Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fair weather friends.

Quick, I've snuck in here to write this one while Hell Boy is out, because we have a kind of agreement that in the interests of my mental health, I am not to discuss the weather.

Hell Boy himself, being descended from a long line of weather enthusiasts, could happily watch the weather channel all day.
That is, of course, if it weren't for me, and my horrifying tendency to making scathing, cynical and let's face it, far more accurate predictions that is commonly offered by the likes of a FOX meteorologist.

Few things wind me up faster that meteorology.
It is a topic that seemingly has some bizarre power over me.
The truth is that weather concerns me very little, but that I get upset by the "profession" of meteorology, as they quite obviously just make shit up and get away with it.
It's the getting away with that I find inflammatory.

Hands up who can afford to be as inaccurate in their job as the good folks at Fox Weather?
My hands are down, that's for sure.

I get so upset that I get to the point where I can't finish my sentences.
I once became so distraught by the nonsense on FOX Weather that I phoned them.
More on that later.

I have season tickets with South Sydney.
Rugby league is a winter sport and our seats are not undercover.
The rain won't stop me going to a game. It would make me wear a hat though.

What the rain will stop me doing, however, is going to the Opera.

Once each year, I like to go to Opera in the Park.
It's something I genuinely adore.

In fact, we enjoyed the best night ever last Saturday despite the performance being the worst choice of opera of the many years that we've been going.

Anyway, we arrive early for this gig.
This year it was 5:30 for an 8pm start.
The picnic before the performance being the very best part of the outing.
Good food, good company, reading, sewing, lying on a blanket under my favourite tree in the world....sigh
Incidentally, this is the very tree my ashes will be sprinkled under one day.
My tree.
And coincidentally it stands right besides Bonnie's tree. How cool's that?

So, 2-3 hours outdoors, and a bunch of picnic gear means that I want to know whether it is going to rain or not.
With that in mind, you would expect that switching on the Fox Weather channel just hours before the event, would in some way illuminate us.

I really do think that is a reasonable expectation.

Imagine my surprise then, to discover that the best they could tell me was that there was a 50% chance of rain.


This statistic means that it might rain, or it might not.
Strictly speaking, that's true of every day, a five year old could tell you that.

Hedging your bets, they call it.
Covering your arse as well.

Not being content with that answer from our dear friends at FOX, I checked their online forecast as well, hoping that maybe they had a more thorough answer available for me.

And they did.

Trouble was that it bore precious little resemblance to the forecast they were showing on the TV at the very same time.

And so I placed a call.

After more than a minute of questioning, they were so kind as to tell me that, no, realistically they didn't actually have a clue if it would rain in Sydney that night at all.
And that's fine, just don't pretend that you do, that's all I'm saying.

Neither did they seem to know why they were simultaneously predicting conflicting weather patterns across their two mediums.

But what really got me, was that they didn't know the answer my final question, which was,

"Are you able to tell me how many billions of dollars of satellite equipment you currently have at your disposal?"

We drew a blank on that one as well.
I took that to mean that they might know how to interpret the information gathered by a satellite, or they might not.
50% chance.

Honestly, these people get away with blue murder, don't they?
At the beginning of each month, they stick up a chart with each day listed and either a sun, a cloud or a sun and a cloud, to let us dumbies know what's going on out our windows.

It is my wish to somehow print one of these gems and to bust out the red pen and correct it as the month progresses.
What would their accuracy be, do you think?

I know that the one month I really had a good hard look at it and didn't forget all about it, they didn't get 2 days without exposing themselves to be total Charletans.
The prediction of 20 days of rain in Sydney during a summer month cannot be dismissed as anything other than a moderately funny practical joke, or mental retardation.
And yet, they made that call.


Methinks it's because they know no-one pays attention or has the means to compare their calls against fact later, and so they just make the chart look pretty or they're pushing the envelope amongst themselves to see who dares to make the silliest prediction.

And that I might respect. Or I might not.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Forgive me? Worry about yourself, Sunshine.

As I was writing some nonsense on Facebook today, I was reminded that I need to get something off my chest.
I have something to confess.

For those among us who are religious and easy to offend, get thee to a nunnery, coz you ain't gonna like this one.

Even as a child I had bad feelings about organised religion.
This was, I suspect, made a good deal worse by the fact I was born into a quasi-Catholic house to Mr. and Mrs. Closet Cynic.
Actually, closet isn't right. Intermittent is closer.
Mr. and Mrs. Intermittent Cynic.


Most children do their First Confession and First Holy Communion around 7 or 8 I think. Just before they start to be able to think for themselves.

I delayed mine until 9, when social pressure caught up to me via my parents.

Due to the fact that my father had insisted on a public school education for my brother and myself - he felt that coupling religion and snobbery was ugly, I had to attend "lessons" at nights and on weekends, run especially for the spiritually backwards children of recalcitrant parents.

Oh, and what a joy they were too!

Sour nuns, and intolerant priests who gave even the stupidest child that distinctly strange, slimey feeling that one looks back on now as the aura of the kiddie-fiddler.
A divine halo.

I never had any fears for myself, but I certainly do remember being always at my brother's side when we were unhappy enough to find ourselves on that hallowed ground.

I don't know what it is that some people give off exactly, at the time I thought perhaps it was authority or unfriendliness, but kids can smell when something's not right, they just don't know to do about it.

Regardless, there I was each weekend for what seemed to be an eternity, trying to stuff 9 years of garbage into my head and finding myself, for the very first time (excluding scripture classes at school), mentally disputing what an adult was telling me.

I never got over the whole Mary was a virgin thing, and I never saw the value of having Our Father or Hail Mary prayer races. What has speed to do with holiness?
Well, as much as virginity, apparently.

I never saw the genius in the statement, "God is good," despite the fact there was only one o difference. I wondered whether the man who presented that to us as proof of God's existence was an idiot, or whether he just hoped we were.

And few things had ever struck me as less sincere than that priest asking,
"Are there any questions?"

I know I squirmed about in my seat and thought the nine year old's version of,
"Well, none that you can answer and fewer still that you won't humiliate me for asking."

Nope. Not buying it.
Not even at nine.

But I went through with it because at nine, I had no alternative, my parents had a party planned and I was to have some lame white dress that I really didn't think made up for it at all.

I still don't wear white and I never, ever feel comfortable in it.
As I write this, I wonder if perhaps that's why.
I have never felt like such a fraud as I did on that day.

But before the communion, there was the confession.

I had to go alone into a barren little cubicle with the very person who made my skin crawl, drop down into a degrading position and beg him for forgiveness.

Ummm, no.

I felt as judged and frightened as a small child might in such an unpleasant situation.
And I felt something else which I now know to be resentment.

Who the Hell was this awful, unfriendly man to be judging my sins?

My turn came - I went in the first batch. Just like going to the dentist - I'd rather get it over with quickly. That's what she said.

My knees hit the wooden kneeling bar and due to my size, pained my instantly.
My nerves were in disarray as I had to participate in the role playing exercise of,

"Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been *****days since my last confession and during this time I have ********* "

Well, with croaky voice and a mounting terror of messing it all up, I got that far due to the gruelling rehearsals of those dreadful weekends.
Unfortunately, this was all they had taught us.

The rest they left to us....

I guess they supposed we'd know what we'd done wrong and that we'd just insert it in neatly after all the rote learning.


During those few defining seconds, instead of pleading my case, I chose to think about what this all meant.

My conclusion was that it all stank.

I couldn't think of a single thing I'd done wrong.
I hadn't embezzled, committed adultery, killed anyone, raped, pillaged or plundered...I was at a loss.
I was only nine years old FFS.


This moment cemented my stance on religion for all time.

"I haven't done anything wrong, you horrible man, but I'll bet you have, " I thought.

So, knowing that the robed ogre was waiting expectantly, judging not only me, but my parents by my response, I made something up.

I lied.

Even as it left my lips I knew it felt bad and that I was probably in some very serious bother.
The kind of bother you can't tell anyone about, but must sort out all by yourself.

And so, when he pronounced his judgement on my soul and told me my penance was two Our Fathers and three Hail Mary's, I said them.
Good and fast too.

But I said them in compensation for lying to a priest during my First Holy Confession.
I think I even threw in a few extras just to be sure.

Now, I carried this stain on my soul around from age 9 until age 38.
Well not really.
I mean, I never worried about the opinion of any God who would judge a small child, but I never verbalised the event except to Hell Boy, and then only for comic purposes.

But, waiting (once again) at Kingsford Smith airport for Yoga Boy to return home from India, I turned to my Dad and suddenly said,

"Forgive me Father, for I have sinned."

I went on to explain the whole debacle and I really did feel relief from offering up such an earnest confession, albeit in such a public place and to someone I respected.

Probably it was made easier for me by the sound of his laughter and the strange look of admiration in his eyes as I detailed my queer childish logic.
He thought it was great.

It was not long after that that I heard him telling a friend that although I look like my mother, I think like him.

Amen to that.



After Hell Boy had read this, I asked him, "Do you think I'll be going to Hell for that?"

His reply, "Well I hope so, otherwise I won't be seeing you."

Check mate.


Friday, January 23, 2009


Tonight we go to see Fantomas, but they're only supporting Serj Tankian and the FCC - the Flying Cunts of Chaos.

It may not make a huge difference though, as the last time we saw them, they only played for 1hr 5 mins, which I thought was a rip.

I'm hoping they'll crack a sweat tonight and do 90 mins.

I heard a rumour that they're only doing their Director's Cut stuff, which is our fave, so maybe I'll jump off the balcony during Rosemary's Baby, make contact with Satan himself and demand for him to do something about this heat, breakfast radio and to work out something special for Pittsburgh this coming Super Bowl.
Can you score an own goal in the NFL?

Anyway, back to Mike.

I am looking forward to watching this strange little man as he accurately and painstakingly recreates his own compositions of tweets, grunts, Latin, screams and la's.
Aside from Bob Log III, no-one works harder on stage than Mike.

Precision timing using a laptop and mouse with 2,000 people watching you cannot be a picnic. Especially when you're standing less than 2 metres from Slayer's drummer while all that's going on.

Fascinating to watch and somewhat baffling to listen to.
Great merchandise, interesting people.
It's like he flosses your brain clean of all that banal mainstream shite we are subjected to in shopping centres, offices, my dad's house etc when you just can't get away from it.
The kind of music that need a captive audience...weddings.

WTF happens to people for that day?
Stop it. Just stop it.
It's excruciating and it's the reason many people never speak to you again once you're married.
You didn't drift apart, they've just totally lost respect for you due to that fucked up Disney garbage you made them listen to for 5 hours at your wedding.

Mentally objectionable plaque.

Anyway, it'll all be banished from the darkest recesses of my mind by 10:30 pm and I shall once again be new and improved.

Thank you in advance to Mike Patton, the most committed musical hygienest of our time.


Just fuck off with this heat already.

Thanks, Simone.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What's that farken smell?

There's something rotten in the state of Mollymook.

Or at least there was last week.

Hell Boy and I were off on our evening stroll along the lovely beach, when we suddenly both noticed the most unimaginable stink on the face of the planet.

And I'm including that alley with all the seafood and cabbage scraps behind the Yum Cha restaurant on Dixon St in that sweeping statement.
And Hong Kong.
Oooh la la, and Paris too, coz it's got it's own rather poopy bouquet that no-one warns you about.

As we detected said stench, we both whipped our heads around to ascertain where it was coming from.

Being a little excitable by nature, I thought it was very possibly a secret colony of incontinent lepers, whereas Hell Boy quickly upped the ante by correctly deducing it to be the foul item hanging over the balcony in that very awful photo.

There can be no other explanation.
I deny that it was the festy little lagoony thing that runs off the beach with all the scum on it a few metres behind us.

Pure filth.

There ought to be a law.


My off season training is going well - I'm now refreshed and ready and able to detest these cheating pricks for another year.

It's only 20 days until the Back to Redfern game, and from there, it is a mere 20 days until the Charity Shield match.
This year our season tickets include our regular seats for that game for the first time, so I get to sit with Jo, Dom and the bruddas.

Then it is only 2 weeks until the season commences properly and we have to front up and look on as our darling boys play the 17 representatives spawned of the union of the Corporate Whore and the Beast itself.

I'm not quite over the last match, or the one before that, or the one before that, but screw it, I'll just go anyway.
Sitting with the Burrow when they're together with TSE is a very wonderful part of my year.

Funny, funny, funny bastards.

20 days.

woot woot

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The fabric of time.

Next on the list is Yoga Boy.
A person who has long displayed little to no interest in my quilts at all.
Damned if I'm gonna let that stop me.
That just makes me want to make it bigger. BIGGER! That's what she said.

I'm making him a quilt of his beloved pond as it appears when you look down on it.

I have decided to enlist Hell Boy's drawing skills to help me capture the look and personality of each and every one of the little scaley dears.

So, yesterday I summoned the courage, ventured forth into the fabric wilderness and purchased 4 m of really cool variegated blue fabric.

Despite my abhorrence of the quilting mafia, I have somehow developed a relationship with the lady at the local discount place.
This began, quite strangely, due to the horror quilt I made for Yasmin a couple of years ago. Of all the stuff I've made, she liked that one. OK...
You never can tell, can you?
I like people like that.

Since then she has always taken the time out to ask after my projects.
She adores my Aboriginal quilt.

I did my best to explain Dad's Schimpf Quilt to her right before I explained what all this blue fabric was for....she grabbed my forearm and laughingly said,

"It's OK, you're family's normal..."

I replied the only way I knew how, with,

"I certainly hope not."

What's so good about normal?
I've never seen the appeal.

Nope. To Hell with that.

While I was there, I grabbed some wadding so that I no longer have an excuse not to complete Poppy's quilt.
Damn me! What was I thinking?!
Due to all the embellishment, I'll have to quilt the bloody thing by hand. Or at least some of it anyway.

Then, I looked around for fabric that was aesthetically close to some of the more difficult fish to cast such as Bandette, Pfuitsch and Dr. Leo Marvin.

Bandette was really worrying me.
She's yellow with black and looks like she's wearing a zoro mask or really bad nerd glasses.
Yoga Boy told me once that she looks like someone dropped a banana peel into the pond.

I cannot argue with that.

Additionally, she is currently loaded with eggs and has a grossly misshapen undercarriage.
I mean, she's completely irregular in shape.
Poor darling looks like a banana peel with a wicked case of cellulite.

By hook or by crook, I will capture her likeness though.
The Universe demands it of me, and I know this because I found a piece of fabric that looks just like her.
I could scarcely believe my eyes!

Next step is for Jeff and I to sit down together and draw up a plan of this virtual pond so that I can figure out roughly what shape/direction the kids will all be heading in.

Then we can draw them precisely and after that all that must be done will be to reverse the images, draw them piece by piece onto Vliesofix, cut them out, iron them onto accurate fish coloured fabric, trim that and iron it onto individual rectangles of blue fabric, sew those all together in the right order, figure out how to make fabric lily pads, pin it, quilt it (or fob it off onto Joanne to do) and bind it.

But can we pull it off by March before he goes to India again? That's what she said.

No worries mate!

And hide it all while it's in progress?

Sure, why not?

And then I need to get on with Mr. Daniels' quilt for his first birthday.

I have decided not to go with a dog theme after all, as I know both his parents dislike dogs a great deal.

I think I'll do a big fuck off religious scene instead.

Perhaps I'll even give Hillsong a call and see if they have any nice Jesus fabric. I'm sure they would.
I'm also sure it'll be all razzle dazzle and blonde.

Just the thing, the very thing.
I can see Daniel now, growing up, playing hide and seek under graven images courtesy of Auntie Simone, the red and green heretic.

For those I am about to deceive, Lord make me cynical?

OK, best get on with it, the fabric of time waits for no one.

Garden variety Hashimoto's

So, yes, I've caught up on a lot of sleep - I hadn't realised how exhausted I was.
2008 was really very trying.
Health wise I felt as though I was under constant attack and had to take a leap of faith in so far as trusting my own judgement against the medical odds.
Work was a fair abomination and promises to be worse again in 2009.
So much stress.
Stress being my enemy and something I must ruthlessly cut out of my life in order to recover fully.
Sad to say, but I may have to make a few hard decisions this year.

Being told that they suspected cervical cancer in April was not much fun.
But at the time, I honestly felt in my heart of hearts that that was nonsense.

When it didn't feel like nonsense was when they were snipping chunks of my uterus out sans anaesthetic.
Or when the gyaenocologist held up the specimen jar, swooshed it from side to side to show me my own bloody, fleshy pebbles, which later proved to be perfectly healthy, rather than being about to kill me.

I wonder about that person in that laboratory somewhere in Sydney who made that ridiculous call.
I wonder whether they were just watching the clock as they had a sip of coffee and an all too quick peep at my girl cells or whether their job description allows for such glaring error?

On a positive note, the experience dredged up all manner of hidden beliefs and concerns that I clearly picked up when I lost Mum to cancer at such a young age.
It was good to challenge all that, even though it was harrowing.

Of course, the stress from all that led into further thyroid imbalance, aggressive allergies and weird and wonderful skin problems.

The conventional medical suggestions currently being offered are to cut out my thyroid, accept radioactive material into my body (with my cancer risk) and to take toxic antibiotics for the rest of my life.
Not surprisingly, these were met with the disdain they deserved.

What about the cause people?


That's the mother of all c words to a narrow minded doctor though, isn't it?

So, what to do instead?

Well, I went to see a doctor who works with unjamming biochemical pathways. Simple as that.

Not only was I able to sit face to face with this guy for an hour, I was able to state plainly what I thought the problem was and he was able to confirm this, as well as to explain in great detail, the very enzymatic reasons from which one thing had led to another and how to slowly reverse it all.

Souths supporter too.

There are not many doctors in Sydney who you can eyeball and say,

"I think this started before I was born when my mother was given a series of gamma-globulin shots /vaccinations while she was pregnant with me, due to a German measles scare," without then experiencing the eye roll, the scoff or the glazed expression.

This guy said,

"Yes, yes, in fact, I read a research paper recently, and in the late sixties, the amount of mercury and arsenic in those injections were much higher even than they are today, you would have had heavy metal deposits in your thyroid in utero as well as major dysbiosis and immune malfunction even from birth."

"And if we treat all of this?"

"It will go away."

And so far so good.

He even was so kind as to do the blood test I asked for and formally diagnosed me with Hashimoto's Disease - an autoimmune disease that attacks - guess what - the thyroid.
Something my GP had rolled his eyes and ignored for three years at least, even when the ultra sound I insisted on came back with nodules. derrrrr

Dr. Criticos very casually described it o me as,

" variety Hashimoto's, nothing we can't take care of."

Immune and thyroid.

Get out, who would have thought it?

Well, me. But then I live in this thing 24/7.

So, this switched on researcher/biochemist GP, who bulk bills because he believes in what he's doing and doesn't wish to exclude people, has quietly saved me not only one organ so far, but my sanity as well.

Quite unlike the very expensive and arrogant dermatologist who was aghast when I refused his prescription for the rosacea, and so, took the time and trouble to dictate a letter to my referring GP while I was in the room, beginning with,

"Dear Dr, Marks, unfortunately Simone is not yet willing to take antibiotics. We will wait until it becomes worse and see her again when she is ready to follow proper medical protocol."

Not true.
He will see me again in Hell.
He can stick his Braith Anasta up his arse.

What sort of person would blindly take a drug just for it's side-effect, knowing full well that it is causing chronic damage to their liver and immunity? The weakness of at least one of these being the likely reason for the problem in the first place.

And what sort of person would prescribe this to them?

The word I'm thinking of begins with a c, and it's not cause.

It is on Dad's quilt though, but in Yugo it begins with a P.

Quilts! That's what I meant to talk about when I sat down here.
And then look what happened.
Never mind.
Next time....Simone's not ready to talk about quilts just now, so we'll have to wait until she gets worse, gives in, comes to her senses...

Not on my watch.