Friday, 29 March 2013

Bogans Do It Better

Before Micky Blue Eyes and I had the boys we were, of course, seasoned travellers of the most classy kind. Yep, we were jet setting bogans visiting every glamorous destination in the land of Oz.

We have been to every far corner of this vast land, including the delightful Dubbo, Denman (don't ask) and of course, Canberra SO many times because the War Memorial and Parliament House just never get old do they? And if they do there is always porn or explosives at hand as a back up plan. Apparently. I wouldn't know.

We survived the searing heat of Broken Hill in January and visited far away exotic places such as Tasmania. So, without further ado, I present to you the very best bogan holiday snaps, because, truly, bogans do it better.

Bogans doing it better
on Fraser Island
There was our memorable trip to Fraser Island, where we went on a four wheel drive expedition. Micky Blue Eyes was quite keen on the idea, and I was keen on the idea of lazing about the motel reading a book. But he dragged me along. Ironically, I seemed to withstand the rather bumpy ride quite well, while Mick was a tad shaken by the experience. This is the man who considers himself on a par with Bear Gryls. I expect he shouldn't have a problem with drinking his own wee then, should the situation ever arise. I would, however, so I would prefer it if he left me out of his outback treks. I drink enough cask wine that tastes like piss, thanks very much.

Outback Bogan Woman: I scared the dingoes away.
At least all the dingoes roaming about the island did not mess with me. No way. I looked scary.

Then, there was also our memorable trip to Western Australia. While there, we visited Wave Rock and Fremantle. At least, I think it's wave rock. Well, actually, I have no idea. In typical lazy bogan fashion, I've justed shoved the photos in an album and hoped I'd remember where they were taken. Might be, might not be. Who cares? I look like a dick head anyway. which is the real point of publishing these photos.

A bogan at Wave Rock. I think.

I appear to be wearing some sort of ridiculous get up featuring a hat and a shirt that reaches my knees. But then, I have always been a style icon.

Now here I am looking fashionable in Fremantle. So sophisticated. Especially my knee length shirt, which, on closer examination appears to be somewhat see-through. So my knees are chastely covered but you can see my bra and nipples. Classy.

Fashion icon in Fremantle

Whilst in WA we decided to drive way up North to Monkey Mia, where we spent days sitting on a beach waiting for dolphins to arrive. One finally did.

It was worth driving THOUSANDS of kms for
this one shot of a dolphin, right?
So there you have it. I could go on posting photos for days, but I'm sure I've already made you SO jealous. so I had better stop. Bogans just do it better.

Linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths  for I Must Confess.

What exciting adventures have you been on? Bogans do it better, right?

Monday, 25 March 2013

Awesome Asperpowers Aspergirl

My task today is to convince you that I am awesome. It shouldn't be too hard. I believe I will be able to do so. String a few witty words together. Illicit a laugh, and we're on our way. If only we could see ourselves the way others do. You see, it's not you I need to convince. It's me. Ah - the old 'it's not you, it's me.' Sadly, I have never truly believed I am awesome.

In fact, of late, I have been feeling decidedly un-awesome. That's not really a word, I know. But whatever the extreme opposite of awesome is, that is how I feel. Like a tremendous pile of poop, quite frankly. Especially after saying hello to wonderful world of panic attacks. Again. I really believed I would never go back there.  Yet here I am. Drowning.

I didn't want to write a sooky la la post. So I apologise. I hate feeling sorry for myself. Wallowing in self pity. But the reality is this. I've spent a good part of 20 years suffering from recurring vertigo and dizziness, which has mostly been dismissed by specialists as 'anxiety'. It has changed who I am as a person. I cannot leave the house without fear. I wake up and it is there. I struggle to get out of bed head spinning and nauseous.

Then, I've also struggled all my life with just about everything that would generally be considered relatively 'normal' ( I hate using that word, but couldn't think of an alternative way to explain) making friends, getting a job, being organised, communicating. All of this finally had an explanation when in 2011, at age 40, I found out that I have Asperger's Syndrome. I'm one of those females, who fell through the cracks and finally got a late, adult diagnosis.

Me, being awesome. Being 'Agnetha' actually
at the ABBAWORLD exhibition a few years ago.
Yeah, definitely should have gone with Frida, I'm
 meant to be a redhead.

Now that I have the diagnosis, I have some validation and self-awareness that I didn't before. But the daily struggles of dealing with it do not magically go away. Do I have a life threatening illness? No. Am I disabled the way somebody in a wheel chair is? No. But, just because this is something that cannot be seen by others does not mean that I don't have genuine issues and struggles. One of the hardest things about it is the level of exhaustion of 'keeping up appearances.' As detailed in  this post by Tania A. Marshall.

To add to it all, I suspect I may have unresolved anger and issues about it, (the late diagnosis) but I don't know who or what I'm angry at. Certainly not my parents who are completely wonderful and could never have had any way of knowing. I spent years going backwards and forwards to shrinks and I basically had to figure it out for myself and request a diagnosis. Then it  all seems a bit like, yes, you have it. FUCK YOU. There is no real help or support. I haven't been offered any, anyway.

Well, all I was given was some details for a support group which wasn't anywhere near where I live. I am stupidly fearful of going to an Aspergers Support Group. I have this bizarre fear that I won't even fit in with a group of Aspie's. Awkward.

Some of the online forums relating to ASD I have visited have left me with a feeling of overall gloom and hopelessness, instead of being inspiring and uplifting. I don't know if I was just reading the wrong threads and topics. One in particular was a site for children of  'Aspie' parents. It was not light reading or positive at all.  The posts were all extremely negative and about how terrible and awful it was to grow up with an 'Aspie' mother. Comforting.

I certainly hope my boys do not feel that way. I do have a lot of guilt about the way they are being raised. I can hug them and tell them I love them a billion times a day, but all of the practical things to do with parenting, I suck at. Keeping an organised, tidy home. Remembering everything that goes with having three children. Constant socialising at school and sport. The shrink who diagnosed me told me that the hugging thing is way more important, and that I should move towards an acceptance of a chaotic but loving home environment and upbringing for my boys. I'm trying to. But it's hard. I do tend to unhelpfully compare myself with others constantly.

Then, there is also the fact that as a family we have been through so much over the years, that I won't go into in detail, or this post will turn into a weepy, melodramatic saga (oh, wait.. too late). that I would defy anyone who actually does have amazing confidence and posititvity most of the time, to come out of it all unscarred.

So I am struggling. Panicking. Anxiety ridden. Exhausted, mentally and emotionally, when I read this post  also by Tania A. Marshall, yesterday. It details the traits of females with Aspergers. I don't expect you to read all of it, but the point that struck me (well. most of struck me  and I identified strongly) was number 74. This trait:

An inner resilience, strength and ability to bounce back from stress and setbacks time and time again.

And then I realised. I AM fucking awesome and I AM fucking amazing. And that is exactly why. I will pick myself up and keep going plowing on through the pile of poop, until I feel a little bit less poop like. I have done it before and I will do it again.

I am an amazing Aspergirl with my fucking amazing Asperpowers.


Linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.

Why are YOU awesome?

Friday, 15 March 2013

Frocked Up

It was 1986. I was 15 years old and madly in the throes of an Anne Of Green Gables fixation. I always had been since I'd read the book at age 10, but now there was also a current mini series starring Megan Follows and Colleen Dewhurst. I loved it. So naturally, when my formal came around I wanted a dress with puffed sleeves, just like Anne had always longed for. Marilla wouldn't let her, but Matthew sneakily got her one.

Happily, my mother wasn't like Marilla and obligingly sewed up the puffed sleeve extravaganza in mint green taffeta with white polka dots and a satin bow sash. It looked like a typical 1980's bridesmaid's dress. Ignoring this, I loved it and thought I was quite special in it, which is apparent by my pose. Love the hand on the hip. That was as close to an attitude as I've ever had.

Initially, I wore it to a cousin's wedding. On that occasion, I teamed it with lace pantyhose and fingerless white lace gloves,like the ones Madonna wore. Thus, I cleverly and creatively, in my mind, combined my love of Anne with my love of Madonna.

I honestly don't remember much of the actual formal itself. It was in the school hall, where I probably hovered around awkwardly as usual, not fitting in with the crowd.  But at least I got to wear my puffs. I most certainly did not have a date. There was no Gilbert Blythe for me. Sigh. Not that I was remotely interested in boys anyway. There were so many much more interesting things. Like Anne Of Green Of Gables and Carpenters records.

There may have been a rousing chorus of That's What Friends Are For at the end of the evening.  Several class mates started bawling. I looked on, from my awkward position in the corner, impervious. I didn't know what friends were for, since I didn't have any. Impossible to believe, when I looked like this:

LOOK at the puffs!!

Two years later, in 1988, for my Year 12 Formal, I was so much more mature and sophisticated, going with elegant black. This time I decided to forsake sleeves altogether. However, the bow/sash became larger than ever, attached to a tulle bustle with little colourful diamantes decorating it. I had a lovely 'up' do, instead of the 'big' Eighties perm for a change. I finished the look off with some bling, which is not very visible in this photo. The carpet we used to have was quite eye catching, however. As well as the lovely lace doilies on the lounge chairs.

Incidentally, I actually have one of those chairs in this house. It rocks. Not in the sense of being awesome. In the literal sense of, it is, in fact, a rocking chair.
Which is more dated, the dress, or the carpet?

We set off to the Formal, which was in a function centre this time. I took along a girl friend,who didn't go to my school, oblivious to the thought of this seeming, erm.... odd. (Not that there's anything wrong with they say).

In those days your parents dropped you off in the station wagon and you didn't think anything of it. There were no stretch limos or any of the over the top goings on of today's teens, who think they are all some kind of celebrity strutting down the red carpet. Seriously? 

Another school friend arrived shortly after us, dressed in some sort of weird Cyndi Lauper meets Carmen Miranda get up, featuring every colour of the rainbow, and some I'd never even seen before. She managed this on her face as well, with green mascara clashing with purple eye shadow. It was quite blinding. There was fruit and feathers in her hair. People gushed over my dress, saying how lovely it was then turned to hers and said things like:

 "'s different."

 Or "It's"

She pouted at this, looking quite peeved. Long story, but there were times when she'd been a bitch to me (and other times,when she'd been kind and the only friend I had). On that night I seemed to only remember the bitchy moments, so I was not that sympathetic.  I flounced about in my frock, loving the swish of my tulle bustle.  While other girls would have been horrified for their mother to sew them a frock, I thought it was awesome. There was no chance that I was going to experience THE HORROR of another girl turning up in the SAME DRESS. I was unique. I was special.  I was frocked up.

Linking up with Cathy from The Camera Chronicles for Flashback Friday.

What did your formal frock look like? Do you like getting frocked up?

Monday, 11 March 2013

I Must Confess: My Bucket List (And Fuck It List)

First of all, I Must Confess that I don't really have a Bucket List as such. I do, however, have a Fuck It List longer than Question Time. So, I'm slightly tweaking the confession to spill what's on my Fuck It List, and then a lame attempt at a Bucket List. I am not even remotely an adrenaline junkie, so therefore my long list of Fuck It's include:
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Sky Diving
  • Harbour Bridge Climb
  • Hot Air Balloon ride
  • Hang Gliding
I also have zero desire to;

  • Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower
  • Ditto The Empire State Building
  • Climb Mt. Everest
  • Go White Water Rafting
  • Go Scuba Diving
  • Go on any extreme rides at theme parks eg. Roller coaster etc

Fuck that.

You get the picture. I'm a big scardey cat, chicken shit wus. Therefore my actual Bucket List is extremely boring. It includes:

  • Getting married (check).
  • Having kids (check).
  • Getting that McMansion in Boganville Heights.
  • Seeing my boys grow up.
  • Becoming a Granny.
  • Finish writing the excruciatingly awful book I started writing years ago, which will require me living until I'm approximately 145 years old, at the slower than a snail's pace rate I'm going.
In addition to this, I wouldn't mind doing the following at some point:

  • Visiting Karen Carpenter's final resting place in California.
  • Visiting Prince Edward Island to see all the places associated with author Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne Of Green Gables fame.
  • Visiting the UK to see all the places associated with Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters.
  • Visiting Europe, in particular I've always wanted to see Germany since I was a teenager learning German at school (which I now can't remember a word of beyond Guten Tag, but meh, I still want to go).
To do all of the above, I will also need to:
  • Win the Lottery.
Since I never take a ticket, the chances of this are extremely remote. Non-existent in fact. Therefore, the only thing left on my Bucket List is:

Have a cup of tea and a cakie (multiplied by a billion times). You know, just so I can have something else I can actually tick off.

 Linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.

What's on your bucket list? Or, alternatively, your Fuck It List?

Friday, 8 March 2013

Born And Bred Bogan

With all this brouhaha (no idea how to spell that) about the PM visiting Rooty Hill, amid talk about western Sydney I thought I should say a few words about my experiences of being a born and bred westie bogan. I'm sure it will come as a total shock when I reveal that 'Boganville' is, in fact, somewhere in the general whereabouts of somewhere resembling western Sydney. You never would have guessed, I'm sure.

I'm a born and bred bogan, having been born here and lived here all my life. The irony being for me, that I've actually somehow managed to live quite a sheltered life in good old Boganville, which I attribute to having fantastic parents.

My Mother's motto has always been: we all come out the same way and we all go the same way. She absolutely detests all mockery of western Sydney. It's a wonder she let me get away with this blog, to be honest.

It is curious. I'm sure I never gave it any thought when I was a small child. We had the kind of childhood where we all played in the street and felt safe. Mum and Dad always knew where we were, however. It wasn't until high school that I became aware of the term 'Westie' and the negative connotations that went with it.

In fact, the high school that I attended had a terrible reputation. I was quite terrified of attending the school and fretted anxiously as Year Six was heading inorexably to an end. Somehow it didn't occur to me that if it was really as bad as it was reputed to be, then my brother, who had already been attending for a year or two might have arrived home bearing knife wounds, totally traumatised from having his head flushed in the loos.

I skulked around terrified for the first few days of high school, I was painfully shy anyway, so I never looked anyone in the eye. After a week or two, it became obvious that nobody even noticed I was alive and  all the gruesome stories I had heard were never going to eventuate. The worst thing that ever happened to me was when some idiot, whose name I cannot even remember, used to approach me as I innocently sat in the play ground alone, reading a book and WHAM he smashed the book into my face.

It didn't last long as my brother sorted him out. I don't know what he said to him but whatever it was, it worked. I most likely escaped any intense bullying by virtue of being 'Jaffa's sister'. He was so very popular. Nick named Jaffa because of his red hair. It's a nick name that has stuck, even my boys call him Uncle Jaf. I was the extreme opposite. Excruciatingly shy, quiet, and, as it turned out an Aspie as well (although I had no idea at the time). Needless to say I kind of stood out among the typical bogan Shazza's and occasionally would receive threats that they were going to bash the shit out of me.
Me, during high school, in all
my mullet headed glory. Just like
a true 'westie bogan'.

"Stuck up, bitch!" was the frequent jibe.  Yes, indeed, I am such a snob. Luckily, nobody ever followed through with these threats and I was left alone.

This was all at least 25 years or more ago and my memory is decidedly dodgy at the best of times about facts that happened yesterday. let alone decades ago, so bear with me. Anyway, the reputation of the school and the wild, wild west continued unabated and there was  always a teacher shortage. At one point, as I recall, the students actually went on strike. As I mentioned, my memory is very patchy, so I remember there being a student 'strike' with some media attention, but beyond that I don't remember the outcome.

I made it to the end of year 12 with woeful HSC results, which I attribute to my complete disinterest in studying, not the school. One thing I remember clearly is, I failed English spectacularly. I know, so shocking, considering the literary genius that is this blog. Meanwhile, I managed to pass German with flying colours. Cannot remember a single word of German now, except Guten Tag, so that was handy.  This stunned my poor Mother, who had always viewed English as  my best subject. She insisted that there must have been a  mistake, and requested that it be reviewed. At which  point, I then received a letter confirming that, no, there was no mistake and I was in fact completely and utterly stupid. Yay me. Doing it proud for bogans. Interestingly, in my admittedly limited experience of working, no employer ever even remotely cares about your HSC results anyway.

I had no idea what on earth I was going to do. I ended up studying at TAFE for a Library Practice Diploma. I did the commute on the old red rattlers into Central station and attended Ultimo TAFE. While there,I experienced prejudice against "Westies". During one lesson ( I cannot for the life of me remember exactly what it was, something to with Legal Studies, I think, although I still do not know what that has to with learning the Dewey Decimal system, but whatever) the rather pompous teacher stated that "teachers hate teaching in the western suburbs"  I'm normally so shy and never spoke up in class but this time I thought I should disagree. I tentatively raised my hand.

"I went to school in the western suburbs," I announced "and I know that most of my teachers liked teaching there."

Without missing a beat Mr Pompous preened "Yes, it is true that some teachers enjoy teaching 'problem students'." This  was said in the same horrified and appalled tone you might use if you were saying "Some teachers like to light their own farts."

 Erm, what? I just finished saying I went to school there. Am I  a 'problem student'?

"But what you often find," he continued "is that it's very difficult for them to be good students when they're being molested by their fathers." Audible gasp in the room.  There was more to his diatribe, but I can't quite remember it all in detail, because frankly, it wasn't worth remembering. At this point almost the entire class had turned on him and were arguing vehemently. Mr Pompous found himself trapped in a room full of angry 'Westies'. Just like Julia at Rooty Hill the other day.

After completing my diploma, I was employed on a temporary basis at the State Library where I once again encountered curious reactions to the revelation of where I lived. People who were perfectly charming and polite at first, completely ignored me once they discovered I was a 'Westie'. That, or they didn't actually seem to know that the western suburbs even existed, and assumed I lived in the Blue Mountains, making comments like "It must be really cold up there." After a while I just went along with it and didn't bother correcting them. But it's worked out well, really. After all, being a Westie has led me to this boring as batshit bogan blog. A born and bred bogan. There are worse things. I just have to try and think about what they are. Shut up.

Linking up with Cathy from The Camera Chronicles for Flashback Friday.

 And linking up a year later for a flashback to March 2013 with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.

Where did you grow up? Have you been to the western suburbs of Sydney? Would you dare? Go on, I dare you....