Friday, 25 July 2014

Online Lessons

The internet has taught me a good many things. In no particular order they are: 
  • There is an inordinate number of dickheads out there.
  • Luckily, there are just as many awesome people out there to balance it out.
  • I seem to be fortunate or clever enough to avoid the dickheads (so far) and only encounter a lot of awesome.
  • I am not alone. There are lots of other Aspergian people out there, like me.
  • I am not the only weird person who loves Karen Carpenter/Carpenters.
  • I am not the only introvert. Introverts LOVE the internet.
  • The internet has allowed me to connect with like-minded people and taught me that I can communicate with others, even if it's not verbally.
  • The internet has also taught me that are an extraordinary amount of people who like cats. Even if they're grumpy. Especially if they're grumpy. The cats, that is. Not the people who like them. Well, they might be, I suppose.
  • The internet has proved that Andy Warhol's infamous declaration that everyone will be famous for 15 minutes was probably not far off the mark.
  • I've also discovered that everyone has their battles. Even the people who seem have their shit together are probably just better at faking it.
  • The only thing that inspirational memes inspire in me is the desire to gag or punch someone.
  • It seems that with all this technology, as Jerry Seinfeld put it, we all have absolutely nothing to say to one another and we must say it RIGHT AWAY. Except it was funnier when he said it.
  • I have an astonishing capacity for procrastination and time- wasting.
  • That I don't really like controversial topics or opinions, even online. I'm that fence-sitting person. Shut up. I like to think of it as being tactful and diplomatic. What I really am is a chicken shit.
  • I feel that I take introversion to a whole new level. I'm the quiet person in the corner in real life situations and the quiet blogger in the corner of the blogosphere. I'm happy in my own little world.
  • Conversely, on occasion I do like to embarrass myself on the internet with photos of bad hair and frock choices. I like to mix things up a bit.
  • That I'm a tiny drop in the ocean, or speck of sand on the shore in the bigger picture of life, the universe and everything.
  • That I can trot out clich├ęs and pass them off as blog fodder. See above point.
  • That I should probably get out more.
  • But the internet is addictive. Very, very addictive.
  • I can be resourceful. After all, it was very resourceful of me to start this blog so I can bore you shitless entertain you with my brilliance.
  • People like to take photos of their food and post them on Facebook for some reason. It has come to my attention that I did this for the first time the other day. I will totally understand if anyone unfriends me now.
  • That 'unfriend' is now a word. A verb even. I think. 
  • That I need to go back to Primary School and re-learn basic English and Grammar. I'm sure I'd still look cute in a uniform and pig tails.
  • People can become totally engrossed with fictional characters in a soap opera and over react when they die. 
  • Apparently everyone wants to dress like Nina Proudman from Offspring. Meanwhile I dress like Bogan Shazza from Boganville.
  • There are an alarming amount of people who actually give a flying fuck about footy, soccer and anything with balls in it.
  • There is something called Pimperest Pinterest. Don't ask me what this is. I have an account and still have no idea. 
  • There is something called Twatter Twitter. I've been there and done that and I'm (mostly) over it. I just check in now and again to confirm this. Yep, I'm over it. 
  • There is something called Instagram. I don't have an account and probably  never will. I'm a crap photographer. Plus, I avoid cameras but don't avoid cake. These two things may be related. Ahem. 
  • I am shallow. I have nothing particularly enlightening or ground breaking to add to this list.
  • I am easily distracted. I blame the internet. Which isn't fair, I've always been easily distracted. 
  • Imaginary (online) friends are the bestest (look, I know it's not a word. I've just slipped it on purpose to annoy the Grammar Nazi's out there. So ner).  You can Facebook chat while still in your pyjamas and there is no need to madly race around cleaning the house like you would if they were really popping in.  
  • People will keep on sending me gaming invites to Candy Crush, Farmville, Angry Birds and a gazillion other games despite me never once responding. Ever. And I never will. Supposedly you can block them, but I tried and nearly lost the will to live. I'll just keep on ignoring them. 
  • I'm not smugly superior to all the gamers out there. It's just that I've already got time wasting and procrastination down to a fine art and don't need any further assistance, thanks very much. 
  • On that note, I really should bring this bullet list limping to it's lame end because I'm just procrastinating. The end. 
Linking up with Ann at Help!! I'm Stuck! for Things I Know
 and sneaking in late forThe Lounge with Tegan at Musings Of The Misguided.

What has the internet taught you? 

Monday, 21 July 2014

An Interview With A Vampire

Kinking up this oldie but goodie for The Lounge today, just so that I can pretend I am still in this blogging game despite not blogging for over a month. Sigh.

 I've just realised that I wrote 'kinking' up instead of 'linking', but it sounds more interesting so I won't correct it. You're welcome. 

This post is inspired by the lovely Kylie Purtell. Last week she interviewed her husband Dave for her blog, which you can read here. I've decided that I might as well steal her idea and do the same, because;

a) it's a brilliant idea, and; 
b) I never have an original thought or idea EVER. It's just cake and Karen Carpenter swirling around in my tiny little brain. Otherwise- nothing. It's a vacuum up there. 

So without further ado, I bring to you: An Interview With A Vampire.



Um, I mean my husband Micky Blue Eyes. He actually isn't a vampire. He's an Accountant.

So you can see why I went with the vampire thing just to make him sound a bit more interesting. Ahem.

For ease of reading and comprehension please note the following:

Q is for question. Duh.

MBE is for Micky Blue Eyes, and indicates his answer (in bold).
Ness is obviously yours truly, and indicates my response to his answer (in italics).

I'm not sure how much longer he will actually be my husband once he reads this, so I'd better get on with it. 

Here goes:

Q: When and where did you first meet Ness?


MBE: Rotaract in 1993.


Ness: Actually it was at a Rootaract Rotaract outing to Studebakers Night Club in Parramatta, in late 1992, but that's close enough. Sort of. Kind of. Not really. Hmph!


Courting.  Or were we already married? Shut up, it's been a while. 


Q. Where did you take Ness on your first date?


MBE: Football/Club at Beecroft.


Ness: Um no. We went to see Sleepless In Seattle; as detailed here. This was really too overly romantic and sentimental a movie for a first date. Football (I'm assuming you mean soccer) would have been more fitting in terms of being prophetic. Years of freezing our bums off on soccer fields now in progress. 



Q. Why didn't you ever reply to those excruciatingly embarrassing heartfelt, yearning love letters that Ness wrote to you when you were dating courting? (NessShut up. It's my blog and if I want to make this sound like a Victorian romance, I will). 

WHY dammit???


MBE: I don't write letters, I express [myself] by talking. 



Ness: Does this mean I've married one of those weird people who prefer talking over writing??!! *faints*



Q. What is the best thing about being married to Ness?



MBE: [She's] understanding and caring.




Ness: You make me sound like Mother Teresa. Which is fine. I could totally go there and do the whole Nun's habit thing, if you want. Oops. Too much information. Sorry! 



Q. What is the worst thing about being married to Ness?



MBE: None.



Ness: I assume you mean nothing. Which confirms what I've suspected all along. I'm perfect! And awesome! Or perfectly awesome. Or awesomely perfect. Or something....


Attending another 'Rotaract' wedding
while up the duff. Me, that is, not
Micky Blue Eyes. unfortunately.


Q. What do you like the most about being a Dad?



MBE: Bringing up children in a caring household.



Ness: Yep, it's just like The Brady Bunch around here! No wait....

In order for that analogy to work, I'd have to either die or do a runner. This would leave you 'busy with three boys of your own'.

You would have to become an Architect instead of an Accountant. Go by Mike instead of Mick, and marry a Carol who is 'bringing up three very lovely girls'. 

All this while secretly being gay (not that there's anything WRONG with that), and sporting a bad perm.  Bugger that. 

You're stuck with me. As a sit-com family we're more like Roseanne. After all, they were the Connor family too, right? As far as I remember, Roseanne's husband dies and she wins the lottery. MUCH better! 

I mean...shit NO! I don't want you to die! Just the lottery thing. Otherwise we're stuck resembling The Middle.  A chaotic, dysfunctional family of 'quirky' people, living their not-very-glamorous lives in a not-very-glamorous house. Sigh.


Q. What do you like the least about being a Dad?


MBE: None.



Ness: Sorry, it's too late for that.

Oh! You mean nothing! Clearly our children are also perfect. This is very good news indeed. Therefore you should have no problem with me taking a sabbatical and disappearing to visit imaginary (online) friends!! Yay!! *starts looking up flights*


Micky Blue Eyes living by his motto:
'Take it easy'  (even at our wedding)!



Q. You've been married to Ness for a long time (almost 19 years). What do you think the secret to a successful marriage is?


MBE: Enjoying good and bad times.


Ness: So the secret to a successful marriage is being a masochist? Fair call. 


Q. Does Ness ever share any cake with you?


MBE: Yes. 


Ness: Yeah, that's only the ones I tell you about. Ahem....


The time I swallowed an entire cake.



One final, very important question that I'm sure everyone will be bursting to know:


Q. Are your eyes REALLY blue?


MBE: Yes.

Me and Micky Blue Eyes a..*coughs* 'few' years ago...




Ness: They really are. The more important question is: what colour are MINE?


MBE: *thinks about it*...Green?


Ness: I would have preferred 'mesmerising pools of glittering emerald' or something more poetic, but I guess green will do. Sigh. Okay, thanks Micky Blue Eyes. 


MBE: Thank you.


Move over The Middle. We can do quirky and chaotic better!


And there you have it. That concludes my very illuminating interview with Micky Blue Eyes. Now I'm off to find that Vampire to interview....

Linking up forLaugh Link and I Must Confess. 

What else should I have asked?

Any Vampires who want to be interviewed out there?

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Is Everything Awesome?

The Lego Movie is in heavy rotation in our house at the moment. For those of you who haven't had the joy of seeing it a billion times, or even once (and let me assure you, once is quite enough), I'll fill you in.

The movie centres around the Lego city of Bricksburg, which is ruled by President Business. There, we meet a Lego man (naturally), a happy construction worker named Emmet.  He begins narrating the story, informing us that, in Bricksburg - you guessed it - Everything Is Awesome!

The Lego citizens of Bricksburg only need one book entitled:


How To Always Fit, Have Everyone Like You And Always Be Happy! 

This book tells everyone in five simple steps how to achieve what the title promises. They are:

Step One

Breathe.

Step Two

Exercise.

Step Three

Shower and wear clothes.

Step Four

Enjoy popular songs like Everything Is Awesome and watch hit television shows like Where Are My Pants?

Step Five

Always obey President Business's instructions or you'll be put to sleep.


It is at this point, barely into the movie, that I find my teeth grating and am ready to call bullshit. I'm probably missing the point or something. 

There is probably a pivotal scene where Emmet realises that President Business is corrupting everyone into believing that everything is awesome. I'm not sure, I've never been able to sit through the whole movie.

At the very least, I'm definitely over-thinking what is meant to be a light-hearted, fun movie for kids. But still, bare with me, I think I have a point, and it's this:

Is this the greatest message to give to children? That you should ALWAYS fit in, ALWAYS be happy and have everyone like you? Is it possible for EVERYTHING to be awesome, ALL THE TIME?

After all, on a daily basis I certainly manage to achieve at least four out of five of those steps listed above and I'm certain that not everyone likes me. I know, hard to believe, isn't it? Go figure.



Breathe. Check. I do it without thinking.

Shower and wear clothes. Check. Okay, sometimes I skip a shower, but only if I'm staying home and not subjecting my stinky self to anyone. I often wear clothes, albeit unfashionable ones, but clothes nevertheless.

Exercise. Check.

Enjoy popular songs and hit television shows. Check. 

The fact that, a) they were popular songs 40 years ago; and, b) I watch Offspring while doing a fair amount of eye-rolling, so I'm not sure if I'm technically enjoying it; are completely irrelevant.

I do all of this, but is everything awesome and I am liked, do I fit in and ALWAYS feel happy? No.

As I said, I'm probably reading too much into this and need to get out more. I just can't help thinking that if, as a teen, I'd come to the revolutionary realisation that: you don't need to be liked by everyone, nor do you need to like everyone; this would have saved me a fair amount of angst.

In fact, the above statement has become some words to live by. Along with the following statements:

You wouldn't worry about what others thought of you if you knew how seldom they did. (Thank you, Dr Phil).

My mental health has to be more important than what somebody may think of me. (Thank you, Bronwyn Fox, author of Power Over Panic). 

Furthermore, I'm attempting to teach my boys that it's okay to not be happy all the time. As a parent, it's all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you just want your kids to be happy. Yes, ideally this is my preference too. But, realistically, happiness is just one of a range of emotions that we all experience over our lifetime.

Sometimes I'm happy. Other times I'm sad, frustrated, anxious, bored, furious, bewildered, amused, irritable, and every other emotion you can think of. And this can be all in the space of half an hour at certain times of the month.

"I'm not happy," Mr 5 will wail, as we trudge home from school. Or he'll sigh and say in pitiful tones: "I'm saaad."

"That's okay," I respond "nobody is happy all the time. You'll be happy again later."

Yep, I'm a mean Mum. Please note: this particular sadness is usually related to me having said a firm no to his requests to buy him a lolly at the shop on the way home, so I know he'll get over it. If I thought he was persistently sad all the time, I wouldn't be quite so dismissive.

He's also suffered from the same phenomenon that his brother had. Fear of Conan The Librarian. Every week, when Tuesday rolled around and it was Library day at school, he didn't want to go. Apparently the Teacher/Librarian is a tad scary. It seems that she raises her voice a lot. This may have been frightening to my boys as I am very softly spoken and they're probably not used to it. 

My first instinct was charge up to the school and demand that Conan The Librarian STOP petrifying my precious boy. But I didn't. I just explained to Mr 5 that some people have loud voices and that his teacher has told me what a good boy he is in class, so he has no need to fear her raising her voice at him. He seems to have slowly gotten over this fear now. 

Meanwhile, Mr 10 is not as enamoured with soccer as his brothers are. We are still encouraging him to finish the season and next year he can choose something else. He's not really into sport, like me. However, Mick and I both feel it's good for him to be outside getting exercise and mixing with other kids, instead of online or on a PlayStation all the time. In this way, I'm attempting to show him that he can be out of his comfort zone for a while and still be okay.

Sometimes I think I'm not setting the greatest example with this. I feel like I haven't challenged myself or pushed myself out of my comfort zone enough. Then I realise I'm a quiet, shy, introverted Aspie who became a mother to three boys and lives with the all the chaos, questions, noise, sibling rivalry and cuddles that go with the job description. Yep, I'm definitely out of my comfort zone. Thank God for those cuddles. Those cuddles make up for all the rest. 

I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing or not in forcing my boys out of their comfort zone a bit. Maybe I'm wrong. But, unfortunately, life isn't always happy and comfortable all the time.

So I guess a silly little Lego Movie where Everything Is Awesome for an hour or two probably isn't a bad thing for my boys. As long as we balance it a bit with other things. 

The only other remaining question is: How do I get that damn song out of my head? Somebody make it stooooop! 

Linking up with Emma from Five Degrees Of Chaos for The Lounge. 


                                  
            Do you think children should be happy ALL the time?

                              What are your words to live by?

Monday, 14 July 2014

In Search Of Slumber

I've decided that all my posts are so astonishing and BRILLIANT I should regurgitate another one! Why not? Don't answer that...


I feel like I could sleep for approximately a billion years. At least a decade, anyway. Maybe a year. A month, then? A solid eight hours, pretty please? Oh fuck it, I'll settle for a Nanna nap.

I never used to indulge in Nanna naps. Now they are become frequent happenings in my increasingly cutting edge lifestyle. I remember how my Mum always dozed off in the lounge chair of an afternoon or evening. I am turning into my Mother. Except I'm not. I never can.

You see, my Mother is one of those freakish people that are called: Morning People. Something I have never been. Never will be. Even growing human beings inside me and birthing them has not transformed me. Quite the opposite. You just become even more sleep deprived once you're a parent. If I ever am forced to be up early, every fibre of my being is violently protesting against it.

I remember reading Betty White's book If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't), where she talks about her passion and enthusiasm for life. Apparently she only needs four hours of sleep to be functioning and raring to go. The woman is about 150 years old. Or something. Really old, anyway. Four hours sleep? I couldn't function on that when I had a newborn that needed to be fed constantly, and I certainly can't function on it now.

My Mum, like Betty, also has that enviable ability to sleep for 4-6 hours, get up and keep going all day, sustained only by her chair snoozes. I, on the other hand, need a solid eight hours. Truthfully, ten would be even better. Even on the rare occasions when I achieve this, mornings are not my friend. I am still in a mental fog until midday. Oh who I am kidding, mental fogginess is a permanent state for me.

It probably helps that Betty White never had children. The sleep deprivation once they arrive is quite astonishing in intensity. Everybody warns you, but there is no preparation for it. It is like the most extreme jet lag you can imagine multiplied in intensity a billion times. Only worse, because you also have a shrieking infant to care for who is never going to let you catch up on your sleep debt. So this permanently jet-lagged, exhausted state just becomes a way of life.

For some inexplicable reason once you are already in the trenches of such sleep deprivation, you somehow convince yourself that it won't make any difference having that second or third child. HA! This is where you will discover how completely and absurdly wrong you can be. It gets worse.

Of course I am one of those nonsensical creatures who is capable of further complicating my quest for slumber. Each night, we engage in a highly intelligent game of 'Musical Beds'. This reminds me of an episode of the American sit-com The Middle, where Mum Frankie, (played by Patricia Heaton) says: If you're a parent and you're not doing this (musical beds), you're a liar. I'd have to concur with Frankie/Patricia. Meanwhile, I should possibly be somewhat alarmed instead of amused that we are almost like an Aussie version of the Hecks from The Middle. Classy.

Additionally, I am also an introvert and an Aspie. This means that certain things that others would find energising and refreshing, such as socialising, shopping or travelling, leave me feeling utterly drained. I need days to recover from such things. I have no idea how people manage to juggle work and a family. I am in awe of the parents who do this. I need to reserve my energy for coping with three beautiful, but boisterous boys. So I'm a stay at home Mum, even though I'm no domestic goddess. Ahem.

Another interesting element adding to our sleep deprivation dilemma is dreaming. Each day, Micky Blue Eyes and I wake up, looking shell shocked and hungover, and discuss our wild, erratic dreams. Neither of us seem to have a blissful night of deep, dreamless sleep. Instead we are constantly bombarded with these crazy dreams. It's as if we both have a secret drug habit, but I can assure you that the only ice I'm familiar with is the stuff I put in my scotch. And I only have one nip not an entire bottle!

My dreams are difficult to remember and so nonsensical and disjointed that they wouldn't make sense anyway. Some recurring themes of dreams I do remember fragments of, are:

Houses

Usually they will be houses that I spent time in as a child, like my Aunty Eileen's house, complete with the bright orange 1970's kitchen that I remember, but sometimes they are unfamiliar houses.

Toilets

The sheer desperation to find one fast! When I do, there is usually no privacy: no door, or a huge window and I have to keep looking. Not surprisingly, I usually wake up from these dreams bursting to pee.

Clothes

The inability to find any that fit me and a pressing urgency to be dressed and ready as I'm expecting visitors at any second.

School/Exams

I am due back at school with exams looming. Sometimes the clothes thing is combined and I'm looking for something to wear (obviously I can't bring myself to don a school uniform as an adult, even in a dream). I keep wondering why I have to go back and how to get out of it. I'm always so relieved when I wake up.

CONCLUSION: I am a deep and complex person with a pea-sized bladder, who fears exams, not having any clothes and wishes to revert back to childhood places?? Something like that, anyway. It's nice to have yourself figured out at this advanced age.

Anyway, I think I just need to surrender to this zombie like existence. Sleepless nights are not fading fast for me. Last week Mr 12 became Mr 13. Meaning, I am now heading into the teenage years. Yep, I can forget about sleeping. I'll just have to develop an ability to exist on Power Naps. I'm ready for The 30 Day Napping  Challenge, as seen floating around Facey.  I think I can give this a red hot go. Care to join me?



Linking up for I Must Confess.


How have you been sleeping? Do you remember your dreams?

Monday, 7 July 2014

I Won't Last A Day Without...

There are certain things that I would I find terribly difficult to give up. Such as:

My Family

Okay, there are certain days when I do wish I could be all by myself. Except I'd be belting out Carpenters songs instead of Celine Dion. But in reality, I couldn't live without my family. They are my suit of armour against the World. Whenever I'm feeling awkward and alien like (which is often) I can remind myself that:

a) As Dr Phil says: You wouldn't worry about what others thought of you if you knew how seldom they did, and
b) I have Micky Blue eyes and my boys who love and accept me.

The Internet

Some days I am scrolling down my Facebook feed (or typing another pointless blog post- ahem) and wondering why I bother. Still, I can't seem to hit the deactivate button. It's a sickness really. Sigh.

Sugar/Cakies/Chocolate

I tried quit sugar last year. It was the longest five minutes of my life. BOOM TISH. Seriously though, I did only last about five minutes. More recently I started the Get Healthy Programme, except I seemed to think it was the Get Diabetes programme. I have ended up delaying this for a while and am starting again soon. Hopefully I'll last for at least ten minutes this time. Shut up.

Karen Carpenter/Carpenters addiction/obsession

This fascination, which began at the tender age of 11, has only intensified with the arrival of the internet, making it even more impossible to hit that Facebook Deactivate Button, thereby quitting all of the fan groups and pages I belong to. Don't ask. I've lost count. But at least the fact that there are so many groups proves that I'm not alone in my weirdness.

Quiet Time

As much as I love my family, I do need time alone as well.  This is particularly precious due to it's rarity. I have been forced to give this up to a degree. But I'll still grab the smallest opportunity whenever I can. In fact, on our current holiday, when faced with the choice of joining my family for a stroll on the beach or staying in the apartment alone with the lap-top, I chose the latter. I justified this by reasoning that I spent plenty of time doing stuff with them every other day. And the sand. All that sand, everywhere, six months later. *Shudders*.

Cups Of Tea

I only drink one coffee a day. And about a billion or so cups of tea. I think I was weaned with a tea bag. Okay, not quite, but I did start drinking it at a young age and am absolutely addicted. The tea bag must be left in, thank you very much. I know, it's disgusting. Especially since tea bags were EVIL when I was growing up. We always had proper leaf tea in a pot. But I'm lazy, so tea bags it is now.

Books/Reading

 For me, the highlight of our family road trips involves stopping off at any available Op Shops and loading up on bargain books. This is approached with the same fervency and desperation that a heroin addict would reserve for getting their next fix. I. MUST. HAVE. BOOKS. I probably should purchase a Kindle at some point and bring myself into the 21st Century, however I’m sure I still wouldn’t be able to resist those road trip Op Shop crawls. They're much better than Pub crawls in my opinion.

Exercise

This is one I struggle with. I can easily be lazy and give it up, but my physical and mental health suffers if I let it slide. So I force myself to do sweaty aerobics on most days. I do this for the endorphins, not to become svelte and super fit with a rippling six-pack and buns of steel. I prefer buns with cream, actually. Ahem. Which is why I'll never have the former.

Blogging/Writing

I've only recently come to the conclusion that writing is kind of similar to exercise for me.  I may not be the best, most eloquent writer, just as I am not the most agile, fit athlete, but I usually feel better when I do it. Even if it's just scribbling nonsense purely for my own amusement or boring you all with this blog, I need to do it. As I've mentioned I can be lazy, so sometimes I have to force myself, just like the exercise. When I do, I feel better. The end. So, I guess you're all stuck with me. You're welcome.

And there you have it. The stuff I would find hard to give up. Now I'm off to read books and drink tea.  Oh alright, I'll exercise instead. Hmph.

Linking up (late, as usual)  for Laugh Link and also for I Must Confess.

What would you find hard to give up?