Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The Wonder Years

Childhood memories are supposed to be golden aren't they? That's what all the commercials on TV tell me. Yet when I think back about being a child I find those golden moments are in short supply. Actually, I find moments in general, are hard to find. In many ways it's like those years are one continual blur. Distinct moments are few and far between. I know part of this is that I lived in a fantasy world as a child. One where I lived a thousand different lives straight from the pages of the novels and classic movies that filled my life. I dreamt of being Arwen Evenstar or Elizabeth Bennett, Holly Golightly or Rose Sayer. Different characters from different worlds, yet all with one striking similarity. Each inhabited a world far removed from my own reality. In those worlds I was strong, carefree or in control. In them I spoke my mind, or faced danger and challenges head on. I loved those places. I used to go to bed at night and wish I would wake up in one of those worlds. A chance to escape the claustrophobic world of my own existence.  But I know the other part is my minds attempt to protect itself.

Where there should be memories of events or moments, I instead find memories of emotions; shame, guilt, isolation, uncertainty and above all, loneliness. Don't get me wrong there were some good times. Like sitting in our car at the local Drive-in, watching Return of the Jedi on my 10th birthday. I remember the crackling speaker stuck on the car window. The smell of popcorn, the taste of the syrupy pre-mix Coca-Cola, and the excitement of losing myself in a make believe world. But these moments are few and far between. The reality is that I have to search hard to remember any of them.

We had no huge secrets, especially by today's standards. One parent who was an alcoholic and gambler. One parent who was unable to cope, and had nothing left to give to anyone else. Loss of home and lifestyle. Becoming one of the poor. Years of marital separation. Disintegration of my family. Broken promise after broken promise.  We were far from alone in our small town, as I was to find out through later discussions with my childhood friends. Yet we were not allowed to speak of it.  The secret, that in reality everyone knew, had to be kept. What no one told me back then was that secrets destroy the soul. They are a prison of our own creation, with shame the shackles that bind.

As a child I received many lessons. I was taught to be ashamed of who I was and of my life circumstances. I was taught that my value could only be measured by what others thought. I was taught to be silent. To never trust others. To fear judgement. I was taught at an early age that I would never be good enough. I'm sure this was not my parents' intent, but it was the lesson I learnt through their actions and words.

Every day was a test to prove my love and my worthiness to be loved, and everyday I failed. Every action and word was sure to be coloured with disappointment. “I'm ugly”. “I'm useless”. “I'm stupid”. These words were sung every day. These words were never spoken in reference to me. Yet I internalised them until they were the only reflection I saw when I looked in the mirror. How can a young child differentiate between themselves and their parents? They are a product of the two, physically and emotionally. What the parent says about themselves, the child will always falsely attribute to themselves.

We all have roles in our families. I was given the role of mediator and hand holder. I don't know when it happened, or how. But I do remember sitting between my parents and making jokes to ease tensions, desperate to pacify my charges and smooth ruffled feathers. By age ten I had mastered the art of negotiation and mediation. I had an arsenal of tricks and words to maintain the calm. I took to this role like a duck to water, and they were more than willing to let me take the lead.

I remember the tension like a knot in my belly. The stress and worry that one misstep would see my family dissolve into chaos once more. I accepted the responsibility as a normal part of my life. I accepted a responsibility that as child I was ill equiped to deal with, and should never have had to take on. To this day I feel an overwhelming need to keep the peace, to comfort and soothe, and I am still sought for this role. Only now I have the courage to say nay and accept whatever consequences come my way.

As that child I learnt that comfort comes with a catch, a price that I became unwilling to pay. I learnt to be independent, apparently to a fault, as I am now told. I learnt that I could only rely on myself. That being alone equated to safety. That to ask for help was a sign of weakness. I learnt that I would only be accepted if I was willing to adhere to specific rules, rules that changed everyday. I learnt to build a wall around myself, adding a new brick everyday. So many bricks, it may take me a lifetime to take them all down.

I have no desire to return to my childhood. I have no sentimentality with regard to the past. I cannot selectively edit those years to portray a happy family, as my parents are wont to do. Those tales ring false and empty. I could never tell them any of this. Even all these years later they are not equipped to deal with frank discussions or acknowledgement of the past.  I know they would be horrified that I have aired our dirty laundry.  They see mountains where there are only mole hills.  And silence, continues to exaggerate the horror of what, in reality, is the story of so many other families. 

20 years have passed since I left home.  I look back now through the eyes of an adult and realise that neither of them had anyone in their own lives to teach them they had value. To teach them how to relate to others and the world around them. I realise now that they were hanging on by their fingernails. That their selfishness was a survival mechanism, their only means to defend against the world. I know they loved us, I do not doubt that.  I know that parents are not super heroes, they are simply people, as flawed as the rest of us.  I realise now why my siblings left as early as possible, as did I, an attempt to save themselves.  I realise now that at ten, I became a parent to my parents.   It saddens me that to this day they do not have the courage to find happiness for themselves. That they continue to seek happiness in the things they do not, and will not have, rather than appreciating that even diamonds can be found in the dirt of the earth.  These choices mean that disappointment and regret will continue to shadow their steps and shape their lives.  Like that child I still love my parents.  I wish simply that they can find peace and joy in their lives. Only now I have the presence of mind to re-examine the hurts of the past.  To understand why they acted the way they did, that it is not my fault and that it is not my responsibility to heal them. As that child I can never forget, but as an adult I can now forgive them.

Now I sit here as a parent myself and I wonder what my children will say about me when they are older. I hope and pray that their memories are better than mine.  All you can do is see your past for what it was, learn from the mistakes, and not be afraid to do different. To accept that you will make mistakes, but that it is still possible to try and give your children the upbringing you wish you had.

A long time ago I chose to make a concerted effort to not repeat those same lessons with my children. I chose to view the world through a different lens. I could choose to walk through the world as a victim to the past. To dwell in dark places filled with bitterness and resentment. Or I could choose to release myself from the burden. The past is what it is, it cannot be re-written.  With that acceptance the shame disappears.  Forgiveness is hard, but it is something I did for myself. I chose to free my spirit from it's shackles and I can feel the lightness in my step.

Releasing myself, leaves me free to give my children a gift. I can fill their lives with light and laughter. With feelings of self worth and confidence. To learn compassion and tolerance and to learn that the true value of any person is their truth of spirit. To learn that happiness is not dependant on material things or societal projections. That happiness comes from within and that you can only find it when you find value and love for yourself. That happiness is a choice we are all capable of making despite our life circumstances. That no matter what they do they will always have a soft place to fall. They are the gifts that I have endeavoured to give to them and will continue to try and give. They are gifts I may not have been able to give them if I had not had my childhood. The light can only truly be appreciated by those who have sampled the dark. You can only learn the true value of this these gifts if you know what its like to have not had them yourself. May they always know they are precious just as they are, and most of all that they are loved.

Monday, 19 July 2010

All This Thinking Is Making My Head Hurt: Headaches & Migraines.

The new Migraine Barbie
(photo from MigraineChick)

My alternate title for this post was going to be "All Migraines Should be Margarita Related", because damn it, they should be.  At least then you get the yummy salty, limey, tequilary goodness beforehand.  But no, instead I feel like Bob grabbed the bloody tequila bottle off the bar before I could get a sip, and whacked me in the side of the head.  And that's just wrong.  Tequila really should only be used as a force for good.  Dance on the table with your undies on your head, type of good.  This just confirms Bob's association with the Dark side of the Force.  Bad Bob.  You're a bad bad man.  Next you'll tell me that the use of glitter past age five in sad.  Evil bastard!

This last week has been a doozey.  Day after day of excruciating brain pain.  And yes, before anyone with a super tight sphincter informs me that it's not actually your brain (you know who you are 'Anonymous' perfecto with no life), and that the brain has no pain sensors, I know.  It's just easier than saying the whole blood vessel dilation, inflammation, chemical release blah blah blah.  Okay?  Okay.

I've either had a medium level headache or red hot poker through the eyeball migraines.  I swear Friday I thought my eyeballs would actually liquefy if I opened my lids.  And I'm pretty sure that all the contents of my head were trying to make a break for it through my left eye socket and surrounding pores.  Then you add the nausea and the sensitivity to touch, sound, light etc.  It's one big party.

Pain meds generally only take the edge off, and as I've said previously I'm not keen to take them on a regular basis thanks to the fact you end up feeling like you are passing a besser block each time you go to the loo.  Hmmm head pain vs butt pain, what to choose?

(Poos should never look like this)

I go through phases like this every now and then.  Storms a friend called them the other day.  A very appropriate word.  Just as fierce and impossible to control.  You just have to weather it,  and wait till the thunder stops.  Most days I have a headache, but that's just white noise at this stage.  However, every now and then something in my body says, "this chick has had it easy for a while now, lets turn the dial up to 10 and watch her dance", complete with evil chuckle and cat patting.  And considering I dance like Elaine Benes, that is not kind to anyone.

It's simply part of the joy of Bob.  Before Bob I'd be lucky to have the odd panadol now and then for eye strain headaches.  I'd never really experienced this kind of pain.  Each time I've brought it up to my neuro or cardio I get the same speech,

"We hear that from a lot of our Bob patients.  Unfortunately it's very hard to treat.  They should resolve when we get Bob under control". 

Bwahahahahaha.  Four years and a bazillion doctors visits later, and Bob hasn't changed one bit.  Somehow this does not fill me with hope that these phases of excruciating noggin pain will ever disappear.

I will admit that I'm my own worst enemy.  If I finally manage to take the edge off the pain and can open my eyes without whimpering, I try to catch up on all the stuff I couldn't do on the days I was stuck in my darkened bat cave.  Which of course means that it comes back with a vengeance.  I know this logically, I do it all the time.  Essentially, I am the dumb rat that keeps pressing the lever with the zapper, rather than the one that gives me intermittent food rewards.

Some days it's worth it.  Catching up with a friend for coffee and a laugh, is better than any little pill for maintaining sanity.  It is most definitely worth the pain that you know will follow.  Doing the shopping, leaving your trolley in the middle of the supermarket to run to the disgusting public loo to barf, not so much.  Though, scaring the crapper out of the screaming little brat in the checkout with your evil, barf face, is priceless. Unfortunately, a family doesn't stop just because you have a vice attached to your head.  You have to battle through, suck down the pain meds, do the basics and just be resigned to collapsing into a pain induced coma after.

Below is the best ever pain chart from Hyperbole and a Half. I wish I had this for my patients when I was back in the working world.


****************************************************************************

0:  Hi.  I am not experiencing any pain at all.  I don't know why I'm even here.
1:  I am completely unsure whether I am experiencing pain or itching or maybe I just have a bad taste in my mouth.
2:  I probably just need a Band Aid.
3:  This is distressing.  I don't want this to be happening to me at all.
4:  My pain is not f**king around.
5:  Why is this happening to me??
6:  Ow.  Okay, my pain is super legit now.
7:  I see Jesus coming for me and I'm scared.   
8:  I am experiencing a disturbing amount of pain.  I might actually be dying.  Please help.
9:  I am almost definitely dying.
10:  I am actively being mauled by a bear.
11: Blood is going to explode out of my face at any moment.
Too Serious For Numbers:  You probably have ebola.  It appears that you may also be suffering from Stigmata and/or pinkeye.

For the full article click here.
****************************************************************************

Man, I wish I'd thought that up.  That is truly brilliant.

Now I am in the post-OMFG pain stage.  Now it's normal headache, fatigue and weakness.  I'm pretty certain someone snuck into my bedroom in the middle of the night, sucked out all my innards and replaced them with cotton wool and old marshmellows.  Lobotomy face is back, as are those damn walls and door jams that jump out at you. 

I will say I have slept a lot over the past few days.  Sure it maybe partly passing out from fatigue and pain, but it's sleep none the less and I'll take that at this point.  Makes for a moments respite from fully turning into a creature of the night.  Though if I could get Kate Beckinsale's body from Underworld, it may be worth the whole move to a nocturnal lifestyle.  Not sure I'd fancy all that tight leather though, that's gotta get a bit whiffy after a while.  All this cavorting with my pillow has left me with joints that ache like a bitch and muscles that feel like I have run a marathon.  I am attempting to find my happy Zen-filled place through yoga.  Though given my present level of whimpering it may be a while yet. 

Actually, I think I should make an effort to re-establish tequilas good name and crank up some margaritas, purely for medicinal purposes of course.  I did hear somewhere that a salt rimmed glass of goodness was a sure fire way to find the key to my happy place, or anyone's happy place, for that matter.  Besides if my migraine comes back I'll have at least got there via the best route possible.

Cheers
The knackered Michelle :)

In my whole quest to find my happy place I give you one of my favs Good Fortune, PJ Harvey, (2000)

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Fabulous Friday: I See Red, I See Red, I See Red.

Don't panic people I'm not having anger management issues.  Well not as long as the microwave and I agree to remain in separate rooms for the foreseeable future.  It's in reference to an old Split Enz song.  Today's Fabulous Friday I am celebrating all things red in my life.

I've discovered I have a thing for red (in case you didn't pick that up from my sparkly pairs of Dorothy's).  I mean I knew I liked red, but then I started taking photos of my happy things (thanks for the inspiration lovely Em of I'm Confused fame).  And suddenly it was Redapalooza.  Photo one red.  Photo two red.  Photo three red.  Even I could notice that trend.

There is a chance I may have an unhealthy red facination.  I'll let you decide.


The walls of my lounge are a deep red.  I love the contrast of my old sliding doors with their frosted glass butterfly's.  I was told I was nuts for wanting to paint my walls red, but I love it.  So warm and inviting. Especially when contrasted against the bright green tree ferns outside out large windows.


I reclaimed this garden chair off the side of the road.  It was broken, covered in muck and painted in a sad shade of yellow.  I grabbed a stiff brush and a can of geranium red and hey presto, my morning coffee chair was born. It is surrounded by lavender and naked ladies (flowers).  A little slice of brightness every day of the week.


The pots on my front step are various shades of red.  Either thanks to that trusty can of red geranium paint, or simply that's how they came, ie my old olive oil cans which are a work of art unto themselves.


May favourite eye pillow.  It lives in my freezer ready to pop on my eyes when a migraine hits.  Also works well for TMJ pain after a dentist visit.  Tip for the day don't store near your frozen bananas, makes for a wiffy eye pillow.


Coffee tastes better out of a red machine, and this little machine has made many many double espressos.


This may be my favourite present of all time (though its a toss up between this and my 90cm Smeg oven).  I realised a lot of my kitchen gadgetry is red.  From my enamelled cast iron pot to the huge red glass jar I keep my rice in.  Red, red and more red.


If I have to have salt, this is where I want to get it from.  Stupidly expensive for what it is, I will always love my mini tagine salt and pepper doverlacky.


I found this painting in an antique store, in Olinda, that no longer exists.  I loved the painting, the colours and the frame.  It's also a bit beaten up, like me, which makes me love it even more.


Brought at an OPJ (Other People's Junk) market many a year ago this little specimen vase is still dear to my heart.


Another market find (Kallista Markets).  One of my favourite fall back jewellery pieces.


Ahh the shoes of gorgeousness.  How could I do a post about my addiction to red without a few shots of my glittery babies.


So much glitter left over, what can a girl do?  Make a broach, that's what.  So pretty and glittery.


Okay, okay.  A glittery red pear may be a tad weird but hey, I was bored.
I was going to do an apple but a pear is far more in keeping with my body shape.

Okay so maybe an intervention is required, especially with regard to the pear.  I obviously need to get out more.  But who can deny that red and a little glitter makes the whole day brighter?

Cheers
The red obsessed Michelle :)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Patience Is Over-rated.


In many ways I am a cool, calm and collected gal.  Unlike Paris Hilton I don't need to make a dull as dishwater TV show to find my new BFF,  I've already found her and her name is 'Meh'.  I'm happy to leave the dishes to get crusty in the sink.  I am happy with my ever increasing colony of dust bunnies which appear to be multiplying like, well, bunnies.  They'll still be there next week and will probably have morphed into one super bunny which I can then dispose of in one quick motion.  I can wait one week to increase my ease of cleaning.  I'm willing to wait for the lint in my clothes drier to felt up, so you can just peel it off in one quick motion.  I love lay-bys where you can convince yourself that it's okay to buy that expensive pair of shoes because you are paying them off at a measly $10 a week.  See patience.  Well patience and a dash of lazy.  But I like to think it's mostly patience.

But I have a confession to make.  Underneath my well practised cover of nonchalance and ease I have another, less patient and perhaps more psychotic, level.  There are just certain things that get under my skin and turn me into a raging, irrational, lunatic.  I'm not talking the big issues like racism, homophobia, sexism, religious intolerance, and people who are mean to waiters, all of which make my patience evaporate like water on my overheated car engine.  I have no patience for ignorance and hate, they always make me want to hit the offensive person in question with an oversized Looney Tunes mallet, repeatedly.  Instead I'm talking about those small, everyday issues, that normal people ignore, but just seem to flick a switch in my brain, and leave me frothing at the mouth like Cujo.

The Sunday drivers who have now decided to drive on the other 6 days of the week.  The people who insist on giving the checkout chick their life story and inappropriate medical information, whist 10 other people are waiting in line.  Or, conversely, the check out guy who decided to tell me his life story when all I wanted was to buy my milk and bananas and go home.  No check out guy, I don't want to know that you are lactose intolerant and had to see a gastro doc, that's way more information than I want to know about the guy handling my produce.  Please just give me my change so I can leave.  When I go to Maccas and it takes them 20 minutes for them to make new fries. That is not fast food people.  The toxic hair cream that promises to dissolve your leg hair in three minutes but always needs six, unless you want your legs look like those of a gorilla with the mange.  The list is long.  But all my petty lack of patience can be summed up by one device that never fails to bring out the worst in me.  The Microwave.

(Doesn't she look happy? Note the Xanax glazed eyes.)

I remember as a kid being so excited when my folks brought home our first microwave (yes I realise how old that makes me sound).  The miracle of heating a cup of water in 1 minute.  The childish delight of putting pieces of tin foil in to watch them spark.  Or watching eggs explode.  I was living on the technological edge, my friends, and it was good.  The microwave was a magical machine of mystery.  The world was filled with exciting cooking possibilities.  Special plastic cook wear.  Cakes cooked in five minutes.  Rubbery yes, but this was George Jetson food, and we convinced ourselves it was delicious.  Those first few weeks of wonder when we sat around as a family to watch the miracle of space age technology.  Halcyon days my friends, halcyon days.

(Promises promises)

Then reality hit and I realised we'd all been duped.  Some grand microwave conspiracy was undertaken in the 80s.  But the shine is gone and the bleakness of reality has set in.  Who knew 30 seconds could take so long?  I didn't.  Not until that stupid 10kg of plastic and metal showed me.  I was in blissful ignorance as to just how slow time really moved.  Next it'll be telling me that chocolate causes haemorrhoids and that cake is not the cure for what ails you.  Bastard!  I want my innocence back.  If medical science can re-virginate the most promiscuous of hussies, there must be some way to reinstall my blissful temporal innocence.

Now I stand there, waiting and waiting, tapping my feet, and apparently irradiating my ovaries.  Willing the microwave to hurry up and defrost a slab of meat or heat my coffee.  I find myself getting down to 5 seconds and compulsively pushing the stop button and retrieving my mug or plate.  And every time I am disappointed.  The butter isn't melted, my coffee is still tepid, the soup still has large frozen pieces in the centre, the chicken is only defrosted in two rubbery grey spots.  What the hell microwave?  You were sold to me with promises of convenience and time saving.  But in reality you are an instrument of mental torture, sent to turn me into a rabid loon or fan of Kortney and Khloe Take Miami (giving each other Brazilians in the kitchen, yep that's quality TV).  "People on the go will welcome an oven that makes cooking chores a pleasure", you lied International Microwave Ad man.

I know I wont be happy with my microwave until it works like the food replicator from Star Trek: Next Generation.  When I can go up to it and say "coffee strong, white with two" and shazaam, it's there.  Now that's my kind of technology.  That's what I expect from my microwave.  I'm sure I can be patient enough to wait the three nanoseconds for it to arrive.  Though really I'd prefer it to arrive in two nanoseconds, or even better, one.  Instead I am left with a device that doubles as a miscellaneous paper and dust depository, and kitchen bench space waster, that makes 30 seconds feel like an hour and a half, and lots of tepid, half defrosted food.

I know it's ridiculous, and really somewhere deep inside I'm sure I'm very  ashamed of my petty lack of patience.   But they do say admitting you have a problem is the first step.

I leave you with the words of wisdom from beloved Australian childhood character Blackboard from Mr Squiggle:

"Humph.  Hurry Up.  Hurry Up".

Cheers
Michelle:)

Patience is over-rated unless it's related to Guns and Roses.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Fabulous Friday: Happy 1st Birthday Dear Blog


I couldn't have planned it better if I tried.  My blog's 1st birthday falls exactly on a Fabulous Friday.  Yay, 1 year old today.  It doesn't look a day over 6 months.  Oh, and I should say up front, offers of cake and presents will be gratefully accepted.

I think I'm supposed to get all sentimental and review my year of blogging.  What has changed?  What is still the same?  What have I learnt?  What do I wish I had never, ever, exposed to the world?  What does the future hold?

What has changed?  Well after careful examination, ie sitting here for half an hour alternately staring blankly out the window and faffing about with font styles, I think a couple of things have changed.

Discussions involving my bowels seem to have increased.  But then again who doesn't find a poo or fart joke funny?  Okay maybe just me, but I'm okay with that.  I live in a house with teenage boys, a juvenile husband, and flatulent pets, plus I have IBS.  The rear nether regions are thus a prominent feature of my day-to-day existence.  Add to that, I am way too lazy to censor myself.  So odds are in favour of bowel related discussions continuing.

As recently pointed out by the Vegetable Assassin, my open appreciation of men without shirts has also increased, leading to somewhat of a bloggy theme.  But hey would you really rather me discuss my bowels or male eye candy?  I know I should probably be more mature and discuss big meaningful issues, but lets face it that is not likely to occur any time soon. 

 (Gratuitous hot shirtless guy shot.  Okay he may be a douchebag in real life,
but he is mighty easy on the eye)

I may also have gotten a tad more sarcastic over the months.  But considering that I started off on a bit of a sarcastic high it's sometimes hard to tell.  And before anyone points out that 'sarcasm is the lowest form of whit', I can tell you right now I'm okay with that.  I am also okay with my appalling grammatical skills, my ever decreasing use of the spell check function, and loathing of all things Twilight related. 

I have made a concerted effort to move beyond the sick thing, hence the idea of the Bob-free Fabulous Friday.  When you are chronically ill, being sick can become your whole world.  You live and breathe illness.  You lose sight of the rest of the world.  That's not that unreasonable as illnesses like Bob, tend to control and curtail your ability to be in the world.  But total focus, will lead to an eventual stay in crazy town.  I know.  I've been there.  I still focus on being ill when I have to, but for the most part, I now try to have a life outside of the crap.  Being sick is just one part of my life, it's not the sum total.  Okay, that sounds way too Oprah or Dr Phil, (shudder).  I refuse to have a "lightbulb moment".  I will go and sit in the naughty corner until I can get back to my usual anti- touchy feely self.

I have met a lot of equally insane and truly wonderful people over the past year, who for some reason enjoy my blogging efforts.  I'm pretty sure that there is a dot point somewhere in the DSM-IV-TR, that says liking my blog is up there with bed wetting and torturing small animals as a marker for psychopathology, but I could be wrong (please keep reading people, remember sarcasm).  Unlike me, there are some very funny and very talented people out in the blogosphere, and I feel lucky to have been able to find them.

I've gone from feeling like the only person out there with Bob, to finding a whole community of people just like me.  Good for me, but crap for them, I don't wish Bob on anyone.  It's probably the one thing I really like about the internet.  To give you some perspective there a sum total of 12 people on the Aussie Facebook site (I know there are more of us out there, but we are still few and far between). Add in the fact we are often not the most mobile people, and the internet lets you connect with people all over the world without leaving your couch.   It's also kind of nice that my feeble attempts at writing are able to help others feel not so alone.

What has stayed the same?  Lets see.  Bob is still there.  Bastard.  He continues to be the pimple on the arse of Satan, that has taken to residing in my house.  I still feel like crap on a daily basis.  Despite being poked and prodded and used as a pharmaceutical guinea pig I am pretty much still in the same state of shiteness as I was 12 months ago.  That is the joy of chronic illness.  And really that is all kinds of dull and depressing, so no more of that.

What have I learnt?  Well, the biggest would be that sarcasm does not always translate well to the written word.  There are also some issues with the whole international thing.  Little did I know that terms such as "Dutch oven", are not international.  Is 'loo' really that strange?  Or as I have recently been alerted to on Twitter and commenting on other blogs, "Bogan" and "Mexican wave" are only Australian terms.  I shall thus refrain from the use of ethnocentric terms such as "Stone the Crows", and "Strewth".   Maybe I need to develop a glossary or Dummies Guide (don't get excited, apathy will win out on that one, try this instead).

I simply don't/can't take life particularly seriously, unless I really have to.  I make fun of me and of being sick.  Call it a coping mechanism if you like, but hey as the Monty Python guys say:

"Life's a piece of shit when you look at it......

.......So always look on the bright side of life"

And to clarify for Anonymous comment person (why are they always anonymous?).  My porcelain lover, is not a reference to some albino guy I am having an illicit affair with.  This is my apparently very confusing, reference to my toilet.  If you have Bob you spend a lot of up close and personal time with your toilet.  As such, I felt it needed a new name.  So Anonymous Einstein, I don't need to go to marriage counselling and I am not looking outside my marriage for solutions.

Porcelain Lover = Toilet.  
Porcelain Lover = Toilet.  
Perselain Lover = Toilet.  

Are we all clear now?

I have also learnt that there a lot of people in the world who need a glittery pair of shoes in their life.  I thought it was just me who had a thing for glitter, but apparently not.  My one birthday wish would be for all my readers to go out and embrace their secret glitter love and make themselves a pair of heels, boots, thongs or uggs.  No crocs though.  I refuse to have beautiful glitter sullied by being associated with a pair of butt ugly crocs.  That is glitter blasphemy.

And finally, what do I wish I had never exposed to the world?  Hmmm....  I know I should probably regret something, but I don't.  I mean I'd like to have at least a Grade 2 level of grammatical prowess, but that's just not going to happen, and other than that, nothing really jumps out.  I'm not even ashamed that I outted myself with regards to my love of all things ANTM.  Generally, I push the 'publish post' button, grab a coffee and forget.  My blog is what it is, the dross from my head.  Life's to short to worry about what I put out there.  Besides there are a lot more freaky and disturbing people than me in the world.  In fact, a quick review of some of the blogs out there and I feel positively normal.

What does the future hold?  My guess is more sarcasm and a continuing dedication to mediocrity.  I shall no doubt continue to make fun of 40-year-old women with 'Team Edward' t-shirts, and anything Justin Bieber related.  Inappropriate jokes will abound and Bob will undoubtedly rear his ugly head.  I also plan to start some sort of fund raiser for the glitter deprived.  See big plans people.  Big plans.  I know you are all completely under-whelmed with excitement.

So,

Happy 1st Birthday Blog

And thanks to every one of my super intelligent, witty and dead-sexy readers.  You all have a special place in my heart.

Until next year,

Cheers
Michelle:)

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Beetlejuice, Root Canals, and A Bad Case of The Blargh.

I think I've found my way back to the path, that leads to the road, that leads to the land of the living once more.  Though odds are I've brought one of those dodgy GPSs that lead people into lakes and off cliffs, so I better keep a close eye on the road ahead.   And what exciting adventures I have had on my journey back to the Highway to Health.  Where, oh where, to begin?  Lets see?

My blargh induced ennui seems determined to persist.  Rather like this weeks toxic nard that took up residence in the boys' loo and sat their taunting me flush after flush, until I was reduced to the indignity of poking it with a stick to break it up.  Makes me wonder what I've been feeding them in my brain fogged state?  My life has been reduced to the role of toxic nard dislodger.  Good God! My life has been reduced to the role of TOXIC NARD DISLODGER!  I don't recall the presentation on that career option at the job expo back at high school.  I will now go out back and do my little dance of joy. 

I must admit it hasn't been all gloom and doom.  I broke out of the Gulag of Despair long enough to get my fix of all things Tim Burton at The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), here in fair old Melbourne.

I have long had a love of all things Tim Burton.  His aesthetic has always appealed to me.  Kind of a Dr Seuss, meets Marilyn Manson, all with a touch of the opium pipe.  On our first date, Mr Grumpy and I went to see Edward Scissorhands, so going to the exhibition on our anniversary just seemed right.  Back to the scene of the crime you might say.

(The first exhibit was Edward's glove and Gothic leather bondage suit)

So worth it.  Even ignoring the fact that it was down three flights of stairs and I wanted to alternately puke and pass out, had to pee about 38,000 times and had a full body hangover for the week, I am so glad we went.  In fact I'd love to go back, this time with a pre-ordered wheel chair, as I don't think we saw half of what was there.  The man is not only talented, but prolific.  Even his conceptual sketches were incredible.


Mr Grumpy was lovely enough to feed my addiction and download all Tim Burton's movies when he got home.  My plans for the rest of the school holidays now revolve around a marathon of my favs from Beetlejuice to Ed Wood, all from the comfort of my posturepedic.  I may need an intervention by the end but I am willing to risk it.


One thing I did notice in my foray into the heart of the city was that I am a walking fashion faux pas.  Apparently you are only allowed to walk in the city if you wear black.  Me, in my foolhardy ignorance, wore my green dress from the Dorothy Shoes post (no red shoes though, just sensible black ballet flats).  I did get many a quizzical stare.  Though there is a chance that their fascination may, in part, have been due to the fact I was wearing a short sleeved summer dress when it was about 6 degree C outside and doing my hip granny shuffle.  But I still like to think it was rebellious colour choice.  I'm a fashion rebel dammit!

This last week I also continued my dance of death with my personality challenged dentist.  Nothing like lying back in the torture chair, with various drills and metal pokers suspended an inch above your mouth, whilst your dentist stops and sits chuckling at the episode of Top Gear playing on the huge flat screen on the wall.  I felt like yelling "Dude I'm down here", though with a mouth full of metal crap and anaesthetic it just wasn't worth the effort.

Luckily, his staff are lovely.  They turned off the heaters, brought me ice packs to try and reduce my body temp and made me feel like it was just a normal part of the service.  Dr No Personality had actually read the articles I brought in about Bob and used appropriate anaesthetics, which at least took the edge off the pain.  He did inform me on my last visit that he was impressed by my super freak power and was happy to work around my issues.  So although he may qualify for some sort of special parking permit for his severe personality deficit, he is good at the technical side of his work.

(Why yes Dustin, I know just how you feel)

Like all impacts to my decrepit body (which at this point can constitute someone sneezing in the waiting room), I am still paying for this visit.  Exhausted, extra Bob-symptoms, jaw pain, ear pain, and headaches.  Yay, for ice packs and and those lovely little pain killers with an extra shot of codeine.  Hopefully, in the next couple of days I'll be back to normal crappy, and can attend my next appointment in two days fresh as the morning dew, and thus begin the ice and pain med ritual once more.  Only four more visits to go.  I have a sneaking suspicion that he may be milking my mind numbing stupidity for all it's worth.  I'm sure I saw a plan for a new swimming pool lying around somewhere in the office.  Though it will be nice to be free of tooth pain which is like a constant red hot poker in my eye socket.

So The Blargh persists, like the cockroach that it is.  It has lessened from Uber Blargh to Super Blargh so that's always a good thing.  How to explain The Blargh to the uninitiated?  It's when your whole body  feels completely weak and heavy, as if someone strapped large cartoon style weights all over your body and then told you to run up a hill.  Every single physical, mental and emotional reserve is sucked out and you're left a transparent little husk on the floor. But other than that its a barrel of laughs.

(The Blargh caught in the act of sucking the life out of yet another unsuspecting victim)

"Death To The Blargh!"
(my new motto, must be accompanied with air fist punch) 

I did love that I also managed to fall in the shower this week  I blame you, Blargh, you evil bastard.  I have a shower chair but still managed to almost go arse up.  I was saved by my now blackened leg that hit the side of the bath, and I will take that over a full face plant any day.  Luckily no one was required to see my pasty, naked and wet body on the floor flopping on the floor, and that my friends, is a win in my book (and probably in a lot of other people's books as well).

So there you go.  My last couple of weeks from poking toxic nards with a stick to badly performed naked gymnastics in the bathroom.  Living the dream my friends.  Living the dream.

Cheers
The Blargh plagued Michelle :)

My musical interlude today has absolutely nothing to do with the post but it's my blog and I can do what I want.  I've always loved this song and I always find myself grooving along on the couch without realising.  Plus I always thought Pharrell Williams was kinda hot. I mean look at those abs.
She Wants To Move, N.E.R.D.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

You Get Less For Murder.

17 years ago this past week, I narrowly avoided spinsterhood by becoming Mrs Grumpy. It was a close call really. Some days I look in the mirror and think, "I'm about 39 cats short of becoming crazy cat lady".  Left to my own devices I have no doubt I would have soon become a weird old lady with birds nest hair and a face like a desiccated apple, who spends her days in in depth conversations with her furry brood.

Luckily fate intervened. I met a man who has a more realistic, although what I consider despotic, pet policy than myself, and I have been restricted to one slightly feral and very incontinent cat, and two intellectually challenged great danes. Avoidance of cat crazy is a good reason to get married people. I mean, I still intend to become one of those old ladies who farts, swears like a sailor, tells inappropriate jokes, and uses her age to freely grope hot young men. But that's the kind of crazy we should all aim for in our advancing years.  Oh, and before you ask, 40 cats is the official crazy cat lady decider.  39 all okay.  40 and you're in pathologically unhealthy feline lover territory.

We met long, long, ago, in a galaxy far, far, away known as the Australian Defence Force Academy. Such a romantic venue. Guns, camouflage gear, buzz cuts, marching, cheap alcohol, co-ed dormitories and the smell of gun oil and shoe polish in the air, how could you not find love? I still find it amazing that he saw me in my un-sexy Navy uniform and wanted to date me in the first place. Maybe he had a secret thing for old ladies, because frankly the white female naval uniform looks like a lawn bowls uniform. Hmmm, maybe that explains my prodigious lawn bowls prowess?  All I know is there is nothing more romantic than a guy who is willing to clean your rifle, and spit polish your shoes.

17 years. 17 long, oh my lord how long, wonderful years. Being the sentimental type, Mr Grumpy loves to sing me AC/DCs, Jail break, whenever we discuss our years of wedded bliss.

Jury found him guilty
Gave him sixteen years in hell

Bwahahahahahahahaha. He's a funny man. You should have seen him when our 16th year rolled round. He was in sarcastic nirvana. But that's what you get when you marry a man with a fondness for flannel, scifi, red wine and 70s and 80s mullet rock. I should also mention that he wanted to have Motley Crew's, Kick Start My Heart, as our wedding song. Needless to stay he was disabused of this idea rather swiftly. Mind you considering we ended up with the gag inducing, hideous theme to The Body Guard, I Will Always Love You, (don't ask, long story) as our song it would have been a better choice.

It's amazing we've lasted.  Or as my delightful brother in law said in his toast, "lets hope they stay together for a while", (yes BIL, I will be milking that one for ever).  We were married young by today's standards, me 20 him 21. Mind you we met when were 17 and 18 respectively so we'd been together for a while. Ahhh the stupidity of youth. Add to that and I was up the duff with our first by my 21st (oh yeah party on down, 5mths pregnant, mastitis, antibiotics, and still having morning sickness, every girls dream come true) and we have repeatedly bucked the life milestones trend.

It hasn't all been roses and candy canes. We fight. We yell. There are days where I would gladly put his junk in a garlic press and crush down, hard. Or put his head in the loo and flush and flush and flush and...... I'm sure he thinks the same about me. But that's the beauty of marriage and it doesn't mean I love him any less (though I do wish he would outgrow his childish delight in the act of dutch ovening me, or farting in the grocery isle and running off so everyone thinks it's me).

Marriage is about putting up with the crappiness, and thoughts of homicide, because it is generally outweighed by the good stuff. The fact he remembers the day we had our first date. The fact he knows I hate carnations (bad teenage boy baggage) and has never ever brought me any. The fact he knows exactly how to make my cup of coffee or only buys the brand of chocolate I like. The fact he knows the exact amount of Vegemite I like on my toast (for my international readers that's just waving the Vegemite covered knife in the vicinity of the toast, not thick like peanut butter which is a disgusting rookie mistake). The fact that he still likes my boobs, even though they have gone from a B cup to a singlet (his favourite saying is “more than a mouthful is a waste”, Shakespeare eat your heart out). The fact he sat in an MRI and held my foot because I was so nervous. The fact he accepts my quirks and just shakes his head. That is what love and marriage are all about.

So happy Anniversary Mr Grumpy, and many thanks for still thinking my butt is worthy of grabbing in public.

Cheers
The Old Ball and Chain Michelle :)

For those who like their love posts a we bit more soppy, I have managed to do it once before in an ode to Mr Grumpy.

Just for Mr Grumpy I give you, AC/DC's classic, Jailbreak (1976).