Saturday, February 21, 2009

Reading me to sleep.

Almost every night, I ask/hassle/manipulate Hell Boy into reading to me as I fall asleep.

And I'm wicked enough to expect him to read to me from books of my choosing rather than his.
Not that I don't like his material, but my final thought at night is better off not being Charles Bukowski practising to be a bum.
That's a day time thought.

I suspect that I fall asleep during the 2nd or 3rd paragraph, but he tells me that he reads 2 pages, no matter what.
I have woken up and roused on him before for not reading to me, just as he's turning his light out after completing the task. TWSS

In just the last few months, poor ole Hell Boy has read to me from the following texts:

  • 20,000Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne ( he liked that)
  • Mary Poppins - P.L. Travers (he hated it)
  • Secret Lives of Great Authors - Robert Schnakenberg
  • Around the World in Eighty days - Jules Verne
  • Howl's Moving Castle -Dianna Wynne Jones ( he liked that)
  • The Lucy Family Alphabet - Judith Lucy (he liked that but won't admit it - he read more than 2 pages and I suspect he finished the chapter silently)
  • In His Own Write - John Lennon (he liked that)
  • The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Wise Woman - Phillippa Gregory
  • What Katy Did - Susan Coolidge ( he hated it)
  • Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
  • A Life - Woody Guthrie - Jow Klein
  • Slaughter-House Five - Kurt Vonnegut ( one of his faves - no problem there)
  • Rosemary's Baby - Ira Levin ( he liked that)
  • Romulus My Father - Raimond Gaiter
  • When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit - Judith Kerr
  • any number of John Marsden books (hated them)
  • and most recently, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie - May Gibbs (he's really hating it)
Additionally, we listened to 6 CD's of Jane Austen novels whilst driving down and then up the south coast on our holiday recently.
His idea.
Sense and Sensibilty and then Persuasion.

Poor, poor man.

For someone who hates anything without the gritty immediacy of Bukowski or the quirkiness of Vonnegut, I have really been punishing him.

This is made far worse when you consider that he reads aloud to classes during the day - usually having to project his voice to kids who haven't read anything since Little Golden books and who never have any intention of doing so.
Having spent the last 13 years of my own work constantly speaking, I know that there are some days you just don't want to utter another syllable.

The other night as I plonked my book on his chest, he groaned and told me that he didn't think he could because that Year 10 class had taken it out of him - he'd read aloud to them for 2 sessions.
Naturally I suggested that he go back and tell this Year 10 that they were to have 2 pages less per session so that he would be OK to deal with me in the evenings. TWSS

I will be doing a nice afternoon tea for them at the end of the term if they comply with my wishes....

I'm thinking orange poppy seed cake, maybe lemon and sour cream cake and perhaps fairy cakes, just so I can see how many of these tough guys will eat them. That's what...ahh you know.

Friday, February 20, 2009

On turning 40.

Bring it on!

My God, what a fuss too.
Why is that? Simply because a number ends with an O, we're supposed to do all sorts of different things to every other year?

Such nonsense.

But worst of all seems to be the inclination to make trite, lame, age related jokes in a 10 year cycle. Is that because these people assume we've forgotten their stupidity from last decade so soon?
Well I certainly haven't, I have an excellent memory - and I use it.
I won't be dispensing any polite laughter at my own party.
Be warned.
If you forget yourself and come at me with any of this, I will leave you swinging- that's what she said.

"Blah blah blah, it's all down hill from here - blah blah over the hill - blah blah - you're not as young as you used to be..."

I wonder how many of these twits I've successfully weeded out of my intimate circle -that's what she said- since my last milestone birthday?
I'll let you know - unless you're one of them.
No, actually, especially if you're one of them - fuck it - I'm 40, I can do and say whatever I want now.

Hey, maybe that's what it's all about - a direct measure of how well you've managed your social life during the last 10 years.
I'm watching you...

How about lashing out with something useful instead like, "You've come through a lot, you've faced all your life lessons head on, and I admire the person you've become."
That's what I tell the people close to me when opportunity arises.

And then there's my personal fave, the obligatory mention of age but once a decade.

Did you take the time to write 39 on my card last year?
Will you be bothered to do the arithmetic next year and the year after when it involves just a little more thought and consideration?

Does everyone forget your age for 9 years in a row and then suddenly feel bad about this and have to display their involvement by demonstrating that they have been paying attention all along?

You see, I don't care about such things.
In fact, I'd be far more appreciative if you celebrate my 41st with gusto for no reason, or my 49th, being that that would mean I have dodged to breast cancer curse and have outlived my mother.
But just don't surprise me.

My original plans for my 40th were just to turn 40 and mind my own business.
But it quickly became apparent that there were those who had no intentions of doing the same.
"I don't want a fuss", was somehow translated into ,"Please ignore my wish and organise a surprise party for me."

Now, I hate surprises. I really, really, really do.
And let's not suppose that that's simply because I'm an uppity sort of a thing with strong opinions about minutia.
There's way more to it than that!

I detest surprises so much, that I will no longer even attend a surprise party even as a guest.

Dreadful things.
Pure hoax too.
Surprise parties have always and will always be about the people/perpetrators organising the thing rather than the recipient/victim.

Anyway, I begged Hell Boy a cool 6 months ago to act as bouncer and to stamp out any such daft pretentions for my birthday.
I knew that a birthday ending with O would make me likely to have to endure this from some ninny.

"Hey, we think this birthday is so important that we went ahead and organised it without even consulting you!"
To which the only possible response from me would have been, "Surprise!" and to walk out.

I had promised Hell Boy faithfully that this would absolutely have been my course of action should such rubbish come to pass.
I believe that he was quite tempted to let it happen just to enjoy the spectacle.
Few people enjoy a spectacle more than him.
It would have made quite a blog too.

But common sense prevailed, and I decided to just do my own thing, my own way. That's what she said.

And I'm glad I did, and not just because it rules out any nasty little surprises.
I'm glad, not because I'll be 40, but because I have gathered around me so many wonderful people, that I think it will be really cool to collect a bunch of them in the same place and see what they all look like together.
Like putting out the good china on the nice tablecloth.

As it happens, I now have a duel reason to be glad of this celebration.

I'm leaving my job after 10.5 years, so it will function as my farewell also.
More on that later, I still don't really know how to compile those 10 years just yet.

So, no, I won't be saying whoop-de-doo because my age has an O in it, but I will be doing a social stocktake at my party on the 27th.
The next morning, I will be standing on the Harbour Bridge, throwing my arms up in the air and celebrating my many triumphs over adversity during first half of my life, congratulating myself on keeping my own counsel and genuinely from my heart of hearts, looking forward to a very powerful, rewarding and peaceful phase of my life.

And to a Souths game in the evening, right after a Yum Cha lunch and perhaps a little visit to the cross stitch shop.

Nothing surprising about that.
No polite laughter.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bob Log Blog.

The Man.
Not the Man everyone tried so hard to bring down in the sixties, but the hardest working Man in rock and roll, as Hell Boy accurately observed.

My fave.
A one man band from Tuscon Arizona, no less.
A man who surfs the crowd in a blow up dinghy, wears a jumpsuit, crash helmet and sings into an old school phone that is soldered onto the helmet.

Last year, we finally had the opportunity to witness such a spectacle (sans dinghy) and we took along our boys, being at the tender age then of only 22-23.

I don't really know what they were expecting, but it certainly wasn't that.
I think I'd told them that he was a one man band, I guess I had overlooked that fact that not everyone is as impressed by this as I am.
I had also mentioned that he played blues.

Blues is a huge word though.

The boys are well used to bounding up our stairs to the strains of Woody Guthrie's nursery rhymes or to Dylan or even to Pete Seeger's union songs, so they were a little twitchy on the night.

However, by the time Bog Log III descended the stairs, already playing a mean guitar, pushed his way through the crowd, and hopped onto the stage without looking even slightly phased, I saw Stan turn to me with his hands on his head, his eyes the size of donuts, his gold tooth glinting, and mouth the words,

"No waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!!!!!"

Yes way.

The performance was punctuated by each of the lads telling me, "This is fucking unbelievable," or just hollaring and hooting and laughing the arses off.

Afterward, Stan being roughly double this guy's size, just took it upon himself to grab Bob Log III and shake him up a bit like the nerdy, jump suited musical freak that he is.
Hell Boy, not to be outdone, told him, ''Man, you're my Elvis," which shocked the shit out of the poor thing, he covered his delighted face, blushed and and drawled, "Oh, man!!!"
I weighed in and asked him to sign my Souths jersey, something I treasure to this day.
He not only sign it, he took the time and trouble to draw an arse hole onto the Rabbitoh.

Anyway, we're going again, and tonight is the night.

After a bungled Xmas Bob Log III web site merchandise order, we are apparently, on the door for this one.
What an honour!
And odd considering that I'd pay ten times over to see this guy do his thang.

You know, after that show last year, it took us until 10 months to get up the nerve to see another live act.
The very week after Bob Log III last March, we had the opportunity to see QOTSA and turned our backs on it.
At the time, my reasoning was, if you need that many people to make music, something must be really wrong.
And they're one of my fave bands.

We chose Fantomas to finally break the drought as they were low risk of disappointing us.


Damn you, Bob Log III, you've wrecked live music for me.
Yes sir, I hope he wrecks it again tonight though.


And wreck it he did.

He even busted out the dingy for a spot of crowd surfing. He managed to play almost an entire song from within this dingy whilst being tossed around from one end of the packed venue to the other.

He arrived on stage in a dinner suit, which disappointed some folks a little, but promptly ripped it off to reveal a gold spandex jumpsuit all ready to go underneath it.
Never has a stripper received a more heartfelt cheer than he did.
But then no stripper has probably ever had to rip their gear off over great clomping work boots or a crash helmet before.
More's the pity.

When it came time for Boob Scotch, all the women in the room were on the verge of standing poor old Bob up - not one boobie on offer.
I think that the crowd was young enough that they were unfamiliar with the Boob Scotch protocol and they might have thought they had to go topless or such.
Not the case.
Anyway, towards the end of the song, I rescued him and with a generosity of spirit rarely witnessed by shy people, I signalled for Hell Boy to pass the scotch, and I dunked my left boobie and stirred it up but good.
I may have been the first sober woman in history to have done such a thing and I'm almost certain I was the first woman allergic to scotch to attempt it too.
I call the manoevre full throttle nerd and I'm very proud of it.

Bump pow bump bump bump bump pow.