6 reasons why Christmas really is MAGIC. And one reason it’s sometimes confusing.

magic-christmas1

(As seen in December 2011 DarwinLife Magazine – EXTENDED REMIX)

Background: A few weeks prior to this going to print, Kim Kardashian announced her divorce after 70 whatever days. ..

You know those days when you wake up, and your hair already looks good, you find twenty dollars in your jeans pocket; you’ve lost three kilos overnight, and then you tongue-pash Leo DiCaprio while Ryan Reynolds waits his turn before proposing marriage? Well to me, waking up on Christmas morning is more magical than that. Except for the Ryan/Leo bit, because that’s not magic when you’re a blonde model-turned-actress. That’s a couple of months ago.

I don’t understand people who hate Christmas. What’s not to love about a holiday that includes over-indulging in eating, drinking and sleeping?  Yes I just filled my bowl for the third time with Brandy custard trifle, and then chased it with a giant bucket of fudge and 4 glasses of sparkling something-or-other. Yes there’s a chance I’ll be sick later but tomorrow’s a holiday. ANOTHER ONE!

And without sounding too materialistic; don’t forget presents. Because Christmas without presents is like Kate Moss without makeup. Or Shane Warne without Liz.

The magic of Christmas doesn’t end there. Here’s my list of Christmassy magic, all starting with S because S is the symbol for $ and Christmas isn’t cheap. Also, like everyone I recently pondered the stupidity that is Kim Kardashian, and thought about Kristmas at their house. They’ll have Kris Kringle, and eat kookies and kandy. And they’ll give each other their own kardashian kollection krap.

Kardashian

Sparkle: I love that Christmas is so shiny. The streets, the shops, and also when I’m outside in 99% humidity, my face! Everywhere you turn there’s sparkle and shine. Bells ringing and trees blinging. But please!  If I must listen to Jingle Bells, I’ll listen to the Frank Sinatra version. Not the Earrings-Hanging-Off-Your-Ears version.

Santa: I hope someone is paying Santa the big bucks, particularly given the awkward and potentially litigious practice of having children sit on his lap to ask for presents.  Santa is the master magician. The words, “I’ll tell Santa” can strike fear into even the baddest little brat. And the look on kid’s faces on Christmas morning is beyond magic. If you could harness the excitement from every 3-6 year old after Santa’s visit, the world’s energy crisis would be over.

SANTA

Come to think of it, Coke should pay him. They invented him!

Seafood: No explanation required. Unless you’re one of those freaks that doesn’t eat seafood in which case you don’t deserve Christmas!

Spreading cheer: I LOVE giving presents. Openly. Anonymously. Shopping for them. Wrapping them. All of it. For some reason, it makes me feel like I’M a magician. Like I’m George Clooney’s manhood bringing outcries of pleasure to every exploding star in every galaxy.

GIFTS

Sugar: Everyone has their own ‘dessert’ tradition, and I think that’s what makes Christmas so amazing. Any occasion that makes us and supermarkets focus so much attention on chocolate and custard and pie and fudge and cookies and pudding and ice-cream and lollies has GOT to be magic. Although, as made aware to me by authors of the awesome blog: Spend Less Nourish More; Forrero Rochers lost their magic in 2003. Enough with the merchandising like it’s ‘special.’ Stick it on the shelf with Kit Kats. Ta.

Siesta: This is mandatory on Christmas day because of two words: Food coma.

food-coma

 

And now for something equally magical but quite confusing….

Singing: Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE singing. Especially when I know the harmony and can sing like I’m one third of Destiny’s Child. Frankly? I’m surprised my career as an International Popstar is taking so long. Christmas Carols reserve a special place in my voice box.  Singing them is what I call Christmas Cheer. But when you stop and consider the words – well sometimes it’s confusing. And non-carolly type Christmas songs are WORSE!

So this first: Apparently (read it on internet so must be true), in the times of Yore or Good King Wenceslas when the words to a song were considered in bad taste (ie anything by L’il Kim) rather than sing tawdry verse in question, singers would replace dirty verse with: ‘fa la la la la’. Which makes me wonder about Deck The Halls. Because ‘Dawn we now our gay apparel??’ Nope. Don’t want to know.

Meanwhile, some other words / phrases that confuse me: Feast of Steven? Not familiar with it, although it sounds wonderful. Manger? Only ever heard the word in 2 songs. Ever. Actually, the alternative would be ‘Away in a food trough.’ It makes me think that the birth of Jesus has been highly romanticised and the nitty gritty details of that first Christmas night have been kept a secret. Who cut the umbilical cord? Did they save the placenta? And my biggest question of all…. SILENT NIGHT?  I mean this was pre-epidural times. And I can say with certainty they were not Scientologists. Whoever wrote Silent Night has never been in labour.

nativity by Julie Vivas

From the book ‘The Nativity’ illustrated by Julie Vivas. This is probably how Mary actually looked: Exhausted and like she’s still 4 months pregnant.

 

Another completely random song, “Do you hear what I hear.” In this song the wind is talking to a baby sheep. Maybe the sheep was Dinging and Donging Merrily on High.

Finally, I can’t fail to mention quite possibly the worst song ever written by man. And that’s saying a lot because most people reserve that title for Achy Breaky Heart. But Jingle Bell Rock can go and die in a chestnut-roasting fire. Any song that asks me to “mix and a-mingle to a jinglin’ beat” ceases to deserve a place in my Yuletide vernacular.

Jingle Bell Rock from the movie Mean Girls. I hope it goes without saying that I am equally uncomfortable with Sexy teenage dancers.

Jingle Bell Rock from the movie Mean Girls. I hope it goes without saying that I am equally uncomfortable with Sexy teenage dancers.

So anyway, to anyone that maintains they hate this time of year: Stop sulking. Submit to the magic and savour the season.

Syclone Sindy says.

Advertisements

A letter I doubt I’ll be sending… to Tom Cruise.

Dear Tom.

You’re weird. You know that, right? Like – you make most people cringe so hard their skull falls into their rib cage.

I could end my letter right there because I really just wanted to join the chorus of those calling you a total nutter so Hollywood will sit up, listen and realise we don’t like seeing you on or off the screen. But there’s a part of me that wants to reach out to you Tom. It’s mostly pity. Sad pathetic pity. The kind you have for someone who just got dumped – 4 days before a monumental birthday.

So anyway today news broke that your divorce to Katie Homes was settled. You’re back on the market! That was fast!  But listen… before you go looking for the next Mrs Cruise – I need to tell you some other stuff, and in order to appeal to your ginormous ego, I’ve decided to write this letter in a way you’ll feel comfortable reading.. There are 8 facts. Just like there are 8 ‘Dynamics’ of Scientology.

Please consider this a community service and also somewhat of an intervention, where an unknown middle-aged scrag with a keyboard gives you said facts; then offers you some highly unsolicited advice which I strongly suggest you take if you don’t want to lose everything but your rank in the church.

(Disclaimer: for the purpose of this letter, putting the word “FACT” in front of a statement is the same as putting George Michael in bed with a girl in the Careless Whisper film clip)

FACT 1:

You turned 50 last week so Happy Birthday I guess. Anyway, acting roles for men in their 50’s and beyond are usually drama or comedy roles – something you’ve proven to be average at.  Roles that George Clooney, Robert De Niro, Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, Anthony Hopkins, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn and Colin Firth pretty much have in the bag.  They’re all Oscar winners by the way Tom. A recognition that has eluded you throughout your 30 year career, despite your box office success in the action genre.

Don’t get me wrong. You’re not totally dried up. Any parts calling for a creepy, arrogant jerk are yours. Or Jim Carey’s.  Also – now that you’re 50, you’re a lot less likely to snag a 26 year old. The Desperate For Popularity Boost Actresses are now flocking to Johnny Depp.

MY ADVICE: Quit acting, change careers. Become an agent or something. Change your name to Jerry and remember the good old days when you used to get nominated.

FACT 2:

Everyone is calling you Mission Impossible. Because get it? That’s a movie series you’ve been in. And now they’re making it an omen for your relationships. I notice you got paid 70 million back in 1996 to play the role of Ethan Hunt. Impressive. You’re currently filming a movie called Oblivion… Right? OBLIVION! Is this an omen for your career? They’re paying you a meagre 5 mill Tom. What happened? Even Vanilla Skye; possibly the worst film ever made for Hollywood paid you 20 million. Has it occurred to you and your people that you are no longer bankable, a fact that has nothing to do with your age and everything to do with your freaky psychotic ramblings?

MY ADVICE: SHUT UP!

FACT3:

Apparently you’re fairly high up in terms of rank within the Scientology religion. That’s fine. I don’t know where John Travolta or Will Smith sit within the ranks, but why are they seemingly more balanced than you? Given this, I find it irresponsible to blame your religious beliefs for your weirdness. It’s your OBSESSION with your beliefs, combined with your urge to CONTROL all those around you to partake in the tutti fruit that is scientology.  Obsessions are ok I guess… John Travolta is obsessed with planes. Will Smith is obsessed with making his children more famous than him. I’m obsessed with nice handbags and writing letters to people who will never read them. Whatever. The point is Tom… your obsessions are made up words. Xenu? Weird mate.

MY ADVICE:  Get a hobby that doesn’t include discussing time travel, aliens that exist in human bodies and ANYTHING that blows your mind.

FACT 4 :

In the last week, the media have pointed out something freakier than your front teeth before you had major dental reconstruction.  And that is this: ALL YOUR WIVES GOT DIVORCED AT AGE 33.  Well known celebrity examiner Perez Hilton delved into some numerology which Scientology is apparently in to. Whatever!  Something about the flight of the phoenix and being free. The point is, regardless of who is filing for divorce, women who marry you realise at age 33 that they’re miserable and want a successful career. And BOY do they succeed. Cher – Oscar winner. Nicole Kidman – Oscar winner. Penelope Cruz – Oscar winner. Mimi Rogers won nothing from the academy because she won the Worst Decision Ever Award for introducing Scientology to their future leader.

What you should know is that even if you get married again, I doubt this kooky phenomenon will happen again because of Fact 1. You’re too high maintenance now. Your stocks have plummeted and the only person young and silly enough to recreate the phenomenon is Lindsay Lohan.

MY ADVICE: Find someone older than you. I think Jodie Foster is available. You guys have LOADS in common.

FACT 5:

Some people are saying you’re the next star to be cursed after filming Rock of Ages. Ie. Katie Holmes filing for divorce with you, Russel Brandt split with Katy Perry, Mary J Blige’s charity went broke, Alec Baldwin got a stalker…. I truly believe this film IS cursed. They filmed you writhing around on stage with no shirt on. OF COURSE it’s cursed.

Shut up, that IS a fact.

MY ADVICE: None sorry. It’s too late now. They should have cast someone else.

FACT 6:

Dawson’s Creek: The Reunion movie would be filming now if you didn’t forbid Katie from taking part. For this alone, millions are mad at you.

MY ADVICE: You need to personally fund all production fees associated with this project, and speak to whoever you have to ensure this gets off the ground. Will Joey run back to Dawson’s tender dorky arms, or will she remain helplessly in love under Pacey’s charming spell? These are questions we want answered Tom. SOON.

FACT 7:

Secrets! I think you have a few. Like why’d you divorce Nicole? Did she cheat? Did you?  What’s in the pre-nup with you and Katie? What don’t you want us to know that might come out if you fought for custody? Why has this divorce been over so quickly? Why did she even divorce you? Was she afraid?  IS it true you scared the hell out of Penelope? How come Katie gets primary custody of YOUR child? You ARE Tom Cruise!!

Honestly Tom! You’ll happily tell a journo to put his manners back in or discuss KSW, LRH, orgs and fighting the good fight…….but you won’t tell us the name of your boyfriend.

MY ADVICE: Nobody cares Tom.  Open the closet door already.

FACT 8:

I feel it’s important to tell you something that is IN FACT a fact. You used to be hot. Like even now you’re not THAT ugly. But creepy and hot are non-cohesive traits. I remember going to the movie cinema as a 13 year old girl with my friend, and lining up for what seemed like 45 minutes because it actually was 45 minutes – to watch Top Gun. My friend Megan was 14 and we were there for one reason. YOU!!

Not Val Kilmer. Not the aeroplanes. Not even all those men in uniform. It was all for you. I remember watching you (Maverick) leaning over the sink in your Y-fronts and clenching your jaw tightly after Goose died, anguished over his death and the parallels to the premature death of your own father.  It was a special moment. Not just in the movie’s story line, but also in MY story line. Seeing your jaw ripple? Something happened. I knew I was becoming a woman.

MY ADVICE:  None. You’re not that man anymore. Sorry about that. Your fault though.

Regards

Cyclone Cindy

PS. You’ve completely ruined the whole sliding-into-a-room-in-your-socks-and-underwear-while-singing-into-a-brush thing for all of us.

PPS. I have this idea for an adventure movie based around a geriatric archaeologist called Emphysema Jones, who discovers treasures. Eventually. Interested?

To future generations.

In a thousand years’ time, when they’re looking back at the remnants of our civilization, they’re going to say, “Wow their beer ads were awesome.”  Maybe they won’t even have beer ads by then, in which case I’d like future generations to know that the ads were also very misleading. Drinking beer does not bring on a plague of reindeer after dark. Furthermore, my tongue has never come out of my mouth to search out beer, and drinking beer DID NOT help me do the entire dance routine from the movie Flashdance.

I did that all on my own.

In fact, there are many more things that future generations should probably know. Here are just a few…

CELEBRITIES: Currently our pop stars are trying to shock us. It’s silly really –like  rocking up to an awards night in a side of beef to make… a STATEMENT!! Waste of a good BBQ if you ask me. Hopefully your pop stars are no longer attempting to shock.  If they are – holy shinoodle what are they DOING? Also, many celebrity ‘actors’ should never have made movies. If you are into classics, I would like to apologise now for Tom Cruise. He used to “act” before he got famous for facilitating the co-habitation of aliens and earthlings on Zenu. Also, sorry about Angelina Jolie. Hopefully she stopped making movies when the world realised staring at someone with your lips slightly parted while holding a rifle is not acting, but like watching a foetus attempt to change a tyre.

Speaking of movies…

REMAKES. Just don’t. I can assure you that a big breakfast without bacon is upsetting. Footloose without Bacon is a travesty.  I don’t know how many versions there are of Batman by now but trust me, that suit is on some kind of human growth hormone. Speaking of which, I also hope they stopped making The Hulk.  Hopefully they have not remade anything that starred Frank Sinatra or Gene Kelly and if they did? I am deeply offended and perplexed for mankind.   The best James Bond was Roger Moore, NOT Zach Efron. And if they’re still making Sex and the City movies, I apologise. Those women used to be in their 30’s when it was slightly more appropriate to discuss your vagina.

CONSERVATION. I’m pretty sure that through the wonders of evolution, Chocolate trees and Cheese trees grow wildly. I hope you’re respecting this amazing wonder of nature and not being all greedy and picking the cheese before it is mature, because there’s a word for you people –  Cheddarphiles!  Please be considerate and go easy on the trees.  I’m sure you learnt in history class at school about the fish that used to live in the ocean.

MONEY. Don’t let money rule your life. Live each day. Don’t sit around being like ‘Oh man this day sucks because my iWatch7 broke and my High-speed 4D Wifi Smell-O-Vision is going too slowly!!’ They’re just ‘things’ that can’t hug you back. Unless there’s an app for that now…. Don’t get mad because you don’t have those expensive shoes that shoot fire and come with inbuilt massage pads that I’m counting on scientists to invent for us. Don’t want too much more than you have. Google Donald Trump; He lived big but died from bacteria that entered his brain shortly after a hair transplant.

LOVE. I don’t care if the divorce rate is 97% and the only living proof of romance is Gary Marshall movies starring Anne Hathaway. Love is worth having. Love can change your life and make you do things you never imagined. Love will keep you alive and warm the cockles. I’m not sure what cockles are but I think I’d prefer mine warm.  I hope you still get butterflies in your stomach when some idiot half-grins at you. I hope they still write love songs and that not all ‘slow jams’ are about getting it on. I hope you’ve experienced yearning and that there’s still heartbreak, because if you’ve never had a broken heart – how do you even know you’re alive?  I hope that romance doesn’t involve only texting and vampire novels, and while we’re on the subject of romance novels; I hope Mills and Boon are still printing the classics. Because this. Fries. My. Burger.

BE SMART. I hope you haven’t become full of yourselves, and you’re educated and live in a world where there are equal rights and positive role models. I hope you’ve elected good politicians and cured diseases. I hope that the world is better prepared for natural disasters and that a packet of cigarettes costs $59 but petrol is down to $1. I hope for Julia Gillard’s sake that carbon was proven to be directly responsible for global warming, and that the globe is, in fact warmer now, because I’ve never heard anyone say, “I just love being nice and cold.” I hope that publishing propaganda on the ‘harm done’ by Vaccinations and Immunisation is illegal. I hope the sitcom, Two and a Half Men is OVER.  But mostly, I hope you are all doing well at mathematics. Because there’s a good chance you’re thinking…  ‘Pfft. When will I ever need this in real life?’ but then… Lara Bingle and Kim Kardashian.

Hopefully you’ve never heard of either of them.

Mistakebook… Enough!

I’ve written about using Facebook in the past here but was asked by someone in Darwin to discuss ‘friend requests” and if you only accept people you really like. Which led me to my September 2011 column in DarwinLife Magazine

 

When a barman asks what you’d like, he means what DRINK you’d like. Trust me; it’ll save you an awkward conversation. Also, when a barista says “Sugar?” he means do you WANT some, not do you HAVE some. We all make mistakes. Life is tricky, and I nearly gave away my sugar.

So, what’s trickier than life? Facebook! A place where billions of people make mistakes, assumptions and comparisons every day, and some really do give away all their sugar. At first it seemed cool, maybe a bit addictive. But Facebook culture lends itself freely to voyeurism, judgement and oversharing.

Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook to pick up chicks because, horny males: the mother of all invention. But it’s changed. Now it’s something you can use to tell 300 friends you’re in labour. Or in love. Or in-capable of emotion. Or in London getting fresh with Prince Harry.

Pfft! Whatever! In your dreams.  See? Tricky! Here are some more common Facebook mistakes.

Adding friends: Just because we once made out and it was hotter than Ryan Reynolds holding a bottle of absinthe and inviting me into a Jacuzzi full of Epsom salts, doesn’t mean I’m requesting your friendship so we can do it again. I only want to be your friend so I can stalk you when I can’t sleep.  Or… What? Nothing! Also, if it takes me more than a day to accept your request, I’m probably not that interested… but might accept later on not to be a rude cow, incase you know someone I actually like and tell them – I’m a rude cow. Either way! It’s not called Like-book.

Rejecting friend requests: Obviously you did something creepy that I can’t look past. Or you support Collingwood. It doesn’t make me a bitch, or you a loser. Que será, mi amor. Well that’s what I told myself when Matt Damon rejected me. It’s not Popularity-book.

Deleting friends: ‘Cleaning your profile’ as a reason for deleting friends is essentially saying, you’re rubbish, bugger off. I’ve only ever deleted one person, and that scheming worthless hack knew she had it coming. I think deleting people is mean. It’s a person! Not some shoes you don’t want anymore. Fickle-book, maybe.

Comments: When your self-esteem is directly proportional to the number of ‘likes’ or comments you get, you know it’s time to converse in the real world. Insecure-book?

Profile picture: If you’ve had some professional photos taken and you use that for your profile – you wanker! Oh wait, I do that. Well at least it’s me, not my: car, pet, tattoo, cleavage, feet, a celebrity, or taken in 1997.  It’s not Guess-who-book.

Groups: Be careful. You and your 5 members might offend someone; enough to sue for fifty grand. Joke? No. Ridiculous? Yes. Almost Defamation-book.

Games: I do not want to play Cityville, Castleville, Farmville, Annoyingville or something called Fruit Ninja Frenzy. I had one of those once and afterwards, I had the hiccups for days. However I think I could get into the game Howzat Cricket. I feel it’s the only sport that prioritises lunch.

Status updates: Life is NOT a dress rehearsal for your Facebook updates. Nobody wants to know what you’re doing every minute. Stop it!  Keep your clean house, your headache, your dry cuticles, your cheese sandwich, your hangover, your new oven or what’s inside it to yourself. Also… Kids are cute and hilarious. But they’re yours not mine, so keep the sleeping/eating/pooping routine in the family. It’s not called Mother-book.

The truth is Facebook is a brilliant way to keep in touch with all kinds of people from our lives – past and present.  It’s one of the best ways to vent, share ideas, gain support and actually – laugh at life.  It’s a great way to share photos so I can see if after you dumped me and got married your kids turned out ugly, and it’s invaluable for making contact. However; if we’re Facebook friends, and you are gulity of any of the above – consider this your written warning. I may not delete you, but I’ll ‘hide’ you. Probably forever, and you’ll never know. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg; it’s not called Nice-book.  Zuckers!

Waving the Aussie flag….. Somewhere across your torso!

Australia Day has changed a bit since I was young and free. We’d rejoice by going down to the Perth foreshore and watching the sky light up while a local radio station did live simulcast with INXS, Jimmy Barnes, Kylie Minogue and ACDC.  I’m sure that plenty of Perth’s population continue to do just that. It’s a fun day that includes a picnic with friends overlooking a stunning horizon.

The difference is…  Back when I used to go, I wore what I wanted.

Over the last decade I’ve noticed a very interesting trend on Australia Day, and one which I believe started after the spike in patriotism during the Sydney 2000 Olympics…

Hmm. What to wear today…. I know…  A flag!

Yes that’s right. I’m talking about the hillbillies who cover their skin with temporary flag tattoos, not content with the massive Aussie flag-cape draped across their shoulders. Who do they think they are? Oz-Man? Here to save the country from foreigners or migrants; one Tooheys New at a time?

Or the flag wearing slappers who think wearing the Aussie flag around their boobies makes them look super patriotic. Hell Yeah it does, because look!  They’re wearing flag earrings, and red thongs to match the union jack, with their miniscule denim shorts that go right up their clacker separating the 2 sides of their brain; shorts that should probably stay in their wardrobe until they’ve spent 4 weeks with Tony Ferguson.

But not everyone has access to a flag. They’re the ones who rummage through their closet to find anything green and yellow. Not gold. Gold is a precious commodity. BRIGHT Yellow synthetic polyester fabric that if you ask me; should be reserved for emergency and road workers. Then for some reason they team it with a wig. At least they recognise they look like clowns.

Look I don’t have a problem with our flag. Or the Australian colours. I have cried watching that flag wave. I have had proud patriotic moments seeing my flag flap about in the warm breeze. The Sydney Olympics was one of those moments. Anzac Day is one of those moments. The time I was in a Thailand 7/11 and saw an Aussie flag that led me straight to the packs of Tim Tams and Cadbury chocolate was one of those moments….

And watching some of our athletes wear green aqua and gold yellow have been some of the most inspiring, capturing  and memorable experiences of my life. Like Cathy Freeman’s run at the Sydney Olympics. Or Tim Cahill’s goals in the World Cup. Or The Wallabies beating England… any time really.

Or Matt Shervington.

I’m not judging those who embrace Australia Day as a day to celebrate our incredible country. And it really is. You only have to look at the last few weeks following the flood disasters in Qld to realise what a generous, friendly, and supportive bunch we are.  Our nation is young, and we’ve been built tough.  We’re informed, we’re savvy and we don’t like taking crap from our own, or anyone else.

And our land, despite the erratic biatch she’s been lately, is remarkable.  Just ask Oprah.

So who wouldn’t want to get out there and celebrate and get smashed and have a barbie and eat lamingtons and adorn themselves in patriotic paraphernalia because we’re bloody A-strayan, and f**** oath mate, we’re proud of it!

I’ve been fortunate enough to have lived in 4 different states of this country, and each capital city seems to have their own way of celebrating Australia Day.

Perth as I already mentioned – was based around the evening fireworks with a game of cricket in the park and a picnic while we waited for the sun to set.

In Sydney, it was more of a day event and we would take the boat out and eat French cheese, crudités with hummus and Italian sausage, and watch all the other boats and people while floating along the harbour.

In Melbourne we did picnics provided it wasn’t raining.

And in Darwin? Well most people go the pub or have a barbecue at home while listening to Triple J’s Hottest 100, because it absolutely IS raining, and unless you want to “Picnic At Water-logged Rock” outdoors is no place to be.

And in every state, there is certainly flag presence. We see the flag being dragged across a perfect blue sky by a chopper, or watch the flags rise on either side of the Harbour Bridge, and we cheer. We might even break into a chorus of Waltzing Matilda, because we like to remember that in this country – you steal, you die!

BUT – the overbearing presence of flag-wear is to me a little disrespectful. Like blasphemy. Misguided nationalism. Using it as an excuse to everyone you come into contact with today that – “Yes, you’re celebrating, and you’re going to be very drunk and disorderly later, but it’s ok because I bear the Southern Cross” Or “Yes, you’re celebrating so you have every right to walk the streets being boisterous and disrespectful and a general pain in the arse because see that? That’s a wig. A green one!”

In Australia we are lucky to even have the option of “donning” the flag. The US Flag Laws and Regulations, states: “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery . . .”

In China wearing the flag is seen as form of major disrespect. And although Australian’s are much more laid back when it comes to matters of national patriotism; and banning the use of our flag for apparel might seem ridiculous and OTT, you have to recognise a greater level of respect for a flag that’s not made into string bikinis.

Vegemite wrestlers wearing the flag. Just.

I probably sound like an uptight, stuck up judgmental cow about now. Actually, when I was younger, I’d be the first one in there – looking for an excuse to ‘dress up for the occasion.’

But how we dress affects how we act, (I’m not even going to qualify this well know fact with research or stats. It’s proven ok?) And I don’t know why, but people who wear the Aussie flag on Australia Day act like big tools.

How about this: If you’re going to make or sell anything bearing the Australian flag, you attach a label that reads as follows:

WARNING: This item of clothing may cause the person wearing it to act like a complete yobbo, drink too much, be offensive and possibly get arrested.

CARE INSTRUCTIONS: Do not bleach. Do not tumble dry. Do not iron. Do not dry clean. Don’t bother. It’s probably covered in beer, piss and vomit and should be discarded immediately after use.

MADE IN CHINA

Merry Christmas. You’re dumped!

Hello and welcome to left field. Because the information I’m about to discuss came out of nowhere. Well not nowhere. Actually like a million news and gossip web sites. But it certainly did surprise me.

It’s Christmas time. You know… that special time of year when your days are supposed to be merry and bright. A time for decking the halls, celebrating Christmas cheer and giving joy to the world.  You have a lover, boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, whatever. You’ve been wondering since early December what to get your loved one. Around the 10-14th of December, you have a fair idea, and embark on that bitch of a journey that we call Christmas Shopping.

It doesn’t occur to you to perhaps hold off. Because  say… you might break up. Because who breaks up right before a major holiday?

According to a Facebook study, most people actually do break up right before a holiday. And this week, celebrities have proved that Facebook studies are absolutely 100% on the money when it comes to predicting and analysing social trends.

In the last month, celebrity splits have included Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, Eva Longoria and Tony Parker, Christina Aguilera and Whatshisname, Liz Hurley and Arun Nayar, and (drum-roll… because this one actually made me gleefully happy for some delusional reason)… Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson.

Look I could analyse that last one for ages. Actually I could (and have been considering for some time) dedicate an entire post just to Ryan Reynolds: Sexiest Man Alive, future Hollywood royalty and man of my dreams. But what would I write? Other than I love Ryan Reynolds all over the page, along with my future signature: Cindy Reynolds.

                           

                      

(I know…thank me later!)

The truth with his breakup to Scar-Jo is: there was way too much sexy going on with those two. Bombshells should never hook up with Sex-Gods. It never works. The only way it does work, is if one or both parties let themselves go. And if you think I’m wrong… umm – Brad and Angie.

Interestingly as I write this, it is occurring to me that I too, have been dumped right before Christmas. AND – I myself have dumped a guy right before Christmas. Does it help me understand why it happens? No.

I reflect momentarily on my own festive splits.

Getting dumped at Christmas
Quite possibly the loveliest breakup ever. Also the saddest since I had decided I was going to marry him because not only did he tick every box, but he also knew who Gene Kelly was and at 26, I was learning that was very rare among spunky straight men under the age of 50. (I know… let’s not go there.)

We were going for a drive one Sunday afternoon in December. While driving, we both agreed we’d been a little snarky at each other and questioned why. He told me perhaps it was best we break up. I was hurt, a little shocked, but have never once felt bitterness towards him. I still went to his house on Christmas day with his family, we still exchanged gifts, and to this day I think he still refers to me as “a good woman with many fine qualities.”

Because I adored his family, we remained friends and in contact, and I wondered often if we’d ever get back together, but by the time Easter came around, we’d moved on.. Mainly because I’d met John who didn’t tick many boxes except the one labelled “Must make me swoon.”

Dumping at Christmas
Best move I ever made. This guy so had it coming, the mongrel. About the third week into November, after we had been seeing each other every day for the last 3 months…. And truly – having so much fun together… he told me that he was planning on marrying some chick in America. Oh. Um…. Where does this leave me? Does she know about this?

She did not. But apparently she had ticked every box for him and he had already decided he would marry her. (Hmm… sound familiar?)

The catch? Oh, he didn’t want to break up with me (although essentially he just bloody well did, didn’t he?) No he wanted to continue hanging out, making out, just as we had been doing. He wasn’t going to be seeing her for a year, so presumed we could continue the relationship.

Normally in this instance of course you would tell the guy to have a nice life and cut all contact.  The second catch? He was my downstairs neighbour. So I foolishly and against my better judgement kept seeing him. It was too easy. And seriously, he would come upstairs; knock on my door, and say, “Umm Hi. I can’t stop thinking about you.” So like an idiot, I presumed I could make him forget said girl in America, because actions speak louder than words, and he’s not exactly getting on a plane to see her any time soon. But he’s here at my door now!

This continued until I started a new job. On the 1st of December. My hours were insane and I had no time for him. By the 16th December, I was making out with a guy from my new work who was friendly, honest, cute and charming. I told my downstairs neighbour on Christmas Eve that I was seeing a guy at work. He begged to have me back, promising me the chick in the US was a pipe dream. I was real. For that compliment I told him his hair reminded me of steel wool and that it was too late.

The guy from work is now my husband.

Neither break up had anything to do with wanting it to be over in time for Christmas. It just happened to be December. But when you look at the Facebook stats, it’s quite incredible and perhaps subconsciously the breakups had everything to do with a desire to end the year without unwanted baggage.

Here is the graph which shows breakups times at their highest and lowest.

Relationship expert Terri Orbuch, a sociology professor who is also a marriage and family councillor believes breakups absolutely do happen more over the holidays saying, “Pretending that everything is great and being a couple in front of family and friends is not beneficial for you or your partner. It’s difficult pretending to be in love.”

When you’re dumped, you just want answers.  Like… “It’s not you. It’s me. Come to think of it, it’s not me either. It might actually be Santa.”

But when you’re a pop culture junkie who has just heard about a celebrity breakup, you want reasons.

Ryan and Scarlett are claiming the ‘distance is hard’ thing but as we now know, one of them needed to ugly up, and didn’t.

Christina is claiming things between her and her husband were really unhealthy and that she was torn breaking up with him. This is actually skank for: I met a guy on set of my movie and wanted him. I also want women. I want everyone. Because I’m dirty.

Vanessa and Zac are claiming their relationship could go no further and had been ending over time, but truthfully Zac hasn’t yet been able to take full advantage of his new found fame as an adult male and probably wants to scatter his seeds.

Eva Longoria and Tony Parker are splitting because he cheated. Although they note: irreconcilable differences… she actually found hundreds of sexting messages to some other girl. My question here is: Why do so many famous male athletes cheat? My answer would be: Roids. Too much testosterone to keep it contained.

Liz and Arun claim to have been split since last month, but in actual fact, Liz can’t resist the charms of a cashed up bogan with a full head of hair and an artificial smile.

What’s interesting to note from the Facebook study, is that many breakups occur at the start of Summer. It’s a well known fact that more men cheat in Summer than in Winter.

I wonder how much higher the peak on the graph would be in December if it was only conducted in countries that have Summer in December. 

Another interesting piece of info from the study was the day of the week when the most people go from “In a Relationship” to “Single.”  

It’s Mondays.

That’s less than 3 days away.

So if you haven’t already purchased your partner’s Christmas gift, you may want to hold off til Tuesday.

Halloween and Melbourne Cup. Is there a difference?

Halloween is a silly event. Silly but fun. As one of my friends on Facebook so perfectly summed up: She loves Halloween, but wonders why Aussies still can’t embrace a reason to dress up, party and have a serious sugar fix! Amen to that sista!

Halloween has grown in popularity in recent years but there are still plenty of haters. I think it’s because we Aussies don’t like anyone knocking on our door, unless we expect them. Insurance salesmen, Seventh Day Adventists, and Trick-or-Treaters. They might as well be vermin.

I will admit to almost spitting out my juice when I opened up the Coles catalogue only to see a double page spread on pumpkin specials, and cheap lollies and chocolate to “stock up for trick or treaters this Halloween..” Wouldn’t have seen that one twenty years ago!

But what we have embraced is the excuse to party. Every year we see photos of celebs on their way to Halloween bashes, so we want to do it too.

As a result – most Australian’s under the age of 50 are fairly willing participants in the Halloween ‘party.’ Particularly some of today’s female youth who practically salivate at the opportunity to dress like a stripper.

                               Kim Kardashian, The Hilton sisters and Pink

             Heidi Klum, Glee’s Matthew Morrison and Christina Aguilera

Anyway – Halloween is over for another year. But it really is like an unwanted hair. No matter how many times you cut it or pluck it, it’s going to come back.  Probably stronger and more alive than it ever was before.

~~~

Melbourne Cup is another silly event. Silly but fun. But many more Aussies have embraced this day on the calendar. And why wouldn’t they?

It’s a reason to dress up, party, try your luck at picking a winning horse, and have a serious champagne fix. And – the only pumpkins you’ll see are the ones who failed to get a decent spray tan.

Melbourne cup has also grown in popularity. To be honest I’m really tired and I can’t be bothered checking the actual stats on that , like I so often do – because you know – I’m super dedicated to facts…..

But I know that a couple of years ago they limited ticket sales to those who purchased PRIOR to cup day. And they were capping it at 120,000. Which means they must have believed it would go over that if they didn’t limit numbers. Which means it must have been getting more popular.

Doesn’t take a genius….

And as Melbourne Cup has grown in popularity with celebrities and elite social sets, so too its popularity has rippled down to the bogans and slappers of the world. Those who don’t understand that when attending any sport involving horses, one must be a lady or gentleman at all times. One must be dignified and respectful…. Distinguished and refined.

I’ve posted here before on appropriate racewear – and how the masses tend to ignore this age old rule of race-going. But still every year they turn out. Scuzzy and sloshed. And you know, you wouldn’t have seen that twenty years ago either.

I also wrote briefly on ‘costume attire’ for the races, and how it’s kind of okay and funny in groups, but on your own it’s just freaky.

So I can only come up with 1 good reason for these get-ups.

  Ruby Rose and her Elvira hair, Jennifer Hawkins as Minnie Mouse, Kate Waterhouse as the Statue of Liberty?

            Sophie Monk as little Indian girl, Brynne Edelsten as Vegas showgirl, and designer Zandra Rhodes as Britney Spears – the crazy years.

Is this the result of a dare? A lost bet? If not – can someone politely inform them that Halloween was 2 days before Cup day, and perhaps they should’ve changed the headwear?

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.

Why the f*** do people swear?

WARNING: This post contains the words crap, hell, bloody, and the letters ‘F’ and ‘S’ which are followed closely by little stars like this *** Parental guidance is recommended for children who know how to de-code stars.  

My 2 year old has started to swear. Nothing serious or bad – all G-rated stuff. But it’s still a form of cursing and obviously she’s learnt it from her very highbrow mother. The scary thing is that she uses the words in context. In the tone and situation which they are supposed to be used in.

Example 1. The other week she was playing with the clothes airer. You know those white contraptions that you dry clothes on inside that are poor excuses for clothes lines but totally necessary if it’s raining, and your clothes drier happens to dry your clothes about as quickly as a tissue dries your entire body? Well she was playing in and around that and it collapsed to the floor. I heard it fall and turned around to see. She looked up at me and said “Oh crap!”

Example 2. She knocked her juice over on the coffee table. She knows the juice rules. Only in the kitchen. But she had snuck away, and I turned around when I heard her almost yelling, “Ohh nooo, oh gosh!”

Example 3. I’m driving and she’s in the back seat. Some idiot pulls out in front of me then slows right down to turn a corner. I subconsciously call out, “Mongrel!” She repeats it but I ignore her, hoping that by refusing to recognise it, she forgets the word. Later that day when she can’t get her xylophone out of the toy box because it’s stuck, I hear her say, “Oh stuck. Oh Mongrel!”

What am I turning her into? What kind of Territory Scrubber am I? And how is it that I have said the words, “I love you” to her at least 10 times a day since she was born, but those words have never even been attempted by the little pottie-mouthed princess?

And why is it that when she copies my less than desirable language, I have to turn away and stop myself from laughing? Do you know how hard that is? It’s harder than holding in a wee. Obviously I don’t want her to think its funny, or she’ll do it again and again. But why is it funny? And at what age do people stop finding it funny, and instead find it tacky, sad, wrong?

Beating myself up over it and calling myself a territory scrubber for using the occasional ‘curse’ word in front of others is probably a bit harsh. My definition of swearing is mild. ‘Crap’ is my swear word of choice. The well educated, well-to-do, well spoken, well read, well mannered and well hung (Eddie Murphy?) swear much worse than I do.

(Please note the word ‘occasional,’ because if you are one of those mothers that I hear at the shopping centre telling your 18 month old to “shut the f*** up or you will bloody well take them to the car where they can stay until they stop being such a little s***…” Um sorry, you are 100% fully authentic scrubber).

The other night I watched a music video on You Tube, by Eminem featuring Li’l Wayne called No Love. Won’t go into why I was watching this particular clip, given that I’m not a fan of Lil Wayne and his Pants on the Ground… but thank goodness the chorus was a rip off from Haddaway’s “What is Love? Baby don’t hurt me” (you know that head-bobbing song from 1993?), because otherwise I wouldn’t have understood a single word, except the word F***!

The song was infested with it. And it’s a shame because the message of the song is really powerful and clever, but will never be played on air without beeps every 2 seconds which is so distracting and hurts my ears more than the swear words themselves.

So why did Eminem have to do that? Why does anyone? Is it such a powerful word? Or just shocking? Does it invoke a different reaction in us? Could Lily Allen have sung “Stuff you, stuff you, stuff you very very muuuuuch.” And still had a hit?

 F*** NO!.

Because to answer my own question, I think that mere words sometimes aren’t enough to fully emphasise or represent the depth of emotion we are feeling. Yep, I think that’s it.

Far out, sometimes I am a mother f***ing genius!

I delved further into my own findings. Just to confirm that I am indeed, wearing my smarty pants today. And HOW ABOUT THIS?

Swearing has proven effects of Pain prevention. An investigation by Richard Stephens of Keele University in the UK found that people were able to tolerate placing their hand in ice water for longer when continually swearing than another group that did not cuss.

Stephens thinks swearing triggers an aggressiveness related to our fight-or-flight response, which lessens the feeling of pain. This is backed up by the increased heart rate observed in the swearing group. Previous research also suggests that swearing has a powerful effect on the brain’s emotional centre, the limbic system.

SO – this probably explains why people who speak more than one language usually or always curse in their native tongue; because they can say swear words in a second language but they don’t feel them — the gut link to emotions just isn’t there.

It also explains why I often make the FFFF sound when for example, I slam my fingers in those stupid rubbish bins at food halls and McDonalds, or when I accidentally knock over the mop bucket which is full of dirty water – all over the floor I have just cleaned, or when I get I get bad news. Like that I’m being sued for $50,000.

I’ve decided that by making the sound of the first syllable only, I’m not giving myself the full benefits of pain relief, and should perhaps therefore just drop that F bomb.

One example of a well educated man swearing is US Vice President Joseph Biden. He used an expletive back in March in a private moment to President Obama after the health care victory, remarking, “Mr. President, this is a big … deal.” His words were picked up by a microphone and it went viral. He was no doubt feeling the moment of victory and accomplishment so much, that the word seemed appropriate to express his excitement.

People’s attitudes have changed toward what’s considered socially acceptable language. The F word is not that big a deal anymore, and many shows on TV wouldn’t exist without it. Like Underbelly. Or Entourage.

The fact is though, social sanctions still exist. People who regularly insult others or use language considered to be inappropriate suffer serious damage to their reputation. They have fewer friends, contacts and business opportunities than they would otherwise. (I didn’t make this s*** up by the way…)

If they are public figures, they face severe criticism in the media and elsewhere. Just ask Mel Gibson, or Christian Bale, or Gordon Ramsay, or even little Justin Bieber who while in Australia told a staff member from Channel 7’s Sunrise program, “Don’t ever f***ing touch me again.”

And my good friend Richard Stephens over at Keele University also discovered that the more you swear, the less likely you’ll be to trigger an emotional response. So, you could end up feeling pain more acutely no matter how many four-letter words you say.

I simply know I never want to hear my child speak to me, or anyone else that way. So I am here-by introducing a self-imposed swear jar. If I don’t have coins on me I will write a little IOU note. It will be a gold coin donation and if I can earn as much as the Blind Foundation or Breast Cancer Foundation or any of those other coin collecting charities, then one day I should be able to buy myself a big f***-off diamond.

S*** yeah!

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.

DeRossi… DeGeneres… Is it DeBateable?

So I read today that Portia De Rossi has officially taken on the name of her husband wife, Ellen De Generes.  Bigpond.com news reported as follows:

Portia de Rossi has officially taken her partner Ellen Degeneres’ last name.  A Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner granted De Rossi’s request to take the last name of her partner during a closed hearing on Thursday. The actress will now legally be known as Portia Lee James DeGeneres.

The couple was married in August 2008. The 37-year-old Australian-born actress asked for the name change last month. Neither woman attended the hearing. They married during the five-month window in which gay marriage was legal in California.

What a DeBacle! I mean I’m sure they’re both DeLighted, but isn’t this DeCision of theirs a little DePressing? I don’t mean to be DeRogatory, Lesbian marriage is not exactly my DePartment, but I think this could be DeScribed as DeNial. Let’s not be DeLusional here; in this day and age MANY women are DeTermined to keep their own name. And why shouldn’t they?

It’s costly and annoying, which could be enough of a DeTerrant for some…  But there are those that find it DeSirable. Without the shared name they feel DeTached.  

Yet I’m wondering if this is the start of Portia’s DeMise? Did Ellen DeMand it? Was she DeFiant? And if so, why didn’t Portia DeCline? Is she that DeMure? Or is she so DeLeriously in love that she thinks it’s well DeServed.

Okay, enough of that. My spell check is going mental.   Let me now speak freely without the DePlorable use of the letters ‘De. ‘

Now I’m not gay, so perhaps someone who is can explain this to me while I continue to lift my jaw up off the floor. But…. Isn’t a lesbian relationship about 2 women being women who love women?  Isn’t the idea of patriarchal dominance one that might offend gay women?

 

Here are 2 ladies, successful in their own right, who were lucky enough to seize a brief moment in Californian history by legally marrying. And I get that traditionally with marriage; the woman will often take on the man’s name. ..  But aren’t the confines of traditional marriage something that gays are trying desperately to challenge? And change?

Isn’t it conservatives and traditionalists that are against the very idea of 2 women legally marrying?

Bowl me over with a marshmallow, but isn’t this name changing bizzo basically telling the world…. Portia is the woman… and Ellen is the MAN!!!???

I mean just look at what they wore on their wedding day and it’s fairly apparent that Ellen is in possession of slightly more masculine qualities. Actually I think I would have been more shocked to see Ellen wearing a dress than I was to hear they were getting hitched.

 

But again – someone explain this to me because I just don’t get it. WHY BOTHER?

Perhaps my personal resentment at changing my own name is what’s really hindering my understanding of this. If I could have kept my own name I would have. (I think). I say that like my husband is a controlling male chauvinist Nazi which he is not. But we did agree that I would do so prior to having children.

I love the idea of my children being connected in name to both him and me. And before we start listing all the other options available, like hyphenation and blending both names to create a new one… Forget it. I was not interested. I guess I’m traditional in some ways, and when it comes to family, I certainly am.

So when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby I started the process and it was expensive and annoying and time consuming. But that isn’t what bothered me.

I have blogged before about the importance of names.  Your name (first and last) becomes your brand. It’s how people know you, how they remember you. Over a period of 33 years, my names are how I was recognised. To change part of that was perplexing. I didn’t want to change my signature. Nor the name that appeared on my business card. 

The fact is it didn’t matter because I wasn’t exactly going to be handing out business cards at Mother’s Group.. and I didn’t know it at the time, but most of the people that knew me before changing my name, either knew me well enough to not need a ‘name’ to recognise me by, or would eventually cease to be in my life once the baby came.

But hello? NOBODY in Hollywood changes their name because in LALA land, that is precisely how you get work. By becoming a brand, and having a recognisable name. For example:

  • Katie Cruise? No, Katie Holmes.
  • Angelina Pitt? No, Angelina Jolie.
  • Nicole Urban? No, Nicole Kidman.
  • Catherine Douglas. Who’s that? Ooohhh, you mean Zeta Jones!

 

Portia De Generes. Of course we all still know precisely who it is. But now she is (in my opinion) defining herself by her partner. She is telling the world, “When you think of me – think of Ellen.” Now isn’t that a no-no in Hollywood, or is it insignificant to the public because we do it anyway. Like Katie Holmes. She doesn’t need his sir name for all of us to think “that poor woman, being married to a schizo.”

I guess it’s not our business. It just surprised me and I found myself questioning the WHY.  (Sigh) For whatever reason, both Ellen and Portia seem like lovely people. 

 Perhaps it just DePends on the individual couple – Gay or not!  It’s for them to DeCide. Either way I am done DeLiberating over it.

A sneak peak – because you’re GAGGING for it.

It’s here. It’s finally, pant-wettingly, split-endingly, who-is-that-in-the-cameo roll-ingly, here. And now we’re gagging like a vegetarian at an abattoir for Season 2 of the best show ever to race unsteadily onto our televisions.

So goodbye, Wednesday nights. Hello, class of misfits that sing like superstars. (Sigh)

For newcomers… you can read about my mild obsession with Glee here and here and here and here.

Collingwood choking on their own sweaty socks this Saturday…. Lindsay Lohan failing her drug test days after being released from rehab…. Sara Lee Sticky Date Pudding ice-cream….  A hung parliament….  It ALL excites me. But NOTHING in this world gets me to sit up and take notice more effectively than freeze-dried, pure unadulterated song and dance.


So let’s not pretend that tonight’s season premiere is about teenage angst, high school hierarchy or teacher tantrums.  Tonight is about tunes that can be heard from outer space.

Here’s a preview:

So put your feet up and loosen your straight jacket – NOT LONG NOW…. (Squeeeling)

Questions I have… ones that I’m hoping will be answered over the coming weeks.

  1. Will Finn’s testicles finally drop?
  2. Will Schuster find someone else to whore around with now that he’s divorced and Emma is in love with her dentist, Dr Stamos?
  3. Will Emma’s cherry pop with said dentist?
  4. Will Quinn get a tummy tuck, financed by the Cheerios? (Now that she’s back on the sqaud?)
  5. Will Britney Spears have her hair extensions fixed before her cameo?
  6. Will Sue get a lavender tracksuit?
  7. Will Mercedes try out for American Idol, come second, leave school and score a part in a Hollywood blockbuster – which she will go on to win an Oscar for?
  8. Will Puck get any hotter? (Actually not sure I could handle that)
  9. Will the new school canteen lady out-sing them all?
  10. Will George Michael, on release from prison, finally get the cameo/tribute he deserves?

A letter I doubt I’ll be sending… To my beloved George Michael.

Beautiful George

As you find yourself behind bars, I find myself craving chocolate ones. Meanwhile you are possibly wishing you could be in one; dancing under the influence of ecstasy while embracing a Zac Effron look-alike under a strobe.  Ahhh, good times… But you know what I’ve discovered?  Life, relationships, illegal activities and tampons are all the same. There’s ALWAYS strings attached.

In all the years you’ve been part of my life (about two thirds of it now), I never thought the time would come that I would be sending you a letter to say something other than “I love you, and yes. You can have my sex.”

However G, it’s time.  I only write these letters (the ones I don’t send) to those who I feel need some guidance or advice from one who is removed and has nothing to gain. I’m just an ageing fan of an ageing pop star here to tell you how I see it.

So today I read you were denied bail. Denied bail? Not even Paris “I thought it was gum” Hilton was denied bail. And Tuesday night you were sentenced to serve four weeks in prison and spend the remaining 4 weeks on licence, (whatever that means…)

Here you are arriving at court...

You were also banned from driving for five years, fined £1,250 and ordered to pay £100 in costs. All because after smashing into a shop front window, you were found slumped over the steering wheel of your Range Rover (exceptional choice of vehicle by the way) whilst high on cannabis.

Just goes to show that high isn’t really the correct term because last time I was slumped over anything I most certainly was not feeling high.

Anyway drugs. They’re bad. They might make you feel good temporarily… fleeting moments of calm and happiness or excitement and fulfilment. But as you know it’s not permanent.  A criminal record is. Not that big a deal when you’re rich and famous I suppose….

 “Give a WHAM, give a BAM, but don’t give a DAMN!” Great lyrics to dance to, but you seem to have taken it on board as your personal daily mantra.

It’s apparent that you’re not learning anything from your mistakes. Strings, George, STRINGS! There’s always a consequence.

So this jail time is for hitting a shop front back in July this year.  But in August 2009 you smashed into truck pretty bad and were apparently ‘out of it.’ This happened right after you got your license legally reinstated, after having driven under the influence back in 2007.

Look it’s hard for me to tell you anything that doesn’t include praise or admiration. Back in 1988 when I was 14, you changed my life.

With fluke tickets to your FAITH tour and a ‘well beyond my years’ sense of maturity and sexuality… by the third song into your show, you’d told me you wanted my sex. You looked right at me and I know you meant it.

It didn’t matter that Marcus Eley: the new boy in tenth grade from New Zealand who joined the school basketball team, and was in my opinion; hotter than the bonnet of a Ferrari after completing a formula one…. wouldn’t look at me other than to tell me I was a hairy mammoth. Because what did he know?

Was HE famous? Was HE a pop star? Puh! I didn’t need him to want me because I knew deep down that you did. That moment at your concert, you gave me a superiority complex sense of confidence that carried me right through to womanhood.

I owe you George. So telling you this is not easy for me. But I have to say it. There are 3 kinds of ‘hits’ and you need to know the difference.

  1. Hit as in smash.  Example: My car hit the window but I have no recollection…”
  2. Hit as in toke, pill or injection… with reference to using drugs. Example: “I just need one more hit and I’ll be fine.”
  3. Hit as in number one song or record. Example: George Michael has another hit record with his 5th song on the album going to number 1.”

LESS of numbers 1 and 2. MORE of number 3. Maybe even consider rehab. You’re getting predictable and boring and stupid and old and even slightly (don’t hate me) chubbs…. But I blame the munchies for that.

Your career is basically at the cleaners. You’re not totally washed up yet, but the soaps out and ready. You can’t exactly tour again without new stuff, but you have nothing new that’s any good. Was anyone but Perez Hilton and me even aware that you released a song last Christmas? Not the actual song, “Last Christmas.” I mean the song you wrote in December last year called “I Dreamed of Christmas.” 

Your songs may get played at weddings and in gay clubs and at my house and in my car and in my head, and even at some popular venues on retro night, but it’s time for something new.

New music. The New George. Never to be arrested for drugs again. The George who knows all about strings.

Speaking of strings, and soap…. And getting arrested…

You might want to consider soap on a rope for the remaining weeks in prison. You and public bathrooms don’t have a great track record, and know what they say about dropping the soap….

So take care, and remember that you do have fans. We still love you but are concerned for your future.  And we’re waiting George…. Waiting for your next real hit.

Much love
Cindy

xoxo
PS. Yes. Still can.

I’m not a piece of meat!

Forget John Malkovich. Being Lady Gaga must be utterly exhausting. Her commitment to making sure every outfit is a statement of some deep personal belief is admirable, however this time I think; (along with half the world) she went too far.

So what’s my beef? Exactly!

Let me just say I’m not a vegetarian but both of my sisters are and I fully respect a person’s moral decision to refrain from eating animal bi-products. Whether it’s a 400gm porterhouse, or candy – like marshmallows that contain gelatine. (A protein produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from the boiled bones, cartilage, organs and intestines of animals like cattle, pigs and horses.)

I apologise now if you were just sitting down to a delicious cup of hot chocolate – with marshmallows.

Anyway – if Lady Gaga had covered herself in marshmallows, it would have practically gone unnoticed (for her). Hell, even a dress made of tampons would have been less shocking. But instead, she chose to make a statement covered in actual pieces of raw blood soaked meat.  She even went so far as to have matching shoes, bag and hat.

The designer behind the dress was Franc Fernandez and he told MTV that indeed, the meat was purchased from his local family butcher. He was apparently.. “glad it went so well.”

If you want to know about how he created the dress, you can read it on his blog here.

The look was styled by Nicola Formichetti, Gaga’s resident stylist who no doubt barely arched an eyebrow, let alone her back in disgust.

WHY WHY WHY? Was the question most asked.

When appearing on Ellen DeGeneres special MTV episode, Gaga explained,

“Well, it is certainly no disrespect to anyone that is vegan or vegetarian. As you know, I am the most judgment-free human being on the earth. However, it has many interpretations, but for me this evening … If we don’t stand up for what we believe in and if we don’t fight for our rights, pretty soon we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones. And I am not a piece of meat.”

You know what? Despite some people’s opinion, I’m not a tart either. But you didn’t see me contacting my local patisserie to see if they could fashion me a gown for the last awards ceremony I attended, from short crust pastry and lemons. Hmmm, although that could be – rather nice, although I do believe you need gelatin to make tart correctly.

Lady Gaga’s dress insulted many. Undoubtedly PETA, who also criticised her Japanese VOGUE magazine cover where she wore a meat bikini. But if you were not personally offended (I was not), you were probably just plain disgusted.

Thank goodness for the Oscars, where dignity and glamour are maintained. The MTV awards seem to be all about shocking, as per Gaga’s previous outfits.

Heaven help the day somebody puts Lady Gaga in an award winning movie. Because I just don’t want to see her on Hollywood’s night of nights sashaying down the red carpet in a controversial gown made of who knows what designed to press people’s buttons.

She is a pioneer in many respects when it comes to making a statement with fashion. She is extreme and outrageous and slightly perverted and mostly ridiculous. And this makes us sit up and take notice… And ask WHY? So in terms of marketing techniques to get her point across, she’s a genius.

But the only buttons she pressed for me in that meat dress was the OFF button. I’m sorry, I’m just not buying her justification for it. I think it was a follow on from a magazine cover that got huge press worldwide, and was designed to make us talk (which we are) about HER. Not the supposed statement she was making regarding standing up for our rights.

I love her message, I do. But her execution this time was just plain off.  In fact this meat dress is possibly the most perverted and narcissistic thing I’ve ever seen an entertainer pull off.  Sure. Many entertainers are permitted a certain license of eccentricity to get away with outlandish antics – but this is just way overboard I’m starting to think that Stephanie Germamotta is a shy Italian girl with a big nose who has to hide behind Lady Gaga to perform and to be heard.

(And am I the only one who thinks she’s had more work?)

What’s worse is that when entertainers get positive attention from stuff like this, kids notice. Gaga is idolised by millions of young and impressionable people who look to her as an example of ‘cool.’ She knows this right? Does she think she’s doing humanitarian work here? She must know there are children’s future at steak. (Sorry – stake.) Marinate on that for a while Gaga!

And now I find myself asking WHAT NEXT?  I mean c’mon. You’re only as good as your last outfit, everyone knows that!

I think the only thing that Lady Gaga could actually shock us with now is a gorgeous flowing gown by Valentino, hair up and no silly hats or masks or accessories like tea cups or frog coats. And what would her statement be??

If we don’t stand up for what we believe in and if we don’t fight for our rights, pretty soon we’re going to have to conform with the masses and look lovely like everyone else.

Shocking!

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.