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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Dry Season…. What the hell?

 

(As seen in Darwin Life Magazine – June 2011 issue)

Today I woke up, opened the windows, and shivered for about three seconds. Then I remembered that the dry season has arrived. Cool. I put on some jeans, vomited out sunshine rays, and went on with the knowledge that life in Darwin was about to get very entertaining. If you’re not sure what you should be doing in the dry – I’m here to tell you.

Grab your friends and do outside stuff on the grass:  Frankly, I want to be outside when it’s 6pm and there is a drink in my hand and tapas on a plate in front of me. When I’m sitting on the ground, it feels like there are ants crawling up my butthole. And no! I don’t want to go on a picnic. Making food is one thing. Asking me to carry it, along with my own plates and chairs is just rude. I can eat a perfectly good salad in a restaurant and not when midgies are going to eat me alive.

Go to Fannie Bay to see the whoreses on track:  For some females, the Darwin racing carnival is like a contagious virus known as Territory Scrubber. The symptoms are feathers, vadge grazers, and poorly applied fake tan. Whoreses also carry bottles of booze around in their hand like it’s an accessory. 

Rediscover you hair straightener: I tried to straighten my hair back in December because my hair is a suspected terrorist so I torture it by rubbing it with hot irons. Ages later, my hair was socially acceptable so I went outside. The second I closed my front door, the humid air bitch slapped me across the face, gave me a wedgie and stole all my lunch money. My ends curled up and the hair around my face frizzed out like I had my finger in a socket. My hair is a stupid idiot in the wet, but the dry makes all that straightening worthwhile.

Barbecues: Eat meat until you throw up.

Mindil Beach Markets:  Forget personal space. This is a fantastic spot to visit if you’re in the mood for a grope. I can’t count the number of times my boobs have walked into someone. Go right ahead and pinch that backpacker’s arse. They’ll turn around to see whodunit and get lost in a fragrant sea of meat smoke, BO and sunset.

Turn off your air conditioner:  Enjoy your power bill going down by $3000.

Finally, if you find yourself wondering if Al Qaeda has retaliated by dropping a mini Bogan-bomb on Darwin… No. This will be the sign that the V8’s are in town. Actually I love the V8’s because there’s always a slight chance that I might go deaf from the sound of the revving motors, and I’m like Indiana Jones; living on the edge of danger. While you’re there, deep throat an icy pole by accident, because there can only be one ‘Stig’ but anyone can be inappropriate.

Ahh yes, Darwin in the dry. Thank you. Because like reality cooking shows, Bangkok’s nightlife and the Kardashian sisters, I rely on you for extreme entertainment and there’s honestly nowhere I’d rather be.

 

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?

A room of one’s own – Blokes Only!

(NB: This is an extended version of the article appearing in the October issue of Darwin Life Magazine)

I’m talking about the man cave. The boy’s room. That designated area in the home for all things mannish. Whether it’s a tin shed, a study, or that spare room upstairs; the man cave is fast gaining popularity among today’s men.  In fact some people ‘unofficially’ plan the room when they’re building or buying a new house.

If you’re a female and you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about – I’m actually referring to those guys that have a special room of their own in the house or on the property to watch sports – or Jason Statham movies, to play pool, drink beer, and discuss their favourite thing about Jessica Alba and the best way to barbecue a rump steak. 

It provides a place for masculine reinvigoration and salvaging male ego. The activities inside are designed to help men rejuvenate, and reclaim their feelings of manhood. Where guys are free to smoke, yell at the TV, work-out, entertain mates, and you know… slay dragons if they want.

The bottom line is that it’s the man’s area, under his control.

The official term “man cave” seems to have come about only in recent years, but the idea is as old as man himself. Indeed, at one time men DID live in caves, which served as effective protection from the elements.

Perhaps the modern phenomena of man’s need to isolate himself in personal bliss and privacy is derived from this basic instinct – that of protecting himself from the elements. Modern day elements such as TV shows like Desperate Housewives. Music by Taylor Swift, or Michael Buble, and possibly more dangerous elements like nagging wives and screaming children.

Think about your dad. If he had a shed which he would retire to at some point before or after dinner – he had a man cave. Despite the fact that he was probably being productive, (unlike men’s rooms of today), it was still his zone. Your mum probably only ever went in there to tell him dinner was ready.  It was your dad who designed the shed and decided where to put stuff. Men don’t usually get this privilege inside the home, in many cases – not even their own bedroom. So it seems fair that guys might want an area at home where they have complete say-so.

I spoke to a well known Darwin bloke who wishes to remain anonymous. Probably because his man cave (known simply as ‘The Shed,’) is in his words – “kick-arse.” He tells me that his space is a work in progress.

The Shed, set on a 13 acre property is like nothing you’ve seen before.  There’s a big TV, monster stereo, air hockey, pool table, foosball, dart board, shooting game, Daytona game and pinball game.  The Shed also includes original pieces of furniture from well known Darwin drinking holes AND a WW2 (hollow) bomb. Just – cool STUFF.

‘Cool stuff’ seems to be a pre-requisite for a Man’s Cave. No longer satisfied with a shed full of tools, the man cave must now be decorated, and something the man can boast about and show off to his mates with. 

 

And just like men can’t speak shoe and think we’re crazy for wanting so many, most women don’t get the man’s room obsession.

The process whereby man fervently desires gadgets and toys for his room, and spends many months hunting down the best possible deal. When plasma/speaker/computer-game/leather recliner prey is finally sighted and killed at Harvey Norman, it’s dragged back to the cave by triumphant man who waits for ‘oooh-aaah’ accolades from woman. Woman gives large items in room disinterested glance and wanders off. Man proudly assembles his ‘cool stuff’ over the ensuing months, whereby he receives several high fives from his mates.

Quite possibly – the man cave is the new form of penis extension.

 

I ask my Darwin friend what any man considering creating his own space should start with.  Just to confirm my theory of cool stuff. “Loud music and a beer fridge,” he laughs, “but you’ve also got to have something you can stand around and do.”

Traditionally, man caves are designed to keep women and children out, but The Shed, he says, is “not a boys club, although girls tend to not stay too long.” 

He claims only part of it is about escaping to a man’s world. Hmmm…. Maybe.

But considering that man caves in various forms have been around for centuries, history dictates otherwise.

Consider some historical examples:

The man cave of Thomas Jefferson, was his entire house – which was actually a study full of books, paintings, and tools for writing.

Mark Twain who often spent the summer with his sister, needed somewhere to get some work done. Twain built himself a writing hut on her property where he was free from distractions, inspired by the setting, and could write in peace and quiet.

In addition to being a statesman, Winston Churchill was also a talented artist. He loved to paint so much that he built himself an art studio in his estate’s garden. When he felt the “Black Dog” of depression, he would retreat to his studio and keep the darkness away by painting.

After Theodore Roosevelt’s Dakota cattle business failed, he returned to New York and built a home in Oyster Bay.  There – he would go to relax, romp in the woods, and revitalize his man spirit. The crowning manly jewel of the house was his trophy room where he kept his collection of dead wild game.

 In even more ancient times we see proof. Elijah from the Bible also had one:

 1 Kings 19:9 – And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of  the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

From this it’s clear that Elijah was simply taking a break from it all, and he possibly responded to the Lord with, “Gee Lord, I was just relaxing in my man cave, sheesh!”

And so we see – the man cave or boy’s room is nothing new. But I think the reason it’s making a huge comeback – in a more commercial, decorated, 21st century kind of way… is this: In the old days, men were the head of the home. These days, it’s the woman who occupies the title of ‘Household CEO.’

 

We are the ones who tend to have final decisions on purchases for the home like cars or furniture. On holiday destinations, on schools for our children… almost everything.

 I can therefore understand why it might be prudent for the man to have his own space; A scented candle-free zone that represents who he is – where he can just, be.

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!

Do I look like I give a Duckface?

(As seen in September 2010 issue of Darwin Life Magazine)

Gone are the days of smiling for the camera. Apparently. Saying ‘cheese’ for a photo is so last decade because the DUCKFACE phenomenon has taken hold of lips everywhere. The word you should now be saying when a camera is in your face is ‘prune.’

I’m not even joking. Duckface is an epidemic, and it’s not pretty. What’s duckface? I hear you ask.

For those who haven’t see it, it’s that overly posed, lip protruding look that is supposed to make your lips look larger and your cheekbones more fabulous and defined. A combination of pout and kiss.

The Urban Dictionary explains as follows: “Stupid facial expression put forth by stupid people that don’t know how to smile. Made by moving both lips as far up and outward as possible. Commonly seen in photos of complete idiots trying to look like they have attitude when they really have a wedgie.”

Okay, I added that last sentence myself.

Looking at some photos posted on Facebook from Darwin’s party season, it’s apparent that predominantly women but also plenty of men have decided that duckface is somehow cool and sexy. Memo to all duckfacers: you just look like you’re mid-fart.

If you’re not in the majority that look flatulently inclined: Don’t be fooled into thinking duckface is okay. If you happen to be beautiful, you just look like you’re concealing a weapon… the kind of duckface that says “change the charge to manslaughter and I’ll tell you where I hid the bodies.”

In fact many repeat offenders of the Duckface were probably the prettiest girl in school… Girls like Miley Cyrus with lustrous hair, piercing eyes and adorable freckles. However pull the duckface and I find myself distracted by a mouth trying to be an entirely different orifice.

When I first realised duckface was the norm, I thought to myself: Whatever happened to aspiring for the ‘Dolly Magazine Cover Girl – So Happy I’m Delirious’ look in every photo? When did Zoolander’s ‘Blue Steel’ stop being satire? When did it become acceptable to have a photo taken at the precise moment you realise,”I look like a monkey and I smell like one too.”

Where did this atrocious trend start?

I delved into the duckface roots and my informal research told me it’s been around since Marky Mark was dropping his jeans for Calvin Klein. In fact celebrities were the founders of duckface. Stars like The Olsen twins, Renee Zellweger and even men like Sly Stallone whose mouth often resembled a badly inflamed haemorrhoid.

And we can’t forget repeat offenders like Miley and Lindsay Lohan. Shame about Lindsay since back in the day – before bad movies and rehab she was a red carpet smiler. I think her duckface started after Herbie Love Bug. The car was supposed to be Fully Loaded Linds, not you!

So next time someone breaks out the camera and says, ‘Smile!’ remember that smiles are beautiful and remind us of happy faces. Duckface makes me think of your butt hole.

Friday night at the club: One girl’s quest for a good time.

I so wish this post was fictional. But no. This post is evidence of a shabby practise that has no doubt become many young women’s reality and weekend routine . What I’m about to tell you? It. Actually. Exists. And I have pictures to prove it!

PREFACE

Okay, so when I was in my late teens and early twenties I went clubbing. Not a whole lot, but enough to know what my fellow female clubbers were into and why they were there. Me? I was there to dance. And I did from the moment I arrived to the moment I left. I pumped it! Pumped it!  Pumped it – pumped it nice and hard. Get up on this? Oh yeah I absolutely did if I could. The podium that is.

Was I there to pick up? Nuh. And I made that more than clear to anyone who tried to get within 20 centimetres of my personal space.  The thing is… I was not alone in my quest to be out, dancing and having fun with my girlfriends. And that was all. When the music got rubbish, or we got tired we left. With each other.  And I know there were plenty of other girl groups with the exact same agenda.

In my mind, picking up in a club was so… Blergh! Gross. Tacky. Ugh… as IF!?! Prudence McPrude.  That’s me. So when I was preparing for a Friday night out  to go dancing at a club, my handbag would usually contain the following:

  • Wallet – including my driver’s licence & money
  • Phone
  • Keys
  • Face powder compact because my makeup usually sweated off from dancing, eyeliner and lipstick.
  • An elastic band for if my hair got too hot dancing and I needed to tie it back.

Right? Nothing unusual there… I don’t think!

I’ve posted before about women’s handbag’s and what they may or may not contain. I was being tongue in cheek. I was generalising based on an image and my own judgements of that image. Seems like I wasn’t being as discriminating as I thought.

BACK TO NOW

So this morning we (my family) went out and on the way home my husband says he needs to stop in at work. He runs a popular bar/restaurant on the main drag of Darwin. One of his supervisors was making him a coffee, and she mentioned they found a handbag this morning that had been left there by someone last night. She handed him the bag and said, “Look inside…”

Oh. My. Giddy. Aunt.

Here is the bag, and the contents of the bag.

Here is a written list of the contents.

  • 1 x hot pink G-string – size 14.
  • 4 x Mint Blitz Lifestyle condoms
  • 1 x Berry Blast Lifestyle condom
  • 3 x pieces of peppermint Extra gum
  • ¼ pack of Rainbow Mentos
  • 6 x safety pins
  • 1 x disposable toothbrush and toothpaste

So this girl’s agenda is fairly apparent. I don’t think she was there to dance. And as much as I think it’s outstanding that this girl has considered both safe sex and oral hygiene…

5 CONDOMS?? Really? And a fresh G-Banger? WHY?

I’m in the process of writing my column for October’s issue of Darwin Life Magazine. I’ve decided to write about how men and women think differently about sex. I sat here on my computer last night researching, looking at this study – and that report… and they were all conclusive. Men think about sex more than women.

I have no idea of this girl’s age but she just might be an exception to the research. She thought about sex when she was getting ready to go out. And she thought about sex enough to prepare everything from her mouth and her breath, to her pre-shag outfit. AND – she was preparing to get jiggy with it more than once. She was prepared for up to FIVE romps!   Clearly – this chick used to be a Girl Scout.  I can’t say if this girl was expecting to have sex with someone she knows or not, but I think if you have a boyfriend, you might not be so particular about brushing your teeth before getting that close.  Unless you have some kind of nasty gum disease…  So I’m just going to assume she was planning to ‘pick up.’

I’m also thinking she was a bit under the influence when she went home last night and apparently (hopefully) took with her, her wallet including her ID.

Good grief… Imagine if she left her ID in the bag.  How awkward would it be ringing her up to inform her that you have her handbag. “Yes, a small gold clutch purse, containing ahhh…. Hmm.”

Needles to say this chick is never getting her pink bum floss back. I can’t imagine her voluntarily walking back in to see if it’s been found.

 Meanwhile I find myself curious about 1 other thing. The safety pins… Perhaps it had something to do with what she was wearing…. Because I would have thought safety pins and condoms don’t really mix.

Mean Girls (Darwin Life Magazine)

(As seen in August 2010 Darwin Life Magazine)

It was comedian Chris Rock who said: Women would rule the world if they didn’t hate each other! Funny? Unfortunately though, it’s true!

We’ve all spent time in the bitch arena. I’m guilty of spending actual years in that arena. Not proud of that – but you know why? Aside from PMS (some guys think this is just an excuse to be horrible, but to them I say – You try having a blood nose every single month… you’d be snarky too!) But we are also mean and bitchy sometimes because being a bitch can sometimes actually be fun.

Not a very PC thing to say but true. If it wasn’t fun, there would be no bitches, and then what would Akon or Eminem or Dr Dre sing about?  Plus, we LOVE bitches.  Just think Alexis Carrington in Dynasty, Amanda Woodward in Melrose Place, Blair in Gossip Girl and Sue Sylvester in Glee.

         

         

So Darwin’s social season is almost done for 2010. Have you been a Mean Girl?

I usually make verbal observations like:

  • That girl didn’t apply her makeup – she snorted it!
  • Oh look, mutton dressed as hooker!
  • Who applied her fake tan – Pro Hart?
  • Her head looks like a footy after a Grand Final!
  • I’m not usually fluent in skank, but that girl’s boobies are saying, Look at me!
  • She spent $75 on a Brazilian wax and is dying to show it off!

But I’ve decided that for these comments; I need a stiletto rammed firmly up my butt.

Because last month I overheard some young girls call another little girl nasty names. At the time I thought how in a few years, these little pigtailed princesses will morph into eye-rolling, gossiping, ostracising, sarcastic, dismissive, cliquish, embroiled in classic school style bitchery of adolescent female social politics – bitches.

Then a few days later I overheard a woman in a clothing store explaining that she wasn’t attending Ladies Day because of Mean Girls, saying she’d rather wait until Cup Day where judging eyes weren’t burning a hole in her hatinator.

Unfortunately, I know of women who would rather sit in a bath full of cockroaches than enter a Ladies Day marquee. Are there really that many whoreses on track? So I’m left wondering: Are women doomed to be bitches forever?

I turned to Google for answers. I clicked on a link titled Nasty Bitches. HUGE mistake. Because by bitch; I did NOT mean ‘semi naked college skank being $2 whore in front of camera-man.’  Ugh! I need to scrub my retinas with oven cleaner after that.

I eventually got answers. Apparently girls bitch because we have superior social intelligence but worry about rejection. We’ve learnt that society judges us harshly, so we make a pre-emptive strike and get our own judgments in first, attempting to maintain our position in the hierarchy of prettiness and popularity.

Fortunately, there are women who aren’t horrible.  But to those seasoned players like myself, I say drop your wordy weapons of mass reduction; (it only makes you less than you are). And to victims of the Mean Girl, I say put up your bitch shield, and remember that Life’s a Bitch! And guess what? Life actually has many sons as well!

The whoreses are off and racing….

When you ponder horse racing in Australia, you can’t help but consider the action happening OFF the track. It’s how turf clubs have become young and cool and glamorous. Because whether you’re a guy or girl, man or woman, bloke or chick…. the fact is you spend WAY more time observing two legged creatures than you do any of the four-legged specimens actually racing.

Turf clubs around the country direct their marketing efforts and sell tickets to race meets by using this precise behavioural phenomenon. In fact whoever the genius was that invented the term ‘fashions on the field’ literally changed the face of horse racing forever.

Here’s why:

  • Where there are horses, there is horse poo. And sometimes if the wind is just so… it catches your nose hairs and makes your eyes water.
  • Much of the time spent is on your feet… usually on grass or dirt and outside. • Horses are mostly bred and trained on country soil. Country being home to the RM William boot and akubra hat. Not the Peep Toe stiletto heel and custom made fascinator.
  • The betting ring is traditionally a blokey, smokey booze fuelled rough patch of concrete where race going fanatics turn their thoroughbred knowledge into a pay day.

Not at all factors that would appeal to the glamorous ladies amongst us.  But DESPITE all that, women swarm to race days faster than pigs to mud because where there’s ‘fashions on the field’ there’s an excuse to dress up, feel fabulous and for some: celebrate a win.

Have you ever noticed that you rarely see Hollywood celebrities snapped by the paps at race days? It’s because the yanks don’t know how to market the races to the glamour social set. The best they have is the Kentucky Derby, and this is the best it gets….

But visit the Melbourne Cup and the celebrities on track outnumber the celebrities at a Logies after party. Because us Aussies have mastered the skill of turning 15 horses racing on a dirty oily track into a glamorous and fashionable social event. I honestly believe that NOWHERE ELSE in the world do you get the exceptional calibre and sheer volume of women for a horse race than you do here.

Darwin Cup Ladies Day best dressed winners: photo by NT News

BUT…. Where there is fashion there are women. And where there are fashionable women and gambling, there are men. And where there are women and men and money, there is booze. And where there is booze, and women and men, there is candid and definitive perving.

AND…. Where there is such brazen perving, there are women who love attention. And where there are women who love attention, there are retail shops that sell very short dresses and actually quite slutty outfits breaking sales records.

Or as I like to say on race days… “What the hell is with all the vadge grazers?”

Ladies. If some of you could even call yourself that after what I have seen….. Do yourselves a favour and wear a skirt! Race day is not the appropriate occasion to be channelling Lady Gaga.

I’m trying really hard not to be bitchy here, and not to make judgement on other females for something as superficial as their attire. Therefore I am going to refuse the massive temptation to call many of the girls I witnesses on Monday ‘Skanks.’

So what I will say is that I was amazed by how many girls were dressed for a street corner. At night.

So I’m sitting here majorly disappointed with what I saw on Monday. Yes, undoubtedly there were some ladies present. MANY women who made an effort to look lady-like and stylish on whatever their budget could afford them. In fact the Grand Dame of Australian Racing, Gai Waterhouse who was at the Darwin Cup on Monday said, “The fashion is very beautiful, haute couture that could not just be seen in Darwin, but anywhere.”

Then she said, “It’s so relaxed.”

Hmmm. I think she saw what I saw. Because for as many young ladies who looked superb, there were equally as many who got it wrong. And if you’re wondering if you were one of them… let me break it down.

Here is a list of what to avoid at race days. Because I love lists, and because clearly (despite Marie Claire magazine making a similar list some 10 years ago) this is new information to some….

  • Bling: The races is a day time event. You’re not going clubbing. You’re not going to a cocktail party. You’re not going to a ball. So while a dress is considered appropriate – it’s not if there are hundreds of little sequins or sparkly beads sewn on.

  • Ball gown: As per the above. There is a difference between a maxi dress and a gown. Maxi dresses are a great option. Ball gowns make you look silly. As you can see here, Jen Hawkins looks more like a bridesmaid than a fashion ambassador for the Myer tent.

                                        

  • Costumes: I guess if you’re young and there’s a whole group of you, and you want your photo taken… Go for it! But dressing up with a theme all on your own is a bit sad. Megan’s outfit would be fine if she’s left the horse whip at home. See the distinction?

          

  • Fairy look: Let me just say there’s nothing wrong with a dress that goes out. It’s fun and flirty and festive. But if you do, make sure the layers of tulle are hidden. Otherwise you fall into the above category and look more like a ballerina or a fairy.

 

  • Exposed flesh: A little is ok. As per Megan’s girls here. Wearing a vadge grazer – or a dress/skirt that barely makes its way past the entrance is appalling race-wear and while you will most certainly get looks, trust me: Not every person staring thinks you’re gorgeous, even if you are. It’s not lady like and you won’t even win the Best Dressed Stripper award.

                                 

  • Getting blind: Holding a bottle of wine in your hand all day does not count as an accessory. Drinking too much alcohol on a race day is like a horse shooting out of the gate and then collapsing mid track. It’s embarassing, ferrel and tragic. The only person laughing is you. Remember: There’s nothing wrong with having a few waters.

Look if you’re not sure how to know whether or not your outfit is race day lady worthy… here’s how I do the test. I ask myself these 5 little letters. WWKWW?  

 

What Would Kate Waterhouse Wear? The girl is racing royalty and has NEVER got it wrong. In fact, many girls make the mistake of asking WWJHW? (What Would Jen Hawkins Wear?) She is not your go-to girl for fashion on the field – trust me on that.

Jen is a girl from Newcastle who has charmed us all with her hometown ways. She also happens to be absolutely stunning and look sexy in everything. But chances are you’ve never won a Miss Universe Title and unless you have, you shouldn’t be thinking about that skin tight dress.

So that’s it. No more racing up this end of the country until next year. I guess the whorses will be taking a much deserved rest and perhaps unwinding by putting on a pair of jeans?? The odds aren’t too great on that one.

What was I thinking, damn it!

There’s a specific emotion reserved within us all for that moment when we get a fine. Parking fine, speeding fine, whatever. The moment you realise you’ve been fined, the feeling is unmistakenly: disdain, mixed with anger, mixed with annoyance and frustration, and finished usually with a little regret.. Why?

Because who ever gets a fine and thinks to themsleves, “Of course, I totally deserve this!”

So last month I got a fine from the NT Police Red Light Traffic Office. The fine shows a picture of my car with the back wheels just over the white line where you are supposed to stop.  

I studied the photo and noticed that I was next to a turning right lane, where there was a green arrow.

I checked the date and remembered the day well. I had just been to a friend’s place for lunch, and my precious little girl who is nearly 2 was having a terrible time in the back.

By terrible, I mean she was screaming, crying and trying to get her arms out of the seat harness.  I recall that on the way home I had to pull over to put her arms back in (yep she got them free) and try and console her with a drink, her dummy, a toy…. None of which was working particularly well. I also recall having to turn around numerous times while stopped at traffic lights.

So. I saw the photo and came to a conclusion, the only conclusion that made sense to me, because WHY in Britney Spears name would I EVER place my child in danger while driving…. by running a red light? I just wouldn’t.

Here is the letter I wrote to the Red Light traffic Office with the sincerest of presumptions that I was telling the truth, (what other explanation could there be??) and with the perhaps ridiculous presumption that they would understand and let me off.

To whom it may concern

 RE: TIN  RL 000 34022

As per the attached fine and photograph, I was the driver of the car at the time the infringement occurred, proceeding beyond the red light 42.1 seconds after it had turned red.

I had actually stopped. While the light was red, I had been reaching towards the back seat where my not quite 2 year old was screaming, attempting to give her a pacifier.

Then the lane next to me got a green arrow and I noticed they were moving. I momentarily accelerated, but stopped immediately when I realised my light was still red. I did not run this red light. I took off too early by accident, and stopped straight away.

I realise perhaps more attention should be paid while sitting at a red light, but if you have ever driven with a screaming toddler, you will know that it is probably easier negotiating traffic with a live pig on your back seat. Or a serial killer. Or an elephant.

Given the extreme stress and overwhelming despair at my child’s cries and screams, and not knowing what was causing her to be in such distress, I actually think I did very well not to cause a seven car pile-up.

So I’m wondering, since you fine people for being under the influence of alcohol and drugs, perhaps you could change the title of this infringement, from Proceeding Beyond a Red Traffic Light (which technically I did, but only for a second) to “Driving Under the Influence of A Screaming Child.”

I’m wondering if the infringement amount for this might be less than $250

If you are not sure about how difficult it might actually be to drive while trying to hush a kid in the back – I urge you to research this common occurrence and borrow my child for an afternoon.  I’ll make sure she’s screaming for you. My address is above, you can come and collect her any day next week.

Then, before determining whether or not this fine may be removed and the infringement scratched altogether, let me know afterwards if you have not at some point buried your shaking head deep into your hands in despair, and looked up only to discover the light’s gone green. Woops, except it hasn’t. (Aaaand, break.)

Please feel free to contact me to discuss at any time. Except not before the kid has had her sleep.

Kind regards

(*me) 

 
 

Maybe I should have included my OWN photographic evidence 

 

Truthfully I wasn’t going to blog today. A million things to do. But some things are worth sharing in the moment.

I just got off the phone with a very concerned Indian man. Someone pass me the raita because I’m burning up right now. My fault. Entirely. But still??

So he received my letter. I could tell by his tone he was not amused. Sense of humour? Much like sweet, softly spoken politicians…. No such thing.

Now keep in mind that I heard this in a very thick accent, which although I am certainly not racist, made the whole conversation SO much more irritating, perhaps because I’m always a little dubious as to the authenticity of strange callers with Indian accents as being local calls. Thank you but I’m very happy with my telecommunications provider, PLEASE stop calling.

He said:

“We have received your letter regarding the red light traffic infringement, I’m calling to let you know that we have been over the photographic and video evidence and in fact you did run the red light. You entered the intersection when the light was red, and continued to drive through the intersection.”

Wow. Was my response. I just don’t do that. I asked if it had just turned red, if it was perhaps orange as I approached the intersection.

“No it was not Mam.”

Silence. He continued.

“Would you like me to withdraw the letter mam or would you like us to forward it onto the police.“

“What do the police do?” I asked.

“They are given the same photographic and video evidence with the letter and determine the outcome from that evidence.”

“Sure, send it on. The more people who think I’m a crazy nuthouse dangerous-on-the-road liar the better right?”

“That’s fine, withdraw the letter and I’ll pay the stupid frickin’ fine.” Is what I actually said.

Excpet I didn’t say stupid frickin’.

“Thank you mam, and might I suggest you take it easy on the roads in future.”

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Truthfully, I’m usually pretty good at getting out of fines so I’m probably just misplacing all of my frustration on the fact that this time I could not. Sorry kind, concerned Indian man. Have I ever mentioned I’m also slightly passive aggressive?

This is why sometimes it’s good to have conversations on old style telephones with chords. You can disconnect the call politely, then hurl the ear piece across the room and nothing gets broken. It just recoils like a slinky.

Let me tell you I am one of those strange people who likes road rules. I like boundaries. I like restrictions, because it makes me feel safe and there’s no temptation to be a speed demon or drive like I’m filming a James Bond movie. Because I know I have a wild side, and am competitive and like to think I can do everything superbly well, including rally driving. But I can’t because it’s against the law, and you could get caught, and get a massive fine…  So I don’t.

So seriously, what the hell was I thinking?

Have a crack! Go on… They’re just fireworks!

WARNING: There are graphic images of firework injuries below….

Yesterday Territorians celebrated Northern Territory Day, marking the commencement of Self Government in the Territory on 1 July 1978. Most states celebrate the day they became independent by having a public holiday. In Darwin, we celebrate by turning the evening into a disaster zone.

Let me tell you what happens…. For 2 days, fireworks are sold to members of the public over 16 years of age, and sales must cease by 9pm on July 1st.  These people are then free to ignite and set off their fireworks.

The government and Council always have a list of guidelines when lighting your own fireworks. I have made some comments in bold italics after each point.

* The sale of fireworks will be restricted to two days. Fireworks can only be purchased between the hours of 9am and 9pm on those two days, from approved fireworks retailers. They cannot be sold to persons under 16 years of age. (Well this is basically what does happen. The firework retailers make a fortune and to have their selling license revoked to stay open an extra hour, or to sell to a minor would not be worth it for them)

  • * Fireworks can only be ignited between 6pm and 11pm on Territory Day. For all other occasions a special permit is required. (Can someone explain why I could hear fireworks going off constantly throughout the night, at one point, waking my sleeping child because it sounded like a canon)

* Unused fireworks can be handed into NT WorkSafe or your local Police and Fire stations. (Riiiiigght. Sure. Like this EVER happens. Left over fireworks get used at the discrepancy of those who have purchased them. Meaning – whenever and wherever the hell they like.)

* Strict penalties apply under the Dangerous Goods Act for breaches of fireworks regulations with fines of up to $3000. (Great, but how many people actually get fined? I would LOVE to know the stats on that one!)

Let me just say, I’m not against fireworks for celebrations. I love fireworks. Always have. What I’m against is selling them to anyone.  Because for every responsible person that does the right thing, and abides by the guidelines to increase safety, there are about 10 who don’t.

My question is:  Why can’t the government put on a HUGE display for all people in Darwin. That’s what they do in all the regional areas of the Territory. Why do city dwellers get a license to explode? You only have to go to the NYE fireworks in Sydney to understand that having one big display encourages unity, consideration and makes the night so special. Sure there are drunken idiots there too, but they’re not armed with dangerous explosives.

Having pockets of people scattered not only creates competition, “There’s are pretty big, let’s get out our big ones and blow there fireworks out of the water,” but it is also impossible to police how much those using the fireworks are drinking.  Surely after 6 beers, lighting a firework in a public place can be as hazardous as driving a car.

So anyway, last night when I realised watching television or reading a book was futile (because it sounded like World War 3 outside in my suburban neighbourhood), I do what I always do when I feel an inner cyclone coming on. I put scribble to paper and wrote this:

 

 

Right now I’m just so furious I want to punch something hard!
But that would only aggravate the blatant disregard…

of all the stupid bogans that are outdoors tonight.
No they are not drinking, neither are they in a fight.

But they are causing havoc, making trouble, being clowns.
Is this what I should just accept living in Darwin town?

I wish I could invite you now, into my Lounge Room…
And this is what you’d hear: Whistle, crack, bang, chk-chk BOOM!

We’re apparently celebrating Northern Territory Day.
But it’s really an excuse for the idiots to play.

You see in the Northern Territory anyone can buy…
as many fireworks as they like and for a price that’s high.

They sell them for a whole two days prior to tonight.
Our officials in the government think that makes it alright.

“Surely if there’s just two days to stock up on supplies..
The fireworks will be limited as will pollution to our skies.”

I guess they just don’t realise that many go to shop
For the biggest loudest fireworks that go : Snap Crackle & Pop!

So these bogans – cashed up bogans, have spent serious truck loads!
And council cleanup tomorrow will cost serious f**k loads!

photo by NT News

But you know – the government (that silly bunch of fools)
Release a statement every year about the ‘Firework Rules.’

“You must not set a firework beyond 11pm
And remember there’s exclusion zones; they’ll be policed again.”

But with alcohol flowing freely the rules are just forgotten.
I feel sorry for the fire-fighters who must think this night is rotten.

The fire danger’s always high, and every year there’s reckless flames.
Cause surely… lighting fireworks yourself is fun and games.

Yet every single year the average number is thirty five.
Those who spend the night in hospital trying to survive.

Every year there’s injuries to limbs, fingers and eyes.
And I wonder… how many idiots actually copped a fine?

  

Like the brainless twat who last year didn’t give a damn.
He sent a baby to emergency when he shot fireworks at a pram!

So the fire-fighters, paramedics, doctors and police…
…are all on hand in quantities to try and keep the peace.

And minimise the damage, and try and maintain the law.
So I’m asking now – Where are you? Cause there’s fireworks at my door!

They’re almost in my backyard, there are fireworks galore!
They’re noisy and obnoxious. It sounds like there’s a war!

I want to go outside and shout out loud: “You stupid dicks!
You careless bunch of bastards, you reckless selfish pricks!”

I should mention there are those who responsibly spend…
…the evening being careful celebrating with their friends.

They only go to areas where fireworks are allowed.
They’re cautious with their explosives and respectful of the crowd.

But sadly that’s not everyone. There are way too many jerks.
So I’m pleading with the government: Stop the free-for-all Fireworks!

Now I’d be the first to tell you that fireworks are amazing
They’re sparkly and they’re pretty just like little bits of sky bling.

photo by NT News

But with boundaries there is safety. With restrictions there’s control.
And this mess and noise and damage are starting to take its toll.

Isn’t that the reason, NT finally fell in line?
And introduced demerit points in like – 2009? ***

And changed the speeding limit so there actually was one?
Because the road tolls and the accidents were no longer any fun.

It just makes sense to me, to keep it one big show.
And no longer sell fireworks to any Tom, Dick or Jo.

STOP the Private Fireworks. That is my new slogan.
The only ones who’ll be upset are all the stupid bogans!

*** Demerit points were actually introduced to the NT in July of 2007, 2 years earlier than stated above.

I’m Bringing Sexy Back (Darwin Life Magazine)

As seen in June 2010 Darwin Life Magazine

I‘ve mislaid my sexy and have no idea where to start looking for it. I’m not sure how you’d describe my current ‘look,’ but lately the way I’ve been dressing is less about making a statement, and more about making it out the door on time.

They say our clothing sends silent messages to others. If we had a speech bubble attached to us all day, would it say, “I’m too hot to give a damn?”

With the release of Sex and The City 2 in cinemas this month, I’m reminded that women can look sexy at ANY age. But it’s one thing to look fabulous in the heat when you’re sitting by a shady pool sipping Cosmos. It’s quite another to look stylish and put together when your life in the heat involves more than pool-side posing, lady lunching and cock-tales.

Is this why we live in singlets and thongs, wear minimal makeup, wear our hair mostly back, and have wardrobes full of items that don’t need ironing?

It wasn’t until I ventured south earlier this year that I realised how UNsexy I’d become. Not that Darwin isn’t sexy, Darwin shouts SEX.  (Just play a quick game of ‘spot the sex shop’ and you’re sure to run out of fingers…) But when you’re forced to pack a suitcase including your best and most coolest outfits, and you realise everything you own resembles the Playschool Wardrobe Department… that’s when it hits you.  

So I’m on Chapel Street, and it doesn’t just hit me that I’m unsexy, It slaps me across the cheek, and says “Lift your game!”

It was like stepping into a parallel universe where thongs do not exist. The Land Of The Closed In Shoe.  The Summer Of The Skinny Jeans.

My reason for bringing sexy back, as a happily married mother, is clearly not to pick up. It’s about returning from Baby Zombie Island to My New-Old Self.  But how?  I know it’s possible to look cool, captivating and couture up here instead of a sweltering wet rag. I do.

But where can I get inspiration… Hmmm…

Well, the good news is that my timing is excellent! Right now there are so many inspiring women to look to, to emulate… who are also bringing SEXY back! Like for example, role models seen in music videos.  Many of those female pop artists have brought back sexy in a MAJOR way. In fact, I think some of them got confused and accidentally brought back SLUTTY.

I’ve discovered that watching Video Hits is very helpful, very instructive. I know I shouldn’t bother with silly things like wearing a shirt. Because while I was busy using my fun bags to provide nourishment, underwear became the new black.

Which is totally fine with me, because living in Darwin’s heat, the less clothing the better.

You know, I’m starting to think the dancers in Darwin’s night spots are WAY ahead of me. TOT isn’t about flashing your pink bits. It’s about keeping cool. Coyote Tuesday isn’t about sexy girls in cowboy hats. It’s about wearing one-sided pants to allow your legs to breathe. And jelly wrestling? You do the math.

So I figure I can lift my game and bring sexy back EASY. I’ll put my back into it, put my ass into it, and purchase the followiing items: Hot-pink corset… Cowgirl chaps… Black push-up bra… Bikini with grass skirt… Bondage outfit… Numerous packets of raspberry jelly… Dignity… Oh no wait!

I won’t need any of that.

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?

Slinging MUD… When words become weapons & the NT News becomes TRASH.

UPDATE: This post has been EDITED more than my suitcase had to be prior to travelling home from Bali.

I apologise if you came here to read my opinion in its entirity, but I guess with the repsonsibility of publishing anything these days, you have to be accountable for what you say. I also wrote earlier very much in the heat of the moment and many of my remarks (I now believe) were a knee-jerk reaction to what I felt was injustice.  

I would therefore like to apologise to the journalist now for calling him vicious names earlier, names I have now removed. He’s possibly lovely and kind in person. But I stand by my comments that his words in the NT news on Tuesday were cruel and unnecessary, and that much of that has to do with ‘filling space’ for a publication hard up for REAL NEWS.

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I’m not perfect, far from it. I have often been the bearer of thoughtless, unkind and hurtful remarks. I’m not happy about that. But age is funny. It does more than make you wrinkley and saggy. It also means you start to grow freakishly long random eyebrows….  AND more importantly, it allows you to see the world through less judgemental eyes.

Yes. grey hair is the price I pay for perpsective and hindsight. Marvellous.

Why? Because when we’re 16 we think we’re perfect. By the time you’re 36 like I am, you realise ‘that could so easily have been me,” or “that happened to me,” or “I know how they feel.”

It’s called experience – wisdom – understanding , and it’s why our mums and dads were SPOT ON when they told us WE KNOW BEST. In most cases they did.

 

So I still happily maintain my imperfection.  I KNOW there are times when I could be nicer. When I should close my mouth and tune out of a nasty conversation. There’s also times when I should keep my (sometimes self righteous) opinion to myself.  

Yes, I can be nasty, bitchy, and unkind. I can be mean. I can be your worst enemy. BUT most of the time I’m nice, and try to be less judgemental. Most of the time when I realise I’ve upset someone, I’m devastated. MOST of the time.

In case you were wondering… no I’m not off to confession. I’m not on some deep personal self journey of emotional discovery either.

But I have said things (and published things) I regret. Like – the fact that I went to a hair salon in Darwin that starts with a K and my hair was ruined for a year. Apparently those words caused $50,000 worth of damage.

So when is it ok to share an opinion that could be hurtful or damaging?

With a friend over coffee? On facebook? While accepting an academy award?  What about in the instance where you have a space to fill in a newspaper and might as well fill it with hurtful lies? That’s not new…  Gossip mags have been doing that for years.  So it’s not surprising that something so cliché and cheap might be the common practise of my local paper.

Yesterday, a journalist from the NT News’s and clearly a correspondent for all things RIDICULOUS, published some hurtful, cynical and unnecessary comments. My guess? He got his journalism qualifications from a ‘cut-out’ on the back of a box of cornflakes.

The NT News decided a while back to do something truly original and start publishing a weekly CONFIDENTIAL section. They have the same section in most other newspapers around Australia. They serve to keep us up to date on home-town celebrity gossip. Of course when you live in Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane… there are actually valid celebrities to write gossipy things about.

Here is an excerpt from Sydney Confidential today:

MICHAEL Clarke and Lara Bingle have reached settlement following their break-up in March.

A statement released by Bingle’s lawyers last night stated the couple had resolved their “property arrangements” amicably and remain good friends.

Despite a report here earlier in the week, Confidential understands the model agreed to a conservative settlement in the end, although there were no details forthcoming last night.

Clarke’s camp confirmed the matter had been dealt with privately.

Notice there was no name calling, no judgement, no accusations.

Here is NT Confidential from yesterday:

Ed makes a very public proposal

THE Territory’s latest glossy fish-and-chip wrapper has taken less than a year to descend into full-blown self-promotion.

In a move that has caused many to cringe, Darwin Life editor Leasel Avila proposed to her boyfriend Matt Cielens – who writes the editorial for the pair’s latest venture, Darwin Home – with a full-page photograph of herself.

Traditional social-sorts were shocked to see Avila making the proposal rather than Matt.  ConfideNTial can reveal that he said yes.

MEANWHILE, Cielens has made a splash in the second edition of his mag.

While rambling on about “imitation being the highest form of flattery”, he wrote: “Maybe we will do the same some day and put a croc on the front cover.”

Given that most of the stories in his magazine are built around selling the wares of advertisers, ConfideNTial wonders who will foot the bill for that cover.

 

If you would like to see what I’m referring to click here and refer to page 6.

Now watch out: I’m ready to sling mud.

 In one small gossip item, he’s managed to do the following:

  • Insult an independent publication by calling it ‘fish and chip wrapping.’ This journo forgets he works for a paper, one that is discarded DAILY, one that is full of FANCIFUL FABLES, one that has LITTLE CREDIBILITY and one that has no pretty glossy pages…. I wonder who’s stories end up wrapping greasy food? Glossy full colour monthly mag? Or trashy 20 page waste of paper that is NT News?

 

  • Accused Darwin Life editor Leasel Avila – a young woman with guts and fortitude who took her destiny into her own hands and proposed to her boyfriend, as being a ‘self promoter.’ Yes, of course she totally proposed for publicity. Totally. Not love. Not because she wants to share her life and be married to a great guy. Just to get more readers.  If the journo understood women at all, he’d know we women don’t muck around when it comes to proposals and weddings. We simply want it to be memorable and special, and I think Leasel achieved that. I admit to being shocked by it, but on reflection I think what she did was brave. I think good on her. I think the journo is a little out of touch with human emotion…. perhaps a result of spending hours couped up in a tiny little cubicle with no windows, and nothing to look at but the old front page clippings blue-tac’d up, about Yowies and UFO’s and Aliens. The makings of a sad person, making a living out of pulling others down.

 

  •  Assumed the thoughts and actions of others, by stating that this proposal made many people ‘cringe.’ Did it? Like who?   Traditional types, he says, were shocked. Yep, they probably were. And that’s news or gossip how?

 

  • Accused an editor of a competing publication (Matt Cielens) of ‘rambling.’ Because this journo in question NEVER rambles. He’s not threatened at all by the fact that there’s a competing HOME magazine on the market?

 

  • Accused a competing magazine for being built around advertisers and having no real substance.  Ummm, this is a message for the journalist and all his mates at the NT News.  YOU DO THE SAME THING. You are totally dependent on advertisers. As most publications are. Don’t tell me that the sale price of $1.20 for the paper pays your salary. Advertisers pay your salary, and you know that. In much more subtle ways, your paper does the same. As do ALL papers. Your publication is often laughable, and so are the prices you charge for advertising.  Perhaps that’s it! You’ve lost advertisers to a publication that doesn’t charge champagne prices for light beer quality.  Darwin Life and HOME magazine (while still in its infancy) are a lot more customer savvy than you lot. I know where I’d rather spend my marketing dollars.  

I also think most people buy the silly paper to see what irony or stupidity they can laugh at for the day.

I think I’m feeling much better, although there’s every chance this post will get me in to severely hot water.

DISCLAIMER: The above words are a personal opinion only. They have been published for cathartic purposes, and to fulfil a personal need for vengeance. They are not fact, but just one hot headed girl’s view of a sad piece of journalism. This post should be treated with as much seriousness as the report from the NT News some time back, on the kangaroo who was horny and on the prowl.

Me and Fake Tan are through!

Seriously! I’m done with it. I’m washing my hands of fake tan (literally and metaphorically) for good this time.  I am hereby boycotting anything that pretends to make your skin look tanned from this day forward. Why? Oh, because as I type, I’m looking down at the hands of giant female Oompah Loompa!

I’m not even joking, and desperately wish I was.

Tonight  I have an awards night to go to. Not quite as formal as the Star Ball  I had to get ready for the other week, but dressy all the same. So I’ve got the dress, the jewels, the shoes etc sorted.  However, yesterday when I was shopping, I thought I might look into a product I’ve heard all about.

It’s called Model Co. Airbrush Bronzer.  I’ve used the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs before and it’s normally great, except that last time I used it (right before a wedding) I broke out into a huge red spotty rash. It went fabulously with my navy, white and red spotty dress.

So I thought I’d steer clear of that one again. And in fact, have not been tempted to get involved in any kind of self-tanning activities for a while now, and have opted instead – for a professional spray tan.

Spray Tans are great, except that you can’t sweat or get wet for 8 hours. Problem? Not usually.  But I live in Darwin. Hot and wet for 8-9 months. Hot and dry for 3-4.

Last time I got a spray tan it rained while I was walking to my car and I had white spots on my brown arms and shoulders. I hid it with makeup.

The time before that when I got a spray tan, it was a very hot and humid day and I was sweating like a paedophile in a primary school (sorry – bad taste, but you can imagine I was sweating PROFUSLEY).  I managed to blend in some of the blotches, only to have half of it wash away when I gave my daughter a bath that night.

 

So spray tans and me haven’t had the best luck so far…

Self ANYTHING and me usually turn out to be a disaster. Today was no exception.

Here is what the can said:

Hold can approximately 40cm away from your face and body and spray a fine mist evenly over desired area. Be sure to spray in a light even motion or blotching may occur. In this instance, rub the bronzer into your skin. Then wait a few minuted for the perfect golden colour to appear.

So I’m in the bathroom, naked, with towels all over the floor. I give the can a shake and press lightly down on the nozzle. The fluorescent orange spray comes out vcery fast and it is NOT GOLDEN.  Crap. So I do what they tell me and rub it into my skin.

It doesn’t blend. It just blotches more. It’s already set on my skin….. Only now my hands are matching bright orange. What was all that golden stuff about anyway?  There is nothing golden about looking like the inside of a butternut pumpkin!

So I jumped back in the shower and scrubbed like my credibility depended on it (because it does) and have managed to get most of it off. I’m now more like the outside of a butter nut pumpkin. Hues of bright orange, but muted.

 You may wonder why I bother…. It’s not just to look tanned.

Here are the reasons.

  1. This reason is the ongoing reason, and is due to some (a million) big brown freckles on my shoulders. Sun wounds. Battle scars from my beach-spent youth. Some of them look like big wheat flakes that you should be pouring milk over, not pouring a silky evening dress over.
  2. The last few weeks there have been lots of mosquitoes and my legs are covered in mosquito bites. I figured a bit of golden colour might help to camouflage them.   It’s not like any normal person wears stockings in Darwin.
  3. Brown skin makes you look skinnier, and your teeth whiter.

But I’ve decided this morning that I can live with mozzie bite scabs on my legs; I can live with choc-chip arms; and I can live without extra white teeth –  I can’t live with the fact that I have to go out tonight looking like this. (Minus the hat – Plus actual clothes).

Yes, me and fake brown skin are over. Here is a list of the products that will no longer get my support.

  1. Fake self-tan – Actual cream or spray that you apply to your skin and wait for it to develop. We have put men on the moon, but we still can’t work out how to make this product smell less stinky, or look less fake.
  2. Spray Tan – Perhaps I will revisit this when I can come home and stand under a fan without moving for 4-8 hours. Right now it goes against my lifestyle.
  3. Bronzers – They come off all over your clothes, furniture and other people, and leave a huge mess in your bathroom sink.
  4. Airbrush Bronzers – See above.

I’m not alone… Anne Hathaway – she of creamy skinned goodness has also sworn off the stuff too saying: “I had a spray tan done and I wound up looking like an orange zebra. When it came off, because I’m so pale underneath, I looked like a giraffe with leprosy. And I smelled like nachos and maple syrup the whole time. It was not a good idea.”

                     

If anyone asks me tonight…. Why no! This isn’t spray tan. I’ve just been on that keratin diet. You know – the one where you eat lots of carrots? It can apparently make your skin a bit orange…. Yes and it tends to have a stronger effect on areas of skin like elbows, knees, and the bits between your fingers…  So am  I looking tanned? I hadn’t really noticed!