Showing posts with label Karen Carpenter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Karen Carpenter. Show all posts

Monday, 19 June 2017

My First Concert

There have been many times in my life when I have wondered wistfully why I was born in 1971. This meant that only a year later in 1972, I was one year old. Yep, I'm a genius, but we already knew that. You see, 1972 was the one and only time that the Carpenters visited and performed in Australia. Sigh.

I would have LOVED to have been there right in the middle of the mosh pit! Oh okay, there was no mosh pit. I suspect they're overrated anyway. Who wants to waste time with all that when they could have been transfixed by every note and Karen Carpenter behind her drums?

Apparently their concert was broadcast on Channel 7. The black and white footage is floating around on Youtube, so at least there's that.

When ABBA mania hit Australia in 1977, I seemed to be oblivious. This was In spite of my enthusiastic singing into a hair brush pretending to be Agnetha, just like every other six year old Aussie girl. So I never got to see the fab four either. In fact, I don't distinctly remember what my first concert was. I'm a tragic person. 



The luckiest little fan wasn't me.  Sigh. 




My auntie took me to see the stage musical CATS when I was approximately 14 or so, but that's a little different I guess. Around that same time, I was utterly DEVASTATED because The Nolans (in the mood for dancing, anyone?) were performing at Rooty Hill RSL (classy!) and I couldn't go because I was underage. Cutting edge taste in music all the way, as you can see. Of course it's a mystery why, being such a cutting edge rebel and all that, I didn't just sneak out and fake my age to get in. I'm such an enigma.

Ultimately I ended up seeing the following musicals/shows:


  • CATS
  • Anything Goes
  • The Rocky Horror Show
  • Phantom Of The Opera
  • Les Miserables
  • Rasputin
  • Carousel 
My memory is bit patchy about most of the above, to be honest. I mean, it's hard to remember yesterday let alone thirty years ago. Or is that just me?

Additionally I attended the following concerts:

  • Simply Red
  • INXS
  • Midnight Oil
  • Gloria Estefan
  • Michael Buble
  • Barbra Streisand
And a few other Aussie groups...

I suspect that Simply Red was the first one and I ended up seeing them twice, so I guess I like them. I haven't listened to them in YEARS though. Weird. 

Something that strikes me is the price of concert tickets. I often see some lucky Carpenters fans sharing their vintage concert tickets in Facebook fan groups. The prices on them are so ridiculously cheap. Around five bucks fifty or something. Nowadays they're so frightfully expensive. Oh well, just as well I'm not really into mosh pits and the whole scene.

To be perfectly honest I wouldn't say that a typical rock concert is really my thing. Surprising, right? Shut up.  I don't do well with loud noise and crowds due to my sensory issues. However, I would have loved to hear Karen Carpenter's voice in person. And that will never happen. It will be one of my lifelong sorrows. Cue weepy violin music... Or mournful meandering oboes because that's a Carpenters trademark. I love it. Again, I reiterate - shut up. 





So excuse me while I go and watch the above Youtube video and pretend it's 1972.  Is there a problem with that? 

What was your first concert? 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Are Exams Important?








 Hello, people! Welcome to another Monday! That glorious and beloved day of the week. People love Mondays! The same way they love root canal. Do you know what I'm saying?
Anyway, once again I am joining in the fun for Life This Week over at Denyse Whelan Blogs.  I missed it last week. Oops. 

Let's talk about exams! Simply because that's the prompt. Otherwise I wouldn't really talk about them. If I did I'd have two words: 

EXAMS SUCK!

I say this because I wasn't very good at them. 

Case in point: it may be hard to believe it (if this blog is anything to go by), but English was one of my best subjects in high school. However, I failed English in my HSC!

My poor mother was so astonished and dumbfounded that she truly believed there must have been some kind of mistake. She insisted that we enquire into this grave injustice.

We wrote back to check. This was back in in 1988, the time of the old snail mail.  Subsequently, I received confirmation of my abysmal results. YAY! 

EPIC FAIL.  





Every now again I still have hideous dreams (nightmares) that I'm back at school or doing exams. It's always such a relief to wake up!

Whenever I'm in a situation of being tested or having to think quickly on the spot, I can't seem to process it. It was exactly the same for me with job interviews. I'm not sure if it's an ASD thing or just a Ness thing. Either way, clearly I'm special. So very SPECIAL. 





I sometimes wonder if I'm doing the right thing as a parent, because I'm not pushy or demanding about exams or achievements. Sure, I want my boys to do their best, but I don't want them to be despondent if they don't or can't. The HSC and high school is not the be and end all of life! I don't think so, anyway. But then, I would, wouldn't I. Considering what I just revealed. Moving along...

Anyway, in my (admittedly limited) experience, no employer was ever the least bit interested in school or HSC results. I have no idea if this has changed these days. Has it? 


So that's my thoughts about exams! Deep, huh? Yeah, not really. It's obvious why I never became an academic. 

However, I feel like I should throw in an impromptu exam, just for shits and giggles. I should test YOU. But I know nothing. NOTHING!

Hang on, I know about The Carpenters!  

May I present to you the most IMPORTANT test you will ever take. 

 A Carpenters Pop Quiz: 



What were The Carpenters Christian names?: 

a) Richard and Linda.
b) Sharon and Darren.
c) Karen and Richard.

The Carpenters were one of the most successful pop music duos of all time. But how did they meet?

a) In college.
b) At the hairdressers, getting a bowl haircut.  
c) They were brother and sister!

How did they come up with the name "Carpenters"?

a) They were devoted Christians and Jesus was a Carpenter.
b) They loved woodworking
c) It was their family name. Duh. 

The Carpenters often referred to their music as being influenced by 'the three B's'. What/who were they referring to? 

a) Boring, banal, bland.*
b) Beethoven, Burt Bacharach and Barbra Streisand.
c) The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Burt Bacharach.

*(I don't think we can be friends anymore). 

Finish the lyric: Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near...?

a) They sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold and starlight in your eyes of blue . 

b) Before the rising sun, we fly.
c) Just like me, they long to be, close to you. 

During the 1970s, The Carpenters were known for voicing THE ultimate burning question of that tumultuous decade. What was it?

a) Don't you remember you told me you loved me, baby? 

b) Can't we stop hurting each other? 
c) All of the above. 

What instruments did the duo play?

a) None. They just pretended like all those dumb 70s pop groups.**
a) Glockenspiel and tambourine.
c) Piano and drums. 

**(You're pushing it).


In 1978 The Carpenters recorded a Christmas album. What was its title?

a) Christmas With The Carpenters.

b)  Merry Christmas, Darling.
c) Christmas Portrait. 


Karen Carpenter tragically died on February 4th, 1983 at just 32. How did she die? 

a) A plane crash.
b) Who cares?***
c)  Heart failure due to complications from anorexia nervosa.

***(You are officially dead to me). 


Which iconic pop star is responsible for this quote about Karen Carpenter: 
"I'm completely influenced by her harmonic sensibility."

a) Cher.
b) Michael Jackson.
c) Madonna. 

If you answered with all C's, then congratulations!

You scored A PLUS! 

As for the rest of you; take a good hard look at yourselves. What are you actually DOING with your lives?? Disgraceful! 

This is the most IMPORTANT exam! The rest are rubbish. 

You've been told. 

Now off you go and educate yourself about all things Carpenters! 

But before you go, just one tiny question...

What exactly DO 'normal' people think about and remember? Ahem.

Linking up for Life This Week. 

Also linking for  Open Slather and Mummy Mondays.

Do you think exams are important? You know, proper ones...? 

Images: Pexels; Pinterest

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?

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The A - Z Of Me



A is for absent,  because I always seem to be absent from this space lately. Oops.  I’m an absent-minded sort of person as well. A is also for Asperger’s which I was diagnosed with at age 40 in 2011.

B is for boring as batshit. I’m even boring myself with this blog let alone anyone else which is why I’ve been so conspicuously absent. B is also for my three boys aged 12 (almost 13), 10 and 5, who are anything but boring.

C is for cake and Carpenters: my two obsessions. C is also for classy. Clearly I am.  Classy, that is. Shut up.

D is for daydreaming because I’m constantly ‘off with the pixies’ and a space cadet.

E is for effort. I find everything in life to require monumental effort while I’d much rather be daydreaming while eating cake and listening to the Carpenters. It’s weird that people won’t pay you do so. Hmph.  E is also for exercise endorphins. I have to force myself to do the former daily in order to achieve the latter. An even louder HMPH! . Did I mention effort? Why can’t you get endorphins by sleeping?

F is for forgetful. In fact, the only reason I’ve survived on this planet for 43 and a half years is because eating is the one thing I don’t forget. Which brings me to the other F: FOOD.  Some people eat to live, I live to eat. I mentioned that I was classy.
G is for great, galloping, gargantuan, garrulous guacamole. Oh okay, I couldn't think of anything for G, but that's pretty impressive alliteration there, right?

H is for hope. I’m hoping I’ll come up with something interesting. Nope. Sorry.

I is for Infertility. Unbelievably now, there was a time when I thought I’d never be a mother. My boys were all miracle babies. I is also for Introvert. I take introversion to a whole new level. I’m so introverted that I make other introverts seem like loud, exhibitionist extroverts. At least I'm good at something. Thanks to  Susan Cain we’re all the rage now. Introverts are awesome and all that. So ner to all you lowly extroverts.

J is for the juxtaposition of two of my favourite things. Read on...

K is for Karen. Carpenter, of course. I sort of like her a bit. Ahem. I realise this is just repeating part of C but I couldn’t think of anything else for K, okay? It’s ironic that two of my favourite things are food and the World’s most famous anorexic but I like to mix things up. This is what I was referring to above with the whole juxtaposition thing. I'm not really sure if that's a word to be honest but it sounds impressive.

L is for Lego, the evil nemesis in my life. This Cancer of toys seems to multiply and spread to every corner of my house while I run around trying fruitlessly to keep it one area. Sigh.

M is for Micky Blue Eyes because I should probably give him a mention seeing as we are coming up to our 19th anniversary later this year.

N is for noise which I don’t like very much. N is also for Ness which is what most people call me and led to the title of this blog. I’m so original.

0 is for original. See ‘N’ above.

P is for People, those weird, scary creatures. I find them simultaneously fascinating and terrifying. But, as Barbra testifies, people who make people are the cluckiest people in the world. Or something. Therefore, I’m glad I made my little ‘tribe’ of people where I belong.

Q is for quiet. I have always been quiet. If I had a dollar for the amount of times I’ve heard expressions like: “You’re the quietest person I’ve ever met!” or “You should come out of your shell!” I would be richer than Gina Rinehart.  My greatest skill is the impressive ability to just shut right up. This is a skill that more people should consider developing. Shut up. Literally. It’s not that hard. I do it all the time.

R is for reading. I’ve always been a book worm. I’m happier with a bag full of dollar books from Vinnies than a closet full of designer clothes or shoes. R is also for ranga. I am one. The fact that I need a little..erm..’help’ (hair dye) to remain one these days is completely irrelevant.

S is for scotch which is a favourite drink.

T is for tea which is my favourite non-alcoholic drink.

U is for unicorn because I am a majestic unicorn. This meme says so. So ner. See also: R


V is for Vanessa because it’s my name obviously. Duh. Everyone calls me Ness, though. Except Mick and my parents who’ve stuck with the Vanessa thing. The boys call me Mum when they’re not calling me other things.  Apparently Mum originally wanted to call me Rachel or Rebecca but Dad wasn’t as keen. They briefly decided on the name Monique until Mum saw Vanessa Redgrave in the movie Camelot and thought she and her name were beautiful. Therefore I became a Vanessa. Thankfully, as I don’t think I look like a Monique but I look exactly like a young, beautiful Vanessa Redgrave. The resemblance is uncanny really.

Me



Vanessa Redgrave. It's like we're twins...
 

W is for weird. I’m quite weird. But you already knew that.

X is for x-ray. I’ve had one or two in my time which isn’t very interesting but I’ve never played a Xylaphone so that’ll have to do.

Y is for “Y’s a crooked letter and Z’s no better!” which is something my Mum used to say to my brother and I when we were children in reply to our constant round of “Why’s?”

Z is for the sound of everyone snoring by this point. My cure for insomnia is now complete. You’re welcome.
Linking up belatedly with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.


                                            Who can honestly think of anything about themselves for X, Y and Z??

Thursday, 22 May 2014

In My Own Distracted Little World

As the tag line underneath the title of this blog suggests, I am very easily distracted. Constantly off in my own little World. I simply can't help it if this alternative universe is preferable to the real World. It's not my fault. I've always been an off with the pixies space cadet. In addition to this I am constantly forgetting things. In fact, I recently came to the stunning conclusion that the only reason I've managed to exist on this planet for 43 years is because eating is the one thing I don't forget.

Seriously.

As my Mother is fond of saying "If my brains were dynamite, they wouldn't blow a part in my hair. She doesn't say it about me, she says it about herself; in spite of the fact that she has a sharper mind than me at almost 73.

Lately though, something very strange has been happening in the land of Nessville. Yes, I'm certainly as distracted as ever, but this time the distractions are not cake shaped with frosting. It seems that the real Ness has been abducted by aliens and in her place is this creature who is eating healthy food. Additionally, I've also been cleaning and attempting to be ever so slightly more organised. Who is this person? The emphasis is on the word 'attempting'. All of my past efforts to do this were monumental failures so we shall see how long this little foray into la la land pans out.

Case in point: I certainly haven't managed to become an organised blogger. Oops. Maybe I'll get there. One day. Eventually. Definitely. Maybe. Did I mention that I'm also indecisive as well as distracted?

The one thing that distracts me the most is my fascination with Karen Carpenter. I could spend hours watching every piece of retro footage that she appears in on Youtube. I belong to approximately ten million Facebook fan groups where we discuss every little detail of her short life and her music. This is quite bizarre when you consider that as a general rule I couldn't care less about most celebrities, particularly current ones. In fact, in most cases I couldn't even tell you who they are! However, when it comes to worshipping in the cult of Karen, I am shameless. The only consolation I have is that I am not alone. There are lots of other weird people like me around the interwebs. One of the good (and bad, depending on your point of view) things about the online world is that whatever your unique brand of crazy is, you can be sure you will find like-minded individuals in a Facebook group/Blog link up near you. Isn't that right, my fellow Karen devotees and bloggers?

Quite often when I am miles away in Carpenterland, the boys might be attempting to kill each other right in front of me while I'm utterly oblivious.

Micky Blue Eyes will bark at them to stop and then continue barking at me: "They were right in front of you! Didn't you see that?"

This will cause to me to abruptly have to land back on Earth with a thud and a sheepish admission that no, I did not see or hear because I was totally and blissfully tuned out. I do feel - perhaps selfishly- that if I am in my own house I should be able to indulge this inclination to tune out; to a degree, anyway. But Mick doesn't always agree with me and it can be a source of frustration for him at times, which I do understand. I can see that I could be a pain in the butt to live with, but aren't we all at times?


It's amazing that anyone manages to stay married when you think about it. We will be clocking up an impressive 19 years this year. Only one more year until the big two zero. It remains to be seen if we will do anything to mark the occasion. When it comes to birthdays and anniversaries we are a very low key and low maintenance family. If I've been able to remember them in the first place then I consider that a win. I don't want to push my luck any further by attempting to plan a party. I'm disorganised as well as distracted and forgetful. Plus, I'm notoriously socially awkward. Therefore, I'd rather be the quiet person in the corner at a party and not the hostess. Frankly, I suck at that. Especially those painfully awkward type of get togethers where you try to mix your family and friends and everyone just sticks to their own cliques while you're in anguish imagining that they are all miserable and not enjoying themselves.

It certainly seems easier to just book a party at the bowling alley, like we did for Mr 10 in March. That way I can just hover around drinking bad coffee as my eardrums burst and the paid for hostess does all the shouting. Works for me. Besides, the boys love it anyway. As long as there is cake, that's all that matters, right?

Speaking of cake, I appear to have gone cold turkey. ONE WHOLE WEEK cake free! I haven't exploded and died, surprisingly.  I was watching Australian Story the other day, which was about Olympic swimmer Kieran Perkins and I was struck by something his Mum used to say to him; which was: "Never give up on what you want the most for what you want at the moment." This seemed fitting since what I want at the moment is ALL THE CAKE but what I want most is to be healthy. Damn. So where's my Olympic medal? I most certainly DO deserve one for resisting cake! HMPH. After all it does take the equivalent of Olympic style dedication and herculean effort for me. It's like an addict trying to give up heroin. Sugar is my heroin.  Ahem.

My Get Healthy coach called yesterday to check in. I proudly reported all of the above.

"Have you noticed that you've been agitated and/or cranky lately?" she asked.

"I have, now that you mention it," was my rueful reply.

She told me this was likely to be due to sugar withdrawal. Apparently sugar does make you sweeter. Who knew?

If you are still unconvinced that I deserve an Olympic medal, then let me tell you the following; Micky Blue Eyes, my parents and I went for a drive out to Windsor for the day last Friday. While there, we had lunch in a pub where I watched them feast on steak with chips and gravy. Meanwhile, I stuck to grilled fish and salad.  Mr 12 is fond of drawling: "So? Do want a medal?" in response to just about any statement. Why yes, I believe I do want one. Hand it over!

Other than all of that, the most exciting occurrence in my life at the moment is watching Offspring on Wednesday nights and Call The Midwife on Thursdays. Yay! Okay, excuse me while I go and get a life...

Okay, later dudes. Over and out.

Linking up ridiculously and pathetically late with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.



Also linking up with Kylie Purtell: A Study In Contradictions for The Lounge.


                                                     What's been distracting you lately?

                                                     How do you celebrate birthdays or anniversaries?

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

Today I am talking about music I love. Therefore I know you will be expecting me to bang on about The Carpenters again. Wrong.

This time I'll be talking about someone COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

Karen Carpenter.

See? I do like to mix it up a bit. It is not widely known that Karen Carpenter did, in fact, record one solo album without her brother Richard. I'd like to focus on the solo album.

The story behind the solo is somewhat convoluted and often controversial among the Carpenters fandom. Although it was recorded in 1979 and scheduled for release in early 1980 it was ultimately shelved at the time. Karen Carpenter passed away in 1983 and the album was eventually posthumously released in 1996, 13 years after her death and 16 years after it was recorded.

Richard Carpenter has always steadfastly claimed that it was Karen's decision to shelve the album in 1980. All I will say is, I don't really believe this based on everything I have read. I think the decision was forced on her. The album should have been released at the time. Since it wasn't, I am grateful that Richard finally let the fans have the last part of Karen's legacy.

The album was produced by Phil Ramone with the bulk of the recording done in New York with Billy Joel's band at the time. . This is a great article written by Rob Hoerburger for The New York Times from 1996 regarding the album.

I just wanted to share one or two of my favourite songs from the album. I LOVE this one:


This is quite groovy too.


Don't you just love that 70's sound? No? Oh well - we can't all be groovy and have good taste.

Incidentally, this song was written by Rod Temperton who had also written the songs Rock With You and Off The Wall which he originally offered to Karen. She passed on them and the songs then went on to be hits for Michael Jackson. Useless trivia that my brain remembers instead of where I put my glasses or keys five minutes ago. Sigh.

There are also several out takes from the album floating around the internet. I like this one.


Oh, who am I kidding? I like them ALL. So I had better leave it there.

I should probably try to find some music I like that was recorded in this century by somebody who is actually breathing. Might be handy.  Any suggestions?

Linking up with Robomum for The Lounge.



                                                         What music do you  love?
                                                  
                                                    Which artists do you recommend I listen to
                                                      to catch up with this century?

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Ten Fascinating Things About Me

 Here goes. Ten utterly fascinating things about me. Using 'fascinating' in the sense of 'mind-numbing'....
  1. I've never had a sister (I have one older brother) though I do have two excellent sister-in-laws, Mick's sister Janette and my brother's wife, Nicole. Likewise, I will never have a daughter. One day I may have a daughter-in-law or three. I'm hoping they'll be excellent too. 
  2. My middle name is Faye with an 'e'. Clearly, or I would have spelt it Fay. 
  3. I lived with my parents until I was 23 when I moved in with Micky Blue Eyes so it's distinctly possible that I've lived a sheltered life. In Boganville. I find this ironic.
  4. I went to Holland with my parents when I was 10 years old in 1981. This seems destined to be my first and last overseas trip. Sigh. 
  5. I'm starting to wonder if I'm in peri-menopause as my moods are somewhat erratic: I'm joyous then weeping then feeling like I could punch the next person who glances sideways at me then having a panic attack then joyous again and around it goes..... Totally normal, right?
  6. I was 26 weeks pregnant with Mr 12 in 2001 before I noticed this minor detail. Oops.
  7. I lost a little man when I had a still birth 19 weeks into the pregnancy in 2007. 
  8. I was diagnosed with Asperger's in 2011 at age 40. 
  9. I have 150 plus Facebook 'friends' but my closest real life friend is my friend Kim, who was born five days before me and is the smartest person in the whole World - because she's my friend obviously - and because she doesn't use Facebook or any social media at all. 
  10. I am shamefully hopeless when it comes to taking and organising photos. I have boxes of them stashed in cupboards instead of sorted into albums. I tried to find some photos of Kimmy and my sister-in-laws to post here and I could only find ones that are really old. So guess what? No photos. You are saved the embarrassment. You can thank me later. 
Two Ten things I love....

  1. Karen Carpenter
  2. Cakies
  3. Karen Carpenter
  4. Cakies
  5. Karen Carpenter
  6. Cakies
  7. Karen Carpenter
  8. Cakies
  9. Karen Carpenter
  10. Oh yeah, I have kids. They're alright, too. 
Ten things I would like to ban from the World forever...

  1. Lego 
  2. Lego
  3. Lego
  4. Lego
  5. Lego
  6. Lego
  7. Lego
  8. Lego
  9. Lego - and, finally..
  10. Lego
Okay, that's only one thing as such but it's one thing that means A MILLION pieces so it counts as ten! Shut up. 

Ten Reasons To End This Pointless Post...

  1. I have house work to do.
  2. I have nothing remotely interesting to say about myself. 
  3. I have exercise to do. 
  4. I've wasted the whole morning coming up with absolutely nothing of any note to say about myself.
  5. There are such entertaining day time television programmes on that I'm missing. 
  6. It's lunch time and I might turn into one of those strange people who forget to eat.
  7. I have important places to be and important people to see. 
  8. There must be a million other things I could be doing.
  9. I think I may be procrastinating just a teensy, tiny bit. 
  10. All of the above.
Ten Counter Points To The Above List...

  1. House work sucks.
  2. That's never stopped you before.
  3. You can do it later - why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?
  4. At least you didn't waste it doing house work.
  5. Since when have infomercials about funeral insurance been entertaining? (Although, you have to admit a bit of Dr Phil is sometimes entertaining).
  6. Rahahahahaha!
  7. Well, I can imagine I do. Shut up.
  8. Meh, it's only a million. Do them later. See counter point number 3. 
  9. You think?
  10. Details. Hmph! 
Okay, I think I'm done now. I'm off to find ten more ways to procrastinate. I'll spare you the list this time. You're welcome.

Linking up with Musings of The Misguided for The Lounge.



                                               What are ten ways to procrastinate?

Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Nerdiest Girl In The School


"LONG AGO AND OH SO FAR AWAY..."

TIME: 1983

PLACE: Boganville High School, the main quadrangle.

 

 Picture it.  A time when raging cases of TES were everywhere, (Tragic Eighties Syndrome). Bad perms, bubble skirts and Duran Duran....


  Noise and activity flurried all around me.  Shouts and laughter that didn't include me, pierced their way into my consciousness, as I sat all alone at the edge of the quad. I wasn't part of any of it, but a spectator, silently sitting there, alone, reflecting on my tragic life as a nerd-girl.

A group of girls appeared in front of me, all of them laughing, sharing jokes with the kind of effortless rapport that was alien to me.  I felt them looking my way.  I tried not to notice, tried not to care.  Just then, one of them broke away from the group, approaching me.

Squirming uncomfortably on my seat, I looked towards her hopefully.  "Hi, how are you?" she edged nearer, smiling. I mumbled something incoherent.  Staring at me quite innocently she asked: "I was just wondering...do you shave your legs?"

It must be noted that, I did not, in fact, shave my legs.  A situation that, at a mere 12 years of age, did not bother me in the slightest. (Come to think of it, doesn't bother me in the slightest at age 42 either.  In fact, I might have to get Mick to run the lawn mower over them presently, as they are so hairy.) But I digress.

However, since it seemed to bother the other girls at school, I figured I'd ask my mum if I could begin.
 
Me, with all my friends, aged 12

"No," she replied "you're too young.  Once you start doing all that, you never stop.  You've still got plenty of time."  At this point, I imagine any other girl would have decided to completely ignore their mum, sneak into the bathroom, pinch a razor and do the deed anyway.  Not this tragic nerd-girl and Miss Goody Two Shoes.

I trudged back to school, legs still hairy, book in bag.  Books were my major companion at recess and lunch.  Another example of my tragic nerdiness.  I'd chosen books over flesh and blood friends. Here's how it happened.

I used to have something resembling a friendship with another girl in primary school.  I use the term friendship loosely.  It consisted mainly of her bossing and patronising me, like the time she convinced me to go to Jazz Ballet with her just so that she could then condescendingly tell this uncoordinated klutz that if I tried really hard I might be as good as her next year.  In all fairness to her, no amount of trying or practising would have ever made me good at any form of dancing!

I put up with Miss Patronising, or Pat as I shall call her, the type of person who might patronise God himself, because I simply didn't have any other friends - other than imaginary ones, and I figured being patronised and condescended to was preferable to spending every minute of school life achingly lonely and friendless.

Anyway, during 6th grade, she unceremoniously dumped me as a friend, steadfastly ignoring me and leaving me in the dust for a cooler group.  Consequently, when she rang me during the Christmas holidays, shortly before starting high school, I possibly should have been on guard.  Instead I scurried over like a timid mouse after any crumbs.

I suspect we might have had the Barbies out at one stage.  As we were about to start high school, you might expect Barbies dolls to have been a bit lame at this point, but I continued playing with them unperturbed.  Pat, on the other hand, was clearly worried, as she began to give me disdainful looks as her lecture began. 

 

"You know, you have to act tough in high school," she began, importantly "otherwise you'll have no friends."

 I carried on dressing Barbie, oblivious to the seriousness of her tone. "But don't worry," she added "I'll still hang around with you, as long as you stop reading books."

 

I gaped. Stop reading books? Wouldn't it be easier to just stop breathing?  Did she mean all books, or just Enid Blyton books? I mean, I kind of knew that I was getting to old for my frequent trips up the magic faraway tree.  A place where I seem to have permanently remained.  Off with the pixies. 


There was NO WAY I could stop reading books.  The thing was impossible.  Consequently the 'friendship' was over.  Gloomily, I trudged home, wondering where all the 'kindred spirits' from my beloved 'Anne' books were.

It wasn't long before Pat was surrounded by friends at High School, while I sat there. Alone. Reading a book.  So I guess she was right. Sigh.  Books will always be my best friend.

To make matters worse, just as I was about to start high school, Karen Carpenter died. Right when I was in the throes of becoming a major fan. I was heartbroken. Of course nobody, least of all the other girls at school, understood my sorrow. Liking the Carpenters went hand in had with reading books and not having a boyfriend. At barely 12 years old. Imagine. Spinsterhood here I come.

 I had been dreading starting high school. Boganville High School was considered to be the roughest school for "under privileged" kids in Sydney's western suburbs. For months I had been hearing horror stories about how the older kids grabbed the year seven kids and flushed their heads in the toilet by way of "initiating" them. Naturally, if you happened to be shy, quiet, liked reading and listening to the Carpenters it could make you a prime candidate for such treatment. I crept around the school playground with my head down, terrified that some sinister bunch of hoodlums would attack me at any moment and drag me into the toilets. Nobody even noticed me. After a week had passed I finally relaxed, realising that maybe some of these horror stories had been exaggerated somewhat.

One morning at recess, I proceeded to read my latest book in my usual position, not far from where the canteen was situated, when I happened to hear a conversation taking place only a few yards away.  Pat was leading it, my ex so-called 'best friend' from primary school. They were discussing Karen Carpenters death which was news at the time.  Pat was saying "Yes, its really sad because they were husband and wife (??!!) and they'd only just gotten married (??!!) and they'd just started out in their musical career.

Normally I was the quietest person on earth, but I couldn''t let that pass.

"That's wrong," I said, surprising them. They hadn't even realised I was there. I went on to inform them that Karen and Richard were NOT husband and wife, but brother and sister and not only that, they had been around for some time and had a lot of hits. Of course, I expected them to be interested and grateful that I had volunteered the information but instead Pat just gave me a withering look along with the rest of them and said "Oh really?" just as if she might have said "Big deal".    

Year 10 formal, circa 1986. I was
already stunningly gorgeous and
talented. So ner.

However, it was while at High School that I began the transformation from a mega nerd from Hell to the person I am today:  a mega nerd bogan from Hell a talented writer and gorgeous, smokin' hawt fox. Observe. I became a published author. Sort of. Kind of. Not really. Oh okay, it was only in the school magazine, but that counts, right? This is the blinding piece of sheer brilliance I wrote at only age 15. A fictional story that I wrote. Read it and weep:

FACE TO FACE

Out here in the country, where everything is fresh and beautiful, it's difficult to believe that all the violence and crime you read about in the newspapers everyday really happens. The air is crisp and clean and the trees stand tall and majestic against the backdrop of a clear blue sky. Kookaburras laugh loudly from their perches and the smell of eucalyptus is heavy in the air.

We had chosen the perfect spot for our holiday, a quiet little cottage in the midst of the country. The mysterious guy my sister was heartbroken over was sure to be forgotten here. Mum was already looking cheerful - and me? Well, I was just trying to rid myself of this strange eerie feeling. A premonition of something awful about to happen. What could possibly  happen out here where the people are greener than the grass?

I walked slowly, admiring the scenery. My mind was racing. What was this feeling? I tried to ignore it, but something told me I was living each day, waiting. For what, I didn't know. But I was soon to find out.

Jessica flew past me on horseback. Horse riding was  her passion, but I stuck to bikes. Even though we were sisters and looked alike, our personalities were entirely different. Jessica was adventurous, daring and very naive. She had just been hurt recently by some guy my mother and I had never even met. I watched her slowly gallop into the distance and settled down under a tree to enjoy the sunshine.

Glancing around, I searched for someone, but there was nobody. I had the odd feeling that someone was watching me. It had been happening on and off all day and it was beginning to give me the creeps. There's no one here, I told myself, determined to shake off this feeling of gloom. But it was there.

And it was still there moments later when I looked up and saw Jessica's horse galloping towards me, but no sign of Jessica. Panic gripped me, my mind full of horrifying visions of Jessica lying wounded from where she had fallen off the horse. Not thinking of the stupidity of my actions, I hurried in the direction from where the horse had come.

It was only when I was lost in a maze of trees that I berated myself fiercely. "Jessica! Where are you?" I called loudly. No answer. And no wonder. I stopped short in utter disbelief. For there she lay at my feet. Not wounded, but dead! There were no words to describe my emotions at that moment. My common sense told me that she couldn't have been killed just by falling from a horse.

"Jessica! Oh my God!" Tears were streaming down my face as I dropped to my knees beside my sister's still body. There was the unmistakable sign that a knife had been used to slit her throat. Somebody had killed her and that somebody was still lurking around waiting to kill me too.

I heard  the foot steps at that moment and turned rising to my feet. There he was. I was face to face with my sister's killer. He wasn't menacing at all. Just an ordinary looking guy. But he held a knife in his right hand.

"Hello, Anne." He knew my name. "Yes, I know you, your sister's told me all about you." He answered my unasked question.

"But she's dead now and I'm going to kill you, too." He stated it calmly, as if it were something he did everyday.

"No!" I fled past him before he could move. Just a moment ago I had found my sister dead. It was all a dream, it had to be a dream, I thought as I ran and ran. I knew he was right behind me.

It's amazing how fast you can run when you're afraid. I raced into the cottage, yelling to my mother, I rushed to slam the door, but he was stronger than me and pushed his way in, grabbing me.

My mother screamed, spotting the knife. He held me in a vice like grip, moving the knife towards my throat. He was bereft of reason, only wanting to kill, destruct.  He didn't seem to realise that my mother was there, quickly phoning the police. But we had to do something fast before I was dead.

Using all my strength, I kicked him hard in the shins and ran from his arms. He dropped the knife in my escape and I grabbed it quickly. He looked around the room as if he didn't know where he was. Then suddenly he fell to his knees, crying.

He was still there crying when the police arrived. A crazy man, familiar with drugs and the guy my sister had been heartbroken over. He was taken away in the back of a police car. We never saw him again. Never wanted to either.

My mother coped well with the funeral, but we both went to pieces afterwards. My sister was only eighteen and she was dead. Dead through the insanity of a very sick man. I realised that I would never forget what happened, but life had to go on and somehow I would face it.

 

Needless to say, I'm still painfully woeful highly skillful writer, as this boring as batshit bogan blog proves. It's also comforting to know, that thirty years later, I haven't matured beyond the age of twelve. After all, being a grown up is totally over rated. 

Linking up with Rachel at The Very Inappropriate Blog for The Lounge.

 

                                 What do you remember about your teenage years?

 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Passions


Those lovely ladies known as the Lounge Lizards apparently want to know what I’m passionate about. Well, duh, as if it isn’t obvious.

CAKIES!

From a young age I was always known for two traits. My unrelenting drive and passion. For cake. Or chocolate. This has propelled me to the dizzying heights (who wouldn’t be dizzy, with all that sugar in your system) I’ve reached today,  as a professional Fatty Boombah Bogan.

This was emphasised to me by an anecdote related to me by my mother of the time when I was around the tender age of three, or perhaps four, who knows. You expect me to remember back that far? I can’t remember five minutes ago!

Anyway, evidently Mum had taken me out shopping and paused to have a coffee. However, I had other ideas.  I kept repeatedly asking for “Something nice,” emphasising the word ‘nice’ with a posh little plum in my mouth.  This refrain went on for several minutes, while Mum attempted to enjoy her coffee.
She tried to ignore my demands. Undaunted, I continued my efforts.

“Mummy, can I please have something nice?”
Finally, after another five minutes or so of my constant nagging heartfelt pleas, Mum eventually threw me a sachet of sugar.

“Here,” she said, exasperated “have this!”
My little three year old eyes fell on it. With a tone dripping in condescension and derision I  scathingly declared:

“BIG DEAL!”

I was cute once. And I wanted something 'nice', not
a sugar sachet! HMPH.

How dare anyone thwart me from having my desired and much sought after slice of cake! CAKE, I say, not a silly old sugar sachet!

In between my frequent cakie consumption, I could be found curled up with a book, my other passion. Sometimes I traded the book for our dachshund dog, Samantha. I tried to smuggle Samantha into bed with me once. When Sammy went to doggy heaven, along came Penny and Skippa.  I was devoted to those dogs. The fact that I never had to actually clean up their crap probably added to their appeal. Penny and Skippa went on to have pups. In an essay written for school about my life, I remarked that I’d never seen anything cuter than those puppies ‘not even a human baby’.  Clearly I needed to get out more. Or all that sugar was affecting my brain. Or both. Regardless, I was besotted with books, dogs and cakies.  Not to mention chocolate.
Me with my mullet perm and Skippa, circa 1985. Classy.

My passion for baked goods and all things chocolatey, continued on in my teens when I proceeded to take the old ‘Mars a day’ slogan quite literally. I devoured a Mars Bar every single day after school, while remaining annoyingly slim. Annoying to others, I’m sure. Annoying to me now, knowing that this phenomenon will remain firmly back in 1985, along with mullet perms and bubble skirts.  The latter two can stay there. However, I want my fourteen year old metabolism back, thank you very much. Hmph.

Perhaps continuing with the syrupy sweet theme, I also developed a deep and abiding love for Carpenters music at around age 11 which has continued onto this day. This is yet another lifelong passion.  Ironically, Karen Carpenter died from an eating disorder shortly after I fell passionately in love with her voice and music. This meant I was now passionate about cakies – and the World’s most famous anorexic, something only I could achieve. So ner. After all, while others worried about trying to save the whales or the ozone layer, SOMEBODY had to focus on the important issues. What could be more important than cake and Carpenters? Don't answer that...

Then, one day, years later, there came an epoch in my life.  A ‘bend in the road’ as ‘Anne’ would say.  I was unable to become pregnant and it appeared that a little bit of weight loss might help the situation. Surprisingly, I was able to develop a new passion, a very unexpected one. Exercise.

It worked, and one by one, babies came along. With each subsequent baby my passion for exercise waxed and waned. Meanwhile, my devotion to cakies and chocolate continued unabated.  After all, I could have given them up, too, but I’m no quitter, as they say. Whoever ‘they’ are.

My singular determination and unremitting pursuit of all things sugary is what has shaped me into the person I am today. An overweight bogan with high cholesterol who knows the words to every Carpenters song. Not many people can boast about that.  Shut up.

Not to be beaten, I am now determined to reclaim my long lost passion for exercise. After all these years it appears that my love affair with cakies and chocolate must now tragically come to an end. It’s not me, it’s them. While I have passionately loved them, it appears that they do not love me. Cue hysterical sobbing.

It turns out that there is one thing that I am truly passionate about.  Yes, even above and beyond cakies and Carpenters. Three things, actually.  Three of the most important people in my life.  My gorgeous boys. I love them passionately. For them, I will give up (or cut back, anyway- ahem) on cakies. I will even move my rather large arse and break a sweat everyday, until it becomes slightly less large.  I will do it because I passionately desire to be around for a hell of a long time, to see them grow up and possibly even be a Grandma one day. 

And if I do live to be 80, then I'm eating cake EVERY SINGLE DAY until I die from a diabetic coma. You can't stop me.  

Linking up with Slapdash Mama Sarah for The Lounge.


 
Also linking with Cathy from The Camera Chronicles for Flashback Friday.


                                                           What are YOU passionate about?