Friday, July 30, 2010

Matchmaking for beginners

I think I have a talent for producing great kids and if it weren’t for my advanced age and the fact that childbirth feels like a 32” TV set is being pulled out of your butt, I’d probably keep reproducing. Some of my friends have gotten around this by becoming grandparents. I know I don’t look old enough but I am sort of a nana - by marriage - because Beloved has a couple of extremely cute grandies. But my own kids have yet to advance me to the rank of family matriarch and grandkid spoiler. Somehow my gorgeous girls have reached 19 and 22 years of age without any boyfriends.

My son, M, is a great looking kid with a brain to match. He captains the Chess club, represents the school in Mathex, plays Lawn Bowls and is one of the “tech boys” at school assemblies. Sadly it seems that he’ll never move beyond Pokemon and Playstation.  My youngest daughter is 6 so it looks like the responsibility rests entirely at her feet (or uterus). In the meantime I miss having a baby in the house. I think I’ll make a clause in my will that the first of my children to marry and produce an heir (of heiress) can inherit my entire collection of dress up clothes and super hero costumes.

But at last there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. M invited a GIRL around to our house during the holidays! I’m serious! She was an actual GIRL with one head, two arms and two legs. She wasn’t even imaginary! Naturally I checked her out on the school record system (one of the perks of working at my kid’s school).  Her Facebook profile looks promising - no naughty words, intelligent and she does ballet in her spare time. She’s pretty and normal and NICE.  Great potential for the possible future mother of my possible future grandchildren!  In preparation for the visit I blew the budget at the supermarket to procure hip, adolescent snacks (not popcorn because I’d noted that she has braces). The plan was to win her heart on M’s behalf by plying her with biccies and coke.  I even went so far as to dress my little one in a renaissance costume, complete with headpiece, and thrust her into the room with firm instructions to be cute. Teenage girls love cute kids and I’m sure they find boys with adorable little sisters irresistible. I also instructed my littlie to quote the balcony scene from “Romeo and Juliet”, which she did rather well considering she’s only six: “Oh Rolleo, Rolleo with four art toes...”

Come to think of it, the teens didn’t appear too happy to have constant disruptions to their Pokemon Trading and I haven’t seen M’s friend since. you suppose I overegged the pudding? 

There’s always Plan B. When Nay, my eldest, was visiting from Christchurch I saw her talking at length to a nice young man at church. He looks like good son-in-law material so we had him around to lunch. I’ve checked his Facebook page - and the profiles of anybody he may have commented on. Funny though, he seems to have ignored my Friend Request...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Making friends in the modern age

I got a text from someone I don’t know this morning:
Heeey hun (ooh, this looks promising I thought to myself) dis me. I’ll txx yu l8er den, luv yu.
It’s a bit of a long shot, but I have a hunch this was sent to the wrong number. Ignoring it seemed like the best plan but I hadn’t taken teenage love hormones into account. Texts were coming fast and strong. It’s okay though, I work at a high school and have teenagers so I’m fluent in Gangsta Text.  For the sake of the monolingual, I’ll translate the subsequent messages:

Heeey baby wht yu doing? Muwah! Xo (hello to the person I’m in love with for the next three days or so. I would really like you to reply. Big kiss, little kiss and a hug)

Babe (you haven’t responded to my many text messages yet. Could you please send me a message back?)

BABE! (I’m getting annoyed that you haven’t texted me back yet. Why are you ignoring me?)

I at da swings (I’m waiting for you at our not-very-secret place in the local community playground. I am lighting up a cigarette and beginning to get a little impatient that you’re keeping me waiting)

Babe whr yu! Txx me! (You’re late. I’m getting irritated. Let me know where you are)

BAAAAAAABEEEE!! (if you're not answering me it means you're busy and if you're busy it can only mean that you're cheating on me)

Aw baby im sozz i killd everything. Txx me pleeeze k? I miss yu  : ( (I’m starting to panic now that I sounded too angry in that last text. Please don’t dump me. Please let me be your girlfriend? My self esteem is pretty low and I’m not sure if I can be valued as a complete person without a boyfriend to accessorise with my ipad)

By now I was thinking that maybe the boyfriend was going to get his ears chewed for something he was completely oblivious to so I decided to take action: I’m not sure if you have the right number

But those texts just kept coming:
I ad th park, buh im on th courts, ws on bebo js den & read yur mail to me :( (I am still waiting for you at the park, next to the courts. I was on my social network site just now and read your private message to me. I am now morbidly depressed and having suicidal thoughts).

I thought I did very well ignoring the unremitting beeps as I was driving to the shops.  Many messages later I was standing at the checkout at New world and decided I’d had enough.  M tried persuade me to tell her that he gave the wrong number which means he's "just not that into you" He's a boy. He should know these things. But my thumb starts to ache after three words and truthfully, I didn't want to break her heart.
Wrong number! That seemed pretty clear and to the point.

Es dis sonny?
I thought I’d lighten the mood. "Only to my mum and dad". I had short hair when I was a kid and was often mistaken for a boy, so technically that wasn't a lie. I think my humour was a little too high brow for my new friend and the harassment continued. Evidently she knew I was Sonny and it seems that our boy Sonny may have been cheating on this poor kid. I tried to tell her that Sonny was an egg for treating her badly and that she could do better for herself and even threw in a smiley face for good measure. She was having none of it. Even telling her that I’m a 47 year old mother of four couldn’t sway her. Just what was it going to take?

Zeeb grabbed the phone off me and sent the following:
I’ll pray for you

I told Zeeb she’d better be praying. “If you say you’re gonna pray for someone you’d better do it. Well? Are you praying? PRAY!!!”

Funny, I didn't hear back from my friend after that. She’s a smart girl is Zeeb. Probably saved her life. Meanwhile, I've just had a text from someone asking me to buy them a hot water bottle tomorrow. I would, if only I knew who to give it to...

Monday, July 26, 2010

There's a mystery afoot

I’m not sure what one of the fosties has been up to but if I look at the 5 standard question starters, I have the “Who”, the “Where” and the “What”.  I just need the “When” and the “Why”.  Beloved was the first to notice that something had gone down and alerted me to the situation.  Not that I was alert. I was facebooking on the laptop with my eye mask hooked around my neck, ready for a good night’s kip, and I wasn’t eager to get out of a comfy bed.

Here's the scene: The downstairs kitchen window (normally locked) - open; ornament on windowsill - broken; benchtop and floor - covered in muddy footprints.  Was it a break in? Had we been robbed? I checked my Tom Jones CD collection while Beloved examined the scene to determine if it was an inside job.  The evidence was mostly circumstantial, but Nick* was our prime suspect.  However his denial was almost convincing.  This kid needs to go to drama school.  As Beloved was preparing his speech about bunking off school to break in while we were all out, I donned my Sherlock Holmes hat and went into CSI mode, searching for forensic clues. I think the photo says it all:

Note the tread of the shoe compared with the mud print - we have a match!
Suspect - size 6
Shoe - size 6
Here’s the interesting thing - mufty shoes. Since Nick is only spotted in school shoes during the week, the misdemeanour had been committed outside school hours. We haven't been able to pinpoint a time because...ummm...I haven't actually cleaned the downstairs kitchen for quite some time...or...ever...

The good news - he didn’t wag school (as backed up by further snooping with my contacts in the trenches).
The bad news - he didn’t confess.
The good news - he gave up denying it.
The really good news - he knows that we know pretty much everything he gets up to and he can’t get away with anything. Poor sod.

Meanwhile, his brother Tee* is obsessed with his hair. He’s had me put highlights in and keeps doing that  dreadful head-flick thing.  Let’s just hope he doesn’t dislocate it. How do you explain a dislocated head to the Social Worker?

I blame Justin Bieber. Don’t we all?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Potty Talk

It’s time to educate a few people on “Toilet Etiquette”. While I understand that nattering on about loos might be embarrassing for some, I need to affirm that rather than lowering the tone here, I am essentially raising a few standards. But first there is one thing I want to clarify: what you do in the privacy of your own bathroom is your own business and I don’t want to know about it.  It’s what takes place in shared rest rooms that concerns me, predominantly the staff toilets that I visit five days a week, on the trot.

My primary observation is that our unisex toilet in the English block at school NEEDS to have a ping pong ball installed for the benefit of female users, such as myself, who don’t appreciate sitting with their feet in a puddle of wee. I’m just saying...

Now, about the ladies’ toilets - there are five cubicles and I prefer to frequent Numbers 3 and 4 only.  There’s nothing wrong with numbers 1 and 5, it’s just that I like symmetry and prefer both of my walls to match. That’s normal, isn’t it?  Not weird at all.  As far as Number 2 is concerned, a couple of years ago I had the misfortune of having the pungent stench of vomit attacking my nostrils as I entered the main doors. There were some worrisome noises coming from Number 2 and before I could say “Who’s doing the multi-coloured yawn in there?” I was drawn into the situation. Hey, I am a compassionate person after all. Although the vomit was eventually cleaned up, that pong lasted for weeks.  The incident has scarred me.

Speaking of Number Two - DON’T.  Unless you have been struck by a sudden episode of Guardia, save it for when you get home.  I don’t want to sit on a warm throne and I don’t want to you to share your personal fragrance with me. Is that clear? In many cases bowels are like animals. If you treat them well, they can be tamed and trained.

Do not disturb!
And speaking of speaking - DON’T.  I’m in that cubicle with a purpose and I don’t like Toilet Talkers.  It’s business only for me and if you want to have a discussion about what you’ve got in the crock pot for dinner tonight I will SHUSH you (unless you happen to be one of my many superiors, in which case I’ll attempt a few agreeable whimpering sounds) and you can guarantee that I'm sulking in there. Just leave me out of it. I don’t want to know that you’re listening for my answer or any other sounds I may make in the process.  Even I don’t want to hear any tinkling which is why I’ll usually begin by scrunching up a heap of toilet tissue to mute it before blocking my ears to avoid offending myself.

Something else confuses me. Why have I stumbled upon the toilet seat up in a ladies’ toilet stall? I know it wasn’t the cleaner because I’d seen her scouring the basins earlier in the day (V does a splendid job incidentally).  I’m further mystified by the footprints on the porcelain. If it’s a cultural thing I’ll try to be tolerant if you try not to use Numbers 3 and 4.

Finally, if there’s a soap dispenser - USE IT! Enough said.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I should have called my cat "Tabby Kruger

I had a fantastic night’s sleep last night although I can’t remember if I dreamed anything. Normally I have spectacular dreams that are very compelling and I get annoyed when my alarm breaks in. Not all my dreams are that great - there was a nasty nightmare a few years ago about some wig-wearing guy at work and a swimming pool. I still wince when I remember it, which happens often because I made the mistake of telling Ant and Smilie about the “incident-that-NEVER-happened” and they haven’t let me forget it.

Generally I’m a light sleeper and often wake during the night, but not last night. I think it must be the eye-mask keeping my eyelids warm (refer to previous blog: “Things Edison forgot to invent”). When I woke up this morning, I found that my nose was grazed. Here’s the really bizarre thing: my muzzle was just fine when I went to bed the night before.

My Beloved was my first suspect but he’s denied all responsibility for any violence towards my nose. He blamed the cat. Having eliminated him from my enquiries I threw the question open to Facebook World. There was speculation about the injury being self-inflicted or that perhaps Beloved had tried to pick his nose but jammed his fingers up mine by mistake. You’d think I would have noticed.

This leaves only one serious conclusion: clearly I was abducted and probed by aliens who further anaesthetised my stupor to ensure I wouldn’t wake up half way through the procedure and take photos with my cell phone before spilling the story to “Campbell Live”.  Later today I found myself explaining to some students how the ancient Egyptians used hooks for pulling out people’s brains during the mummification process. Coincidence? I don’t think so! Those Egyptians were most certainly using extraterrestrial probes and it’s quite possible that my own brain was pulled out last night, examined and then replaced - probably with the added feature of the ability to morph myself into a lizard when the weather gets too hot.

This hypothesis hasn’t been taken seriously by anyone. We’ll just have to wait until summer to see if I turn into an iguana and start sunning myself on a rock. This leaves the earlier suggestion of the cat. Montague has always had it in for me ever since she was a kitten and I gave her a boy’s name. She’s a malevolent old fleabag and I wouldn’t put it past her to take a swat at my face as I slept.  I need to take measures to protect myself in future.

I’m putting a restraining order on my cat and knitting myself that nose-warmer I mentioned last week. Let’s just hope I don’t knit it too big because I hear that chainmail is very heavy.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

When is a hippopotamus not a hippopotamus?

Last week we headed to the zoo with a van packed with kids of all ages. It was a crisp, sunny winters day so it seemed like a brilliant plan. Trouble is, everyone else thought it was a bright idea too.  We pulled off the motorway behind an excited young mum who kept turning at every stop to wave to her kid in the back seat with a goofy grin on her face. After driving around the carpark a number of times and heading in a circle around a few blocks, her excitement was waning dramatically and the li’l guy was screaming.  I hope they found a park closer than we did.  We ended up on some cliff face a few kilometres North of where we wanted to be.   
 Fortunately my Beloved was driving because I don’t take too kindly to hill starts.

Auckland is a very arty-farty place at times and the Zoo management has obviously paid someone far too much to install some ill-designed drinking fountains. The first was not far from the entrance and it wasn’t until later that I learned that it was sculpted in the shape of a koru, which symbolises all sorts of wonderful things about new life and growth. You see, from the front it looked like...THIS:

My advice - take your own bottled water. What WERE they thinking?

Zeeb might be 19 years old but she loves the kids’ area. There’s a big stone dragon there that has been around since I was a wee sprout.  Over the years the dragon has laid some concrete eggs and kids travel from near and far to crawl in and out of these things. Zeeb forgot that she was 19 and thought it would be fun to be a baby dinosaur hatching from an egg.  Cute.  I thought it was strange that she wouldn’t keep still while I was trying to snap her photo.  It took a bit of desperate whimpering to convince me that she was actually firmly wedged. (Oooh, that reminds me of a story about M when he was a lot younger! I must remember to tell that one)

Zeeb and I are pretty stoic when it comes to demonstrating affection towards each other. A sniff and a nod is as good as a hug where we’re concerned. It works for us. I haven’t carried Zeeb since she was about five and she certainly didn’t have boobs back then. Incidentally, where’d she get those things? It certainly wasn’t from me!  Still, there’s no need to join a gym when I can pump weights by lifting adult, teenagers out of concrete dragon eggs.

Animals are very good at hiding when there are too many people trying to see them.  We were squinting to see the well-hidden hippos (I wrote the abbreviated word because I don’t know the correct plural for “hippopotamus”). We decided that we could definitely see two of them. Wanting to outdo our super-spotting, my Beloved was adamant that he could see four. We had some discussion about a couple of blobs in the water. He said they were definitely hippo nostrils while Zeeb was pretty sure they were pine cones - not that there were any pine trees nearby. After weaving through the crowds to the other side we found that Beloved was the closest. The blobs were definitely hippo-related. They were two blobs of floating poo. I don’t think Beloved was going to give up on that one. There was some indistinguishable muttering about the hippos hiding underneath...yeah, right!

I think Zeeb's favourite animal was the serval: "The serval is so hot. It has stripes AND spots. It flauts all the fashion laws!"

So that’s the school holidays done and dusted. Kids are back at school tomorrow and so am I. Ooh, so many new adventures to look forward to!

Friday, July 16, 2010

I sit and knit a hat to fit...

...I sat and knat a hat too fat!
I am not a domestic goddess. I do what I have to do such as throw a peanut butter sandwich at hungry kids or spray the occasinal cockroach on the bench but every now and then my creative juices start flowing and I get the urge I think it comes from watching far too much television and reading too many homemaking blogs. It's a nice thought in theory but in real life it doesn't always quite work out. Refer to exhibit A. The wintery weather motivated me to knit a simple little hat for my li'l munchkin. Only it wasn't all that simple and it definately wasn't little. You'd think I'd have learned from the experience of trying to make that sweat shirt she's wearing, which was not without its dramas.

Meanwhile, there's this lady at church who is a real honey. Now she really IS a domestic godess. She can do just about anything. And she's so thoughtful - one of those quiet people who works away behind the scenes to get things done.  She's always baking gluten free slices and biccies just for me whenever there's a shared lunch and seriously, I can be bought for food! For ages I've wanted to do something for her to show how appreciative I am. I thought about baking her a cake but I don't bake and she does. I wanted to make her feel a bit special just like she makes me feel special, but how do I do something for Nigella, Alison Holst and Enid Gilchrist all rolled into one? I decided to knit her a scarf. One of those nifty ones I made for myself a few years back, with a hole in it to slip the end through so that you really only have to knit half a scarf. That should be pretty foolproof. What could possibly go wrong?

If that hat was fat, the scarf was even fatter. I couldn't undo it, I was in too deep. I had already dropped a stitch earlier and being that fluffy sort of wool, it was a real bugger to pick it up. My other knitting needles are safely stored I-don't-know-where so I had resorted to using a nearby thermometer to pick it up. Tragic I know, but at least I deserve top marks for ingenuity.

It would break my heart to undo it. So I bought more wool and kept knitting. Thankfully I decided to compare it to one of my earlier models and realised it was three times fatter than it should have been and my  friend would look like she'd been attacked by a woolly sack.  I started again.  Finally it's finished and all I have to do is give it to her only I'm a little embarrassed's still...a bit...too...FAT.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Things Edison forgot to invent

Looks like we're in for a chilly Winter in Auckland. Crisp, sunny days usually start with frosty mornings, which generally result after what I'd call a "brass monkeys" night. I like electric blankets and fluffy dressing gowns. I like to be comfortable. Despite my recently purchased op shop thermals and wincy jammies, there are parts of me that can't escape the chill: my long, scraggy nose and my eye lids. But I'm onto it. I saw something in "Bras 'n' Things" that might just be useful in defrosting my icy lids.  Normally I walk into that shop to look enviously at the undergarments that will never fit. Sometimes I even try one or two on in the hopes that I might have a bit of a depth perception issue in relation to the size of my cups. It never works out and I've never actually made a purchase in that shop...until now. I had no intention of going in but I could see them from the entrance: SLEEP MASKS!

I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before. Remember "The Partridge Family" during the 1970s? Their manager, Reuben Kinkaid used to wear a sleep mask and even then I thought it would be pretty cool to own one.  35 years later I've realised that dream. Now I can wake up with warm eyes! And my eye mask is nearly as pretty as Reuben's pink satin number with black lace trim.

Ummm...I'm not sure if I'm really all that comfortable sleeping in a mask. Can eyes actually sweat? Either that's what was happening last night or my nose was so cold in comparison to my warm eyes that I thought they were sweating. I think I need a nose warmer.

There are one or two things I'd like to invent. The nose warmer is one of those things. It would probably be knitted or thermal but having no idea exactly how it would stay on my face, I googled it. Thinking that I was the only one who had ever thought of this dazzling inspiration, I was astounded to find that somebody has already had a go at this contraption. Stylie, isn't it? I want one - but it would have to be pink to go with my eye mask.

  A bra with pockets would also be useful. That's the only thing I use my bra for anyway. Getting ready for bed can be full of surprises some nights ("Ahh, so that's where I put that pencil sharpener!").  The drawback with the pocket bra is probably that some people might want to fit other things in there besides pencil sharpeners and five dollar notes. I don't know, things like...boobs perhaps? How bothersome.

7th April 2011: Here's another nifty thing that Edison forgot to invent: The Nubrella!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Posh hotels and hairy armpits

My friend from work is texting me from the Chateu, a very posh hotel near the snow fields. Looks pretty impressive in the picture. I'm jealous.  Smiley is English and has lived in New Zealand for about five years. Before she came here she probably spent most of her winters making snow angels and not eating yellow snow; I've never even seen the stuff in real life.

I think holidays tick me off bit because everyone else seems to be having more fun than me.  There's my friend staying at the ridiculously elegant Chateu, listening to a concert pianist in the dining room whilst my other friend Ant, has had a romantic rendezvous on the North Shore. Still others have nipped across the Tasman for some sunshine on the Gold Coast and here's me stuck at home trying to get to the bottom of a mountain of dirty washing or draining nasty ick from Albie the Abscess in my armpit (refer to earlier post about bug bombing).  It just doesn't seem fair, does it. I'm jealous, jealous, JEALOUS!

Speaking of armpits, I don't think they're ever pretty. Armpits are disturbing to look at.  Albie's presence has made mine even more unsettling because he's gone and put a restraining order on the Ladyshave, resulting in Poodle Pits. The Europeans might have a fetish for it but if Julia Roberts couldn't get away with it, nobody can because it's just so wrong!

Smiley just sent me a text to say she's off for a luxerious soak in the bath.  And truthfully...I hope she has a wonderful time because she really does deserve it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It's not a fetish, it's an affinity

My Beloved and I have slightly different relationships with Trade Me (that's the NZ equivalent of e-bay). He buys crap. I buy "stuff". He hoards junk. I'm adding to my "collection". He wastes money. I make "investments". Trademe has been a bone of contention for a few years in our household with many weekends spent hauling rubbish from one location to another halfway across town in a bid to feed my Beloved's addiction. He makes big purchases. Not just big in dollars but BIG in size. He has the sort of garage that they make documentaries about. That's a whole other subject that I'll save for another time but it's enough to say that if there's any random thing that you might want to borrow, chances are that he has one in his garage that you can use (and personally I don't care if you never return it because it takes up too much room anyway).

My relationship with Trademe is far more worthwhile. I make exciting purchases with a little more substance than a wheelbarrow tray and various cars that seem to come and go, causing neighbours to mistake our front lawn for a car yard. In the last couple of months I have purchased:

A Super Woman costume

2 x belly dance outfits (in pink and green)

Pattern for a kid's fish dress up outfit

80's disco costume - includes rainbow stretch asymmetrical top and gold sequined skirt. I like sequins.

A French Maid uniform

Kid's bunny costume

Long, black matrix coat

Toddler's duck costume

Kid's crocodile, reindeer and dinosaur Juliet costume, a wizard's cloak and hat, a Latin ballroom dress, various children's dressups, a white tutu...

...and a "hot in Japan" banana case.

There seems to be a theme.  This picture taken with my mother during the '70s probably confirms that it just might be a family trait. Gee, I wish I still had that Ten of Hearts outfit.

Ever since I adorned my first pixie suit when I was five (it was green, not really my colour), I've been drawn towards an interesting wardrobe. All these purchases have been essential to enhance my existing collection of sparkly mermaid skirts, clown pants, 12 wigs, elf hats, Santa suit and various mannakins (needed to model said collection).  I like calling it a "Collection". It makes me feel like Vera Wang - although I only personally designed the mermaid skirts.

These things will all be very day.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rude books that make your eyes bleed

It all started innocently: "I want to read a book about Vikings," I told Zeeb "can you get me one from the library?"  I'd read a Viking book when I was a kid once and thought it would be quite fun to read a grown up version. With the library online it was easy to come up with a possibly good read. It had a real Viking, a modern day woman and some time-travel (that appealed to the "Doctor Who" fan in me). Perfect. The stupid library website wouldn't accept my fumbled passwords so it seemed easier to get Zeeb to order and collect it for me (besides, what's the point in going through 18 hours of labour to have a complete human being ripping you in half with her big head if you can't boss her about once in a while?).

I started with the prologue. I gagged...I gagged again...I really shouldn't be reading this...I blushed...I REALLY shouldn't be reading this! Oh COME ON! Is that even humanly possible? And that was just the prologue! I don't recall the blurb on the library website mentioning "erotica" although perhaps the words "Viking Unchained" should have given me a clue.

"It's no good Zeeb, I can't read this."  She looked at me with that what-an-ungrateful-mum kind of face that required some kind of explanation. "It's just too...(I had to think here. This is my baby. Is she ready for this?)'s too...rude!"

"Lemme see". Zeeb reached out for the book.  I hesitated for a moment then remembered that she's 19 years old and a heck of a lot more grown up than I am. Her reaction was simillar to mine.

"AAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!"  she was blushing as she screamed.

"AAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!" I was blushing too.

"AAAAAAAAAARGH!!!" we were both screaming in unison. Her because she knew I'd read that bit, and me because I knew what bit she was reading.

"What's going on in there?" called my Beloved.

She slammed the book shut. "This book should NOT have been allowed to sit on the shelf of a public library. It should be shrink-wrapped in plastic! I can't believe you made me get this for you!"

She later returned from the library with a Viking book from the children's section because "those are the ONLY type of books that you should be reading!"  Meanwhile, I've bought a nice Christian novel by a nice Christian author who writes especially for nice Christian middle-aged mothers. I should be safe now.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fav programmes on telly and wonky texts

I admit to having one or two guilty pleasures on television.  Something I secretly want to stay home for and take the phone off the hook during the next 30 to 60 minutes. Am I alone in this? Nope.  Like attracts like and if we can  somehow manage to find someone to share the indulgence with the experience becomes all the more exciting.

There are two programmes that hook me in: "Coronation Street" and our old kiwi favourite gameshow "It's In The Bag" which is on quite late and was hosted by Selwyn Toogood during the 70s and John Hawkesby through the 80s. And there are two lovely people who share my passion for these can't-miss-an-episode shows: respectively my Facebook friend L and my daughter Z.

Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays between 7:30-8:30am either L or myself will send/receive a text: "Are you watching?" and for the next hour it might go something like:

"Bet you wish it was you cutting Tony's hair" (Tony is the evil, hot Scotts man with the glass eye - he was having his hair cut in Audrey's salon and yes, I did wish it was me with my fingers through his locks)
"Poor Steve, it was Becky's fault" (she was too drunk to get married and didn't realise they weren't married until the next day)

"Gasp! Tony looks hot. See how he only cries out of one eye?"

"Becky you silly cow!" (oops! I did a gaff there. I was rushing and accidentally sent that text to my friend A, who is at the top of my phone list and probably still trying to work out who Becky is and why I'm so ticked off with her)

Z is housesitting for a couple of weeks and I've missed having her watching Selwyn with me. She hates Selwyn because she first saw "Bag" episodes with John and thinks that Selwyn just isn't "Toogood" (sorry about that but it was "too good" an opportunity to pass up). Even so at 10:30 tonight I can probably expect a text that will read something like:

"It's the 100th telecast!"

"Love Tenika's frock"

"Selwyn's sweaty already"

"Mmmm...he's a hottie!"

"He's your boyfriend"

"We've only seen one of Tenika's boobies tonight" (behave! There were booby prizes!)

Z never has never been able to get her head around the old episodes being shown before the OLD, old episodes and feels that Selwyn has usurped John. John had a much more lustrous head of hair.

"I hate Selwyn," she explodes "he FAILS at life".

"Umm...Z, he's been dead for over a decade."

"My point EXACTLY!"

My daughter has a vendetta with a dead guy.

"Bag" was classic last night. Someone in the audience won the...wait for it...COLOUR TELLY!  I have never seen such joy!

It's 9:30pm; I'm hoping for a text in about an hour. If I don't, I'll be sending one.

Does anyone want to text me during "Tux Wonder Dogs at 11pm?

Now that's gotta hurt!

I love the word verifications we have to type in when we comment on posts. Earlier this morning I had "bumbrago" - sounds like a very nasty condition.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Stupid Bathroom!

I hate the downstairs bathroom. A while back my Beloved organised for a young building apprentice to "do it up". I would say it was more "botched" up. But I digress. The only time I go into that room is to clean it. With three boys in the house...I'll leave you to use your imagination. There are numerous reasons I hate that bathroom and tonight's experience is one of them.

The stupid armpit is getting ridiculous and I thought a relaxing bath might ease things up a little. I really should have taken into account that Z had popped home and had a shower in there just before I turned the tap on. I managed about 4 inches of warm water but decided that would do the trick. The fun part came when I tried to leave the room of doom. The stupid door knob came off in my hand!

I'm claustrophobic.

I'm clinically claustrophobic.

I take medication for it.

How much does my son love me? Evidently, not as much as he loves his DSL.

A: "Help! I'm trapped in the bathroom!"
M: "I can't pause right now, you'll have to wait."
A: "But I can't wait, I'm claustrophobic!"
M: "You'll have to wait. I can't come!"

At this point my youngest daughter, C, kicked the door in. She is my hero. She is also going to become heiress to M's share of inheritance when the time eventually comes for me to take a dirt nap.

We are SO getting our house bug-bombed!

I thought cabbage leaves could heal anything and if this thing turns out to be a white-tail spider bite I will never let my beloved hear the end of it. I've been telling him we need to bomb the place for months. Show no mercy I say. I don't care how cute you are, if you bite me, I will bite you back you evil, australian, stowaway arachnid! Unless it's a boil. I won't eat any spiders if it turns out to be a boil. This baby is very owee and lumpy and I have the feeling there's a lot of stuff under there waiting to come out when I least expect it (just in case you wanted to know). POW! Oh well, at least it's not on my face

Ummm...if I go to the doctor tomorrow, he won't actually touch it, will he?

Here's a hint if you ever get an owee lump on your armpit: don't google it. That was a mistake.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Country So Pretty You Could Hang It On The Wall

I feel sorry for Stewart Island.

Tonight I saw an ad on telly for...something...I've forgotten what...and one of the props was a New Zealand map ornament on the wall. I think it was made of paua shell. I thought to myself that I would like a cool piece of kiwiana on my wall and a paua map of New Zealand would be the coolest thing. I would be so sophisticated and all my visitors would say, "Oh what a cool map ornament on your wall!". Then it occurred to me that my country is really pretty. Not just pretty to look at while standing here with it's blue skies (when it's not raining), nuclear free waters and green ferns, but a pretty shape of land. I can't imagine a paua map of Russia or Australia hanging on the lounge wall. That would just look...blobby. It might work for England or Japan, but definately not Russia.

Another name for New Zealand is "Godzone". I think that means that God likes this place as much as I do. I tried to find a picture of a paua New Zealand map but it's late and Mr Google just didn't co-operate so I found a piece of glass with a paua insert.

As for Stewart Island, isn't it sad how it often gets left off the map? It's just too tricky to include a little island at the bottom. Stewie must feel so left out of the loop.

Is this one of "those" days?

Mopping the floors is good exercise but not when you slip and fall on your butt. I only have a skinny butt and my pants got wet from the disinfectant I'd spilled on the floor. It didn't look pretty. But because I'm such an attention seeker, I'll share a picture with you all. Incidentally, can anyone tell me how to put a caption on the pictures?

I thought it was the return of the boil saga today (long and boring story so I won't tell it). A sore armpit today and yesterday. But it doesn't seem very "boily" so I'm wondering if it's a creepy bite of some sort. We don't have anything too toxic here in New Zealand, although a few white-tail spiders have snuck in from Australia. Don't get the two countries confused. New Zealand DEFINATELY came up with the Pavlova first and Sam Neil and the Flight of the Chonchords are kiwis, not Aussies. Anyway, I have no idea what this thing in my armpit is. It's big and red and hurts and I don't like it one bit so I thought I would chase it away with cabbage leaves, a tube sock and lots of drinks of water.

Drinking water is good for you. Only I choked on it. It blocked my windpipe and I couldn't breathe. During this choking attack, the water I previously guzzled in my bid to get healthy, desperately wanted to come out. I figured that if I was going to die on my kitchen floor, I was not going to die with wet pants (although you'll recall that my pants had already gotten wet earlier in the day). It all turned out good though. While I"seated for my performance" choking cleared the way for me to (don't read this next bit if you've just eaten) throw up...up the multi-coloured yawn. What a dilemma! Mid-pee and the need to hurl. I'll stop this story about here. But the good news is that I didn't die, my pants stayed dry and I can breathe again.

What is it with Americans shortening the name Charles to Chuck. Eeeyew!

School Holidays! YEA!!

One of the big advantages to being a Teacher Aide is all the holidays. One of the big disadvantages is that I don't get paid for the holidays. Things are pretty cruisy this week, our two foster boys, T & N* ("not quite their real names etc, etc") are at camp until Friday, my 19 y/o daughter, Z* is house sitting for a friend and I'm only left with 6 y/o daughter, C*, and 14 y/o son, M* (all these abbreviated initials are confusing me!).

So I promised C we could have a craft day, naively thinking that we'd have a cheap day in. We trotted off to the craft shop for cardboard, glitter, glue, felts, a silver pen. Who knew that I needed to take out a mortgage for PVA glue?! Being at the shops we couldn't avoid stopping by the Warehouse (sort of New Zealand's equivalent to Walmart) to see if they had cheaper glue and...well...there was a sale on clothing. Where has all my money gone? We got home to squeeze in the crafty-making-of-stuff and THANK GOD, Z arrived home for a visit - just in the nick of time! I just left them to it.

I've seen other blogs about perfect kids in perfectly clean clothes doing perfect crafts. Nobody is perfect in this house!

After an hour, things were getting ugly. C left Z to do all the work and wouldn't help clean up. Tempers were beginning to fray. Ahhh siblings. We did get a beautiful work of art out of it though - mostly done by Z.

There was glitter in our dinner last night.

*not their real names because I don't know if I'm allowed to use real names of real people without their real permission. Hey, I'm new to blogging.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fart Story

Here it is, my fart story:

I'm a teacher aide and for a while I was working with the blind and low vision students in the high school. I was sitting in a Maths class with Shelly* (not quite her real name because I'm not sure if I'm allowed to talk about real people in real life without their real permission). So...I'm sitting there and can feel that sort of rumbling that you get when you know that something is trying to escape. I tried a bit of clenching and squirming and eventually I thought, "Hmmm...I wonder if anyone would notice if I just slip one out?"

Remember how I mentioned that God has a sense of humour? Perhaps that's another reason why He gave people with impaired senses, super abilities in other things. Turns out that my blind protegee has super hero powers of hearing and (sadly for her) smell. Forgetting about anything arithemetic-related at all, we dissolved into giggles. When the teacher stopped proceedings to find out if Shelly had a problem I hissed at her to keep quiet or I'd tell everyone it was her! I'm ever the professional.

People think that foster parents, caregivers, teacher aides and saints are warm, generous, loving, giving people....HA!!

*Note: In His wisdom the good Lord did prompt me to confess to the teacher at morning tea. Confession is good for the soul :)

Farts and Burps

I mentioned that we have two foster boys, brothers aged 10 and 12 who have become part of our family over the last 10 months. Being a caregiver is certainly not all romantic good deeds. But I thought I'd share my "settling" technique:

Day 1: Everyone sitting around the dinner table - slightly uncomfortable.

Problem: Things are frosty and the ice needs to be broken. It's quite possible that the boys have never sat at a dinner table before and they need to become familiar with the etiquette required for such a situation.

Solution: Angela - the big-hearted caregiver extraordinaire - finishes meal and releases her best possible burp (actually, it wasn't that impressive but it sufficed for the situation), does a victory dance and announces, "I won!"

From that moment the competition was on and the after meal burp has become tradition - not that my own children will participate. They were mortified from the onset. Anyway, this has become a serious competition with rules such as, the participant must be at the table, touching the table cloth in order to qualify. I'll bet you were surprised just now when I mentioned that we have a table cloth. New Zealanders are very sophisticated you know. It's navy blue and plastic with melty bits and encrusted food but it is a tablecloth.

Now about the farts...I have a funny fart story. I'm pretty sure that EVERYONE has a funny fart story because farts are funny! If there's anyone who thinks that God doesn't have a sense of humour then they should ponder why he made us with a fart-function. I don't think I'll tell my fart story just yet. You should get to know me a little better first...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th July!

Oh hey, Happy 4th of July! Is that what people say in US? It slips by without a bang or even a firecracker hiss down here. Closest thing we have is Waitangi Day and...Ummm, actually...Waitangi Day is nothing like American Independence Day whatsoever.

Anyway, Happy 4th of July. Stay safe and be well rested :)

Day 1

So...this is a blog...What does one do with a blog? I tell you, I'm living in a world of science fiction. My kids have had e-mail accounts since primary school; when I grew up I didn't even have my own bath water. But I have a blog now. Does this mean I've made it? Have I finally "arrived"?

I shall have to ponder the contents of this little project. What should I say to become an internet sensation? I could become the next Justin Bieber! Only...this isn't You Tube...and I don't sing...and I'm 47 years old...and I'm not a boy. Perhaps Justin was a bad example. Perhaps my inspiration has come from watching "Julie & Julia" on Friday night. Does anyone else think that it seems a bit mean that Julia dissed Julie for her project?

What does a 47 year old mother with a slightly blended family (should that be "curdled"?) incorporating kids of all ages, working as a Teacher Aide in a high school and bringing up a couple of additional foster boys while living in New Zealand write in a blog? Was that even a proper sentence?

It's becoming evident that I'm waffling. Enough playing around. I might just go and have a look at what everyone else is writing about...

(I wonder if Oprah reads these things...)