Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Of fish and strudel.

Just over a week ago, we had no fish in the house - except Frubert the unusually calm Siamese Fighting Fish.

Now we have my two boys from work as well as two baby koi, named Virgil and (O)baki.

My work boys, currently on their fourth set of names in five years, are known as Wartie and The Big One.
I had to fetch them home from the dispensary at work because we're moving and there is no-one there atm who knows about fish care.
Also, moving fish is a tricky business, and if it was attempted without me and it went wrong, I would be devastated.

So, for something different this year, they've spent the last few days watching me do the Xmas baking and such.
They're used to watching me, we've lived in pretty close quarters these past five years.
What these two don't know about natural health and the problems of the good people of Merrylands is nobody's guess.

It's OK though, they they're not blabbers.

Right next door to their South Sydney tank is the hatchery.

This was certainly an unplanned pregnancy.

I sent Hell Boy down to the corner store for cream, and he returned with koi.

Bill, the crazy Chinese guy who owns the store is a fellow koi enthusiast, and often pops in to visit our fish as well Hell Boy himself.

In fact, when the boys recently upgraded their pond, it meant that they suddenly had two 1500L ponds to spare.

Bill decided he would like to buy one from us, but within a matter of days, his tiny little wife came up and determined that he was not allowed.

Maybe two weeks later, Hell Boy came in laughing and told me he'd just struck the deal of the century with Bill.

"Get this," he said, "Bill's going to buy both ponds for $600. But, he's telling his wife he's only paying $250.Then, every few days, he's going to sneak up here and slip me $200 cash. I love that guy."

Being that each pond was worth that much, it didn't seem like such a hot deal to me, but we decided it was worth a few hundred just for the anecdote.

True to his word, Bill snuck up every few days when wifey wasn't looking, and slipped Jeff the blood money in an incredibly conspicous manner.

As Bill's shop is also a small garden centre, so he's using the ponds to grow and store water plants as well as baby koi.

He actually came to the last koi auction with us and bought around twenty white and blue baby koi.

Since Hell Boy's last trip to pick up cream, Bill now has only eighteen blue and white baby koi.

The other two are parked next to Wartie and The Big One.
Obaki is the Japanese word for ghost. He's the white fish.
But we quickly noticed that he has a habit of facing you and barking at you, so within a couple of days, his name was shortened to Baki.
Yoga Boy prefers to call him Baba-bow-bow-bow.

Virgil was my choice because it's just a super cool name, although I did consider Bela and Nosferatu, due to the fact that he has a rather pronounced widow's peak and his koi moustache looks like fangs.

So, our kitchen is standing room only.
Well, that's not true, there's plenty of space for them and they're welcome for as long as they'd like to stay.
Once the little boys are big enough not to be harrassed by the others, they'll be tossed into the pond anyway, and my fruit bowl can return to it's original position.

OK, to the strudel.

Fucking Apple Strudel, I hate it.

I decided to use Filo pastry this time instead of puff and I chose to include rum soaked raisins in the Viennese tradition.

During the course of the morning, I found I cannot tell you how many jobs required my urgent attention, just in a bid to dodge the inevitable.

I had the filling ready to go, the pastry defrosted and unrolled, the oven on, and I found myself outside, hanging over the balcony, chatting to Hell Boy as he sorted out the pond's filtration system.

He knew immediately what I was up to. Or not up to.
He surprised the absolute crap out of me by saying,

"I'll come up and help you."

This was his first encounter with Filo pastry.

You must peel two layers off, spray it with oil or butter and repeat until your pastry is as thick as you'd like.
He quickly diagnosed Filo pastry as having a "design fault".


Anyway, we got the layers sorted, with my agitation nearing 9/10, thus leaving me still functional.

Then came the dreaded stage of rolling the fucking thing up so that the filling doesn't spill out the sides, the pastry doesn't rip and the liquid from the apples doesn't seep out and wreck the pastry.

After three attempts, I was honestly crying tears of rage and I need not tell you that there was swearing.
A nasty mash of English, Yugo and Lebanese. This is what happens when I'm really frustrated - my language centre overloads and I speak in tongues.

At this very moment, Hell Boy says t me,

"Should I be filming this for your blog?"

I returned with, "Don't pick me! Not over strudel!"

Only really a handful of things that shit me as much as strudel.

The Roosters.
Repetitive unpleasant noise/breakfast radio.
The vacuum cleaner becoming unplugged while I'm using it.

Anyhow, four fish got to see the whole thing, and they still love me.

And you know the worst thing of all?

That fucking evil strudel turned out perfectly as if to annoy me further still.

Evil prick of a dessert.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I wondered lonely as a cloud?

Hooray, it's done!

Dad's Schimpf Quilt for his 7oth birthday is wrapped and under the tree.

Dad and Viv are going on a two week cruise before his birthday (31st December), so I'll be giving it to him on Xmas Eve.

woot woot

The quilter managed to quilt the first verse of William Wordsworth's daffodil poem into the yellow border for me, thus saving me months of agony.
I love that woman.

Sadly, she made a spelling error. She wrote wondered instead of wandered.

I wondered lonely as a cloud... I like it.

I dreamt that this would happen, but that I could fix the problem easily, so I wasn't too upset when it came to pass.
I was able to change the O to an A with a minimum of fuss.

In fact, when Dad used to read this poem to me, I often thought that wondered was as appropriate as wandered anyway.

So, here it is in all it's glory.

Do you think it looks like wandered?

I'm very proud of this one. Not for it's appearance, I would never intentionally design a quilt to look like that, but rather because of it's edge to edge significance.

I hope he likes it.

Oh and by the way, I was wrong, wrong, wrong, about Lynda's Shitmas gift for me.

She simply looked uncomfortable when I had my rant about the Tudor's because she's not used to passionate, cynical, opinionated people.


Pity for her, I say.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gift idea for Simone.

Anyone who may be looking for an ideal Xmas gift for me, please consider that I'm in desperate need of more cookie cutters, as evidenced by this pic.

How a girl is meant to survive with only 70 something is beyond me.

hmmm I believe I have discovered something else that I collect rather than just have plenty of.

Where is the line though?
That line is my holy grail - never seen it, never expect to see it, yet I always keep a lookout for it.

Today being so lovely and unseasonably cool, and being that Alice decided it was good to be alive and celebrated the fact by sitting on my chest and purring loudly at 6:30 this morning, I gave in, got up and started baking.

I couldn't use the hand mixer as Jeff was still sleeping, so I decided to make a double batch of shortbread, which is all done by hand.
Despite that fact that I genuinely hate rubbing butter into flour, they are easy and satisfying to bake.

By the time they were out of the oven, Yoga Boy was upstairs and introducing himself to the new fish I brought home from work yesterday.
Wartie spat a rock at him in acknowledgment.

Being on a roll, and having company (4 fish and Yoga Boy is a party in anyone's books), I pressed straight on and made a double batch of the dreaded flat Anise Bogen.
The cooler temperature meant that they were that much easier to bake that I got excited and began making not just one Stollen, but two as well.

I have no idea what I'm going to do with them, I just like to make them.
Actually, although they are traditional throughout Europe at Xmas as they are shaped to represent to baby Jesus, I prefer to make them on Good Friday instead, in a bid to loosen the bible belt a little.

Well, I'd bought the ingredients a while ago so I could show Clair and that nutty German bird how to make it, but that play date never eventuated, so I thought it best to use the fruit up.

To help the yeast rise, I had to put the heater on and place it in front of it to stay nice and warm.

To my very great surprise and delight, Hell Boy offered to take over the stirring of the Stollen(s) as they are very dense and must be kneaded for 10 minutes before being left to rise a second time.
I think he enjoyed it.
It is a very lovely dough to knead - not sticky, but moist and elastic.

Unfortunatley, he'd left to interview someone from a band called the Eastern Dark by the time I was ready to knead the dry fruit and nuts into the dough, which is a absolute killer.
My arms will be sore for days after that.
My forearms look like Popeye's.

While the dough was minding it's own business in front of the heater for two hours, I made a double batch of lebkuchen/gingerbread - a different recipe to the one we'd used at Clair's last week.
Far more honey and golden syrup.

That had to be left standing for a couple of hours too, so the timing worked out rather nicely.

So, I've just taken all that out of the oven and washed my collection of cookie cutters, shaking my head all the while.
You know I have a giraffe cutter? LOL

The boys both being out, and with the cats taking advantage of the cool by stretching out on our bed, there was nothing left to do, but to put on the Elvis Xmas album as company for me and the fish.

We had a good day.

In so far as the rest of the Xmas baking, I've already done a double batch of Vanilla Kipferl and Fruit Mince Pies, so next week I just need to make Yoga Boy a lemon cheesecake, Hell Boy a Pavlova and Dad some fucking Apple Strudel.


Fucking strudel, I hate it.

Hate it.



Fuck them, those green appley bastards!


But I'll do it for Dad with smile in my heart because he just loves it so much.
Crazy person.

BTW, the last pic of gingerbread would have been for you, Gretchen had we lived closer. ;O)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Local Third World Butcher.

We've been searching for a good middle eastern butcher who does nice kafta in our area.
Shouldn't be too hard.

We dropped in to Harris Park a few times recently for Lebanese sweets and coffee...mmmmmmm shortbread and Date Mammoul.


Do you know how much I enjoy it when they look at Jeff to place the order and instead I ask for things in Arabic?

Well, I like it a lot.

My Arabic has been learned chiefly from Jeff's family, although I have always had Lebanese friends,so by the time I met Jeff, I could already say,

Kes Emek sharmoutah ... meaning your mother has the cunt of a prostitute. And wasn't he impressed the first time I let that fly!

Pretty good start.

Well, since then, I can also say:
  • moon
  • grape
  • chicken
  • saucepan
  • underpants
  • bong
  • wheel
  • sun
  • coffee pot
  • water
  • yoghurt
  • broad beans
  • green beans
  • hello
  • fourteen
  • five
  • handbag
  • meat cigar (not explaining)
  • poofter
  • lesbian
  • my dick in your eye, referee (picked this up at a Bulldogs game)
  • arse
  • fart
  • ladies
  • pine nut
  • thinga-me-jig
  • fetch me
  • flea
  • pooh
  • breakfast
  • I want to vomit
  • lemonade/fizzy drink
  • donkey
  • cock
  • kiss my arse
  • fuck your mother
  • beans
  • piss/priest - they sound so similar that when I asked Jeff what was the difference, he simply said, "..hhhhhucccccccccchhhhhhhhhh."
  • follow the breeze
  • fish
  • drink
  • all night (I bust this out at the footy as soon as the opposition attract their first penalty)
  • eggs/balls
  • thirteen
  • you're very strong
  • cat
  • bread
  • old man in the drawer (not explaining that either)
Another day, another blog, I may make it my business to construct a dialogue out of my Arabic vocabulary.
Last year, for Round One vs the Roosters, I deliberately learned how to yell out,

"The Roosters are 13 homosexual chickens in ugly old ladies underpants!"

This statement was highly critically acclaimed.

Notable absences in my vocabulary are :

  • goodbye
  • how are you
  • my name is
  • thank you
  • please
  • yes
  • no
  • still hate the Roosters
Of course these are the basics in life and Jeff doesn't often bother with them enough to teach them to me.

While he can understand Arabic if it's informal, he always answers in English.
He does teach me random words that he thinks are important.

Additionally my friend, Maheb teaches me my requests. I find I learn better this way.

I noticed a couple of years ago that when people speak Arabic in front of me, I no longer notice that I don't understand.
At work and even with my in-laws, it takes me a few sentences before I realise that I didn't catch what they've said.

If it's broken Arabic/English and they're the kind of person I can wave my hands around with, I can sort almost anything out.

Every now and again, I can suddenly pick out a single word from a conversation, so I now stop the orator and demand to know what the word is.
Last time it happened, the word I latched onto was snoo-bor - pine nuts. LOL

I heard, blah blah, chicken, blah blah saucepan, blah blah snoo-bor.

Regardless of all this, my 20 year cultural familiarity did precious little to prepare me for the Kurdish butcher.

First up is the smell.
Made my eyes water and my stomach turn.

I accept that lamb and goat have a more pungent quality than chicken and beef, but I'm also quite certain that you can make the least of that issue through cleanliness if you choose to.

This butcher shop totally rejects the approach of western butchers, in so far as presentation and arrangement of their goods.

A typical Aussie/western butcher will be as clean as possible, or will at least go to the trouble of seeming as clean as possible.

They keep the really scary stuff out the back and the fatty offcuts in Go-Lo plastic tubs under the counter.
The Kurds pretty much reversed all of this.

My friends who are Aussie butchers, kindly showed me one day the buckets that were destined to become either sausages or lipstick.
I couldn't really tell the different at a glance.

The Kurds are unconcerned with such nonsense as presentation and display.

As I stood with my hand over my nose (I figured this was less impolite than vomitting), I noticed that their front window trays, usually reserved for the best sellers or specials, were as follows:

Back left:

Big dappled meaty, ripped outta their heads, tongues.
And lots of them
No attention whatsoever paid to restricting them to their alloted space.

Front left:

Yep, testicles.
Delicate blue veiny, oval treasures.
And lots of them.

Back right:

Not terribly well cleaned either.
I'm not so silly as to suppose that the green stuff was seasoning.

Front right:

Par-boiled penises.
Sheep's I think.
That is, I'm not too cluey in this area, but if they were beef, they were surely not from prize stock, and if they were from a chicken, then I suspect the hormonal component of their feed must be in excess of 85%.

Now, all this was enough to dazzle even the most carnivorous among us, and when I tell you that there were tongues lolling around all over the testicles and penises, you will guess that I was glad I was covering my mouth so that my revolted grin was camouflaged.

It was all very XXXX in there.
Is there Z grade XXXX?
It reminded me of Flesh For Frankenstein a bit too.

You may imagine that I was not looking forward to making any sort of purchase there by the time I noticed the testicle blood pooling around the kafta tray.

And nor did I have to.

They selectively and deliberatley served the darkest people first, even those who came in some 10 minutes after us.

Having experienced this before, I didn't really care too much, so I was taken aback when Hell Boy really got his back up about this.
We left.

On our second attempt a week later to buy said kafta, I waited outside due to the smell and my fear of what may be lurking in those trays this week, but Hell Boy persisted.
After almost 10 minutes again, 2 more people had entered the store and been served ahead of him, he sparked into action.
He told them he was there first, that they were rude, ran a bad business and as they were saying, "Come back, come back", he told them rather clearly to get fucked.

I couldn't agree more.

Particularly seeing as they had all their overdue bills and debt collection notices untidily bulldog clipped right up against the window, clearly for the purpose of my entertainment.

Nasty little business that one.

So, looks like I'll have to bust out the mincer and make my own kafta.

God knows I'll have to do better than them.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The things I come home with.

....are many and varied.

And considering that today I left the house with just my leopard skin handbag (well, it was Wendy's leopard skin handbag until last week), I think that the following list is pretty stunning.


  • Woody Guthrie biography - returned from Bonnie
  • Toilets of the World picture book - returned from Mark with his fave dunny bookmarked with a gingerbread brochure
  • Free Aussie calendar from the very nice lady in the tobacconist (hang on a tick and I'll explain). I might pop that in Jeff's Shitmas stocking.
  • 1 bar of soap with FACE written on one side and ARSE written on the other for Adrian's boss David for their Kris Kringle draw next week (I bought this in the tobacconist)
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - book from Bonnie (I love that free A&R bookstore, it's great)
  • 1 tin for holding Vietnamese Moon Cakes from Wendy
  • 1 sexy pink satin nightie from Wendy
  • 1 bottle of Tamburlaine red wine from Nutrition Care
  • 1 huge box of chocolates that I'm allergic to from Mediherb/Phyto Medicine
  • 1 vanilla lip balm Xmas gift from Bonnie
  • 1 match your key chain to your outfit Xmas gift from Bonnie
  • 2 gorgeous charms for my Pandora bracelet that I don't actually own yet from Kathryn that I'd left in my pocket from last night
  • 1 box of 40 rolls of ribbons from Clair that I'd left in the car last night
Plus my handbag, a cardigan, my pale green blouse that I had taken off because Sue and I just got a massage on the way home from work.
That sounded bad.
I'm still wearing a black singlet, don't panic.

Sue and I went to the new massage place (it's in the mall, Gretchen) after work together, sorta like a family outing.
I'm pretty sure I looked worse than she did afterward, but they have no mirrors up, so I'm just guessing.
If I had to put money on it though...

Anyway, that's a fairly typical haul.
Obviously I don't receive Xmas gifts every day, but it's not common for me to come home with just the bare essentials.
Sometimes it's food from customers, shoes from Wendy, weird books from Bonnie, out of date stock, road rage megaphones....the sky's the limit.

I'll probably bring that home too one day.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Yazzie's dance concert.

My niece is ten.

Last night was her first ever dance recital.
And ours.

I made well sure not to sit next to Hell Boy.

As the first of perhaps forty dances began, I heard him turn to his brother, Duke, the child's father, and say,

"This is no place for the cynical."

Moments before that, I had been alarmed to see Duke glaring at the programme with furrowed brow, as his wife pointed out to him which of the dances Yasmin would be appearing in.
That's not a good sign.

I enjoyed it.

OK, listening to that music was like rubbing a cat the wrong way and false eyelashes and red lipstick on small girls give me the creeps, but I enjoyed watching Yazzie dance so enthusiastically (and well) and looking so deliriously happy as she did it.

Such a little woman now.
A tween.

But Disney music is always sure to bring on an attack of the bile for me, and the attack lasted for 3 hours, plus intermission.
This attack was possibly not helped any by the fact that we were so pushed for time, that I had to eat service station packaged cheese and crackers, a protein ball, chips and a large Freddo frog for dinner.

Anyway, I digress. The music was worse than your average mainstream wedding.

A whole new worrrrld...

Ahhh fuck, just kill me.

In fact, I would have to say that the music selection was, for the most part, more commonplace, predictable and boring than mainstream radio ever could ever strive to be.

Themed mainstream, of course, being a particularly virulent form of mental torture, still promoted and rewarded worldwide.

And if I was doing it tough, God knows how Hell Boy came through.

Commercial music is above all things, abhorrent to him.
He twitches, grows pale, starts muttering, and then comes out swinging.

I've never troubled myself to discourage this, as I know it stems from something wonderful and righteous.
Let's call it good taste.

I can't help but believe that commercial music enjoys it's success due to the fact that most people are so lazy minded as to confuse familiarity with appreciation.

This theory also explains the success of the concept of celebrity, free to air television, and organised religion.

Thank God for Yazzie, I say. She saved the day.

I must make mention of the Dad's Dance, because Jeff leant across his mother to tell me it should make it into my blog.

Half a dozen men in tutus and footy socks doing ballet.

Aussie men, mate, they simply cannot resist a chance to don women's clothing or to expose their arses to one another at the slightest provocation.

Why, just this afternoon, on our way out to pick up Dad's quilt, there was a guy in a G-string running around outside a pub to impress all his beer sodden mates in a bachelor party mini van.

Jeff believes this behaviour is a throw back to convict/colonial days when they'd all started looking mighty good to one another, and that their DNA somehow warped to accommodate this.

With this in mind, I wonder what Charles Darwin would have made of The Footy Show.
My guess is that it would have thrown a greater spanner into his survival of the fittest theory than the humble peacock ever did.

Of course, I much prefer peacocks to drunken men.

But then, who doesn't?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Shitmas Experiment.

I'm going to conduct an experiment.


To assess the accuracy of my paranoia and suspicion.


By voicing my concerns and fears on my blog, dated 2 full weeks before Shitmas, I will be able to determine the accuracy of my suspicions based on comparison after the event.

That is, I suspect my brother is up to not only no good, but full blown evil and being someone who prides herself on being switched on, suspicious even, I am prepared to stick my neck out and be judged on my cynical prowess.

Yoga Boy of course, got me in the Shitmas draw - (That's what she said.... LOLOLOL)
He has told me he will be making my gift.

Just the other night, he spent a good deal more time than usual online and I could hear stifled giggles and worse.
When asked, "What's so funny?", there was no response.


Not too long later, I heard Hell Boy go into the study, the scene of the crime while I was showering, and then I heard this alarming comment from him,

"Nahhh, I wouldn't do that."

Now, there's not much Hell Boy wouldn't do if he thought it was funny, so I'm taking this very seriously indeed.

Then I heard the printer.

And no more since.

So, sitting up in bed, I had a little think about it.

And this is what I came up with.

If I was in Yoga Boy's position, and had to make me something truly God awful for Shitmas, these are the options I would consider:

  • Photo Shopping a pic of me into a Rorter's jersey
  • joining me as a Rorter's member
Well, that's about it.
I cannot think of too many other things that would shit me to tears.
Perhaps a Southern Cross decal on the car.

My money's on the first option, and it's a good thing because if I'm right, I'll need these two weeks at least, to mentally adjust sufficiently to be able to accept such an abomination with good grace.


TBA December 24th, 2008 EST.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jeff's sacrifice.

Well I can't include photos as I didn't bother to take any.

A few weeks ago, Hell Boy and Yoga Boy went along to the KSA Xmas Party.

Now, our chapter of the Koi Society of Australia meets once a month.

Adrian likes to go so that he can talk koi and pick the brains of people who are nutty enough to have 7 ponds in their suburban yard.
We briefly had 2 ponds, but have settled down OK with 1 huge one - 4,500L.

From what I've overheard, they chat about such things as ammonia, pH, sewer worms, fungus, filters, the rip-off German prick who owns the Koi Farm, his belligerent cow of a wife, salt baths, parasites and from time to time, bottom feeders (!).

When the boys go to these meetings together (I always seem to have other things to do), they look like they're going to these meetings together.

Really, really together.

I dared them to go along in matching kimonos, but no go.
Jeff would, he doesn't care a straw for what people think and he's such a fan of the uncomfortable flat line that he's often willing to suffer for his art.

I noticed at a koi auction a few months ago, that Yoga Boy in particular, seemed more than usually keen to introduce me to the fellow KSA members present as Jeff's partner.

I can't imagine why.

Anyhow, be that as it may, I bailed on the KSA Xmas do, pleading good taste as my only excuse.

So you may imagine my surprise when Jeff arrived home, toting a red and green (joy) shopping bag full of odd but interesting food stuffs.


Well, it seems he won the door prize.

He was given a choice of a koi flag (which he really fancied) or a Xmas Hamper.

Being a gentleman and a sticky beak, he chose the hamper, his reasoning being that it would make a fine blog for me, and I think he hoped the contents would be entertaining.

How kind is that?

And yet in a way it was disappointing.

The old koi biddies had chosen very well.

Not the usual low-brow hamper, full of K-Mart lollies, shitty looking pretzels and marmalade.
Sadly, it contained no marmalade at all - the first hamper in recorded history ever to do so.

  • a scrunched up sandwich bag of shitty K-Mart lollies
  • pretzels LOL
  • chocolate shortbreads
  • Twinings tea - hardly a luxury, but still
  • Home Brand fruit cake
  • a huge block of Dairy Milk chocolate
  • fruit mince pies - mine are way better, but at least they were allergy free
  • something else I've forgotten about- wasn't marmalade though
Well, I'm rather sorry now that I didn't take a pic, especially of the lolly bag- that was special.

The boys reported that the food at the function was great - a right British nosh up with a bit of help from the Asian members now as well.

And I know I can't avoid participating in the KSA functions forever, and that it won't be long before it's me wearing my slippers, taking my knitting along to the meetings and making the cupcakes and tea for the men folk.

But I think it's a good thing to put it off as long as I can though, don't you?
I think propriety demands as much.

When it happens, I think I'll do with smoked salmon blinis, mini quiches or mushroom palmiers.
Or maybe mini gluten free dark chocolate and walnut fudge cakes.


And now I just cannot look at packaged festive food without assessing their suitability for an Xmas hamper.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Great Harry's tree.

Last year, whilst hyperventilating in the gift shop at Westminster, I noticed that they sold Xmas decorations of Henry VIII and his six wives, plus one of his daughter's, Elizabeth.

I almost peed my pants.

I almost peed them again very recently when I went looking for said decorations at home and couldn't find them.

Distracted, I think is the term.
Jeff solved the problem by saying,

"Well, it doesn't matter, we'll be there again next year and we'll buy more."

But they came all around the world with us.
They're the only ones I want.
They're special.

And so they are now that I've found them, tucked safely in the Westminster Gift Shop bag in the study cupboard, pretending to be a bag full of printer ink refills.


I took the greatest of care as I trimmed the tree, to place the girls in order of consequence (as I saw it), and in the event of a tie, I placed them in strict chronological order.

I considered hanging Great Harry at the bottom of the tree to teach him a lesson, but being such a ranga, he looks good right next to the South Sydney decorations, so what can you do?

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

As I was fumbling with my keys, trying to get in the front door the other day, laden with all manner of shopping that I was far too stubborn to put down, I grabbed a key (one handed) and barked at myself,

"No, dammit, that's my work key."

My fucking work key.

Work key.








Thursday, December 4, 2008

My doll of Me.

Jeff's sister Lila makes dolls too.

This year, instead of buying each other a gift, I had the brilliant idea of exchanging dolls.

But the dolls we each make will be of ourselves.

My doll sewing is very unorthodox.
This stems from the fact that I just make it up as I go ala Vicki.

Vicki is a sewing friend we met through Bronwyn.
She is what I would term a free-baller and I will ever be delighted that she taught me how to make dolls this way.

I dig.

Just grab some fabric and slap it on and around, just roll it up and twist it, stick a ribbon on it if it doesn't work out, despair of the whole thing and wonder if it's too late to throw it in the bin, swear, have some tea, sew one more stitch before realising that it looks fucking awesome and that you couldn't be happier with the result.

Once she's done, you need to assess her and give her an appropriate name, although, in my experience they name themselves.

I often think that I must experience each and every emotion when I make something before I can actually begin to like it.

No pattern, no understanding of how to make clothes, no control or real clue as to the outcome.

Except that this time, I did need to control the outcome.

It's taken me some months to work up the courage to decide whether to represent myself accurately, take the piss or to make the doll of my essence.

But what is accurate, what is piss, and can they live together in harmony?
Won't my essence put them out?

I originally thought it would prove to be an easy task.
It was quite daunting in many ways.

And to be truthful, I'm still not sure which approach I took, but it kinda felt like a little of each.

After buying a metre of delicious lime green lace, thinking it would team up nicely with my lime green leopard skin fabric, I panicked, backed out and dressed her in a sassy black and leopard skin number with black lace, silver butterflies and emerald green detail.

Yes! That's me.
I would soooooooooooo wear that.
I probably have too.

Even as I dressed her, I got that powerfully feminine feeling that you get when you're pulling on an outfit that truly makes you feel totally together and sexy - although I do get that feeling in my Souths jersey too.

You feel like the ant's pants as Viv would say.

Like it.

For me that's vampy black lace, ribbons and boots with just a splash of colour.
And something silver.


Well this doll has my mojo in her.

And you know, trying to sew a face is really, really, really difficult.

Trying to sew your own face and capture an expression is fair nigh impossible.

And maybe because I'm no good at it, I pulled it off.
Or maybe the sewing God herself heard the all commotion and dropped in.

Who knows.

Well, I'm not quite done with Ms. Simone.

She has no pubes yet, poor thing.

No good at all.

I did warn Lila that my doll would be anatomically correct, so I fully intend to go ahead and sew myself some red and green stripey pubes.

And maybe add a seed pearl or two.

Ahhhh, hang the expense, I'll add three.

Now that I've added the photos, you may care to notice the 4 kitties crawling all over her, the skull necklace from Sophally and the gingerbread in her hand.

I also made her a lime green lace and black gift bag, tied with a hot pink ribbon.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Intermittently traditional.

That's what it's going to say on my headstone.

And here's why.

As much as I like to follow tradition (should it appeal to me), I'm equally as fond of starting traditions.

This year I decided to break with family tradition by having Xmas Eve out - shock, horror, sound of multitudes of Oma's spinning in pretty European graves.

But I have been responsible enough to counter-balance by initiating the tradition of Shitmas also.

Shitmas works as a Kris Kringle draw for dreadful/inappropriate presents.
The gifts are to be opened on Xmas Eve, with the sensible gift giving having to wait until Xmas Day - not standard in European households.

I tried to make the budget $2 per gift, but was cried down by Yoga Boy on the basis that a restrictive budget would force him to think about it too much.
And this is a pity because that was my cruel objective all along.

I don't know what all the complaining was about, I could manage to buy something ghastly for each and every person I know for $2 and still have each gift be relevant, annoying and endearing, for that has clearly been the superpower allocated to me during this fleshly existence.

I've used it well without becoming conceited, I believe.

So, all the money, time and trouble caused by Christmas, and I'm really only concerned now with the giving of Shitmas gifts.

The names came out like this:

Sim --> Jeff
Jeff --> Adrian
Adrian --> Sim

I bore witness to Jeff's purchase for Adrian of a giant tin of Croatian sausages that appear to have foreskins.
I also took the time and trouble to add into Adrian's stocking of horror, a light up Pooh pen - he hates novelty items - a Rolf Harris 3CD boxset which I'd bought just so I could burn Six White Boomers onto the Xmas CD that I made for Gretchen.
So, I guess Gretchen is kind of a proxy member also.

Adrian tells me that he's making my gift and yes, I'm very, very concerned as making things really isn't his thang.

As another ring-in member (that's what she said), Adrian's girlfriend, Lynda, although not a formal participant of our inaugural Shitmas, seems to have jumped in, courtesy of what I suspect has been a poorly informed purchase.

Recently, they were sitting on the lounge with me, and Lynda asked if I'd seen a mini-series called The Tudors.
I've been excited and focused on Tudor history since childhood and have read any number of dry history books with glee.
I went to London specifically to visit Elizabeth I's underpants...

And yes, I have seen The Tudors.
I hated it.
What a chronic load of crap.

I hated the casting, the script, the glaring inaccuracies, charcterisation - Lord, I could go on forever.
Whatever they did, I hated it.

And naturally I saw no reason not to make mention of this when she asked me.

I was mildly surprised when she seemed a little put out by the violence of my response, and when Yoga boy went somewhat quiet, but gave it no more thought than I should have.

That is, until Yoga boy informed me that Lynda will be with us on Xmas Eve and that she has a Shitmas gift for me.

"That's odd," I thought, "she's not the type to be jumping in the deep end."

"Oh well, good," I added mentally.

But later it dawned on me that my Shitmas gift from Lynda may very well be a DVD of The Tudors.

And whether she purchased it before or after that conversation, shall determine how I view her sense of humour for the rest of my days.
I hope she goes for gold, because I like her.

But I'm not sleeping under the same roof as that thing.
So there.

Today, I took myself to Hot Dollar, home to the best Shitmas gifts in the world, and picked her up a bottle of evil perfume oil called Australian Bush (teeheehee) and another called Poison.
That ought to do it.

I did Jeff's Shitmas shopping almost in one go.
He's so easy.
He wears his hate on his sleeve, that boy.

I'll come back tomorrow and insert a description of the items and photos after he's read this through.

OK, he's gone now.

Knowing how much Jeff loathes the Australian flag, due to not only the British bully boy colours and Union Jack, but also it's tendency to be worn by drunken, shirtless, racist cricket yobs under the pretense of being Australian.

I'm with him on that.
We need a new flag something savage.

Bearing all this in mind, I cannot tell you how delighted I was to happen upon a range of Aussie flag merchandise at Hot Dollar.

Jeff's Shitmas stocking is loitering with intent, filled to the brim with Aussie flag toothpicks, pens, sun visor, a giant flag with sleeves so that he may wear it in proudly public and of all things, an Aussie flag whirlie-gig wind catcher thing for the zen area near the koi pond.

Won't that look lovely?

Streuth! The cricket yobs would be proud.

But not as proud as me on Xmas Eve when I unleash Hell and perhaps end my 19 year relationship due to a lame sight gag.

Maybe I've gone too far?


If anyone knows where I can purchase Southern Cross (the new swastika) fake tattoos, please let me know, cause that'd be grouse and that.

I found a Jesus bracelet on the counter of Hot Dollar and they gave me a free pen, so he's getting that as well.
Merry Shitmas!