Thursday 27 June 2013

First of the Month Fiction - July

We are now in the second half of the year - well, we would be if I wasn't jumping the gun for the school holidays. WHAT? How is this possible? I am old and the years are flying by. I better get used to this new rate of time passing...

So for new comers, it's easy, a short story of exactly 100 words or less than 30 words. Add your story to the comments, then link your blog so we can see your work in unrestricted glory. If you don't have a blog, just give it a go anyway...

First of the Month fiction came about from a competition I entered - and failed to win. You were only allowed to enter once, but I had so much fun doing it, I kept doing them. So this is the original, and where it all began:

I'd been trapped in the box for a long time now. Too long. It was looking less and less likely that I'd ever be found again. I could hear muffled voices, a constant tapping and the occasional evil laugh. I tried to scream but no sound came.

The weight on my chest was increasing with panic. I'd soon just be an occasional memory for people who never knew what had actually happened to me. I was terrified.

I turned to Barbie and whispered "This is it, Kiddo. They've outgrown us. I knew that Xbox was going to be big trouble."

Until next time...Linking up With Some Grace for FYBF

Enjoy the silence over the next 2 weeks, and see you on the flipside. Borrowing from the Nuffnang Facebook Page.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Conversations with the mirror

Mirror, Mirror on the wall,
Who's the fairest of them all?

Alice climbed through the looking glass...

Smoke & mirrors.

Isn't it strange that there are so many evils and oddities and deceptions linked with mirrors? When all they really show is us, as we are to the rest of the world?

Funny how so many of us avoid mirrors. We are very happy within ourselves but when we see ourselves in a mirror, we don't like what is reflected there? When all it is, is the actual image of ourselves.

There is a wonderful saying, the best mirror is an old friend.

Here's to old friends and reflected glory, magnified praise and most important of all, good times.

Linking with #ArchiveLove

Monday 24 June 2013

School's Out!

I was sick last week so things went off the boil, and I've decided as of next week, I'll take a 2 week hiatus to enjoy the school holidays and have some fun with the kids, and avoid the temptation of my iphone distraction. A little more living in the moment.

I am indeed one of those mums who thrives on school holidays and struggles during the term time. So I may as well go full pelt into lazy days ahead.

So first of the month fiction will go live on Friday, and then you can enjoy some radio silence from Where the Wild Things Were.

I will keep my eye on all of you, from time to time...but forgive me if my comments are down.

These holidays I am looking forward to seeing the great art of Turner and strolling in the chilly mountains. A bit of theatre, for both me and the kids. I might even exercise. (WHAT?).

To all of you having a break, enjoy! To all of you running full steam ahead, good for you!

As I have a few 'blank days' in the holidays, and a limited budget (as I spent it on Turner), what is your top tip for holiday fun? What thing are you looking forward to the most in the next 2 weeks?

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT. Pop over and see who else is hanging around there.

Wednesday 19 June 2013


This is not a rant & rave, kind of rave, this is just a rave. It's not sponsored, I just loved it, and it's so special I want to capture those emotions it created. Be warned, superlatives ahead.

What is it? I went to Slava's SnowShow on the weekend - I'd been three times before, so I knew what to expect, but I didn't expect the feelings of jubilation to arise, and they truly did. While I'd remembered the action, I'd forgotten the emotive response, the collective joy and the intricate detail of the simple images that delight, in the true sense of the word.

For those that have never heard of Slava, he was one of the Alegria clowns, of the Cirque du Soleil fame, and then he broke away with his now very famous Snowshow.  (review here, if interested). It's old school European clowning, that intricate, delicate playfulness.

But this show is different, it engages the audience, the audience feels a camaraderie of sharing a very special experience. I had facebooked to my friends that they should get tickets if they didn't already, and a few did, and felt the same experience. One said 'it's funny how all the audience are smiling at each other, like they're in it together'.

The daily mail's review says how the audience is transported back into youth, and I think that sums it up perfectly. It captures that liberating joyfulness that you have as a kid and more importantly gives you that feeling again. It's funny, at the end of the show, no one wants to leave, and adults are gleefully throwing 'snow' at random strangers, or laughing at the balls moving through the crowd.

For 2 days after, 'snow' kept fluttering from my jacket occasionally, and without fail, I would break into a broad grin. My face lights up just typing this, so strong is the happy emotional memory.

It's also rare that a show will delight 4 years to 43 years, as it did in our group - even the surly teen was laughing and grinning like everyone else. He thanked us at the end of it, and was wanting to talk about it over dinner, smiling and laughing while reminiscing. That may not sound like much, but with these jaded 21st century teens, it's big.

I don't want to spoil it, but trust me, get yourself tickets, as there is nothing quote like it. You want to be downstairs, if you can.

It is in Sydney until the 23rd, then Brisbane 26th - 30th June (Lyric Theatre), Canberra 3rd - 7th July (Canberra Theatre Centre) and lastly Melbourne 17th - 28th July (comedy Theatre).

As I said, not a sponsored post, just a community service rave. I want as many people to feel the infectious joy and happiness that Slava's SnowShow brings.

Monday 17 June 2013

Trivia and the Trivial

I said to my friend, when she lamented that her son didn't know who James Brown* was (when she watched the Blues Brothers with him), "Did you know that the boy who tried to steal the guitar from Ray's Music Exchange, that Ray Charles shoots at, grows up to be the limo driver, Argyll,  in Die Hard....That's my best bit of trivia." She responded "You can't have a best bit of trivia. It's all trivia."

I arguably do have trivia ranking. There is good trivia, and stupid trivia. And if there is good trivia and not so good trivia, there has to be a best. Good, better, best!

In order - the Blues Bros/Die hard trivia is number one. (Interestingly, when I get to tell that trivia, guys always think it's great trivia, women don't seem to care. Could trivia interest be gender based?)

Following closely, my second best bit of trivia, is that Bruce Willis is German-born, and his mother is German. (I love this bit of trivia, and I have no idea why it makes me like him more, but clearly I have some Eurocentric racism ranking going on too.)

All my other trivia is hardly worth mentioning.

So, what's your best bit of trivia? Or do you believe there can't be a trivia scale, ranking some trivia higher on the scale than others?

*She also mentioned her son didn't know who Princess Leia was - I told her that was just bad parenting and she ought to be ashamed of herself. She agreed and has begun the musical and film education of said child.

Sunday 16 June 2013

Perfect Day

I am not the world's biggest fan of Mother's Day - it seems a distorted celebration to me, but I will save that for another post, so won't bring the mood down here. My perfect Mother's day would be similar to the perfect day I described last year, and repost below. However, as it is for Mother's Day, I'd let the kids come with me...

I had a perfect day a month ago in Singapore - real details here - but assuming money and distance no object, my perfect day would involve the following:

The morning at iFly - doing this (It's now open in Sydney for those keen to give it ago - I can't recommend it enough):
Nothing quite as grin inducing for me.

Then lunch at Shelter in the Wood, having that AMAZING chicken (this is in Singapore again, and well worth the trip to the burbs -quite sensational).

Afternoon on the water in Sydney Harbour, on a boat or lazing at Cottage Point by the pool.

Then an early night viewing at the Sydney Observatory (There is nothing so amazing, in the true sense of the word as looking at planets through the big telescope), then ditch the kids and off to Sushi-e for dinner - still my favourite restaurant of all time.
Then lastly home for some, you know, good lovin'...(eww, I know, but I'm old...I'm not going to say it without an euphemism).

I have lots of perfect days, or more appropriate perfect moments. Usually they involve an outing on Sydney Harbour (a little beach somewhere, a tinny ride etc). In Summer there are lazy days of much happiness down at Cottage Point where we organise groups of friends for a BBQ or exploring National Parks.
I do love museums and art galleries, and gain much happiness there, as long as the kids don't decide to ruin it by being little, kids?
Sneaking off to a movie when I'm meant to be doing something else, is perfection, especially if the movie is good, but sometimes if it's crap (looking at you, Bruce Willis), it's even better, because it's funny, like you're ashamed to tell people you went.
An unexpected outing to a park in the sunshine can do wonders...we have a few by the water and that really inspires the soul - it's just the laziness of routine that gets in the way.
Vivid, Hoopla, Village Bizarre, all those fun things that Sydney offers for free, just there for the enjoying, usually offer up a small window of the perfect day.

I guess for me, the perfect day is one where I see or do fun things, things of beauty, or gain great enjoyment. So really, I could have a perfect day every day if I just didn't let myself waste time, doing the dull and mundane...

Linking up with #RubyTuesdayToo for the ifly pic

Thursday 13 June 2013

Heartache spoken here

My eldest announced that one of his friends asked a girl out, and she said yes. It was the big news of the day. I asked if there was someone he wanted to ask out, and was given the 'are you fucking insane? As if I'd tell you' look, with a NO and accompanying shrug.

But it got me thinking, we are heading into the territory of heartache and rejection. It breaks my heart just thinking about it, and I know it's a journey he'll need to go alone. Why are humans so cruel and why can't you make things 'right' for your kids? Why will they take the opinion of some stupid kid as the true reflection of themselves and not see how wonderful they are? Why do we have to get well into adulthood before we realise we don't need to value or trust the opinion of others quite as much as did?

Of course, it could be all flowers and roses and work spectacularly well for him, but only time will tell. I think fondly of the Warren Zevon song - Heartache Spoken Here:

 I've had my share
Of disappointing love affairs
And I'm no stranger to disillusionment
Little darlin'
If you need a helping hand
If you need someone
You can count on me
And I will understand

 And then of course, he went on to sing "Looking for the Next Best Thing". If nothing else, he was the king of picking himself up and starting all over again. We can all learn something from that, in fact, probably the most important lesson of all.

Linking up With Some Grace for FYBF

Monday 10 June 2013

Sing, Sing a Song

When I was a kid, there was a famous Carpenters song that got hijacked by Sesame Street (I was a little kid, my world view was Sesame Street). I loved this song and used to sing along with joy.
Fast forward, and a friend has invited me to a song night - yep, you guessed it, where you pick a song and get up and sing it, in front of an audience. The theme is Happy.

Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong

I listen to a lot of foreign language music, or hip hop - so while there is a lot of songs that make me happy, no one will know them. I dug around in the recesses of my brain and found some songs from the '60's and 70's - Rock the Boat, Iko Iko, Hi Ho Silver Lining and Spirit in the Sky.

Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad

The problem is, I can't sing in key. And I'm painfully shy (as you've all heard *yawn*).

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long

So, as a Torshlusspanik challenge, I am going with one of my favourite songs - that is WAY too fast for me to sing, but I figure I either sing out of key or rap badly, so same-same for the listener, and at least I'm doing a song I really want to do. I'll be performing on the 14th, live from Radio City Music Hall (well, actually from an undisclosed destination in Sydney), nominated for the Grammy for Best Song in 2012, Otis....obviously I won't be winning the Grammy for Best Rap Performance like they did.

Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song

As a little old white lady, it's safe to say I'll be oozing no level of cool. I will however, be providing much amusement and a HUGE challenge for me. I also drop out that N word, which makes it very hard to keep up with the line (all about the flow, peeps) so I need to practice. My poor kids are already sick of it, as everytime we get in the car, I give it another shot....

So, in keeping with the 'go hard or go home' purpose of Torshlusspanik, the list now stands:

Torshlusspanik List:
1. Shooting (check)
2. Fencing (check)
3. Play croquet at Croquet Club
4. Laser skeet
5. Off road buggy driving
6. Play Assassins Creed
7. Jetpacking (check)
8. The Color Run (check)
9. Invent something
10. Cooking Masterclass (check)
11. Master a Masterclass (check)

12. Perform a rap song
You can stop laughing now.

La la la la la
La la la la la la... 
PS The Star has a karaoke night - maybe I'll take it on the road and win myself $500... I said stop laughing now. I can hear you.

What song would you choose for your Happy sing-a-long?

Linking up for IBOT with EssentiallyJess - See who else swung by.

Sunday 9 June 2013

My Pet Peeves...

I like this post, not because it's great but I do think of it from time to time to try and remind myself when I need to let things go...

"Couldn't resist this link up post prompt for the 'I must confess' link up...I have something peeving me big time today, and while I'm not proud of it, I know it will make me feel better to get it off my chest."

And so I wrote a long, bitter tale of woe. I am SO thankful for the delay before I pressed publish. Writing it all down made me feel better, but rereading it now made me embarrassed. It was so petty and ugly.  "Like the song, it's making me go hmmmm!"

I guess now my pet peeve is really that I hang onto stuff I shouldn't. I read too much into things and I take things personally that I shouldn't. I would like to be a bigger, better person that doesn't let that side of human nature surface. And by that I mean surface for me, not for the impact it has on others - though I guess I should be concerned with that too.

 "I would like to be bigger and shrug it off ...(I just reread that paragraph and it makes me cringe at how petty it is. I'm really not comfortable with this side of my personality - ugly, ugly!)"

"Most of all, I think I would like to not be annoyed by it. I know it's not really a big deal, So I guess this ugly side of my personality peeves me the most. And that is truly a thing that makes me go hmmmmmmm!"

So my pet peeve is also tinged with thankfulness. I am thankful I had the time to calm down and let go, bring everything back into realistic proportions. I am thankful the original post never saw beyond my own eyes (and husband's ears, while he listened to me bitch). As the internet is forever, I am thankful this one had time to make the garbage bin.

The quotes are all that are left of the original post. It was long but spite and hate often is. Scary to think that was in there for quite a few days. Lesson to myself, if in doubt, delete! But give myself time to doubt...

A much less interesting post for you readers, a much better post for me.

Thursday 6 June 2013

eBay City Roller

Many moons ago, I wrote about my mild obsession with selling stuff on eBay, and it's been going strong ever since. This month, I had a bumper month, and cleared out quite a bit of junk. It's made me greedy! I'm planning what else can go, as I have a cunning plan! I'm keen to take the kidlets down to Turner in the holidays. Let me rephrase that. I'm keen to see the Turner exhibition and dress it up as an overnight adventure in Canberra with the kids, for some school holiday fun. I've set myself a challenge, to pay for it with my ebay starting June 1 (when the free listings start), I have 1 month to sell a Novotel Cultural Package (may not actually be called that) worth of toys and clothes my wee one has grown out of.
My partner doesn't understand why I bother, because I never make anything too pricy because I don't want any hassle (or questions about the item, for that matter). So it's little by little, but to be honest, I like that things are getting another spin before hitting the landfill.
I hope to also have some space on the shelf in the play room, and a hole in the big pile of junk in the spare it's win-win all round. I'm getting tired of piles of stuff overflowing everywhere. (I also give to a women's refuge but the person who takes it is away so there are boxes sitting around for her too! Everywhere I look, there are piles of boxes over's like a Kafka-esque nightmare.) I actually have no idea where all this stuff came from! I want space on the bookshelf for new books - instead of the currently 2 rows per shelf with more then piled on top. (I do know where that stuff comes from - guilty!)
So it's time to get ruthless and declutter for art (and adventure). Who's with me?! (running out like Bluto in Animal House).

Do you ebay? Do you have clothes or toys (or books) overflowing from their designated area? Will I get enough $10 sales to get me to Canberra? Do you care? Will the Turner exhibition be totally AWESOME or just MAGNIFICENT? So many questions - stay tuned for the next exciting episode....

POSTSCRIPT: This challenge just got magnified - Last night the Turner exhibition has just been ditched for a solo trip to the...drumroll...Singapore Grand Prix! Thanks to Scoot's $350 return sale airfare! As I'm not one to do things by halves, I've now set my target higher...on the positive, I have until September. On the negative, well, you know, let's not focus on that reality...

Linking up With Some Grace for FYBF...

Monday 3 June 2013

Schizer! (I apologise to any German speakers)

So I swear. I swear a lot. I listen to music that has so much swearing I don't even notice it anymore. To me, they're just words. You will get in a lot more trouble in my house, if you tell someone they're an idiot or to shut up! To me, it's how you use the words that matter, not the actual word itself.

Ironically, my eldest doesn't swear.* At all. He also corrects my language from time to time. As he should, but that's another story. So I was taken by surprise when my husband returned from picking our eldest and his friends up from the movies. He forlornly announced "Well, I just heard my son swear in front of me for the first time." I was confused. This couldn't be right?! "What do you mean?" I asked, perplexed. "He said 'Well that was friggin' awesome!' to his friends in the back.' Me, confused, stated "That's not a swear word. That's what you say when you aren't saying a swear word." We discussed this for a bit, threw it out to facebook for discussion and searched the web. Results from the world were 50/50. Even google seemed to be hedging it's bets, but it did say it could be considered a curse word.

Who knew? Certainly not the lady who wore this shirt to school! (I still think half-ass is not a swear word, but I don't wear the shirt to school anymore - because whole-ass is borderline.).

I spoke to my son and explained that SOME people, considered friggin' a swear word -and he was genuinely surprised. "I did not know that!" (yes, of course you didn't because your mum probably said it when she thought she needed to be polite). So that too is now edited out of his lexicon.

Which brings us to the latest family argument, one which I'll open to the public for debate, but I am not prepared to back down on without good cause.

Jack (Made up name but as good as any): Shizer!
Eldest, non-swearing child: Mum, Jack just swore!
Pottymouth Mama (Me, not famous blogger of same name): No, he didn't.
Husband: Yes, he did. It's German for shit.
Pottymouth Mama: We don't speak German. It doesn't mean anything to us. It's only a swear word if it's said in front of Germans.
Husband: It doesn't work that way.
Me: It does. It's the word you say to stop saying shit in public.

So, your verdict? Is Shizer a swear word in AUSTRALIA? I need to point out, in German, it's not even spelled that way - it's spelled Schei├če (but who knows what that thing is anyway?).

As with all our dinner party arguments, I'm putting it out to the web experts - give me your view!!

*Not showing off, number 2 & 3 don't seem to be taking after him in the non-swearing department - but on the plus side, they are multi-lingual.

Saturday 1 June 2013

What I learnt from Epic

Linking up with the Lounge with an archive piece with the key word EPIC because the amount of work I have to do is epic and the amount of time is short.

I was lucky enough to head out to the Digital Parents Collective and Natural Cordial Company screening of Epic in 3D. I'd like to say a big thank you as it saved my sanity on this wet & miserable morning. My review of the film is here, but this is what I learnt from the film:

1. I think I might be in love with Cristoph Waltz. Even as an animated baddie, I just kept hoping he'd be in the next scene. He truly is a delightful presence.

2. I loved all the accents - Colin Farrall, Pitbull, Chris O'Dowd and others were allowed to talk in their native lilts, instead of that homogenised American film voice. It was nice for a change, and very appropriate, given the theme of the film. I think more films should consider this.

3. Aziz Ansari is HILARIOUS, and while American, his distinctive voice made his less picturesque character so appealing (and possibly everyone's favourite!).

4. I loved that the 2 main females weren't token damsels in distress - nice to see some females that don't need to be pretty fairies or princesses...(yes, I have a daughter).

5.You're here for a reason. Sometimes the connections aren't clear, but they're always there.

6.You have to catch it in the moment, while it's happening, otherwise you miss a chance and it's gone forever.

7.If you don't win a prize, my kids are not above crawling under seats to see if anyone missed a ticket. (see #6 - lesson already learned! Well done.)

8. Balloons and Cordial take home gift bag is exciting enough to make not winning prize forgotten.

9. I will still laugh louder than anyone at that old chestnut "Ugly says what?" Apparently never grows old for me.

10. I will never look at slugs and snails the same again.