Wet yet?

wet yet

This appeared in the January (this year) issue of DarwinLife Magazine, however having just noticed that Darwin had their hottest day in 36 years, I remembered what it was like and felt a little bit pathetic for complaining about Perth’s latest little spurt of mini-tropical-cyclone-style-humidity. It was nothing in comparison.

Darwin’s humidity is worse than any I’ve experienced in anyother tropical location, and I’ve been to a few. Essentially, don’t come back from Thailand or the Maldives or India or even Bali bitching about the humidity until you’ve spent 5 days in Darwin in the middle of the ‘build-up’or wet season without airconditioning.

And here is the article…

Of all human qualities my favourite has always been absorbent. But last month my air-conditioner broke and I discovered there’s no such thing. I spent 5 days without cold air. Do you know what that’s like? To experience that fear, then relief, then sadness when you realise the red-faced, slimy, corpse walking around your house is actually your reflection?

sweaty 1

I could have bathed a baby in my cleavage sweat. I spent the days waiting for new air-con in a haze of discomfort; the humidity molesting my skin. By day 4 my thunderpants had worn thin. I felt angry. Confused. Alone. I pondered evaporation for a little bit too long and scared myself.  I sat for HOURS, insufficiently refreshing drink in hand, wondering why laundry baskets have holes, how hammerhead sharks put mascara on and whether pandas get upset about their tattoos not showing, until I couldn’t move and had to cry.

I’m reasonably certain I’d gone ‘troppo.’ It confirmed my suspicion that the wet season was upon me and that humans were never supposed to inhabit Darwin. Because no matter how many wet seasons I endure, it never gets easier. Anyway, in case you’re new to Darwin, or visiting, or just feeling slightly deranged like me, here’s a wet season checklist.

sweaty 3

Appearance: Some girls glisten in humidity. I am not that girl. There’s nothing beautiful about me when I’m hot and wet.  I leave home looking delightfully fresh, but return looking like Maybe she’s born with a melting face, or maybe it’s a coagulating river of Maybelline.” My hair is what happens when you throw Benji the dog into a lake. I look like a Pro Hart painting, but I’m not alone. I’ve seen you. And like me, you sometimes smell like a BBQ truck.  Also, crotch/boob sweat is a THING right?

Melting

Melting much?

Power Bill: Running air-con isn’t cheap. Have you received December’s power bill yet? If it wasn’t that high, it’s because you caught a plane to somewhere else for half the month so shut up.

sweaty 5

Wet Season Media: You live in Darwin. Home of crocodiles, cyclones and UFOs. NONE of them consider you or your nice stuff. (Friendly aliens pending further evidence by local newspaper.)  They shouldn’t have to advertise that. Surely you heard of Cyclone Tracey! No relation to me FYI.  If you’re not prepared for the ‘wet’ you should get fined for being stupid.  And the ad warning me not to play in pipes and drains? Am I missing out on something on something here?

Then you have the headlines. Yep, NT News and their ‘3 c’s’ formula. Cyclones, Crocs and Conspiracy. FACT: Biggest selling paper of all time had a girl in a bikini with the headline “I THOUGHT I SAW A CROC.” I thought I saw Vladimir Putin once at my local shops but that never made the papers!!

nt news 2      croc_02

Outings: Last January I went to Darwin’s Hottest 7’s Rugby. All the teams were wearing the same MUD-coloured jersey. Every player’s face was splattered with, what looked like poo. Despite that it was awesome, but my point is: Outdoors and wet season don’t mix. Drive through town on a Sunday and you’ll notice one horse and some ghosts because everyone’s catching up INSIDE, in the sweet cold air. Except the people who’ve ‘gone troppo.’ They’re outside collecting other people’s garbage for fun, transporting their pigeons by foot, or sitting outside wondering what snakes do when they get itchy.

You know what? There are other signs it’s The Wet, but I just got distracted imagining what a cow’s bra would look like, and now I can’t breathe. I’m fairly certain this is how wars start. Wet? You bet!

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The Hunger Games

I’m supposed to be on a diet at the moment, so I’ve been eating mostly steamed confusion and rage.

I’ve been hungry. Which is good when you’re playing the hunger games. Except – so hungry I just ate a whole box of Jatz crackers. Not quite as bad as a whole bag of lollies or a whole block of chocolate; a feat that I have accomplished before, but still gluttonish all the same. My Jatz moment was proof that I have not yet mastered the game of going hungry.

I’m just not at one with that starving feeling. Especially when it’s self imposed.  My stomach tells my brain, “Pfft! Whatevs, you’re the boss, you’ve been awesome all day – just eat it.”  And then my brain goes “Ooookkaaay!” And then I go into a carb-induced high and forget to stop eating.

And now this! Jatz guilt. Why do we do this to ourselves? Because Summer is coming and everyone knows what that means. BUSHFIRE SEASON, and also bikini season. THEY ARE BOTH MURDEROUS!

And if you want to avoid DYING OF REMORSE in the swimsuit fitting rooms because you don’t look like this:

Because when I sit like this, twisting my ribs sideways… It is a sight to behold!

…then you’ll have to DIE every time you feel like a piece of chocolate chunk cheesecake. Or a salted caramel macaroon. Or wedge of gorgonzola dolce with spiced pear paste. Or chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake bars. And WHEN DID PEOPLE USE SO MANY ADJECTIVES FOR FOOD.

And so we start the hunger games. There are no set rules. We make our own rules according to our own previous successes or failures at losing weight. Some play by skipping breakfast or lunch. Some eat all meals but tiny bird-like portions. Some replace meals. Some skip carbs. Some refrain from sugars. Others from meat and dairy.  Some sadly, forget it’s a game and do get very sick. **

Think I’m being ridiculous? Irresponsible even – for suggesting that I won’t enjoy Summer unless I’m a socially acceptable size 8-10? I’m not. This is the world we live in and the generation in which we live. We – the women who are subjected to the judgement of all who pass us by when our cottage cheese knees are showing.

Like it or not, our generation are the dieters, the binge eaters, and the ‘must always watch what we’re putting in’ generation. Blame it on magazines, the media, the fluctuations and constant body makeovers of the Kardashian sisters, or just Victoria Beckham. Either way, we’ve all been grabbing our stomachs to see how much flesh we can get a hold of since we were teenagers, and at that point we vow to lose those extra kilos “in time for Summer.” We start playing the hunger games.

It’s a game I started playing a week ago, and today I betrayed myself…. seduced by a salty cracker. And then, the entire box of salty crackers. I feel so dirty. I’m such a snack-food slapper.

If you have never played the hunger games, lucky you! You probably have testicles. Or – you’re on the verge of womanhood and this is a new and exciting game you’ve been dying to play since you were 11.  So, like I said – you make the rules – but here are some suggestions that will help you WIN.

1. Check your measurements: We’re the measured sex, measured by waistlines and scales and flat stomachs, and by how many meals we have to skip to be a size 6-8. We’re judged by our ability to go hungry, and then celebrated in large measures. If you don’t measure up – keep on measuring.

3. Supplements: These help to suppress appetite and prevent actual eating. Choose from pills, shakes, or powders. These sometimes have a double effect, because according to advertising, if we have success with these products and lose centimetres, we’ll never lower our eyebrows again.

4. Count: If you’re good at math, you will excel at the hunger games. Otherwise there’s an App you can download that does it for you.  (When is Apple changing its name to Bacon? ‘Oh no, I just dropped my Bacon iPhone. It’s totally fried now.’)

The app can tell you: There are 100 calories in a piece of bread. You burn 100 calories running 1 kilometer. ONE! For fun, you can work that out as a decimal. Because losing weight is SIMPLE! It’s just MATHS.

Counting will also help you with portion sizes. Today you may enjoy 3 litres of water, 250gm of cooked brown rice, 2 cups of cooked spinach, 5-7 almonds, 1 nanogram of camembert and I piece of paper you drew a chocolate fudge brownie ice-cream sundae on.

5. Exercise: A seasoned player will tell you that exercise helps you win The Hunger Games. It burns centimeters and melts fat. Running is apparently superior because fresh air? Once when I lived in Melbourne I ran a 15 km ‘mini’ marathon. The morning after, I woke up and my body filed for divorce.

You should probably know however, the alternative to fresh air is sweaty camel toe and techno pop.

6. Food: If you absolutely MUST eat, here are the guidelines. Do you know what quinoa is? Take a good look at it because you and that quinoa are going to really get to know each other. Boil some quinoa, add lemon zest because butter and salt are the devil. You may wish to add some raw, tasteless greens and other bland tasting barley-lentil nightmares.

Do not assume a vegetable is safe. I once ordered something called, “Winter vegetables roasted in duck fat.” Pumpkin never tasted so sublime. Food to avoid? Anything that makes your panties drop. Say goodbye to the euphoria of prawns in garlic butter arriving at the table sizzling hot. Deprivation is the key. Order a hot water and lemon you big fattie!

7. Pretend to be Foreign: Asians eat rice from two little wooden sticks and fish for themselves. Italians have 16 espressos all day before they eat one bowl of pasta. The French smoke 38 cigarettes, drink champagne and then eat a mouthful of baguette. Indians walk everywhere and eat curry, or as I like to call it – laxatives. In South America they eat well, but when you spend that mucht time jiggling your booty in a sequined g-string, you burn it off. These are ridiculous stereotypes but we eat like lunatics and drink liquid carbs.

8. Don’t listen to celebrities or Jenny Craig. This one is important because both celebrities and Jenny Craig tell lies. Lies such as: “Oh I just eat what I want… I have good genetics, I eat in moderation but have a sweet tooth, I love my curves..” And this one, “Before Jenny, I never thought I’d eat cheesecakes again.” Jenny Craig is the dark lord of diets. She is an insane, mystical being convincing us that cheesecake is ok. In fact, anyone that goes on TV or in magazines sprucing their before and after techniques should be made to show us thier lipo scars.

Now, if you were paying attention, you’ll notice in my list of guidelines, there was no number 2.  That’s because when you starve yourself – number 2’s are hard to come by. Please keep your constipated face at home.

That’s about it. Good luck. Let the games begin. May the forks NOT be with you.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The Hunger Games is prohibited for players that have just been dumped.  To those of you with a broken heart…. Ladies – this is your time to shine. To hell with calories. You better have some of that new Philadelphia Cadbury’s chocolate frosting on hand in your fridge for this kind of occasion. You’re entitled to down whatever your sad little heart desires because you’re going to wear tracky-dacks and cry your mascara off anyway. Eat on darl’.

Interestingly, statistics show in a survey I just made up, that those playing The Hunger Games are more miserable than those who just got dumped.

** This blog is supposed to be silly, hence the idea that going without food is a game, not a way of life! I would NEVER endorse starving oneself – and would urge anyone reading this with an eating disorder to seek help and stop wasting your time and emotions on food. Being a particular size does not make you happy. Sharing happiness makes you happy and I can tell you now, starving yourself is only making people around you severely worried and unhappy. So chin up – go buy yourself a Happy Meal.

My lovely lady lumps

(As seen in DarwinLife Magazine July issue)

I fancy myself a reasonably smart girl. I did well at uni, read online newspapers, can make a witty quip when necessary, and know how to pronounce foie gras correctly. But none of this means anything without a decent pair of tits.  Everyone, (especially Beyonce) knows that if you are female and want to rule the world you must first; always wear only your underpants and second; you must possess ample cleavage.

Most women have a strange relationship with their boobs, monitoring them and their behavior closely. I remember watching with confusion and amazement as my breasts grew in that weird pointy way at thirteen. My lumps were a novelty and I had no idea of their potential or ability.

By the time I was 21, I discovered that shaking my milk makers brought all the boys to the yard. I learnt that my lady lumps were a secret source of power over men, and that having the right kind of boobs could result in social and economic gain.

Then I breastfed two babies. They stopped being lady lumps and became two gargantuan bazoinkas with nips of steel. But then… they left. No goodbye. Not even that fake, “hey well I guess we’ll be seeing each other around.” They just buggered off leaving two sad little over-fried eggs. Alas, my fun bags are no longer fun.

The problem is – I have ACTUAL non-silicony breasts. I couldn’t go to ‘Bass in the Grass’ because I don’t have perky little breasts that look good in a boob tube. Instead, I have breasts that happen if National Geographic was like, a totally hot magazine.

And I’m terrified that before long they’ll be flopping around like cocker-spaniel ears. Or wake up one morning with breast knees. So when my husband said if I wanted to get a boob job, he’s ok with that, only if I want, because I’ve been lamenting my lack of lady lumps? Hmmm, the conundrum. Only if I want!

I don’t know… but MANY others do! No longer reserved for strippers and bikini models; breast enhancement is now mainstream, and not only for those with tea-bag titties. Young women with cute little apple pie breasts who’ve barely reached puberty are also getting the ‘job.’

I know. I see them. Because like any expensive purchase you make, you want to show them off. “Look what I bought,” you tell the world sticking your nipples to the wind. “Check out these puppies,” you mention in passing as they high-five your collarbone. Or my favourite: “Oooh, shots! Look dad, no hands!”

Most women consider breast implants the way men consider steroids.  Some demonise them out-right.  The rest are hesitant to judge because in the back of their mind they think maybe… someday, they’ll do it too! You know, not to be huge.  Just to feel better.

Sure, I could get a new set. But sometime around 2038 when we’re at an age where it’s no longer realistic to have such a pert and colossal bosom, maybe those who DID get it done will eye my breasts with wonder and remark at the way they fall. So casually, so gracefully…

…to my midriff.

The baby blues.

Okay, so I had a boy… But you know what? Forget blue!

Or pink…  Or any one specific ‘baby colour’ because I just realised something…

Those first few weeks after having a new baby, it’s like the whole damn rainbow. Wait – no worse. Probably more like Monet’s paint palette. If you’re not familiar with Monet’s works let me show you. Up close they’re a big old mess.

There are so many shades of emotion after a baby that like a Monet painting, sometimes you’re not sure what you’re actually looking at, and you have to take a step back to see the picture, and figure out what the hell you’re actually feeling.

If the baby blues are those times when you’re feeling low, possibly helpless and overwhelmed… What colour do you call it when you get the urge to take a long leisurely stroll in the nearest patch of quicksand?

Yeah I’ve had the baby blues. Dark blue, light blue, bruised and broken blue… and my favourite – Italian soccer jersey blue – because that’s a shade that takes me to an entirely different colour.

Hullo Fabio...

But it doesn’t seem right to feel sad when you have just experienced the miracle of life, an opportunity so many woman and couples long for and struggle with. Surely I should be nothing but grateful and swooning over my new bundle. But I’ve come to the conclusion that the emotions of a new mother are more complex than Wikileaks.

So – here’s my list of colours. My baby rainbow of emotions, thanks to my new baby boy.

RED – LOVE

  • I love that he’s mine.
  • I LOVE my doctor. He looks a little bit like that fat kid Ralph from the Simpsons, but I adore him and he is my hero!
  • I love that my 2 year old daughter of her own accord went up to him, kissed him, and said ‘I YUV YOU!’
  • I love that when I kiss his forehead, it’s like I’ve cast this magical spell over him and he can’t help but close his eyes
  • I love staring at his facial expressions on a full stomach.
  • I love his little sounds and gurgles.
  • I love that he grabs hold of my fingers, even if it is a reflex.

ORANGE – CONFUSION & UNCERTAINTY

  • I’m confused that baby’s are able to poo more than once a day. It’s a liquid diet!!  What’s with all the mustard-brown stuff? Am I eating too much Nutella?
  • I’m confused about sleep.  SIDS and whatever – but he’s spent 9 months curled up like a ball. You know – the ‘foetal position??’ Why does anyone think he’d be happy flat on his back suddenly? And how do you make a baby understand dark means night. Which means I’d like you to sleep THEN for 6 hours straight, not at 2pm in the afternoon.
  •  I’m confused about my weight. I gained 10kg’s. Baby weighed almost 4. I also lost the placenta, the cord, the extra fluid and blood… SO – Why the frickin’ frickety frick do the scales show that I’ve only lost a total of 3kg’s??? HUH???? Can milk-filled fun bags really weight that much?
  • I’m confused and actually flabbergasted by Libra Fleur. Why do they feel it necessary to include a panel of “ODD SPOTS” on the back of their sanitary items. You know, like when you open a bottle of Toohey’s New and there’s some piece of utterly useless information that you can share with the mates you’re drinking with, because drinking beer is a social activity and such tid-bits are considered fun conversation. But on the back of a  Maternity Pad?? “Wow, Barbie is 25cm tall. Since I’m here on the toilet ALONE, I’ll have to bank that one for future conversations.”  Incidentally, not that I have a whole lot of time for reading such crap when there’s so much other stuff to do with a new baby, but I’m also confused by the TYPE of crap they choose to print. “The bullfrog is the only animal that never sleeps.” WRONG!  I haven’t slept in a week and a half Libra Fleur! Or this: “Female elephants produce only one offspring every five years.” Well they’re bloody smarter than we give them credit for.
  • I’m confused that my husband while mostly supportive; thinks that saying “I’ll be home around ten…” means it’s perfectly acceptable to walk in the door at midnight.
  • I’m confused as to why anyone would want to be a midwife. There’s far too much ‘inserting’ going on with that career. I mean I’m happy to insert a jpeg into photoshop document… but the word takes on a whole new meaning when you’re a midwife. Props to them.
  • I’m confused by the Adam Sandler film I saw last night, but that may or may not have anything to do with my new baby. 

 YELLOW – HAPPINESS

  • I’m happy to be alive after an intense labour.
  • I’m happy to live in a country where there are medical professionals, safe streets, and maternity wards with queen sized beds.
  • I’m happy to have a husband who tries the best he can to be supportive even though his job is demanding and stressful.
  • I’m happy to have a boy and a girl, now that my career in child bearing is officially over.
  • I’m happy that I get to experience motherhood, and co-captain what I hope will be one kick arse team.
  • I’m happy that I can now say with complete disregard to what anyone else thinks…. My name is Cindy, and I’m a control freak!
  • I’m happy that Cadbury Crème eggs are for sale in store at the same time I happen to be stuck mostly at home with a new baby and not much to do. If this is not a sign from the universe telling me to go for it, I don’t know what is. Incidentally – check the colours out on a crème egg wrapper: red, yellow and purple. Love. Happiness. And Frustration that it will essentially make me fatter.

 GREEN – ENVY & JEALOUSY

  • I’m jealous of anyone currently shimmying their bony ass into some exquisitely sexy lingerie.
  • I’m jealous of anyone going to see Black Swan at the cinema.
  • I’m jealous of women who LOVE breast feeding. Kind of. I think.
  • I’m jealous of any 23 year old girls currently getting tizzied up for a night out on the dance floor. Actually, to you I say this: Give it all you’ve got, shake that booty, pump it, pump it nice and hard… because one day your arse won’t be sitting so high, your jugs will be getting ogled at for something other than sexual gratification and eye-shadow will be something you used to remember wearing.
  • I’m jealous of all men. You’ll never truly know. Lucky you.
  • I’m jealous of anyone who has their mojo back 2 days after giving birth. You know – those yummy mummy types who hit the pavement running without so much as an “ooh, that kind of hurt.. I want to go home now, and look in the fridge.”
  • I’m jealous of anyone who gets to play opposite Ryan Reynolds as a love interest. That has nothing to do with having a baby, but I thought I’d throw that one in there because it’s something I think about a lot.

 BLUE – SADNESS

  • I’m sad that I currently have a wound resembling Heath Ledger’s mouth as ‘The Joker’ in Batman Returns’ right across my stomach.
  • I’m sad, and am grieving over the possible permanent loss of my obliques
  • I was sad every night in hospital when I had to say goodbye to my 2 year old when I just wanted to leave with her.
  • I’m sad that my labour made my doctor worry so much, and that the midwife who was there has to have counselling
  • I’m sad that my own family aren’t closer, and that most won’t get to see him til he’s nearly one.
  • I’m sad when I think that my daughter might feel neglected and unloved by me when I show the baby too much attention.
  • I’m sad when I think about babies who are still born or sick or injured; or mothers who die without getting to watch their babies grow; or women who for whatever reason can’t have babies.

 INDIGO (purple) – FRUSTRATION

  • I’m frustrated that he annihilated my nipples in the first 3 days. No more titty for you little guy! Actually I’m frustrated and perplexed my own internal argument for and against this ‘natural’ violation of my pink bits.
  • I’m frustrated that I feel weak, impotent and out of control.
  • I’m frustrated that I’m sleepy and can’t afford a live in nanny, cleaner, driver, and chef.
  • I’m frustrated that shopping is now a team sport with other players on the field to consider.
  • I’m frustrated that I still look 6 months pregnant, can’t wear all my clothes, have kankles AND my fingernails are all breaking.
  • I’m frustrated that I can’t leave the house because 2 children, stormy weather and who knows how many stitches don’t mix.
  • I’m frustrated that I can’t make him burp, so the belly bubble becomes a fart – and that usually means screaming. Aaarrgh!

VIOLET – CALM & IN CONTROL

  • I feel calm and in control when both rugrats are asleep.
  • I’m calm with an open jar of Nutella and a spoon on my lap.
  • I feel in control now that I have mastered the delicate art of cleaning poop off and around testicles. Just think of a ball sac: It’s wrinkly and little bits of poo get caught in the crevices… And you’re doing it one handed because the other hand is holding the feet out of the mess. It’s a tricky feat but I’m proud to say mission accomplished! Also – add to that I have an almost 2 week old boy and have not been pissed on yet. Totally in control y’all.
  • I’m calm when I’m sitting here typing. It’s the best feeling in the world writing down stuff that although nobody may read, or may read and skip and say to themselves…. Geez that girl waffles… makes me feel better. And it’s far more effective than venting to my husband who doesn’t always get it.
  • I feel in control when I’m shopping. Even if it’s just for groceries. It’s funny because whenever I’m anywhere near any kind of shop – I’m actually TOTALLY out of control, but it doesn’t feel like that – especially when the baby is asleep and the 2 year old is being compliant.
  • I’m calm when it’s just me and the little guy, having our own little conversation – him staring up and me, no doubt thinking I have got to be the most beautiful, gorgeous woman he’s ever laid eyes on. Me thinking he is definitely the most beautiful, gorgeous baby boy I’ve ever laid eyes on.
  • I feel in control when there is silence.  Sound waves of nothingness making their way to my ears. Oh what rapture fills my bosom!  It’s as if I turned off the sound on the remote that controls every noise in the universe.

Of course not every new mother has these feelings. I’m intense, sentimental and passionate. And maybe a bit of a drama queen…. so for me – the new baby thing is a little bit of a chore, so in-between some lovely cuddles and precious moments…. basically I’m mothering a beautiful, sweet, innocent, precious little slug. 

Bring on the 6 month old!

There’s a Baby-Boy-Bun in my oven. Try making THAT on MasterChef!

Perhaps you’ve heard me mention, but I’m pregnant. With child. A masculine child. While nurturing a male son within one’s womb is not at all uncommon, it is for me. My only experience with pregnancy and motherhood so far has been to bear the fruit of my loins with a feminine child. A girl. Feminine fruits. Like strawberries and peaches and pears. Goddess fruits.

I don’t know what kind of masculine fruit my loins are currently bearing. Bananas? Pineapples? Maybe my new son will come out wearing a Hawaiian shirt?

Here’s my issue. And before you start referring me to your shrink, please understand that I KNOW these thoughts aren’t normal. I KNOW it makes me a sure fire candidate for Freudian studies and his theory of ‘Penis Envy,’ and I KNOW it will pass the second that I hold my little baby boy in my arms, upon which time he will no doubt slip into my heart – where my issue will cease to exist.

However – I am utterly grossed out by the fact that within me now, INSIDE my stomach floating around in there… is a penis. And a ball sac. Even typing it is making me freak out a bit.

It might sound peculiar, given that OBVIOUSLY for a baby of ANY gender to be inside my stomach right now, there had to have been both a penis and a ball sac’s participation. But please understand this is something I associate to a man. Imagine giving birth to a baby boy with a five o’clock shadow. For me it’s the same thing.   

I am actually thrilled to be having a boy. I already have a girl and so although it means parting with some precious pink pieces; it’s nice to have one of each.

Like tiramisu one day and chocolate brownie the next. I would never NOT love another piece of tiramisu, but fudge brownie is something different. A whole new experience. Even if the tiramisu tasted different because it was made with a different recipe, it’s still tiramisu. Chocolate brownie has different ingredients and involves different methods of preparation. Different baking requirements.

And that is true. This time around the bun in the oven has required VERY different preparation.

I’d like to say that for me – making this baby boy has been like attempting to make polenta crusted spatchcock with a green olive, fennel and parsley salsa, followed by twice cooked sticky fig pudding with homemade nougat gelato.

It’s exhausting, messy, tiresome, and throughout the process which seems to take FOREVER, you’re so starving, you end up scoffing a packet of Violet Crumbles instead.

I won’t get too scientific on you all, but there have been studies that prove there are genuine differences in the X and Y chromosomes and their effect on the pregnant mother. 

And while we’re on the subject of science, how about this for added pressure? It’s not enough that I can’t eat King Island double cream brie, or freshly shucked oysters with sea salt and lime, or sashimi, or McDonalds Oreo McFlurrys… or a million other delicious things….

I also need to steer clear of the chemicals phthalates and Bisphenol A, found commonly in plastic products, drinking water, cosmetics and household dust.

Why? Oh because exposure to both chemicals during pregnancy can result in changes to your baby boy’s genitals; like un-descended testicles and smaller penises.  And I sooo don’t want to be responsible for that!

I mean if they have to be inside of me growing – at least let them be decent and normal. Making a penis is strange enough already without having to think about the possibility that the one I’m making is deformed.

So anyway, like I said this is surely not normal thinking. I’m positive I have issues, but know that once he’s out, I will adore him and my ONLY issues will be cleaning poo off all the appendages and avoiding wee in my face. Oh, and shopping for blue stuff.

Let me leave you with a poem I grew up with which happened to traumatise me beyond repair until I turned 12. The author of this was clearly a very bitter and twisted animal/man hater who had a penchant for nutmeg and cinnamon type things. Like fruit mince pies.

What are little boys made of? Frogs and snails and puppy dogs tails.
What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice.

A response to Manscaping. From an Army Poet.

So it seems one of my written works has inspired other written works from one of the country’s serving members of military. Words much cleverer and funnier than mine.  (Is cleverer a word?)

Back in July, I wrote my column for Darwin Life Magazine on Manscaping . It was an article inspired by the magazine’s Business Development Manager, who when I asked her what I should write about (I’m ALWAYS open to suggestions by the way…) mentioned the fact that everywhere she turned there were metrosexuals.

I closely studies metrosexuals for the next 2 weeks and realised yes – they were everywhere. I followed them in shopping centres to see what they purchased and where. I checked out their shoes, their clothing, and their personal grooming.

Then shazam! There it was – the common denominator. NONE of them had facial hair. Many of them had no chest hair. I can’t say whether they had trimmed the hedges at the base of the trunk because I thought it was best that I DIDN’T follow them into the men’s room. I mean, I’ve done it before, but only when the ladies room is full. And I always knock first!

Anyway… my observation was enough to inspire the column. 

Darwin is a town heavily populated with young males so I figured the column would be relevant. Interestingly, a whopping 15%  or more of the total population are members of the military, many of whom I  noted during my weeks of stalking  research, were extremely well groomed. And the few that I am friends with are super stylish when they’re not in their khakis. But I always have this sense that they are seriously macho-hero-Rambo-ready-to-annihilate-and-not-afraid-of-a-damn-thing type of guys.

Blood and guts? Open wounds? Puh! Just another day at the office.

So when this response to my Manscaping column came to me from someone signed ARMY POET I was a little surprised. Aren’t army types supposed to be tougher than this?

Here is the poem. It’s hilarious, and you have to read it like a limerick. (eg. There once was a man from Nantuckett).

Whilst considering the issue of hair
On backs, cracks…in fact anywhere
I looked down below
And thought “Yes, have a go!”
And decided on being quite bare.

To the bathroom, I raced for a razor
Will she like it? Perhaps it might phase her
Now as a bloke I must ask
With dangly bits to this task
Would it be any safer with laser?

But now is the time to be brave
Covered in foam I psyched up for the shave
Lathered in snow
Hey where’d my balls go?
Then a frightened willy gave me a wave.

My quad blade Gillette went berserk
Like a crazed shearer I tackled the work
Foam, blood and hair
Sprayed everywhere
And I shrugged off the pain with a smirk.

Blood dripped from my arse to the floor
My dick lost an inch maybe more
From a slit in my sac
I put a testicle back
No wonder my scrotum was sore!

And now I give blokes this advice
Before shaving your privates – think twice
Just let the girls with the bush
Decide on their tush
Cos being gelded aint nice!

Army Poet

Can I consider this fan mail? Do you think?

I really, really love my hair!

When hair is in the shower drain, it’s revolting. When hair is in your feta-cheese-and-marinated-pumpkin panini, it’s downright vomitous. When hair is on your bikini-line, it’s been a while between boyfriends. But when hair is YOUR OWN HEAD, it’s NON-STOP FOLLICULAR DRAMA. If you’re a girl, that is.

Guys seem not to care, unless they’re bald, in which case any reference to hair is usually HILARIOUS to everyone else, and secretly sad for them. Particularly when it’s their partner asking them to look again at the pillow case and see all the hairs that fell out over night.

Welcome, coiffure comrades to the Cyclone Cindy post inspired by Britney Spears, Willow Smith, The Little Mermaid, Sesame Street, and a $50,000 defamation law suit, where we learn to love our hair.

Not too many people can openly and proudly announce: I love my hair. Except for Shane Warne. I have complained about my hair for most of my life. And in my adult years, I have attempted to hide the REAL Cindy Hair. The hair that -yes. Looks as though I just walked in from the centre of a cyclone.

My everyday hair

But I’m tired of tying my hair back in a fashion that makes me look as though I’m about to leap onto a gently moonlit stage with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Or start casually, yet oh so sophisticatingly side-step with guitar in hand to a Robert Palmer song. The slick-back-bun days are over. As is the Alice in Wonderland (Oh, I’m just wearing this headband to cover the grey roots) look… which I totally rock when my hair is really straight, by the way. Which isn’t very often.

Yep, I am over the days of hiding behind my unruly locks. I will embrace the frizz by nurturing each and every wiry strand with the humidity and heat in which I dwell. I will shun the blow dryer and the GHD. (Which incidentally stands for Girls Hates Dreadlocks.)

Instead I’ll start experimenting with a little product and a lot of self love. I will embrace more of the brave hearted lion, and less of Dorothy’s perfect pigtails. And I’ve based this decision on decades of personal research. Good hair days. Bad hair days. Hair trends and hair philosophies. Celebrity hair. Cartoon hair. Puppet Hair. And hair that costs a fortune.

Let’s start with Celebrity Hair and Britney Spears.

She has inspired me on so many levels. Mainly for one reason though. SHE DOESN’T CARE. She’s one of the world’s richest entertainers, and yet you often see her with her hair floppily tied back in an un-kept ponytail. She shuns people like Ken Paves and secretly laughs behind Jennifer Aniston’s perfectly manicured locks. “What a waste,” chuckles Britney to herself. “That money could be spent on new Ugg boots.” She even went so far as to get rid of it. ALL of it. A woman who can shave her head for no other reason than to tell the world… “You wanna piece of me? Here – have some blonde hair and black roots!” is a champion in my opinion.

Willow Smith

Daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett, this somewhat talented and spoilt confident little nine year old felt so strongly about wearing her hair how she wants, she recorded a song all about it. Sony have yet to release it, but I saw a sneak peak and she’s whippin’ that hair all over the place. It’s wild and wonderful. The song is called Whip It, and she really can. Probably not what any mother of a nine year old girl wants to hear, but Rihanna: Eat your heart out.

The Little Mermaid

The first ranga Disney Princes sure has gorgeous hair right? I would trade colours to have that kind of hair. And that’s my point. Loving your hair is not just about the style. The follicular fate with which one is born goes much deeper than style alone. Colour is what people notice and I happen to believe that gingers get a rough deal. There are plenty of beautiful red heads. Ok, so my daughter is one of them, but I sincerely love it. And I love being told by at least 3 strangers a day what beautiful hair she has. Because it is. And she does. And thank goodness for Ariel.

Sesame Street

No words required here. Instead I will show you a clip I watched. Remarkable how a puppet can explain better than anyone the simple concept of loving what you have and using it.

 

My defamation lawsuit.

I’ve been hesitant to ever mention this as the published word, but I am going to be very careful here. Some years ago prior to my wedding, I decided it was best to grow out most of the layers in my hair in order to have hair options for my wedding day. I wasn’t sure what dress I would end up wearing and if I had chosen a turtle neck dress, the hair would have HAD to be up. I didn’t but… a girl can never be too prepared for such things.

Following my wedding and honey moon I moved to Darwin. A hot humid town with a tropical climate. Weary of the frizz factor I asked the hairdresser for some layering around the face, but nothing too short as my curly hair gets worse in the wet. I’ll spare the graphic details, but I walked out with a mullet. Like the posh spice hair style that was popular a few years back, but with a long piece hanging down the back beneath it all.

Tragic is an understatement. My new husband who rarely comments let alone notices my hair, pulled a face that said it all. So after 2 emails and about 5 phone calls to the salon later, and not even an attempt to make contact with me to apologise or rectify the appalling haircut… I actually did nothing.

I went to Sydney where my old hairdresser said, “WHO did this to you?” and proceeded to fix it by chopping it all off at my shoulders. Then I fell pregnant and happy hormones and the wonders of prenatal vitamins took hold. My hair grew fast and I forgot all about it.

THEN – one day after the baby was born, and I was feeling particularly depressed with whole concept of expressing milk and my newfound Dairy Farmers membership and feeling very much like a Jersey Cow, I remembered the feeling of loss. Hair loss. Un-natural hair loss. (At least baldness happens gradually). So I did what any self respecting 35 year old woman would do, and started a group on facebook.

Hello trouble!

Word got around and before you know it, my NEW hairdresser was telling ME about this girl who got sued for publishing that she had been BUTCHERED. Haha. That was me. And then the scissors dropped.

If only I’d seen the Sesame Street clip sooner. I had been very attached to my Versace hair. (I prefer the term Versace to Nanny Fine). Instead I took what small amount of vengeance I could muster in such a situation and screwed up worse than my hairdresser did.

Now I look back at those shorter hair days and think it looks ok. Even pretty good here. (Shame about those Christmas bauble earrings). In fact most days I think my hair looks pretty good, provided it’s been washed less than 2 weeks ago.  So I’m going to say it now even though I don’t fully believe it yet. But I really, really love my hair!

I cut myself shaving… and my legs look FAAAABULOUS!

 

Okay so we’ve vajazzled our va-jay-jays, bejazzled our butt cracks (yep, failed to post on that one but yes – you can), and apparently (not to be sexist) men can now ‘penazzle’ – which is something I just NEVER want to see. I mean has any bloke yet to be penazzled? Because I would like to meet the brave soul willing to make sparkling history for all mankind…

bajazzled butt cracks

Actually it seems that lately, wherever there’s flesh, what the heck – BLING IT ON!

Because now fashion designer Cynthia Rowley has designed bling for boo-boo’s. She worked closely with Johnson and Johnson to create the sparkly bandaids for charity. Well kind of charity. $1 from proceeds (they cost $10 a tin) actually go to ‘Design Ignites Change,’  an organisation engaging high school and college students with design and architecture specific to social issues in local communities.

Regardless of the purpose behind these… I want some.

I’ll admit I thought the leather look bandaids were a bit erch…  Unless you’re cutting your wrists, in my opinion they would look out of place. Who wants leather look patches on their ankles or fingers or knees?  Same goes for the Louis Vuitton bandaids – Oh Yes. I’m super rich and successful because look! My Bandaids are designer! And then you’ve got your Twilight Eclipse brand of bandaids, for those annoying times when your vampire boyfriend can’t keep his teeth to himself!

 

But the Dress Up Bandaids would look good on any body part. But there’s a good chance you’re thinking right now, Why bother – who cares about bandaids?

Maybe I’m clumsy but I tend to require the use of a bandaid often. Whether it’s for a blister from wearing heels, paper cuts, cutting up onion cuts, shaving cuts, etc… I do use them. But they’re ugly.

You know clear bandaids, the ones you supposedly can’t see? They’re very visible. And the skin-tone ones never match your skin exactly. It was once even said that bandaids were racist because they were all made for Caucasian skin tones. Bandaid makers corrected that and made an array of shades, which I’m guessing are still way off.

There is the common belief that it’s best to let a wound ‘dry out’ in order to heal. But cuts and scrapes can become contaminated with dirt and germs. Bandaids protect the wound from water, dirt, other nasties that can cause infection, thereby helping to promote faster healing.

So now that we know bandaids are actually useful, unless they’re floating randomly in a swimming pool, or inside your chicken and avocado sandwich – in which case they’re just revolting, wouldn’t you rather wear bandaids that feature designs like strips of sequins, gold chains, lace and sparkling jewels? Like these?

HURT COUTURE – yes indeed!
So tell me…. What do you think of these?

When the dog barks, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad…

I’ve already done a post on a few of my favourite things, and in it I was referring to actual tangible things. I’ve decided to write today about some other pleasantries in my life, because truthfully I’m feeling annoyed and need to remember there’s plenty of good stuff in life.

Why am I snarky? Could be that I’m in the process of doing my tax, which includes deciphering between paid monies and expenses from 3 different areas of employment.

Could be that I’m craving all sorts of soft cheese and sorry; pregnancy rule book says a big fat NO to that one. (Yes I’m pregnant – Miranda Kerr, Isla Fisher and I just have SOOO much in common.)

Could be that in Darwin, the dry is over and the sweaty sticky months are close at hand.

Could be that my husband is going to Melbourne Cup INSIDE THE BIRDCAGE without me!

Could just be that I’m frustrated by our government (or lack thereof). It’s like our system of government is impotent. It exists, but it’s good for nothing right now.

So here are my 5 current favourite things that are not necessarily tangible. Hopefully as I refelct on them, I won’t feel so bad.

_______________________________________________________________________

1. Microdermabrasions:
I never realised how essential these were. Okay it’s a bit like sticking the end of your vacuum cleaner on your face, but the after effects are life changing for at least 2 days. Plus you get the added bonus of a mini facial every time you have one, and there’s nothing better than looking over at the machine and seeing all the dead white dull skin that has been removed. Yuk, I know but it’s the same satisfaction you get from seeing the wax strip covered in hair follicles, or pouring dirty water down the sink after you’ve mopped your floor.  You say out loud, “Eeeuw,” but you’re secretly thrilled and think to yourself, “Gotcha!”

________________________________________________________________________

2. Earrings:
Not something I change on a daily basis, especially lately, but it was Elizabeth Taylor who said “Life without earrings is empty.” Before you go calling the Great Dame shallow, think for a moment about times when you’ve put on the perfect pair and realised you’ve totally changed your look from blah to brilliant. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about – here are some pics of celebs who knew how to work their ear bling. Imagine their ensembles without the earrings. See?

   

    

_______________________________________________________________________

3.       Sunday morning pancakes:
What can I say about a 3 stack of pancakes drenched in maple syrup on a Sunday morning. Perhaps just this: They remind me to stop, enjoy, indulge, relax, and forget. Incidentally they’re better when someone else made them. Like a café that overlooks boats floating peacefully on the water.

________________________________________________________________________

4.       Dancing with my daughter to the Glee soundtrack
As if listening to the Glee soundtrack wasn’t awesome enough already… when I realised my 2 year old daughter was a total willing participant in singing and dancing around the lounge room with me (she tends to high-pitch squeal) I had one of those moments. An epiphany. I thought how at that moment there was nothing else in the world I should be doing, (yeah to hell with the laundry), and that this is what all those years growing up spent dancing and singing were for. All those childhood days spent in leotards and ringlets. All those teenage and early adulthood nights spent perfecting my craft on club dance floors. All of it – was just for this – with my girl.

________________________________________________________________________

5.       New book smell:
I love getting a new book. I love reading when they were 1st published. I love the bit where the author thanks everyone… but mostly I love taking the open book up to my nose and having a good long whiff. Mmmm… Is that what “hot off the press” smells like?

If so, then maybe I should speak to someone and bottle that smell as a fragrance. Obviously it would be called “Hot Off The Press” and I would have to get Jen Aniston to be the model for the fragrance.

Only she can rock the mature book reading, glasses wearing but not too cliché to be ridiculous look.  I realise she already has a fragrance but I think given her constant presence in gossip mags, she knows all about being hot off the press. Anyway I digress.  The problem with new book smell is that after you’ve read the book, the smell disappears. So you have to keep buying new books, which is fine by me.

So I wonder if anyone else is feeling crappy. If you are then feel free to share your current favourite things here.

Does my bum look big in these runners?

I have a big bum. It’s not one of those freaky ‘Kim Kardashian Out-Of-Proportion With The Rest Of My Body’ bums. No. Because my thighs are fairly chunky too.  But I am one of those girls who was delighted when J-Lo became Sexiest Woman Alive, and then Beyonce. Because somehow it validated my booty. It was bigger than I wanted, but that was ok, because big butts were the new black.

                   

Over the last decade, the Ladies of the Big Bottom Brigade have been revelling in their additional centimetres, singing in perfect unison to the tune of “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.”

But to be honest, it had seemed to me that lately, bottoms of presence were becoming a dying trend. That over accentuated arses were losing appeal and that despite girls like Kim K, girls like Megan Fox were dominating  the ‘Sexiest Women’ lists meaning… big bums were not just out there, they were out!

So when I saw this ad for Nike, I won’t lie. I did a little happy dance. Maybe if you’re one of those wiry, slender little coat hanger types with a butt that resembles 2 perfectly formed little hamburger patties rather than 2 big Christmas hams…. Then this ad will do nothing for you.

 

In advertising terms, this ad is seriously good. Not just because girls like me go, “Oh, that’s cool… they’re not using a typical woman with a body like a marathon runner in their ads. She’s normal like me….”

The brilliance goes way beyond that.  Because often girls like me are a bit self conscious at the gym. We want to go but feel like we don’t really belong. We want to put on our runners and go for a brisk walk/jog/run/walk/jog/pant pant pant… walk, but we feel like we’re not fit enough, and it probably won’t do anything anyway, and what if someone is behind me and can see my but jiggle.

This ad makes me relate. And once I relate, I feel like I can be that girl. Exercise like that girl. And to be that Nike ad girl, I need the Nike shoes.

And butts aren’t the only thing… They’ve done versions for legs, knees, hips and shoulders that go as follows:

LEGS
My legs
were once two hairy sticks
that weren’t very good at jump rope
but by the time I reached the age of algebra
they had come into their own
and now in spin class
they are revered
envied for their strength
Honoured for tier beauty
hairless for the most part
except that place the razor misses
just behind the ankles.
Just do it.



THIGHS
I have
thunder thighs
and that’s a compliment
because they are strong
and toned
and muscular
and though they are unwelcome
in the petite section
they are cheered on in marathons
fifty years from now
I’ll bounce a grandchild on my thunder thighs
and then I’ll go out for a run.
Just do it

(See I don’t know about you – if you’re a girl that is…. But the copy in that thunder thigh ad gives me goose bumps. It makes me so proud that when I go shopping for knee length boots I can’t find any that will actually zip up because my calves are so huge… Because if I’m honest, I know a lot of the bulk in my calves is strength. And as much as I will always crave legs like Jen A… It’s still all good.)

KNEES
my knees
are tomboys
they get bruised and cut
every time I play soccer
I’m proud of them and
wear my dresses short
my mother worries
I will never marry
with knees like that
but I know
there’s someone out there
that will say to me
I love you
and I love your knees
I want the four of us
to grow old together.
Just do it

 

SHOULDERS
My shoulders
aren’t dainty
or proportional to my hips
some say they are like a man’s
I say leave men out of it
they are mine
I made them in 
a swimming pool
then I went to yoga
and made my arms.
Just do it

 

HIPS
my hips
return to puberty
when I’m in dance class
music affects them like hormones
making them crazy
and spontaneous
and optimistic
and prone to drama
and I don’t understand them
and sometimes they
don’t understand themselves
when the music stops
they’re still charged
don’t touch me
sparks will fly.
Just do it

So I think they’ve covered pretty much every insecurity known to women and their body parts. And this is why the ads should work.

I wish more products aimed at women would be this good. Because most of us are realistic. Exercise won’t give you Jennifer Aniston’s legs if it’s not in your DNA. Nike aren’t trying to seduce us with false hopes and unrealistic expectations. (Wear our runners and look like this.) The ads appeal to us because we relate.

Now can the creative mind who designed these ads please go and speak to the people at Pantene Hair products. Because seriously… AS IF!

Manscaping (Darwin Life Magazine)

(As seen in July 2010 Darwin Life Magazine)

I remember at age 14, watching TV and seeing something remarkable. Magnum P.I. His name was Tom Selleck and he was Hubba-hubba Ding-ding! It’s etched on my brain forever because it’s the first time I felt attraction towards a man with a chest of hair. And as I sat there staring at the screen, hypnotised by the follicular growth that would make a gorilla jealous… I knew at that moment! I’d become a woman!

These days most men have received the memo: Body grooming is good. It became popular around the same time as the birth of that new word – Metrosexual. A time when Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was a top rating show. Yes– what was once considered feminine practice has become the norm amongst even the blokiest of men. No longer just for frou-frou, fastidious guys anymore, routine maintenance is almost expected. It’s not unusual for men to be dipping their manicured fingers into your night cream. It’s also not uncommon for the uber-masculine to be manscaping: Removing body hair; trimming the hedges and de-forresting the trunk.

Some believe you’ll not only appear cleaner, but you’ll also enhance muscle definition and keep the body cool.  And ‘weed whacking,’ or ‘trimming the man hedge,’ provides the optical illusion of a taller tree.  Besides, nobody wants to look between the thighs and feel the urge to call their local CSI’s.

Some men among you may ask… You think I should trim WHAT? So here’s Cyclone Cindy’s guide to Manscaping.

Ears, nose and eyebrows: Eeeuw! Gross. Nose and ear hair isn’t appealing in the slightest. It makes me want to vomit. And eyebrows? You really should have two. Separate them if they’re not already. Also, looking like you have 2 witchetty grubs resting on your face was not a good look for John Howard, and I’ll guarantee it’s not a good look for you either. But be careful, becuase neither is looking like they’ve been sculpted more than Michelangelo’s David.  Ahh, unless you’re going for the Michael Jackson look.

 

Back and Shoulders: Absolutely no. Get rid of it. All of it. Let me make this perfectly clear: There are conclusively NO circumstances where this is ok. It is simply unhygeinic. I mean how do you know you’re not harvesting fleas?  Besides, if you happen to live in Darwin like I do, you don’t want hard up journalists from the local newspaper reporting another YOWIE sighting.

 

Underarm hair: Generally best left alone, but if you look like you have Buckwheat in a headlock, or worse – you can actually comb it, you’re a sure fire candidate for a trim.

Chest hair: This one depends. If you ask me, pectoral fur connotes virility: A tough guy who’s burly and sweaty with a hint of natural, dragon-slaying scent.  In a rugby match with Colin Farrell and Hugh Jackman against Ashton Kutcher and Robert Pattinson, I’m backing Team Chest Carpet. As previously mentioned, I’d rather snuggle into a nook with a warm rug like that of Roger Federer’s than slide off Mr Bigglesworth. HOWEVER (and this is extremely important information.) IF you’re cursed with limited chest hair, do yourself a favour and clip that mangy pathetic excuse of a cricket growth OFF. (It’s a cricket growth if there’s no more than 11 each side… ) Like a balding man sporting a comb over, you’re only fooling yourself.

Wedding Tackle: I’m hesitant to offer advice. If you want to learn more there’s a plethora of instructional videos on You Tube. I will say this though: There are 2 looks to avoid: the Crotch Fro and the Baby Stewie.

Overall, nobody but Channel Nine reality shows like obsessive gardeners. So with that in mind, find balance.

                                 

Borat is NOT a role model, but neither is Bruno. And whatever you do stay safe and choose your removal technique wisely!

A letter I doubt I’ll be sending… to Brad Pitt

Dear Brad

I’ve been meaning to write this letter to you for a few weeks now, and had almost decided not to worry about it, but then I saw the below photo of you and really felt it was something I needed to do on behalf of women all over the world.

What I’m trying to say is…. Thank you.

Thank you so, so much for finally locating your razor blade, obviously misplaced somewhere in the depths of your bathroom cabinet.  And thank you for using it on your face.

I don’t think I’m alone in suggesting that you were starting to lose your looks, if that’s even possible for someone as genetically blessed as you. But these pictures of you taken last week have proven that Brad Pitt: Sexiest Man Alive, never really left us.

Now that that ugly little patch of pubic nothingness has been eradicated form your chiselled jaw-line, I’d be interested to know – WHAT were you thinking?  Not that you’re unfamiliar with facial hair. You’ve had your bearded moments in the past…

Also,  I realise you’re a busy guy. A successful film career, the founder of numerous do-gooder projects and six kids; with apparently another on the way through adoption. I have just one daughter, and sometimes I struggle to find the time to remove all my unwanted body hair.  But Brad, I loathe every moment that those little hairy knees of mine look up at me, and that’s why about 4-6 weeks of it is all I can take.  But you!!! You let that sloppy little dishevelled chin mess grow for at least 6 months. You were starting to look like the guy that lingers outside the shopping mall who hasn’t washed his pants in months and begs for cigarettes from strangers.

I have noticed over the years that you like to replicate the hairstyle or hair colour of your current lady friend. It started early on with Juliette Lewis and has continued right up to your current relationship with Angelina Skank-face Jolie.

If you don’t believe me, look at these pictures below.

  

 

                          

You know what, looking back at images from the SALT premiere last week, I have a tiny inkling that you and Ange have been to the skin doctor.  Looking very refreshed – the both of you. And again – matching hair colour.

Look hate me, but I’m going to say it… You belong with Jen. The best you ever looked was in Troy. Okay and maybe in Ocean’s Eleven. ELEVEN! Not 12 or 13. You know… the’ Jen years.’

       

Anyway, I won’t harp on about that. I’m sure you’ve heard it plenty from your mum. And besides, you well and truly declared your life-long love for her over the weekend.

Well that’s about all I wanted to say. Thanks. Truly, thank you.

May the paparazzi continue to hunt you down like a beast and capture your image for the world’s women and gay men to gaze upon fondly.

Yours shaven and 100% hair free.
Cindy
xo

Say CHEESE! You’re off to prison.

Ahhh Lindsay. I went to high school with a couple of girls like her. I don’t mean that they were absolute rubbish at designing clothes, or that they were photographed constantly on their back or pulling their knickers off, or that their parents were famous for being reformed drug addicts, ex cons and media whores, or that their penchant for semi-nudity and collagen belied their loudly-announced “I’m a regular girl. I’m fine.”

I just mean that they were brainless skanks who irritated the living crap out of me.

On Tuesday 24 year old Lindsay Lohan was officially incarcerated. Many are hoping this is the final shattering pile up in her train wreck of a life. I’m one of them. In the last couple of years I’ve started to feel less irritation and more pity. I even wrote her a letter, but as you can probably guess, I never sent it. However I think I was on to something at the time…

Without discussing the issues her parents appear to have, who wouldn’t be a mess with that much excess baggage.

But look what I really came here to discuss was her mug shot.  Because it seems Lindsay might have been a bit conscious of her appearance. She would know all too well that celebrity mug shots get widely plastered across every news headline and internet gossip site for the days that follow. My blog now included. (Not that CC is a gossip blog, but a commentary on pop culture which includes celebrity behaviour)

 To make comparisons, here is Lindsay Lohan’s very first mugshot.

 

Here is Lindsay 2 weeks ago in court.

 

Here she is in court on Tuesday, right before they cuffed her and drove her to prison.

 

Here is the shot taken moments before entering her cell at Lynwood Regional Detention Centre.

 Okay, some observations.  

HAIR
I think Linsday spent more money and time preparing for this photo than I did for my wedding photos. She’s definitely had her roots done and possibly had an all over re-colour to freshen up the brassy blonde look.

PLASTIC FACE
No doubt her lips have been filled with something.    Dermatologist Dr. Kenneth Beer, owner of ScientificSkin.com, reported to Us Weekly Magazine, “She has had injections of a filler such as Restylane or Juvederm. To me, it looks like about 1 to 2 syringes of product were used on her upper and lower lips… it will last for about 6 to 8 months.” He also suspects she “…had some Botox [injected into] her forehead and frown lines.”

MAKEUP
Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it kind of a waste of makeup if you’re off to prison for a couple of weeks. Who is she hoping to look pretty for?  Actually, half the world so I guess it makes sense. But in her original mug-shot she appears makeup-less.

When she arrived on Tuesday, the jail apparently went into lockdown mode for an hour with other prisoners confined to their cells. She was strip searched and cavity searched right before changing into her new orange jumpsuit, after which the above photo was taken.

How Lindsay managed to look so calm after that is beyond me. I believe Miss Lohan was determined to improve on her last mug-shot, even if every ounce of her DNA was feeling violated. Perhaps she’s just happy that her 90 day sentence was reduced to a mere 14, with an additional 90 days in rehab.

I think she was going for the Paris Hilton mug-shot look? Seems that way, given the lowered chin, the smirky smile and the eyes that look like they’re saying, “Yeah… and?”

 

Next stop was here: Her room for the next 14 days for 23 hours a day.   

 

SIDENOTE: Today her mum and sister visited her and delivered a copy of Ernest Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea.” Der….. Really? Oh well, whatever helps. I’d be asking for some feel-good chick lit if I was in there… something to make me laugh and forget. Not Lindsay.

Incase you’ve never read it, it’s about an old fisherman whose at the end of his life, and feels regret that he hasn’t caught a fish for months. He sets out alone to change his luck and encounters a huge fish, which he struggles with for 3 days enduring much pain and delirium, but finally catches. Then he gets harassed by sharks – all of which he kills, but not before they devour his catch.

It’s a story of hardship and struggles, but with a promising ending. The old man overcame his bad luck, fought his demons and conquered. Let’s hope Lindsay can do the same.

Thanks Dannii… for keeping your clothes on.

But where, O where is your baby bump?

Dannii Minogue has posed (apparently pregnant here) for UK’s In Style Magazine. Unlike many an expecting woman, she has decided to pose with her baby-to-be – fully clothed. I’m thinking she was only about 4-6 months along here. Often with your first it takes a while to ‘show.’ Many people told me I didn’t look pregnant at all when I was actually 5 months along. 

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not against the idea of a pregnant woman on a magazine cover. I think it’s great! Also, I think women with enormous big tummies carrying around a little life is nothing to be ashamed of or something to be hidden.

However, there are ways of showing us your baby bump – without showing us that much skin.

I wonder if the celebrity, or the photographic stylist think that showing us an actual pregnant stomach is sexy. Again… I’m not saying pregnant women can’t be sexy. They absolutely can.  In fact some women claim to feel sexier whilst pregnant. (Not me. I felt like swaying elephant, but each to their own…)

Here are some pregnant women posing:

                 

                  

                 

BUT….. (and maybe I’m completely on my own here) showing us your actual stomach with the baby inside is not sexy. It’s tacky.

Look, when Demi did it back in 1991 – it was revolutionary. Nobody had dared ever been photographed that way before. In fact, in those days, not many women were photographed for magazine covers if they were pregnant at all. Full stop. So I guess it’s great that we are presented with a diverse range of women – including pregnant ones – on women’s magazine covers that aren’t Pregnancy Magazines.

I tried to see if there were any non-paparazzi shots back in the day of Princess Diana, Elle Macpherson or Madonna… when they were pregnant. They were the three most photographed women for mag covers in the early nineties. But no. Not one shot that was posed for.  So I think it’s wonderful that women are now being accepted as cover-model material bump and all.

But why do we keep seeing naked bellies. I’m not really interested in seeing that.. Are you? I mean, when I was pregnant, I didn’t go around lifting my shirt to show people how far along I was. You could kind of tell. And there were times when I felt… well – quite beautiful actually. (Do I even need to tell you that I’m extremely limber and can very easily kiss my own ass). I don’t understand why showing someone the flesh itself… makes a woman more beautiful than she already is.

Here are some more pregnant women posing, clothed.

               

                    

Here is me posing pregnant – also fully clothed. Do you really think I need to lift my shirt or dress to show you anything not already freaky enough here?

 I will say this again to clarify my point: I don’t think a pregnant stomach is anything to be ashamed of, or hidden. I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting a couple of photos of your pregnant tummy for your own personal records and private collection of pictures…. or to show to your closest family and best friends.

But blowing up the images and putting them in your front entrance or lounge room? Kinda tacky! Posing on the front cover of a mag? Unless your name is Demi Moore …. tacky, predictable and done to death.

A pregnant woman in lingerie is not sexy to the stranger’s eye. It’s just not. It might look sexy to your partner, or to you… but not to us. Would you pose half naked draped across your bed with your new born baby? Or would you cover up a bit more? To me it’s the same thing. It’s a very Kath & Kim thing to do.

I realise that lately I’ve been making quite a few judgments on people’s actions. It’s hard to remain completely non-judgmental when you have an opinion on something. Some of my opinions are stronger than others. Sometimes my opinions can be changed, or broadened, as per my last post on those who light their own fireworks.

My opinion on ‘Pregnant Tummies On Show’ is one that I don’t actually feel terribly strongly about. It’s just that I saw Dannii on the cover, and my first thought was: Oh how refreshing that she’s kept her clothes on. And it got me thinking.

So, if you are one of those who have photos plastered all over your lounge room wall of yourself and your partner groping each other’s semi-naked bodies whilst pregnant. Good for you. I think it’s a tad nasty, but that’s me.  My opinion is (as you’ll see if you read my ‘about’) is often distorted and outrageous.

And with that, I conclude my remarks on cheap Shazza types who think we want to see them in a stock standard, you beaut photo wearing black lace knickers and hands strategically covering their pink bits, looking like they could explode if they sneezed.

Girls in White Dresses with Blue Satin Sashes…

You can relax. This isn’t going to be a post all about possibly one of the greatest movies ever made, The Sound of Music. Since I’ve been feeling rather blah! lately, I’ve been thinking about stuff that actually makes me feel good. Things that make me happy. A few of my favourite things.

And since my inspiration has been a lot like Kevin Rudd in the last couple of weeks: Going, going, gone…. I thought writing about my favourite things might make me feel better, and perhaps make you ponder your favourite things.

I should mention, this is not the first time I’ve made a list like this for self-induced therapy. Once after being dumped (I got dumped a fair bit in my late 20’s, no doubt karma for being the dumper in my teens and early 20’s) I made a list of 100 things I was grateful for.  Didn’t make me feel any better. I was still a lonely reject and presumed I was too fat, too ugly, and way too good for him anyway.

But I still have the list and a couple of those items will also be making my favourite things list today.

It’s a short list of 5, and completely and 100% subject to change. Not only because I’m slightly fickle, but also because certain things lose their appeal if they’re overdone.

So I’ll start.

 

1.       Nutella.

How can I not include Nutella? Particularly as there is a 750gm jar of the stuff sitting between me and the keyboard at this moment. Yes, it’s open. Yes there’s a spoon inside. Yes, in the few short paragraphs I’ve written so far, I’ve managed to take about 6 spoonfuls already. And now perhaps this gives you a better understanding of the term ‘lose appeal if overdone’ because I’m pretty sure by the end of typing here, I’ll be pushing it away in disgust, saying, ‘Uch, no more! What was I thinking?’

But before I get to that point let me tell you why Nutella is so good.

It’s gooey runny nutty smooth chocolate in a jar. Enough said.

2.       MAC Studio Fix

I once visited MECCA Cosmetics in Paddington, Sydney. The male makeup artist who was working that day asked me what I was currently using. I told him Mac Studio Fix. He acted as though I’d just told him I like to crush up dog poo with Vaseline and rub that on … I can kind of understand his reaction. Having worked on a cosmetic counter for 5 years, I know the importance of using dramatics when selling. In fact I probably did the same thing to a lady who told me she never cleaned her face. I was flabbergasted, and so was Phil – the makeup dude at Mecca.

He told me that I should not be using that kind of finish or consistency on my face unless I’m a newsreader. Ok, first of all, how did he know I wasn’t? Second – Do I look like I raided Christina Aguilera’s makeup bag? I mean, it might be on the side of heavy when it comes to coverage, but I have applied with caution and care.

And no offense to Phil, but he was wearing far more makeup than I was at the time. I took his card with his handwritten recommendations for my face away – without purchasing, because as he sampled soft, light, practically transparent little numbers on the back of my hand, I felt like I was cheating on my trusty Mac.

I wondered…

Will Prescriptives give me a free lippy when I bring back 6 empty containers? Can I apply this fluidy NARS stuff on the train? At the traffic lights? Under the table at dinner? In the loos? Can I put on this Stila stuff without getting makeup on my hands? Yes? Oh because I have to apply it with this particular paint brush? (Sigh)

No. I doubt there will ever be anything to replace the love and devotion I have for my Mac compact.  

3.       iPhone.

How did I ever live without it? Is it not the sexiest little gadget you’ve ever held in your hand? Incidentally, if any of you have iPhones, download the Word Game App, and let’s play scrabble. My player name is Cyclone Cindy. Scrabble is a subcategory of my favourite things list. Scrabble is like, the best game invented ever! It tests you on every level and I don’t think I’ve ever felt a greater sense of accomplishment and victory, than the day I wrote QUIZ on a triple word score. Boo-yah!

Back to my phone. Look, if you really want to know what’s so good about it, google it. But I will say how good it is to have one piece of equipment to carry around that you can:  googlewith, visit web sites, check emails, check facebook and twitter, call, text, check calendar, check diary, play music, play videos, download shows, play games, take photos and videos, download photos, etc etc etc. I realise there’s a new one out, but for now I’m extremely happy with mine.

4.       Actil 100% cotton 300 thread count sheets.

Living in Darwin, there’s no need for quilts or doona covers. I make my bed every day with a sheet, and a couple of cushions. White sheets. Only white. Because when we have visitors they are often horrified to discover they have left slightly yellow stains on the pillow case or sheets, from what I call the Darwin Midnight Sweats.  You see, because the minimum temperature is usually around 20 degrees overnight, you can sweat in your sleep.

White sheets can be bleached! That’s why hotels do it, and that’s why I do it. It’s also why I only have 100% cotton. Polyester, Percale, Sateen, etc all ad warmth. The sheets aren’t crisp and crunchy and cold. 100% cotton is.

Why Actil? Well I was a huge fan of Sheridan, but I think the sweat shops they use in China are starting to employ 3 year olds now too. The last set I bought were crooked, and the pillow cases wouldn’t line up seam to seam.  They’re 300 thread count is also not as thick or crisp.

Those sheets make me happy. I’m not very good at going to bed. No matter how tired I am, something compels me to stay up. But those sheets are like Stilnox for me. My brain thinks I’m not tired, but when I climb into that bed with those sheets, my body tells my brain it’s stupid, and passes out within minutes. It’s just wonderful, and perhaps the joy is escalated by the fact that I usually only allow myself 5-6 hours a night of such enjoyment.

Ooh, now I’m feeling sleepy. Time for another spoon of wholesome, chocolatey energy.

 

5.        I can’t believe I’m saying this… but… My thongs.

I have never really been a fan of wearing thongs. I know that makes me UN Australian, but I just don’t like walking on rubber. I also am not a huge fan of having a toe wedgie. (A barrier between my big and second toe).

However, on a recent trip to Melbourne I found a pair of lovely, comfortable, almost stylish tan leather thongs. They cost a bit more than your average pair of Havaianas. But I have worn them to death. Literally. They died yesterday.

I’m holding a funeral for them at the end of the week, once the autopsy is completed and I have determined what exactly caused them to break. Right now they’re in the shoe box they came in, with all the other shoes, as if nothing is wrong. I’m still in the denial phase of grief.

Perhaps like all things that die, they feel more important and worthwhile once they’re gone. Much like Michael Jackson. And Kevin Rudd.  That old saying, “You don’t know what you got til it’s gone.” Too true. Particularly in the case of my thongs.

Today I felt like going naked. No shoe could possibly deliver the simplicity, comfort or style that that pair of thongs brought to almost any outfit.  What to wear when your shoes are gone?

So that’s my list. My 5 favourite things at the moment.  Do I feel better?

I feel a bit sick from Nutella overload. I feel amazed and very grateful to have such amazing technology at my fingertips. I feel secure in the knowledge that no matter what kind of stunt my face pulls on me, there’ll always be coverage. Always even tones and the appearance of smooth skin.  I feel saddened to have lost some great footwear, but thankful I had a glorious 6 months with them. They took me to some amazing places. 5 different states and all over Bali. And – I feel so happy to know there’s a very comfortable and inviting bed waiting for me, whenever I choose to visit.

Perhaps soon. (yawn).

Of course there are many more things that would qualify as ‘favourites.’ Favourite music, favourite pizza, favourite shops, favourite actors… the list could have been very long, and perhaps I’ll visit this topic again one day under a sub category.

Because when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favourite things and then I don’t feel so bad.

(Favourite movie? Yes. One of a few. SUCH a brilliant movie, had to pay a small homage).

So what are your mood enhancing favourite things?