer, I like being with my friends and family, and I just LIKE the whole idea that most of the world, during December, is HAPPY. Happy and surrounded by love and lights and latkes and other L words like LAUGHTER. That's it. I don't care about the religion bit. I don't care about the "American response to blah blah bullshit" bit. I don't care about the commercialization aspect of it. I just care that it's fun, and it's an excuse to have a good time. What can be so terrible about that?

AS for my grumpy pine-needle wielding BIL: Last year I drew his name out of the hat for the family Channukah Chaim (for you non-Jews: Kris Kringle). What gift do you get for the person who is anti-gifts (and at under $20)? So I did the right thing. I made a donation to an charitable organisation he supports, and wrapped up the receipt so he could claim it as a tax deduction. I strongly doubt he would admit it, but he was none too impressed with having nothing to open. This year, when we were drawing the names, he was overheard saying, "Well I know what *I* would like..." Funnily enough this year we also got his name out of the hat. Sadly, he's not getting what he wants. After all, why would I support the commercialisation of my BIL? He's getting a garden set. But not ANY garden set. One from here.

I say BAH HUMBUG and ROTTEN LATKES to *anyone* who dares tell me that I am "celebrating" for the wrong reasons. Celebrations NEED NO REASON. Now, go out and sing a few "fah-la-las" and throw in a couple of "oh channukahs" for me. (Birthday wishes don't go astray either, people.)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Culinary genius

I am a great fan of culinary experimentation - heck, it's how I learned to cook in the first place. Which reminds me, here is a little known fact. When I was a kid, one of my favourite after-school snacks was sauteed mushrooms. Now I had NO idea this is what it was. I just came home one day, found some mushrooms, sliced them and then decided to fry them in a nob of butter. I then ate this on toast ... ooohhh, bliss! I didn't know that I was essentially eating a fairly classic French delicacy. I just knew it tasted damn good - seriously drool worthy, especially on a circa 1970's bright orange square shaped plastic Tupperware plate. (Part of a set. The other three colours were brown, burnt orange, and mustard yellow.) While we're on the topic of "why Michelle has been fat her whole life" another of my favourite after school snacks was this: Take a mug and fill it about 3/4 full with milk. Then take a packet of (Original) Chips Ahoy cookies and shove about 5-6 in there. Wait a few minutes, and then mash those down with a spoon. Then put in another few cookies - maybe 3-4. Wait (but not quite as long) and mash. Then proceed to eat the entire mushy, milky, cookie-squashed mess, and take great excitement in the fact that most of the chocolate chips fall to the bottom. Reason # 3 would be Wonder Bread and Best Foods mayonnaise and Hebrew National bologna, but let's not go into that right now.

So my young self was right into the culinary experimentation, at least on a snack level. We were blessed to have a series of underpaid but well loved maids from various third world South American countries working for us, so I never did much in the way of actual COOKING a meal, per se. Snacks, though? Right up my alley. Actually this is true to this day - I adore snacks much more than actual meals. There is just something so comforting about snacks. Not pre-made, processed snacks - just the idea of having a tiny meal rather than a big one. Strangely, though, I never got into that "eat six small meals a day" diet thing. Where is the romance, the excitement, the thrill, the comfort and the joy if EVERY meal is a snack? PUH-leeze. I want to eat a steak with 3 veg and some carbs and then 30 minutes later have a 'snack' of ice cream and/or dry cereal.

But I digress. The point of this post is to say that if blogs and websites were as prevalent in the early 80's as they were today, I surely would have been addicted to this website. True genius, I tell you. TRUE genius. (I suggest starting your viewing with the Top 20 on the right hand side. I *heart* the Oreo one...)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Where do I F.I.T.?

On the weekend I read about two new acronyms. The first, coined by American Helen Kirwan-Taylor, in this article, is SMUM: Smart, Middle-Class, Uninterested Mother. Essentially it describes mothers who aren't all that into parenthood - they'd rather be out with friends and doing non-parenting stuff rather than be with their kids. The title of her story says it all, really: "Sorry, but my children bore me to death." Needless to say there has been a backlash to this (of course requiring another acronym): SCAM - Smart, Child-Centered, Active Moms (term coined by Erika Schnickel in this article). I read the descriptions of these parents, which are:

Example of a SMUM: "blowing off birthday parties to get her highlights done, text messaging friends through Disney movies and using work as a means of escape from {children}..." (Helen's description)

Example of a SCAM: "superachieving moms who hand-letter birthday invitations, spend their days in imaginative play with their toddlers, bake from scratch and joyfully embrace each moment spent with their supergifted offspring." (Erika's description).

Since I'm sure this issue has been Mommy blogged to death, I'm not really going to enter into the fray. The question I AM going to ask is, where do *I* fit in with these? Would I blow off a birthday party to get my hair done? HELL YEAH. Would I text message through a Disney movie? HELL YEAH. Do I often want an escape from my children? HELL YEAH. Do I hand letter birthday invitations? HELL YEAH. Did I spend days of imaginative play with my toddlers? HELL YEAH. Do I bake from scratch? (Excuse me while I just laugh at this one.) Do I joyfully embrace blah blah blah? HELL YEAH. I won't ask if they're supergifted. Hello, people, they're MY kids. 'Course they are.

So, then, what am I? Truth is, kids were never part of my original life plan. We all know that, right? So as a result, I don't find Barney enthralling. I fall asleep during Blue's Clues. There is no worse torture for me than attending kids' birthday parties (and I include my own kids' parties in that.) Sometimes the noise and chaos and plain ol' stress of being a parent means that when the kids are not home, I sigh an enormous sigh and think, "OH THANK GOD!" My time at the gym is my selfish time, when I don't have to listen to kids asking me for stuff, or getting in my personal space. I adore them - but I'm glad to have my time away from them. So clearly I must be a SMUM, right? Heck, we all know I'm smart, I'm pretty much middle class, and I'm a Mum. There are definetly times when I am completely uninterested in my children.


I hand write invitations - shit, I even GLUE stuff on and fold them and decorate them and do stickers. Stickers, people! I make stuff from scratch. Like as in ALL THE TIME. I play imagination games with them, I get excited for and about them, and in general I try to be as attentive a parent as I can be. Why? Because I'm only going to have ONE SHOT at this parenthood biz. ONE. That's it. I made a very distinct choice to have children - it wasn't a natural decision for me, it wasn't an extension of the usual married/house/kids pattern. On top of all that, DH and I paid a FORTUNE for the kids. I endured no end of medical poking, prodding, and PAIN to have them (and this was before I was even pregnant, mind you.) Now while the above parents may or may not have gone through what we did, they still MADE A CHOICE to become parents. So if you choose to bring another person onto this earth, why in heaven's name would you then choose to ignore them, or not bother to enjoy them? Seems like such a waste of effort .

So where, dear blog readers, does this leave me? I'm an actively involved baking-from-scratch parent - who will gladly trade playdates for hair appointments. I'm BOTH of these parents, but without the extreme bits which go crusty around the edges. I'd venture to say that MOST of the women I know (and men too) are a mixture of these parents - which is to say, totally, 100%, completely normal. Why do women insist on beating one another up for the choices they make? Why do we have to come up with some bullshit acronyms to justify our parenting style? Can we not just agree that everyone does it differently, but most of us end up with happy and well-adjusted kids?

This reminds me of the ONE piece of advice I give to parents of new multiples - or really, parents of ANY kind who ask my advice, or say things like, "How did you cope?" My answer is actually two-pronged. First, I say, you have to only do TWO things every day: LOVE THEM, and FEED THEM. Then, I say, you need only do WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. Parenting is not a cookie-cutter skill. Parenting each child is SO different - hell, I'm parenting 3 at the same time and can safely say that I parent them differently. Very differently, because they are different people.

Maybe Poppet's Mum is right. Clearly, I'm a SMUCCAM:

Smart: Often. Check.
Middle Class: Pretty Much. Check.
Uninterested: Sometimes. Check.
Child Centered: Often. Check.
Active: Absolutely. Check.

Mum: ALWAYS. Check.

In case you couldn't tell, I'm also damn proud of it. To celebrate I'm going to go bake something from scratch with my trio of overachievers, then take the snacks and the kids to the playground. While I'm there, I'm going to send text messages to Poppet's Mum while the trio play. Know what that is? It's called real life parenting. (or RLP, if you must.)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I am so not cool

For years now, my friend Danielle has affectionately referred to me as a "dag." Now the sad thing is that literally, this term refers to the dirty, smelly, flap o' wool which hangs off the back of a sheep's ass, and gets covered in shit every time it does it's business. No, I'm not kidding. Now in this totally strange country, a "dag" also refers to someone who is (according to Wikipedia) "a likably goofy or unsophisticated person."

Hmmm. Now for a long time I knew this wasn't a compliment, but I also knew it wasn't entirely NOT nice either. Dani herself is a nice person, and every time she said it, it was with a smile and a laugh and a good-natured rib. So I never really got insulted. After all, I KNOW how supremely uncool I am. I KNOW that I am not on the cutting edge of fashion (I *heart* Birkenstocks), technology (my mobile phone is 5 years old), social scene (I'd rather see Billy Joel in concert than the Arctic Monkeys)...etc. In fact I'm so far from the cutting edge, you could say that I am just the crappy knife at the back of the drawer which, when you get it you say, "Why haven't we thrown this stupid thing out yet?" I've never, for one solitary second, been COOL. I've always had friends, I've always been pretty outgoing (except when it comes to the damn small talk), and basically I think I'm either well-liked or well-pitied. But I've never been cool. I'm too fat for cool clothes. I'm too organised and rules-oriented to attend or throw cool parties. What little manners I have make me too un-cool to be mean to people for no reason.

This past Saturday night DH and I got invited to a cocktail party. It didn't take long to realise that frankly, my uncool and very 'daggy' self shouldn't have even accepted the invitation. Uncool Revelation#1: I'm allergic to alcohol and can't drink. I am uncool before I even walk in the door. It's a cocktail party, fer'cripessake! Uncool revelation #2: I asked about dress code, which immediately revealed me as being so uncool as to have to ask that, and then extra uncool when I was surprised to hear that jeans were fine. Uncool revelation #3: We got there an HOUR late and the cool people still had yet to arrive. I even tried being fashionably late and I failed. Uncool revelation #4: I didn't really know anyone except the host and hostess. This requires small talk. Ummm, you already know how I did on this front. Uncool revelation #5: Come midnight, DH and I had to go and rescue the babysitter, while everyone else continued to get slowly smashed and talk about totally inconsequential stuff. Clearly, this party was way too cool for DH and I.

So. Given the choice between a party where everyone is very late, drunk, smoking like chimneys and talking about shit-fuck-all - and being the bit of wool hanging off a sheep's ass....well, I proudly say:


Monday, November 20, 2006

Ugly Shoes Rock

As proof that I am a slave to fashion, I bought the each of the kids their own pair of these today. What the hell, they're not too expensive, come in cool colours, and can get wet. So what if they're ugly? Hell, I've spent a majority of my life wearing these:

Clearly, Ugly Shoes totally ROCK, and the apples don't fall far from the tree.

ETA: 30 Minutes

If you're running on emzee time, then you know that it takes exactly half an hour to get anywhere or do anything. It takes half an hour to bake a cake, cook dinner, bathe the kids, get dressed, have a shower, put on make-up (yes, I do that sometimes) and in general there is nothing which cannot be achieved in half an hour. This magical mystical half hour can then be used in a number of ways, as an excuse for things not getting done. "I didn't think it would take longer than a half hour." "I left 5 minutes late, so I had less than a half hour to get there" "I can do it in half an hour. Why can't you?" and so on and so forth. It's also good to make you seem superior, "Of course I'm early! I left a half hour ago!" "I allowed 30 minutes but it only took about 10." (and so on.) It's a very useful time frame, the ol' half hour. I even use it as a way of deceiving myself when I know I am late for something, but I'm trying to convince myself that I won't be. "Hmmm," I think as I look at the dashboard clock (which shows 6:43 and I need to be there at 6:45 and I'm several kilometers away), "I'll make it. It's hasn't been a FULL half hour yet!"

It's a very flexible half hour.

The half hour can be FULL: precisely 30 minutes, but not including the minute that I left the house in, because when I looked at the clock I can't say for sure if the minute started just then or if 40-odd seconds had gone by or not. Plus it needs to include the minute after I get there, for the same reason.

The half hour can be SHORT: must have been less than 30 minutes because otherwise I SOOOOO would have been there on time.

The half hour, best of all, starts when *I* want it to. Yup, it'll only take me a half hour to get there...but the half hour starts AFTER I've had a shower, gotten dressed, sang a few bits of songs off-key, read just ONE more chapter, wandered around the house in my undies, called a friend and had a snack.

I love living on emzee time, and it's high time others understood it. You want to see me? Gimme a half hour...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Oldies but Goodies

Old people totally creep me out.

There, I said it. Oldies make me uncomfortable. I don't like the smell, the leathery skin, the mumbling, the shaking, miserable, totally creepy house-coat wearing old people of the world. I really hate it when they stretch out a bent, twisted hand in order to stroke your hair and they get their mangled fingers stuck. I don't know what to say to them. But that's just me. I didn't grow up with very many old people. My grandparents (who I adore) lived far away. I didn't have a whole stable of Great Aunties and Great Uncles - thanks to the Holocaust, extended family just didn't happen for me. In some ways this is a good thing, as I rarely had to experience any loss, attend any funerals, or deal with people dying very much.

DH, on the other hand, grew up with a selection of oldies. Some were related to him, some were not, and some (famously) would adopt him in supermarkets and demand rides home. As a result, he is tolerant of oldies. Hell, he spends HOURS researching the oldies we were related to. Since I've been with DH, he's introduced me to a number of really great oldies. Some he is/was related to, others that his family has picked up along the way. Plus, let's face it, his own parents are oldies by defintion. After all, DH himself is not far from being an oldie . So in my own way, I've gotten used to being around oldies. I don't like it, but I can handle it without running from the room and feigning a deep interest in the ceiling tiles in the hallway outside. The thing is, intellectually I know that oldies have a lot to offer. Experience, knowledge, insight and often great comedic moments - the oldies of the world are our true treasures, if only the young 'uns would appreciate them as such. But we don't - or at least, I don't. I can't get past the gnarled hands.

The trio spend a fair amount of time with their beloved grandparents. The grandparents who at the moment are ballroom-dancing, daily-gardening, young-whipper-snapper like in their everyday lives. They aren't crusty. They aren't leathery. They aren't gnarled, bent over, or smelly (except maybe after a day in the garden.) Sure, they have their medical maladies, but on the whole the g'rents are pretty okay. Someday they won't be, though. As much as it pains me to think about it, the g'rents are going to get crusty. And gnarled. And, well...ancient. I'll deal with it - because I knew and loved them in the Days Before Gnarled. The trio will also cope just fine, for the same reason.

Maybe my feelings about other people's children is the same as other people's oldies. In general, I can't stand them. In specific, I might be able to cope with the more mature ones.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bonus, Shmonus

So you know how I worked lots and lots recently? As a thank you for all of our hard work, the owner of the company has invited everyone out to the movies next Monday night. The movie? Keeping Up With The Steins. Essentially it's a movie about the planning of a Los Angeles based Bar Mitzvah. I'm sure the movie is funny. I'm sure I'll be able to relate to it. And I'm damn sure I don't want to go and see it with a bunch of jerks I work with. But it's a free movie, you're saying...and you love movies, emzee! Yes, actually, I do love movies, and given that they cost a fortune to see, how could I possible say no? Well, let me tell you. Here are the reasons why I have no intention of going:

    1. I am the only Jew in the entire company and I grew up in Los Angeles. . At various times, "jokes" have been made about Jews, and the laws of keeping kosher, and how annoying we/it are. The company does cater for Kosher events, and yes, it is somewhat painful to have to only use certain products, to have to kosher an entire kitchen for the purpose, and so on. At the same time, it's so NOT COOL to make anti-Jewish remarks at other times. When the movie choice was announced, there was rather a lot of elbow-nudging and laughing and "Oh, SERIOUSLY? We gotta see a movie about JEWISH people?" Yes, this flick will probably be funny and I'd enjoy it, but there is no way in hell I'm spending my night with jerks like this. I'm guessing the movie is funny because it plays on a number of stereotypes about Jews. The last thing I need is my workmates assuming that my family and I must be *just* like that (even if, maybe, we are, just a little bit... like that).

    2. I spent several weeks working long hours with these people. The BEST way I can think to celebrate would be to go HOME and spend some time with my family. You know, the ones who helped me to actually do those hours you demanded. The ones whose own lives were put on hold or rearranged or whatever, just so I could make your damn sandwiches. You'll excuse me if I don't want to celebrate my achievement by spending MORE time with the people I already spend MORE time with.

    3. Not only do I not want to spend more time with my workmates, but if I'm going to have a (fairly rare for me) night out on the town, I'm going to spend it here - not going to a movie YOU pick, at a theatre YOU pick, at a time YOU pick, because this is what YOU think I need as a "hey thanks for working your guts out." I'm going to sit in that glorious dining room for 5 hours, eating AMAZING food, with some completely remarkable women, and we're going to walk out of there $400 poorer, but millions of dollars richer in laughs shared. THAT is my idea of a celebration.

Now to be fair, the company I work for treats all it's employees very well - we got lots of perks which most food-based businesses don't provide. This whole movie thing, though ....ugh, it just irks me. Theoretically, I suppose, I should be grateful. Hey, they're offering me a night out, and a free movie! However the reasons above pretty much describe why I've now been labeled a "party pooper who doesn't want to be part of the team" by my kitchen mates.

They can all get stuffed. With a gefilte fish.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Who Me? Stage Mother?

DD2 will be performing in her very first ballet recital in two weeks. This is significant for a number of reasons. Firstly, it reminds me that she clearly did not get her coordination from moi. I don't *do* dancing, people. I shake and shimmy my boobies and butt around but that's about it. Rhythm? Fuggedabouddit. She, on the other hand, is pretty close to being one of the best students in her class. This kid has style, she's got grace and she really has got those damn light-as-a-feather arms which ballerinas are supposed to have. Her mother has arms which are as light as a small vehicle. Secondly, as the one who demands and needs the most separation from her siblings, this is a real declaration of her independence. She is the only one enrolled in ballet, and this performance is all about HER. Nobody else. To that end she has invited her family and various friends to watch the performance, and has declared that she wants to be in EVERY dance (never mind that her class is only doing one, she wants to do them all.) This is her moment to shine and she is milking it for everything it's worth.

So on Sunday was the dress rehearsal for the show. Here I was thinking I would be the calm, level headed, "yeah so my kid is Barishnikov but so what" self. I could not have been more wrong. First, I was totally stressed out about her hair and make-up. Kids in her ballet class (being no older than 6) are not required or allowed to wear make up, but dammit, my kid was going to have lipstick. AND baby pink eye shadow. AND sparkly lip gloss. AND I was going to re-apply it at the slightest hint of it being crooked or wiped away or - heaven forbid - not sparkly enough. Then the hair. DD2's hair falls between her ears and shoulders, so it's not really long enough for a traditional ballerina bun. However, the costume (and Oh.My.GOD. are they cute) includes a red satin ribbon. So I had to get that ribbon into her hair if it killed me - and mind you, DD2 is the kind of kid who HATES her hair being messed with. She considers tucking her hair behind her ears a travesty. I managed to get the bow in (with a half ponytail). She only got peeved when I straightened the bow for the 3,000th time that morning.

So she was all dressed and ready to go, and we're waiting for her rehearsal to start, and she says, "Mummy, my tummy REALLY HURTS and I want to GO HOME." Now normally, laid back me would have gladly whisked her away to the comfort of home. I'm not a psycho-beauty-contest Mom. I feel no need to pressure kids into activities they don't want to do. I knew, though, that this was DD2's first case of stage fright - all the excitement of the costume, hair, make-up, etc just kinda stressed her out. I get it. But there was NO WAY IN HELL I was leaving that dance studio. DD2 was going to get into that room and she was going to plie and feather-arms and prance around like a freakin' ballerina IF IT KILLED HER. I consoled her with stories of my own stage fright..."You know, sweetie, when Mummy was 16 and she had the worst part in the high school play..." After all, this Mummy didn't do dancing as a kid. In part because I had (and have) 12 left feet and small vehicle arms, and in part because my parents just didn't bother. DD2 begged, pleaded, cried (not real tears) to go home. My crappy "I had stage fright too" consolation stories weren't helping in the slightest bit. She failed to realise that if we'd made it this far, she had no chance of backing out. I didn't re-apply that sparkly lip gloss 14 times to have her GO HOME. I didn't brush, re-brush, and re-re-brush her hair and straighten, re-straighten, and re-re-straighten that damn bow....only to GO HOME. I finally got a girly girl through whom I could live vicariously, and I wasn't going to give up that easily.

It took 10 seconds of her friends realising that their costumes were slippery - and thus enabled them to spin around on the shiny studio floor on their bottoms with their feet in the air - for DD to forget her nerves. She looked at them, looked at me, asked if she could have another application of shiny lip gloss...and took off to spin.

Shortly thereafter her rehearsal started. I stood behind the one-way mirror and watched my beautiful, graceful little girl dance her heart out. I cried tears of pride. Not only were her arms floaty as can be, but her hair and make-up were perfect, and she had a grin which stretched from ear to ear. When she eventually came out of the room, I dried my tears, snatched her up and gave her the biggest, most enormous hug ever, and told her just how proud I was of her. "Mummy?" she asked, "What does immensely mean? You said you are immensely proud of me but I don't know what immensely means." "It means, sweetie, that I'm so proud of you that my heart feels like it will burst."

She did what any self-respecting diva in the making would do. She wiggled out of my arms and said, "Hey! Don't squeeze me so tight! You'll ruin my lipstick!"

Still Got It

Last night, as a gift to myself (and I was very nice and let DH come with me), I went to the Billy Joel concert. Really, after 50+ years, several stints in rehab, a couple of wives, and god knows what else happened to this man, you know, he can really, really KICK SOME MUSICAL BUTT.


Thursday, November 9, 2006

If I Never See Chicken Salad Sandwiches Again

So for the past 10 or so days I have been mired in a world of food, food, food and did I mention the food? Melbourne is in the grips of the Spring Racing Carnival, which means oodles and oodles of hampers, horses, hats, and of course, fashion faux pas. It's a colourful, lively time of year when Melburnians celebrate the fact that gambling, drinking, and acting silly are all national past times to be immensely proud of. Plus there are some weird little skinny guys who actually ride the horses. From am emzee point of view, it has meant that I am working an enormous amount of hours (to feed the revellers), but I'm also making a small fortune.

That being said, I've had one day off in 2 weeks (spent nursing sick DH and DS, mostly) and I've varied in work hours from as little as 9 to as many as 12 and back again, and some mornings I've been up at 1 AM (!!) packing chicken salad sandwiches into expensive shoe boxes and making sure not a single solitary mark is on the $150 box. Yes, $150 for some finger sandwiches in a mark-free, perfectly aligned sticker, fancy-shmancy this is the best sandwich ever hamper box. I shit you not. This is why I love my job. For the record, I did stuff other than chicken salad sandwiches, but ya know, the olfactory assault of chicken and mayo at 1 AM, well, it's something one doesn't forget too easily.

The madness ends on Saturday, after which I will return to normal blogging (instead of collapsing into a heap every day) and I can reclaim my life from the several thousand (literally) chicken salad sandwiches I have had some small part of making. If you think I'm exaggerating the amount of these things, let me assure you that the other day I was involved in the chopping up of 90 KILOS of poached chicken - and that was only for ONE customer, for ONE event. We are talking chicken which weighs as much as four anorexics after a binge, two average sized people, or just one hefty person.

So while I carry on with all the pomp and circumstance of one who is always the chef and never the jockey, amuse yourselves with this.

PS: For those following the "I lost a chunk of thumb in the meat slicer" story - all is well now. After 16 days of constant band-aid wearing and cream shmearing, it's healed nicely.

Monday, October 30, 2006


DS is trying very hard to teach himself to read. His current favourite hobby is grabbing a book (or anything really) from my bedside table, turning to a random page, and then "reading" it to me. He carefully spells out the letters of a word and then asks me what it says. He remembers the word, goes onto the next one, spells it, and so on - and eventually he can put together an entire sentence by reading the letters out. Not sounding them out, just saying them to me and asking me to say it for him. It's quite cute, really. However like all cute habits of small children, often these things can come back to haunt you.

Tonight DS and DD2 were both playing the 'reading' game with me. Eventually they tired of it and went to the more interesting game of "I can kill you before you kill me" - wherein they wrestle like monkeys and then complain bitterly when they get hurt. In a break in the proceedings (more like a temporary time out called by the line ref), I felt a little tickle on my lower back.

DS then asks me, "Mum? What does M-A-D-E-I-N-C-H-I-N-A mean?" Without really thinking, I answered, "It says "Made in China"" and I went back to my book. DS, of course, then takes that moment to say, "Oh, and Mum? Your undies tag is sticking out. Isn't that COOL? Your undies came all the way from CHINA!"

For DS, everything is a learning opportunity!

RAOS Recipe

As usual, this recipe is one which I made recently and then failed to photograph. However it was so damn scrummy that it makes it into the RAOS recipes for you all to enjoy. :) Not surprisingly, it's got a strange method, and it's more of a dessert/pudding than a cake. Only one rule applies to this "cake" - must be served with ice cream or cream, and warm is best. It's more of a wintery thing to eat, I suppose, but is there ever a time when cake is not a good thing?

Apple "Cake"

5-6 Apples (Granny Smith, or Jonagold, or Golden Delicious, just not red anything)
Juice of 1 lemon
Cinnamon, as much as you like
1 cup + 3 tsp sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 170C/350F. Peel, core and slice the apples (thickness irrelevant other than more thin than thick.) Spray a round deep quiche dish (like a pyrex) with spray oil. Place the apples in the bottom of the dish. Mix the remaining ingredients together and plop on top of the apples (the mixture will be quite thick.) Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until done. Best to serve warm, right out of the dish - attempting to turn it out might be a bad thing (I've never tried!).

Enjoy - and remember that in the world of the Random Act of Sweetness, you need to make it and share it or give it to someone in need (of sugar.)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Confessions of a Drama Queen

DD#2 is a fabulous drama queen. She not only *is* one in personality, but she has the dramatic pauses, angst-filled voice inflection, and the hands in the air "what's a girl to do" look down pat. Truly. So a couple of days ago it was pretty hot, and she, as usual, was complaining in her woe-is-me drama queenly self that it was "wwwaaayyyy too hot Mom!" (and strangely, DD#2 calls me 'Mom' much more than 'Mum'). Anyhoo, I sympathised (barely) and she wasn't impressed. She wanted way more sympathy and fawning on my part, so of course, she ups the drama queen ante to this:

"MOM! It's SOOO hot, I feel like I'm gonna DIE. I feel like I am a JELLYBEAN on FIRE!"

So I did what any self-respecting mother of an on-fire jellybean would do. I licked her (to quash the flames, natch!).

LOL, it was worth it just to see how utterly pissed off she was with me. Me thinks complaints about the heat will be not so forthcoming in the future. (Or she'll pick a food group which is not lickable..."Mom! I feel like a VEGEMITE SANDWICH on FIRE!")

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Blog Abandonment

Lest you go thinking that I am a terrible mother to this blog, I just thought I'd post to let you all know that my lack of posting is directly related to the simple fact that I. feel. like. shit. Almost literally, if I were brown. I don't feel witty, funny, charming, cute, or even remoteley clever. I just feel like crap-oh-lah. In the words of myself, I feel shitty-shitty-la-la (different to chitty chitty bang bang but in the same rhyming vein.) I went to the GP last week, who "thinks" it's a chronic case of low iron, even though I live with a carnivore of a DH who insists (nicely) on red meat on average 5 times a week. I missed my blood test to confirm this because I was halfway through my challah toast before I remembered that it's a fasting test (she's also checking the usual cholesterol, blah blah blah.) I won't have the chance to go again before Friday (work and school commitments) and in the meantime I still feel crappy. Before you ask, no I'm not doing anything specific about it. I can't treat something that I don't know what it is, can I?

Now before you:
a) go all mental and start to think emzee is dying of SMRD*
b) call my sister, who will call my Mom, who will upgrade my simple feeling shit to my impending, immediate death
c) just say "it's because you have triplets, and who wouldn't be tired?"
d) or say "if I were you I'd be tired too"
e) or say "It's no wonder you're exhausted, haven't I always said you do too much?"


Because I am so frickin' tired and feeling shitty that I will, literally, BITE YOUR HEAD OFF. I won't even stop to smother it in Sweet Chilli Sauce, which is saying something - because we all know that there are very few foods in the world which cannot be improved with some sweet chilli sauce.

I promise to come back to regular posting in a couple of days. After all, I am WAY behind on RAOS recipes, foodie talk in general, and yet more bragging about my culinary school adventures (note: my last exam for the year is on Thursday.) Plus surely there is something I can bitch about when it comes to the topic of other parents? ....and before the end of the year I'm going to announce my latest project. For right now, though? I'm going to go watch my Playboy Mansion chicks frolick while I slurp my Coke-and-pink slurpee which DH so cleverly both suggested and then went out to buy. Gifts of flowers and chocolate always welcome.

*SMRD: Super Mega Rare Disease. A disease invented by Dr J and I, to describe the only condition in which I would let him treat my kids. Not that he's not brilliant as a ped, but that there is something a bit not-so-ethical about letting him treat kids he has known since they were embryos. I'd only let him treat them (we're talking about serious illness, not the usual, "Hey Dr J, DS looks like crap, can you check him out?" treatment) if they were suffering a case of SMRD, for which of course Dr J is the world's leading expert.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mommy Guilt

Today I went to see my friend Jayne (tangent: and deliver some totally fabulous birthday cakes made by moi, to celebrate her twin's 4th birthday). Anyway turns out she and I have more in common than we thought - we're both dealing with having kids who need speech therapy, and kids who have behaviours/issues which fall under the (very large) autism spectrum umbrella. So she and I got to talking about how damn hard it is to actually DO the things the therapists need and want you to do with your kids. A lot of therapy for kids is based in play - various task-oriented games (some verbal, some written, some physical) - which help them learn the skills they need to learn. Both Jayne and I have to find the time to play these games with our kids - it's not a matter of want, it's a matter of need. She commented (quite wisely) that she often feels an enormous amount of "Mommy Guilt" when she can't get the games done. After all, these kids cannot possibly "fix" themselves. They rely totally on us, the parents, to help them to achieve the goals they need to achieve in order to live happy, fulfilling lives.

Mommy Guilt, as she pointed out, is something which follows you around. Like an annoying puppy, old boyfriend, bad hair or that story about you getting drunk and dancing topless in Vegas, it just never really disappears. You find yourself fraught with questions - Am I doing enough for him? What if I'm doing too much? How will he learn on his own? How will I fit in these games? What if I/we are not doing them right? If you miss a therapy session or a game, then the Mommy Guilt follows with more questions: How will he ever learn to speak properly? How will he cope in school? How could I let him down like that? Mommy Guilt is something that I suspect you never really get rid of - perhaps it just changes in it's degree. You find yourself constantly questioning the things you didn't do, the things you did do, and the things should should have, could have, would have done, IF ONLY (insert qualifier here.)

I find it near impossible to fit in all the games the therapist wants us to play. Sure, it's only maybe 5-10 minutes a day - but that's x 3 since ALL of them want to have a turn (or several turns). It's also x infinity, because there are 2 kids with issues, each of whom has 3+ games to play, and then you add the x turns each kid demands, and you come up with a number something like 2,679 minutes a day in which you need to help your son speak better and your daughter cope with the world at large. My inability to fit in the therapy they need makes me feel like utter shit. I am failing them, and I'm doing it on a daily basis. See what I mean? Mommy Guilt. These kids won't ever improve unless I do this, and I am just at a loss as to how to fit it all into our already chaotic days. I'll never be able to give them the love, attention, and just plain TIME they need. In part this is because of the triplet phenomenon - where sharing, turn taking, and everyone wanting a chance at the fun to be had means everything takes WAY longer than it needs to. In part, surely, it's because I am just no good at this. Now I know and you know that last statement isn't true - I'm a good Mom. It's just that the Mommy Guilt rears it's ugly head and I'm left feeling like these kids will graduate college unable to say the letter "g" and unable to cope with loud noises...and it will all be my fault. I failed. I couldn't get the rest of my life organised enough to make enough time to get all those games played. I should have tried harder.

This year I made a huge effort to reduce my commitments - my work, school and voluntary commitments have all been reduced to mere shadows of their former selves. While I have taken up one new hobby (more on that later this year), it's not something which is done during my 'kid time' anyway. So theoretically I should have more time for this therapy business, right? This TOTALLY NECESSARY, NOT OPTIONAL therapy business. You know what? I don't have that extra time - because I'm using that time trying to just enjoy my kids. We're colouring, we're playing outside, we're baking scones together, we're watching Backyardigans together, we're reading "just one more story." While we're doing all these things, that bitch of a demon known as Mommy Guilt is sitting on my shoulder, asking me "Why aren't you doing more for them?"

*sigh* I'll never win.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Personal Invitation

"Do you need a personal invitation?" was an ongoing joke in my childhood home. So if one of us yelled, "Dinner!" at the top of our lungs, and someone or other didn't show up within a few seconds, the next shout was, "What? Do you need a personal inviation?" This actually extended to a lot of things - when I complain that my Mom/Sister/Niece doesn't call me (enough), I might say, "You know, you could call me once in a while. You don't need to wait for a personal inviation!" (and so on and so forth. Let it not be said that my family does not beat a joke to death almost literally. Personal invitations for the funeral of the death of this joke not required, as we are still beating it.)

I came to yet another revelation this week, which is this: YES, actually, I *DO* need a personal invitation. I really, really hate when people say "drop in whenever you like" or "you should come by and see me" or "we should get together" or "my door is open, just pop round, no need to call first." Yes, they most likely really mean it when they invite me/my brood to pop over any time. I am sure the inviation is extended with the utmost of sincerity. But you know what? I'm never going to darken your door, unless I have a personal invitation. Sure, feel free to say "we should catch up some time" as I leave your home. Then I want you to call me (or me to call you) and we actually organise a time to meet again. As in, a DAY, a TIME, a PLACE. A *plan*. I just don't do randome drop-ins - I didn't do it pre-kids and I certainly am not going to start now.

Open-ended invitations, really, are just a way of ensuring you have unexpected guests the very second you and your DH are dancing the Mattress Mambo (not that we would do that). Or you're wandering around butt naked, drinking a mug of tea, and about to settle in with a good book (not that I would do that.) Or your house look like a bomb not only went off right in the middle of the living room, but that it was a bomb attached to several full laundry machines, 3,471 markers and an enormous toy box (not that ours ever looks like that.) Or it's the one night when you've cooked food which is barely edible to your family, but they have to eat it because it's a choice between cauliflower surprise and, say, starvation (not that I would ever do that.) See what I mean? Open invitations, well, suck. So as a result, I never ever take anyone up on those kind of invitations. Strangely, though...I often extend that kind of invitation. And I mean it. And I like it (mostly) when people come over when I'm not expecting them too (except in the above situations, which of course never happen anyway.)

But when YOU want ME to come over? Best to issue a personal invitation.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Wedding Dress

This dude is my hero of the week!

The Big Picture

At work recently a very clever person commented that I am a "big picture person." Even though I've never thought of myself in those terms, since she said that I am hyper aware of how MUCH of a "Big Picture Person" I am. I think this goes back to that whole 'needing to know what comes next' part of my personality. Not only do I like to know what is coming, but I also like to know the bigger reason why I'm doing something in the first place. If you think about it, this all fits in. My list making, my goal-oriented self, my continual planning, my thinking ahead (and nearly never looking back)...all of these are traits of someone who likes to look at the whole, rather than focus on the parts. It also, unfortunately, makes me pretty impatient...so determined am I to reach my goal that I might step on people/painful Lego bricks along the way, and hardly even notice. In a work situation, people who are 'small picture' oriented can find me very annoying. I just CAN'T blindly follow an instruction without first knowing where that task or activity fits into the whole plan. So I ask a LOT of questions, and I can often be found saying, "Can you use more words to explain what you need?" Needless to say this really pisses people off, because they tend to think it's me questioning their authority. In a hierarchical arena like a kitchen, a 'higher up' chef will expect me to just do what they ask, without uttering a word other than "Yes, Chef." Frankly, I suck at shutting my mouth and not asking for more detail - so the superior in question is left wondering, "Just who the hell does she think she is?"

I don't think this is a failing, even though other people might see it that way. I just see it as another example of how different people learn in different ways, and how we all perceive the universe differently. Basically what floats my boat, won't even get yours off the dry dock - and that's cool. I do wish someone could help me explain that to others though - exactly how do I get people to understand that I'm not questioning them personally, I just need more information? Comments and suggestions welcome.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Heavy Reading

Most of you wouldn't know this, but I've got a Master's Degree in BioMedical Ethics. That's fancy words for "I give my damn opinion when it comes to shit you do to my or other's bodies." Anyway as part of that degree I had to write a thesis. The gist of my thesis was that teenagers (of sound mind), should basically have the last word when it comes to their medical treatment. In specific, teenagers with life-threatening diseases should be allowed to make choices about their treatment, even when the potential outcome is one the parents do not agree with. While of course one would hope that decisions were made with the support and advice of parents and others (doctors, religious leaders, your teddy, whatever), at the end of the day I believe that kids should have the final word. So if this means your cancer-ridden 15 year old decides NOT to seek further treatment, then you, as a parent, have a obligation to accept that choice - even if the cessation of treatment will mean your child might die shortly thereafter. Suffice it to say it is a standpoint most people don't agree with, and one which many thought I would alter once I had kids. Not so - I now have kids and I still agree with the above. The only thing that has changed is perhaps the importance on decisions like those being family made - that no child should have to make a choice like that without the emotional support it requires.

I picked up the above book in the Qantas lounge - "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult. Now for reasons unbeknownst to me, at the moment I have an unhealthy obsession with childhood cancer. So I picked up this book, read the back, and thought it sounded interesting. Here is the synopsis:

"Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate - a life and a role that she has never questioned… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister - and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable… a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life… even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less?"

So I read this book with increasing fascination - because here, in fictional form, was the 'true life' story of my thesis. I won't give away the plot (because it is really very worth reading the book). It was almost - eerie - to read about something which previously I had only hypothesised about. After reading the book, my stance on this hasn't changed ... I still believe the rights of the child lie with THE CHILD, as long as that child is able to understand the consequences of that decision. A lot of this will, as in the case of the above novel, have to be done on a case-by-case basis, and will often depend on the history of the family, the illness itself, etc. At the end of the day, we allow children of this age group to drive,become parents, drink, choose to attend school (or not), and in many cases run entire households. Especially in the current world, these young adults have responsibility over so many things, including other people. Why should we remove from them their rights and responsibilites to themselves? It is (to me) a fascinating idea to think about, and a real joy to read about (even in fictionalised account.) Please go and read it. You'll be glad you did...and maybe you'll agree with me (if you don't already.)

Light Reading

Dh & I had a fabby weekend away in Canberra (our nation's crapital.) We ate some nice meals, caught up with a friend of DH's, walked around lots, and came to the following conclusion:

There is LOTS to do in Canberra, but each thing takes an hour or less. Seriously. And this would not be because we were hurrying, because let me tell you, my SORE legs were not hurrying anywhere.

In one weekend we managed to see a lot of Canberra's highlights - Floriade, the Canberra Museum, the view from Mount (I forget...?), The National Museum, Cockington Green, dinner out (twice), breakfast out (twice), a movie, the shops of Kingston, the shops of Civic, a decadent picnic on the lawn of our hotel, reading the newspapers (twice), the Old Bus Depot Markets...you get the idea. We did a LOT, and none of it took much time at all. This city seems to have no petrol stations, no traffic...but surprisingly great food. It's supposed to be a cultural wasteland, and it's so not. Now while I might not count it on Australia's Top Ten Exciting Destinations, I also think it's a pretty decent place to spend a weekend with a DH and some walking shoes. :) Plus it was nice to sleep in (ahhhhh....) and not worry about whether or not the door was locked, if you get my drift. (*exaggerated wink*)

...and while I'm on the topic of recommending stuff, check out this site. It's got the MOST cool customisable clothes for kids and aprons/bags for parents. I treated the trio and me to some stuff from there and it's GREAT. :) (LOL, my bag reads "If you think I'm strange, you should meet my children.")

Thursday, October 5, 2006

One Man's Inedible

School today was a long, hard day - we had 6 or so complex dishes to prepare. My usual bench partner and I (let's call him, ummm...*thinks* Cheffie) were as usual working together. Now for us working together means one of us will chop enough onions for two people, or make enough mayo for two, or whatever. It saves time, we both know we're capable, and frankly Cheffie is always dying to get out and have a smoke. Anyway, today being such a demanding day, recipe-wise, it kinda just happened that he cooked some dishes and I cooked others. This is not usual - we both need to know how to cook the dishes, it's just that sometimes we help one another with the mise en place. So he did some, and I did some, and we each did some. Then we would plate up (separately of course) and take it to the Chef for evaluation (constructive critisicm). So as it happens Cheffie made the Beetroot Fingers in Honey, and I happened to plate up first. I take it up to the teacher, and she tells me it's PERFECT. Tastes good, looks good, cooked fabulously.

I didn't touch one part of that dish. So I kinda feel like a fraud. After all, Cheffie cooked all of it.

Cheffie then takes his plated up beetroot (mind, from the exact same pot) and gets it evaluated. She tells him that his is undercooked, and asks me to bring mine over so he can taste what it should be cooked like. She also doesn't like his seasoning. She was comparing Cheffie's beetroot to...Cheffie's beetroot.

Needless to say, Cheffie took it all in his stride - but didn't let me live it down all day. He did the work, I got the kudos. Clearly, this teacher could see brilliance.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Religious Paranoia

When I was a kid (and maybe a bit still now), I was way too literal, and too gullible. So I would often believe things people told me, even though my logical, intellectual self knew it could not possibly be true. This evening marks the start of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement when us Chosen Ones ask forgiveness for the sins we've committed in the past year, and for guidance or assitance in not doing those things for the coming year. We also ask to be inscribed in the Book of Life, for it's written that on this day the Man Upstairs decides who shall live and who shall die, yadda yadda. It's the biggest day, religiously speaking, for us Yids.

Anyway, so we grew up going to a Chabad temple and every year the Rabbi would say what the 'sign' was which meant that we had been assessed by God, and we had been forgiven. So maybe it was a sneeze, an itchy nose, the hiccups, an scratch behind your ear - you get the idea. Once this magical thing happened, it meant you were (*phew*) free and clear. I believed this rabbi's mishegaas (read: crazy talk) and I still do. If I don't sneeze by about lunchtime (ummm...okay, the time which would be lunchtime if I wasn't fasting) I start to panic. Does this mean I might die this year? Does this mean that my being bitchy, swearing, and talking shit about others went just that little bit too far? Will my children not have a mother, simply because I blogged about how much I hate other parents, and other people's kids? There is part of the Yom Kippur service where you specifically ask for forgiveness...the lines (and there are several pages worth) start with "for the sin I committed when I....XYZ" (spoke ill of others, disrespected my parents, coveted something cool, etc.) I always worry that if I don't say that whole bit, the same will happen .... I might die this year, etc etc etc.

Seriously. I kinda freak out about this. I know, I know, I'm mental. I have no excuse for why this is. The sad thing is that you would assume the paranoia would translate into living a sin-free life. Yeah right. I wait, oooohhh, maybe 10 seconds after the end of Yom Kippur before bitching about someone or something. I blame it on the hunger-and-thirst induced headache I get every year, but the reality is that I'm me and that's that. I figure the Man Upstairs made me this way, so he's got to gimme my damn sneeze and move onto the seriously fucked up people, right?

I think you all had better start praying for my soul.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Corporate Wifedom

In the last 18 months or so, DH has suddenly become a scary overachiever man. Not in personality, but in action. He's joined professional organisations, started his own consultancy, become vice president of our temple, and in general become, well, the male version of me (only his butt is wwwwaaayyy cuter.) A side effect of all this overachieving is EVENTS. As in, DH has to attend important functions and events, and as his wife, I'm expected to go as well. This means I have to get dressed up (blech), smile politely (ick), make small talk (double blech) and in general be the primped, proper, witty, charming and just fucking fabulous wife to the man who is overachieving. Plus our Rabbi advised me that I need to work on my "diplomacy skills." Oy. This is so NOT my scene. There is the added degree of difficulty in that pretty much all of David's work colleagues, plus his fellow temple board members, and a vast majority of people at these events are much older than me. Which means I can't stand in the corner with another wife/arm candy and bitch about what people are wearing - the other wives have the corporate wifedom thing down pat. All the way to the sensible shoes, frumpy clothes, and small talk skills.

Last night was not the first of these events I've attended, but it was one of the more important ones as I was to (finally) meet DH's business partner. Plus DH was involved in the planning and organising of this conference thingy, so he was like, you know, an important person in the room. I, by association, was expected to be - you know, witty, charming, blah blah gorgeous. I pulled it off, spectacularly. Except maybe for the moment when I spilled my drink ALL OVER the table. The geeky engineer to my left was kind about it, though, and just laughed and said, "Well, it makes our table look more interesting. Who likes white tablecloths anyway?!" If I do say so myself, I rocked. Charmed the freakin' pants off the business partner guy (and wife), chatted up the other people on the table, and in general made myself exactly the sort of wife DH needed at one of these soirees. Damn I'm good, even if I later realised my knee highs didn't match (one black, one navy) and the one on the right kept falling down.

As much as I hate this kind of thing (but am secretly proud that I excel at it), I did discover one huge bonus to this kind of crap. It feels really, really great to know you're sitting next to the guy that everyone is applauding, and that that scary overachiever guy is yours. I was so PROUD of DH. He's working so hard to build himself a reputation, to build a secure financial future for our family, and to make himself into a successful, socially responsible member of the community. Stockings and mascara and annoying small talk about painfully boring subjects are all worth it when your SO (significant other) is standing up there, receiving his bit of paper which says THANKS for being Mr Important to this organisation. (Of course, afterwards I felt quite miffed that all DH got for his efforts was a piece of paper. Um, hello, people? Wine? Plaque? Flowers? Gold watch? What's with just the paper? This is MY DH we're talking 'bout! Worth soooo more than a scrap of paper!) It does bear saying, though, that next time I need to get up and get my own bit of paper, I expect DH to wear knee highs and mascara.

Selfish Glutton

I ate all the strawberries. The whole punnet. BEFORE my kids or DH even knew they existed...and I don't feel guilty about it. Once a week we get a delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables. It's a mystery box - we just pay X amount and then we get a box or two filled with gorgeous fresh produce. I just opened this week's box and found, right on top, a punnet of strawberries. I don't normally buy them because they're expensive, and they don't really come into their own until summertime anyway. I do LOVE them though. Seeing that punnet of strawberries just reminded me that summer is coming to Australia, and I LOVE summer here.

I love that it doesn't get dark until late, so you have more time to spend with your family after work, or the sunshine fools you into believing you do. I love that I can justify drinking a Slurpee nearly every day. I love that back-from-the-pool feeling of satisfaction and excitement. I love the sound of flip-flops walking down the street. I love sunny days and sitting on the beach doing nothing at all. I HATE when it gets really really hot, but then I love being able to complain about it while sitting RIGHT in front of a fan. I love eating summer food of salad and BBQ everything. I love that we entertain a lot more in the summer, in the form of spontaneous dinners with friends and their sandy, sun kissed kids. I love wearing my Birkenstocks, no matter how dorky they are. I love grapes and stone fruit and berries, all which come into season in the summertime. I love popsicles (especially cola flavour, with 'red' a close second.) I love my kids wearing flowy summer dresses, or in DS's case, board shorts. I love that I swap mugs of hot tea for glasses of iced tea.

Those strawberries meant just one thing:

Summer. Is. Coming.

So I ate the entire punnet, by myself, thinking of summer when I'm going to buy these things by the case load. I might share them then. In the meantime I ate my strawberries in blessed peace and with a head full of summer thoughts. Not a bad way to spend a morning.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Quality, not Quantity

Ages and ages ago I told you guys about the falling out I had with XABF. Thet experience has just proven that when it comes to friends, it's all about quality and not quantity. I haven't got gobs and gobs and gobs of friends - but the ones I do have are all keepers, and they are all the kinds of friends you REALLY need in your life. I am fiercely, fiercely loyal - the protective Mama Lion you don't want to piss off - when it comes to my friends. I'll fuckin' walk through a snowstorm in my bare feet, having not eaten for 4 days, and wearing only a "Frankie Says Relax" T-shirt - if a friend needs me to. (Although I should hope none of my friends need me THAT much...not eating for 4 days? OMG.) Recently some friends of mine have done and said things which just make me adore them all the more....

  • Dr J called and wished me a "Happy Anniversary Implantation Day" on Rosh Hashana because he remembered that 6 years ago, it was on RH that I "brought home" the embryos which would become our children
  • Poppet's Mom laughed (and wasn't offended) when I said she and I could get a bulk discount on ADHD drugs, if it turns out our hellian children really are devils in disguise
  • 007 said (and meant) that she was thrilled to get 'good luck' hugs from my girls right before she got up and sang in front of 65 billion people
  • Dani is saving the environment by buying up trees here.
  • Louisa-Lou recently told me that she misses the tradition of Fat Thursday, which in Louisa-Lou speak really means she misses me. :)
  • Little Jessie is driving from BFE to come and babysit the kids for me, in the middle of the week, and she'll refuse to take any money for it. She just does it because "it's fun" and she is in love with DS. She is, clearly, either very generous of heart or very insane of mind. Possibly both.
See what I mean? These are the kinds of people you need in your life. The ones who say and do funny things, the ones you can call and hash over Grey's Anatomy with, the ones you can just call and say a whole lotta nothing to, the ones who are just, well, there. They don't mind if you don't call all that reguarly - you just pick up where you left off. They don't mind if you respond late to emails, get a dodgy haircut, tell stupid jokes, or say you need to lose weight as you eat a giant ice cream cone and then suggest a snack of schnitzel. As I've gotten older I've gone through a process of friend culling - where the ones who annoyed me, weren't there for me, or were really just acquantainces who I didn't like all that much - all got the proverbial flick. What I'm left with is a group of fabulous people who I would do that whole walking-through-snow-while-starving thing for. They are people who are sooooo worth it.

NB: It's a day for birthdays! Happy Birthday to the best DH in the world, the best Uncle in the world (and BIL to me), and the second best pastry chef I know (Louisa Lou)!