The reason for the season

(As seen in December 2010 issue of DarwinLife Magazine)

PREFACE: I wrote this for the mag last year – with a promise to repost in time for party-goers this year. I realise it’s too late for some, but for those of you celebrating tonight, consider this the desperate plea of someone who is not very fond of idiots at Christmas time and is moving states in 4 days and has taken precious time out from packing to tell you some important information.

I LOVE December. I love fruit-mince pies and chocolate-coated almonds. I love legitimate excuses to shop. I love decorating anything that doesn’t move. I love celebrating with family, and friends and I love that there are parties everywhere.

Parties. Hmmm.

For every aspect I love, there’s a down side. With all of December’s good time promises and parties, there are moments to embrace self restraint. Because when it comes to celebrating the silly season; just like relationships, credit cards, and tampons, there’s always strings attached.

The Christmas Party provides the perfect opportunity to lose your dignity. Or your wallet. Or your knickers.  Let this be a Cyclone Cindy Warning to you all.

DRESSING: Just because it’s hot, doesn’t mean you should wear an outfit that covers less than a towel. Wearing lots of necklaces doesn’t make it a fancy towel.  Wearing reindeer ears or a Santa hat doesn’t make it a cute towel.  And those sexy shoes you love, the ones you are certain love you back just as much –  will probably rip your foot skin off until it gets blistered, wet and red and you limp around like a deranged person. It will ruin your night, and possibly your ability to wear thongs for the entire wet season.

SWEARING: Even if; “How the f*** are ya?” is a common phrase around your workplace, the Christmas Party is not the time to impress your colleagues with the most ever swear words used in a sentence. Even if you are discussing your last power bill.

DRINKING: Firstly; the only people that really enjoy shooters are under-aged or still at uni. Remember the time you drank so much you projectile vomited your feelings and kidneys into the toilet while trying to read the poster on the back of the loo-door about safe sex, in order to pass time between wretches? Or when you peed in your pants and got lost? Or what about the time you got so smashed you vomited on the dance-floor then slipped in your own spew and landed with your skirt up over your head and your ass in the air? Try not to let this be the night you promise to give up drinking forever.

DANCING: Guys: when dancing, you may not be aware but you actually release a strong odour of cheap deodorant. Smelled from miles away, sometimes this musky gym scent attracts drunk women to your pelvic region, at which time they will rub their bottoms against it. This is not actually dancing. This is a precursor for making out. Making out in front of your boss is creepy. Especially if the girl is wearing a cute towel.

HOMEWARD BOUND: If you start sexting, taking photos with your tongue out, or telling the bouncer your sad life story, it’s time to go home. Go directly home. Do not collect $200 from the ATM and do not pass McDonalds.

Whatever December brings for you, remember that you can’t spell party without try, and you can’t spell season without ass. So try not to be an ass, and have a Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

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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.

Faking it…. Does chocolate help?

We’ve all done it, some regularly – which if you ask me must be exhausting! I’ve done it a few times, but only really fully faked it once.  In my twenties.  Afterwards, I concluded I faked it because I wanted them to think I was good.  No not good.  THE BEST they’d ever seen! There I was assuming it was an academy award winning performance, but in the end I’m pretty certain I got laughed at. Perhaps I was jumping around a little too much…

If you think I’m discussing something I might do in private with a lover, please bend over and pick your mind up from out of the gutter because what I’m talking about faking here is very much public. No it’s not fake boobs, or any other body part. It’s not fake tan either. Neither is it fake designer handbags or fake smiles; the kind that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are renowned for. Let me elaborate:

I was working for ABC television in Sydney as a PA and had heard about some auditions for one of my favourite shows. Playschool. The audition process was simple: Send in your resume and an audition reel.

Why, audition reel you say? Ummm.  Can I use the video of my 21st speech? Because by all accounts it was rather entertaining.

Given that the PA job was my first full time position out of university; my CV included a few part time and casual positions in retail so I was left with only one option. Fake it.

I won’t bore you with the cringe worthy pile of BS I actually wrote on my ‘resume.’ Nor will I tell you about the audition video I made with my friends (as I referred to in my opening paragraph) where we transformed a room into a kiddie wonderland and I sang songs such as “Boom boom, aint it great to be crazy.” Because clearly – no.

But I will say this: Faking your qualifications and abilities to land your dream job CAN work… but mostly you get caught out.

Hopefully soon Australia will have a PM. However the problem with last month’s election was, the candidates who were applying for the job were in some ways – faking it. So we Australians, like a merciless recruitment consultant, informed them that they weren’t qualified and lacked the experience and skills required to fulfil the role on offer. However, we would keep their details on file if something suitable came up. Famous last words for the inadequate resume. 

According to SEEK, 75% of all resumes include embellishments and lies. The main components we ‘fake’ are our skills, our education records, and our current salary details. Employers must know this, yet there are hundreds of websites and articles that tell you “how to…”

The guy who runs fakeresume.com says human resource types are looking for the slightest excuse to throw your resume in the trash, but a little embellishing convinces them to give it a second look.  I’m not so sure you need to fib in order to stand out. A friend of mine used to attach a Cadbury’s TIME OUT bar and instant coffee sachet to her CV with a note reading: Thank you for taking the TIME OUT to go over my resume.

It’s a trick I used, and it worked wonderfully. Particularly when you consider most recruitment or HR professionals spend their day in a fluorescently lit office cubicle pouring over hundreds of resumes a day… many chocolate loving females who – as they came across my resume thought, ‘Ahhh… chockie. That’s noice, that’s different, that’s unusual.’ (Thanks Marns)

                             

I’m pretty certain that if either political party had sent all their eligible voting constituents their policies in such manner: the election would have been a landslide.

Oh if only I’d known the chocolate trick back when I auditioned for Play School. Vending machines were hard to come by at the ABC. Snack time was only ever at about 10am when the morning tea trolley came around – and the best they provided were day-old blueberry muffins. If you wanted chocolate you had to haul ass to the cafeteria which shut by 3pm. So there’s a good chance the producers of Play School (4 x women) would have been loving a chocolate enhanced resume.

Instead, Miss Rhym-A-Lot here decided that just incase they realised my ‘performance resume’ was a total fraud, and that my ‘audition reel’ was better suited to Funniest Home Videos: I attached to my resume a poem. Because over at Playschool, they don’t spend their days looking at poems at ALL. EVER!

And so here is the third part of a totally embarrassing experience:

When I was a little girl of three or maybe four
I first tuned into Playschool, and I loved what I saw.

Humpty and Jemima, Hambel and Big Ted
And all those snappy rhymes and verses buzzing through my head.

I was so completely mesmerised by Noni’s fun and flair
And John Walters and John Hamblyn and Benita’s thick black hair.

I could not be distracted. I loved to play along.
I’d stamp my feet and clap my hands and sing the happy songs.

For Playschool was a magic place where everything was fun.
My toys could not compete so instead I watched with mum.

The presenters and their smiles and their story telling too,
Really had me thinking…. “That’s what I want to do!”

And at the age of five or six I made myself this vow.
That I’d get onto Playschool: Somewhere, some day, somehow!

Upon making that promise came desire to entertain.
I knew to be on Playschool, I would have to train.

(Confession: Even as I type this it’s very hard for me not to cringe in disbelief….)

So I danced my way through childhood. I sang throughout my teens.
I took the art of entertaining to most extreme.

(Clearly. I mean I was way too busy entertaining to study performing arts at NIDA or WAAPA. Please insert further cringing here….)

Then fate brought me to Sydney, and to the ABC.
And to hear about auditions? What an opportunity!!!

(Obviously. Let’s all thank fate. Not Qantas or my University transfer)

Now I’ve never been to NIDA, never worked on Summer Bay.
I’ve never done commercials… but I think that’s okay.

(Here we see evidence of my superiority complex!)

My experience may be limited, but talent though is not!
SO GIVE ME A GIG ON PLAYSCHOOL – AND YOU’LL SEE WHAT I’VE GOT!!

Oh dear! It’s actually quite cathartic reliving this moment of my life because it makes me realise that with age comes perspective. As in: Good grief, how much of a dork WAS I?

So the moral of the story?
Don’t bother faking it, especially if it involves lots of words.
Fudge your way with chocolate instead.

Chicks who kick butt!

There was quite the brew-ha-ha in the media this morning (and on Q&A on ABC last night) about the fact that Julia Gillard, our new PM is a woman. There were discussions about her suitability as a role model, given that she lives defacto with her partner and has no children, and also whether the fact that she is female will determine the polls come election time.

Our new Prime Minister is a woman. It shouldn’t make a difference, but it does! The whole discussion got me thinking about female role models.  Who decides what makes an appropriate role model.  What attributes must a woman possess to be deemed role model material. In a way, although I disagree politically on many issues with Julia, I think she is a good role model for young girls. I mean, she keeps her clothes on which is a change…

The discussions in the media this morning were in response to a column written, saying that Julia may give young girls the impression that it’s ok to live with their partner, if they ultimately wish to be married and have children.

Here are some excerpts from Bettina Arndt’s column today in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Shacking up is hard to do: Why Gillard may be leery of the Lodge

Living as a de facto with her partner may suit Julia Gillard, but does that make her a good role model for others? …….

It’s fine for Gillard – a 48-year-old woman – to live with her bloke. Yet as a popular role model for women, her lifestyle choice may influence other women into making big mistakes about their lives…..

Cohabitation produces two groups of losers among women and children. Most women want to have children – Gillard is an exception – and some miss out after wasting their primary reproductive years in a succession of live-in relationships that look hopeful but go nowhere, leaving them childless and partnerless as they hit 40.

It’s the women who end up stranded when they spend years in a succession of de facto relationships waiting for Mr Not Ready or Mr Maybe to make up his mind……

If Gillard chooses to play house in the Lodge, this choice sends a strong message to the huge numbers of women who rightly admire her and seek to follow her example. A lifestyle suited to her particular needs may be riskier for many women and their children.

I think this journo is utterly discrediting the intelligence of many young women. Julia is a role model not because of her personal relationship choices. She is a role model because of her abilities, her talents, and her ambition to occupy Australia’s top job.  Girls know that. Don’t they?

The glass ceiling may not be broken, but it’s certainly cracked, and it’s been done by women LONG before Julia’s time. Many of whom have chosen marriage and children, and career. It can be done, and it astounds me that a journalist in 2010 is suggesting that if Julia Gillard were married with children, she may not be where she is now.

We are inundated with images of women in the media and through popular culture. Women who millions of young girls look up to and aspire to be like. Women who are shown to us as having little substance, some talent, but most importantly – bucket loads of beauty.

It scares me to think how many girls look to Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus as role models. Or heroines like Bella from Twilight. Talented and beautiful they may be – but what do they represent?

My main role model growing up was Madonna. She kind of lost me at her Sex book, but prior to that I saw a woman who wanted to rule the world, a woman who grew up motherless, used her ambition and determination and limited talent, and turned it into an enterprise.  In retrospect, I see that she changed women’s sexuality. Using male sub-culture, she created a woman who was sex object and sex subject at the same time, allowing women to feel more powerful and in charge of their own sexuality.

I also looked up to Princess Diana. Mainly I just liked watching her in all those outfits and hats. But also she was graceful, dignified, and charitable.

Now I admire a different kind of woman altogether, but this morning as I thought about role models, and how refreshing it is to see a woman with clothes on being celebrated in the media for her achievements, I reflected on some other female role models in pop culture.  Women/girls whose sexuality or beauty comes second to their excellence, and their ability to kick butt.

I’ve made a list, because as you may have worked out by now, I love making lists.

               

  • Princess Fiona from Shrek

She chose to sacrifice her fairy-tale looks for love, challenging our cartoon cut-out Cinderella-style expectations of a princess who lives Happily Ever After. She’s a romantic at heart, but determined, strong, spirited and seriously awesome.

  • Beatrix Kiddo / The Black Mumba from Kill Bill

She abandons her life as a hired assassin when she realises she’s pregnant with Bill’s (head of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad) child, denying him the right of fatherhood, in order to protect her unborn child. This action provokes the attacks on her leaving her in a coma. Upon waking from her 4 year sleep, she makes calculated plans to get revenge, proving that one lone woman can be more powerful and possess more testicular fortitude than some of the world’s baddest bad guys.

  • Anne Shirley

Am I the only one who remembers Anne of Green Gables? Her fiery, red-haired temperament and academic excellence, combined with her accident prone good intentions and drama queen tendencies intrigued boy-about-town Gilbert Blythe. But she would not be wooed by his tall, dark and handsome looks. Literature was her passion. Bold was her middle name. And she would sacrifice even love to follow her dreams, although love was eventually hers.

  • Hermione Granger

Here’s a girl with back bone. She’s a mud-blood in a wizard’s world, but that doesn’t get her down.  She’s studious, hard working, and knows her spells better than anyone so rather than copping it on the chin, she wields her wand at those who would bring her down and zaps them into subjects of pity. She’s courageous, loyal and undaunted by some of the underworld’s nastiest creatures.  I like her.

 

So there’s my list. In a world of botoxed, buxom, bootilicious beauties…. It’s nice to know there are some who can still be ultra-cool and clever without getting all their gear off.  No, Ms Gillard wasn’t on the list. She may be a role model for some which is great – but not for me personally. Not to say I’m not backing the carrot tops. There’s 2 out of 4 on my list that are red heads.

So who would make your list?

I’m a Domestic Diva, BUT…..

Yesterday I cleaned like a Diva. Like a fascist neo-nazi with one agenda: To do away with and destroy any dirt, dust or decay.

I have the good fortune of being able to clean during week days as I’m a stay at home mum and don’t work.

Woooooaaahh, back the truck up! Did I just say I don’t work?

Clarification: Most days I don’t have time to pull my knickers out of my butt crack and rid myself of my wedgie I’m so busy.

A few months before I fell pregnant I started my own business called SPLASH.  It’s a marketing, copyright and design business. The design part is HIGHLY ambitious but at the time I was planning on doing a few courses. Luckily I’ve taught myself a lot!

I had a few clients, but one in particular has been lucrative and ongoing since I started. The work varies. Some weeks busy, some weeks not so much, but mostly consistently part time. I do the work from home.

I also just started writing for a monthly lifestyle magazine. It’s only 400 words (well, it’s supposed to be only 400 words, I always go over), and only once a month so it’s hardly time consuming. Actually if you work it out it’s about 13 words a day. I can type that in less than 20 seconds.

Then there’s this. My blog, and entirely unpaid. It’s good because I get to decide what I write about, which I usually base on an experience I’ve had, or something I’ve seen or read.

THEN there’s the exhausting demands of motherhood. I realise it sounds totally cruisey to get to stay at home with your child all day but it just IS NOT. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. And this – another unpaid job of mine – involves LONG hours.

So as you can CLEARLY see I DO WORK. But yesterday any work and my blog were put aside because I needed to clean. Except that I still had to do my MOTHER job.

I should point out that I don’t just clean. I ‘Cindy-clean.’ Well actually, ‘Mum clean.’ It’s my mother’s fault and I blame her that I can’t knowingly clean a bathroom without scrubbing every inch of tiled wall. Without going over every meter of skirting board with a hot soapy sponge (yep, even the ones behind furniture). I blame her that I can’t just wipe down the kitchen cupboard fronts. I also have to open the cupboard, clean the inside, along the top, and also move the plates and wipe the shelf. I blame her that I wipe down the doors, door frames, light fittings and switches.

Anyway, I’m glad I inherited this neurotic-pedantic-clean-freak gene. BUT lately I’ve been letting go a little.

I posted a while back on Facebook that having a spotless house and having a baby is a bit like chalk and cheese? No I never said that. I’ve never tried chalk and cheese together. I said it was like putting sultanas into savoury dishes. The two just don’t go well together at all.

And neither does cleaning your house and looking after a toddler. Yesterday as I cleaned one bathroom, I heard the mystery chatter of my daughter coming from the other bathroom. I stopped and did a mental check-list of anything she might ‘get into.’ Toilet brush – up high. Bin – empty. Toilet roll – not in reach. Shower door – shut. All fine. Continue.

Five minutes later I wandered in to find her sitting amongst a sea of tampons, including 3 in her mouth. I’m not sure what she thought she was playing with, perhaps she was crafting me a lovely vest…. (They were still in plastic, all ok…)  Not only that but I had accidentally left my lipstick bag open, and she had hot pink all over her hands and face.

When I collected up the tampons, removed them from her mouth, and wiped away the lippy, she cried. Actually she screamed and convulsed in my arms as I carried her out of there. Did I mention she has drama queen tendencies?

The whole clean up / calm down exercise took about 10 minutes. Not that long. But guess what? That’s ten minutes worth of wall wiping I DIDN’T DO.

I wasn’t lying before. I DID clean my heart out yesterday. But when it was all done, and my child was finally in bed for the night, I realised something.  I felt as though I had done more cleaning than usual, but on reflection I had actually done less.

I stopped and started more. I repeated stuff; like re-vacuuming  floors.  I put away the same toys about 4 times. I cleaned windows only to discover the same little finger prints 5 minutes later. I found rocks from outside – inside. Spoons from inside – outside. And also stopped mid way for 2 meals, 5 nappies, 8 books, 3 ‘ouches’ and one very quick puppet show with a tiger.

I just can’t get as much cleaning done in a day as I used to. 

I really would love to be able to Teflon coat everything. Why, just days ago I wrote on Facebook that I would love to be able to cover my couch in plastic. Yes… Like she of Everybody Loves Raymond. Actually, exactly like my Aunty. (My mother’s sister who possesses the same cleaning gene).

Why do I wish I could cover the couch? Because I’m so sick of cleaning or wiping off snot patches, or coloured pencil, or banana.

I pulled my 20 month old aside yesterday after she (unbeknown to me) took her blackcurrant juice bottle off the top of the highchair and emptied the entire contents onto the couch. I looked her in the eyes with my ‘mean mum, serious look’ and said, “This is NOT ok. This is not good behaviour. This makes mummy grumpy and actually, it’s getting very old.”

She smiled, then laughed. And I wondered to myself how many more years I’ll be having conversations like that. Hopefully not many.

And it IS getting old: The couch. The child. The continuous cleaning.  And most of all me.

And there’s nothing worse than an ageing diva.

Memo to all women : Get baking, get naked, or GET LOST! Footy doesn’t want you.

Right now is probably not a good time for me to be writing this. I am super furious and have just spent half an hour reporting to Facebook administration some ATTACKING, SEXIST, DEROGATORY remarks made about Kelli Underwood. Some, alarmingly made by women.  (And no, I’m not ‘one of those’ people who report others, in fact this is the 1st time I have ever reported anyone on Facebook).

If you follow the AFL, you will probably know exactly who I’m talking about, but if not – let me tell you about Kelli Underwood.

She is the FIRST EVER female to commentate a game of AFL.  Sadly, Kelli is NOT the proud owner of a penis and because she lacks this apparent MANDATORY apparatus, has received a bucket load of completely UNFAIR and outright SEXIST backlash.

(Incidentally, Kelli should totally sue for defamation. I once started a group on Facebook about getting butchered by hairdresser and me and my 5 members apparently caused $50,000 worth of damage.   I would LOVE to see how much she could get out of the MONGRELS on Facebook who are attacking not just her ability to commentate, but her personally).

Last week the Daily Telegraph reported the following:

LAST weekend a young sports commentator by the name of Kelli Underwood made her calling debut on Channel 10 in the AFL pre-season competition.

If Kelli was a bloke, that event would not have attracted much attention. In fact, if Kelli was Kel, he would have been welcomed into the fold with open arms and nobody would have battedan eyelid.

Sadly for Kelli this week, she is not a bloke. Kelli Underwood (pictured) has been subject to the sort of scrutiny that only underworld criminals and out-of-form Australian cricketers normally face.

It is a different matter when Nicole Livingstone calls the swimming. You see, she was a swimmer. Liz Ellis calling netball. Fine – that’s a chicks’ sport. But heaven forbid any woman who dares to dream and cross that big thick white line into the male football domain.

Kelli will find out the hard way that the path she has chosen will be very rocky indeed. The bloggers are just the beginning. Macho radio commentators have expressed grave concern about Underwood’s future. Even sensible male journalists believe that she has absolutely no chance of succeeding in this most brutal of worlds. This has all been expressed in week one, before we even find out if the girl has talent.

I must admit I turned on the AFL last weekend and was shocked to hear a female voice calling the game. We are so finely tuned to hearing men that any female, no matter what she says, is going to sound strange and foreign.

But that doesn’t mean we should put a line through her name just yet. Underwood deserves exactly the same chance as any one of her male counterparts. From the small portion I heard, it is obvious that the girl knows and loves the game.

The mere fact that she has decided to pursue her goal shows a determination and gutsiness that is admirable. Underwood would be well aware that the female experiment lasted two minutes on Channel 9’s cricket commentary.  Kate Fitzpatrick was such a disastrous choice as the pioneering woman on the cricket commentary team that no one has ever dared to venture there in the two decades since.

Firstly, well said Rebecca Wilson who wrote the article, especially the bit about nobody batting an eye if it was a new bloke commentating.

But Kelli didn’t enter into this role blind folded. She was well aware of the attention she might receive saying, “Obviously the whole ‘woman’ thing will be a talking point and I understand it’s an issue that polarises people and a lot of people have an opinion. But I’m a woman and I’ve earned this opportunity and I’m going to go for it.”

Here is a snippet of Kelli commentating. Keep in mind it was right before the final siren.

Some complain it’s not the fact that she’s a woman, but rather – that her voice is annoying and painful to listen to.  For real?

Have any of you heard Rabs (Ray Warren) commentate a game of NRL? Talk about annoying. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, tune into Game 2 of the State of Origin on the 9th June and you’ll know the second he opens his mouth.  Because I would rather hear a recording of someone vomiting excessively than listen to him, but you don’t see many HATE groups on Facebook for him do you? 

To give you an example of some of the atrocious and abhorrent things being said about Kelli, I’ve cut some out below.

   

From the Facebook group: Operation Sack Kelli Underwood from Commentating (members 11,026)

  • F**K UP BITCH!
  • Dumb f**k she is! She is ruining the Cats vs dees game. Just f**k off biatch! You are single handedly ruining Australian Rules Footy!!!!!
  • Get in the canteen and off my f***ing tv!!!!!!! You are boring and crap!!! Women should stick to cleaning and serving food – NOT commentating!!!! What next a f***ing female coach get a grip!!!!!!
  • She’s a fu**n slag f**k her off real quick
  • Kick the bitch in the guts!!!paaaa smelly kelli get outta here C***!!!
  • Back in the kitchen BITCH, and cook me some PIE!
  • Women are good at lots of things, but leave this job to a man who knows the know. Like Dennis!

From the Facebook discussion group: Underwood was employed BECAUSE she is a woman

  • I have seen her do two games, go away girl and do a story on cooking as you are boring as a football commentator
  • I agree footy is a game played by blokes so naturally someone who commentates should have personal experience in the game! Seriously how many blokes would get to commentate netball?

His name is Luke Darcy, and he commentates netball you brain dead hack. Also, there are loads of male AFL commentators who have never played a single game.

From the Facebook discussion group:  Women in Football????

  • It doesn’t work….now we gota put up with this raspy voiced, throat clearing mess while she commentates Geelong’s finest games…any1 know of a female in the football media that’s worth knowing??? even malthouse fell by the wayside after she finished giving handjobs in primary school carparks
  • Women should stay out of footy. its only 4 men.
  • I agree with everyone and everything said – females involved in AFL is wrong – umpiring, goal umpiring, commentating, anything (only if the girl is blonde with a tiny waist and big boobs then I’m pretty sure they are allowed to be the physiotherapist)

And that’s not all. There are so many hate groups aimed at this woman, you would think she was the master mind behind the Bali bombings.  And it’s not just Facebook groups. There are TONS of on-line forums on the topic like this one that say Kelli should’ve been drowned at birth! 

So the main message we’re getting from the semi-deranged masses is that women and football don’t mix. Women should stay FAR AWAY from the game. We should instead, be venturing off the field, and into the kitchen. Yes, because The Kitchen is where ‘we belong.’

Well knock me down with a feather,  that’s a new concept!! Women in the kitchen…. and the millions of male chefs who incidentally; often get paid more for cutting the same onion.  Have you noticed on EVERY competitive cooking show, the judges are MEN? 

To those who say that Kelli get in the kitchen… are you suggesting that women should be like that of a 1950’s housewife? If so, it’s too late! Read your friggin history books. The men went to war – the women kept the rest of the world turning, and we were changed forever.  Have none of you seen the movie A League Of Their Own? 

I would like to bet my left breast that Kelli is getting paid less than her male counterparts. As do all women on TV. Koshie gets more than Mel. Karl gets more than Lisa.  It’s a sad fact.

So anyway, on Saturday after reading a comment on facebook by one of my friends, saying if he wanted to watch a chick imitate a bloke, he’d watch Ellen, I decided to watch.   Admittedly, I only usually watch my own team play, unless it’s finals, and the week Kelli was commentating a West Coast Eagles game, I was in Sydney where AFL is like honest politicians.

I couldn’t see the problem. Yes, she did a fair bit of the grunting macho voice when the on-field plays got heated or close to scoring, (as do male commentators) but she undoubtedly knows her stuff.  I can’t understand what’s so annoying about her.  

Yes she sometimes stated the obvious – but EVERY commentator does that, and I’m wondering if those who think she is annoying to listen to, are actually (consciously or subconsciously) irritated by the female voice, rather than what she is saying, or how.

These people would like Kelli – and in fact ALL women to leave their game alone, and give the job to one far more qualified. One with an Adam’s Apple and a set of testicles to boot. 

In fact, women of Australia…. let us leave football THE HELL alone. Let’s cancel our team memberships. Let’s stop watching games on TV. Let’s stop going to LIVE games. Lets’s STOP buying any merhcandise.

And you know what men – your beloved game will choke and die. Because it’s a well know fact that women make up a large percentage of memberships, of crowd numbers and TV viewers. And it’s also been documented that women are the ones who buy MOST of the team merhcandise.

So let’s stop. We should get back to the kitchen where we belong and bake pie.  How DARE we enjoy a game of footy! How DARE we be watching, let alone commentating.

I’d now like to bet my right breast that if Kelli had been sitting in the box wearing a bikini with her jugs out, men Australia wide would be saluting her. If she followed it up with a photo shoot for Zoo Weekly?  Why men would be praising her. 

“She’s a good sort” they’d say!

                                

And we’d hear all about her love of being naked, how she loves to have sex with her boyfriend during half time, how she once did it in the MCG locker rooms, and actually, how she loves it when she gets tipsy and ends up rooting the entire team – because you know, if you want to be part of AFL – that is where you belong.  Not as a contributing member of a fantastic game and a great Australian sport; but as a piece of ass.

And then they’d dedicate the legendary song “Up There Cazaly” to her but change the words as follows:

Up there Kel Underwood
Please will you quit?
Up there and at ‘em
And show ‘em your tits

Up there Kel Underwood
Keep quiet or die
You’ll get more admirers
By baking a pie

A letter I doubt I’ll be sending… to Kevin Rudd, PM

Dear Prime Minister

On the eve of your new budget, I thought I’d write to tell you some of my opinions, because everyone is entitled to my opinion – even you! 

First of all I should probably make one thing clear straight up. I didn’t vote for you because I heard you picked wax out of your ear and ate it. Sorry, but that was kind of a deal breaker for me.

To be honest Mr Rudd, the first time I had to vote, and was unsure who to vote for because I didn’t understand the policy, I referred to the dictionary, and this is what I read:

LABOUR

  1. to burden or tire
  2. the physical effort and periodic uterine contractions of childbirth.
  3. to act, behave, or function at a disadvantage

LIBERAL

  1. favoring or permitting freedom of action
  2. open minded or tolerant
  3. progressive, broad minded, charitable, unprejudiced

Actually, your ‘KEVIN 07’ campaign didn’t really give me much indication of what type of PM you’d be. Other than the fact that perhaps there’s be times when you like to rhyme.  Your campaign mantras included cliché phrases like:

  • The reckless spending must stop.
  • The Buck stops with me.
  • The best choice for working families.
  • Creating an education revolution.
  • Addressing the biggest challenge of our time… Climate Change.

I find empty words like that harder to swallow than fermented fish guts soup. So I voted for Howard, which was essentially a vote for Peter Costello.

That day we had to vote was a shambles, and I should have realised then; that if this is what DAY 1 of ‘Kevin Rudd as PM’ was going to be like, hold on to your stock portfolios because you ‘aint seen nothin’ yet.

I left my phone in the voting booth, and by the time I’d realised, and returned to collect it, the booth ceased to exist. Those volunteers at the voting stations were eager to get out.  So given that I was to be meeting friends for dinner that night at a Tepanyaki restaurant, of which I knew neither its name nor exact location…. I wandered the streets of Sydney searching for Tepanyaki where my friends were. I found them eventually – only to get raw egg thrown down the front of my brand new jeans.

Eggs are precious, and not supposed to be thrown at someone’s unsuspecting bowl. I’m telling you this because it’s a metaphor which I will explain soon.

So anyway, leading up to your election, I had only the above information, and the following understanding of what KEVIN stood for….

K – Kind of feminine looking.
E – Ever been to a strip club?
V – Very good at clichés and rhyming.
I – I eat ear wax!
N – Nasally, Nerdy and Not very old.

In the last 3 years I have learnt much more about you, and I hope you sacked your campaign advisors and speech writers because here is what they didn’t tell us. 

The reckless spending must stopreally meant: The reckless spending by the liberal government on tax cuts must stop. YOU will take a 20 billion dollar surplus and create a $50 billion dollar deficit. You will spend recklessly on other things and then frantically look for ways to recover some of that money.

The Buck stops with mereally meant: The economy stops with you.

The best choice for working familiesreally meant: The best choice for anyone who is unemployed and wants to stay that way. It was also your fave quote of the campaign and we continue to hear it in every address.

Creating an education revolutionreally meant: You are hugely ambitious with grand promises, but your game plan will be slow, and a website called MY SCHOOL will be a new way to create ‘fear and propoganda’ in ‘working families.’

Addressing the biggest challenge of our time… Climate Changereally meant: You’ll throw around some ideas, travel abroad to discuss these ideas, and see what happens. If it’s too hard, you’ll let someone else work it out.

Mr Rudd, your beliefs seem to be disposable. You were there at my doorstep but you have failed to deliver me anything but junk mail. A lot of people like you.  But what I look for in a PM is performance not personality.  

Your announcements lack substance like you think we’re not ready or too dumb to hear the head spinning details.

Here is what I think KEVIN stands for now.

K – Kryptonite. You may have felt like Superman giving everyone 900 bucks, and telling us you’re here to tackle the tough issues. But you’re not faster than a speeding bullet, and you can’t leap tall buildings in single bound either. When you finished saving the economy with cash hand-outs, like Clarke Kent you went back to the office with your glasses on all sheepish and told yourself “I’m such a good person” until Lex Turnbull Luther exposed your stimulus. If the debt you’ve given this country doesn’t kill you, I don’t know what will.

E – Education Revolution. I had an education revolution at my place last week. I bought a new laptop too. E is also for ETS, but I almost forgot about that because it was sitting right at the back of the shelf somewhere.

V – Vendetta. You seem to have one for WA. Is it because they’re the only state led by a Liberal premier, or the fact that they failed to sit prettily on your proposed health reform? It’s like you’re determined to destroy their economy as you have destroyed the other major states’. I wonder who helps you dream these ridiculous plots up. Do you have Dr Evil on speed dial? Did he say to you: “Hmmmm, WA economy is booming hey?  You can destroy them.  Hit them where it hurts… the Resources and Industrial Sector. Force them to pay more tax, the oldest rule in the book.  (pats his kitty) The mining companies will have no choice but to take their business oversees, leaving thousands unemployed and the state in complete asphyxiation. Aahh ha ha ha ha ha“ 

I – In flight Entertainment. You seriously must have saved so much money on going to the movies with all the films you must watch on all those frequent 12 hour flights. So tell me..What did you prefer… The Hurt Locker or Avatar? I’m envisaging you as more of an Avatar kind of guy. It might have something to do with you apparent love of fantasy.

N – NEVER. Are you ready for this one? Never salute to the most hated man in politics – GW Bush. Never arrange insulation for anyone again. Never twitter porn. Never dine in public places with Rupert Murdoch’s men on a popular strip in a restaurant owned by a movie star. You’re going to get noticed. Never criticise the air hostess. Never laugh into a microphone that’s turned on again. Please? It’s like fingernails down a chalkboard. It hurts my teeth. Never criticise the leader of Opposition for exercising instead of discussing health reforms. Actions speak louder than words Kev, and on the subject of health, Mr Abbot appears to know more than you.

  

So back to the day I voted and my metaphor.

Like my phone – you seem lost. You’re wandering aimlessly looking past your shoulder and asking yourself, “Haven’t I already been to this spot?”

You have. It’s a place you probably saw when Gough Whitlam was in charge, and you are there. You’re actually smack bang in the middle of Way To Screw The Economy Prime Minister – Highway.

Back in your election campaign you gave the promise of a Tepanyaki dinner. A good healthy meal for all ‘struggling working families.’ But some of the meal is under cooked. Some burnt to a crisp and completely inedible. We’re getting stuff we didn’t order, and you’re telling me that what I did order, you’ve not got?

I won’t be coming back to this restaurant again. Because to make it worse, you started throwing raw eggs about, and I have a feeling that tomorrow when you announce the budget, that raw egg is gonna’ fly.

Yes Prime Minister. The eggs in my metaphor are your budget. Eggs are precious.

Every year you pollies create a budget that changes the shape of our economy. Last year your budget reminded me of when I was 18 and lied about my income to get a MYER card. I had a great 6 month spending spree and nearly poo’d my pants when I saw how much I owed at the end of it. It took me 6 years to pay it off.

So I’m begging you – to stop throwing eggs around like it’s a joke yolk… You’re making a huge mess. The economy is not a big fry pan that you can make scrambled eggs in. It’s more like a Pavlova, and the egg part is delicate and central to the success of the dish.

I’m hoping that by this time next year we’ll have new leadership, and that tomorrow will be the last time I have to endure this Kitchen Nightmare.

You’re popularity is at an all time low. It’s because you lied. You sold us Dom Perignon and gave us Brut. If you want to win the next election – be honest. Tell the truth.

Because I know how much you like to rhyme, here are some ideas. (Forget “Kevin in 2011” – it’s been done, and besides, you need to call that election SOON)

There were few good men in 2010
So you might as well bloody vote for Ruddy.

I’ll travel the world in first class
My policies will be a bit of a farce

But I’ll have a laugh, I’ll give you cash
I’ll probably make the market crash

I’ll kill small business and enterprise
I’ll tax you high, and tell you lies

I’ll reward the ones who just don’t try
And healthy, hard workers will fry

I’ll talk of challenges in our time
But most importantly – I’ll rhyme.

And there you have it.  

Anyway, I must go. I’ve just seen a headline on tomorrow’s budget that is making my head spin so fast it’s giving me whiplash.

Sincerely not yours,
Cindy

PS. Has anyone ever told you – you look like ‘Smithers’ from The Simpsons?

We will remember them… with a sexy girl in commando

I was planning on having the long weekend off my blog, but after a fairly emotional morning I just need to vent.

I don’t attend the dawn services on Anzac day. I used to when I was much younger, but I find it too embarrassing now, because given the amount of blubbering I do, you’d think my entire family has just been destroyed by the enemy. Meanwhile, those old men and women who have LIVED through wars totally keep it together. So I wait and watch the delayed telecast on TV, keeping my excessive tears to myself.

I realise I’m not alone with the emotion factor, and absolutely – the bugle player generates many watery eyes. But just watching an old man with a chest full of medals place a wreath, or watching a young soldier salute … it’s all too much, and so in the same way those who get easily scared avoid horror movies, I avoid the service.

We did go to watch the march – and my daughter got very excited by the music and the horses… and I kept my sunglasses on, and my tissues out… Seriously – it’s just a bunch of dudes in uniform marching up the street to the St Kilda theme song…. Why Cindy, Why?

I LOVE that there is still an enormous amount of reverence and respect in this country for our soldiers, especially those who fought and died in battles – It’s their lost lives that allows us the freedom we enjoy today, and that warrants the utmost respect – does it not??

Being a day of remembrance – we remember them and celebrate our freedom. Understandably – the celebrations come in all forms, like watching the footy or going on a picnic, or participating in older traditions like 2-up and a beer at the pub. Pubs know this – and cash in.

Here’s a couple of pub’s promo for Anzac Day: (Note – I’ve erased the venue names)

Here is another I came across:

Does anyone know the ‘heimlich maneuver’ because I’m choking on my banana bread.  Seriously? Was the graphic designer smoking the reefer when he created this? I mean ok, sex sells – but this is ridiculous – a perfect example of cheapening something ceremonious with innuendos and smut.

Do you think this girl is remembering the Anzacs? I think she’s trying to say, “Come here lover boy, I’ll show you my gun if you show me yours…” Ech!  Bad taste? Looking at this poster is for me is like eating a bowl of pigs feet.

Or is this just a bit of fun. I’m not sure… Perhaps I should ask my dad. He’s a lieutenant colonel in the army and actually, now that I think about it – he’d probably find this a little classless but fairly harmless. But I wonder if his father, and uncles, and their fathers who also served, some of whom died fighting…. What would they think? It’s them that we are remembering today – not the cadets running around who will probably be pissed by 1pm. It’s not their day – and it won’t ever be unless they get their heads blown off at war.

(UPDATE: I have been led to believe from valid comments that Anzac Day is everyone’s day and how a digger chooses to celebrate is his business. My belief was that today is a day to remember the Anzacs, but I now see it’s a way for all Australians to recognise their freedom no matter whos hands and sacrifice have led to that freedom.)

I’m not sure if it is because of my ancestry’s devotion to the military, or hearing of my dad’s army trips away where he ‘trained’ to kill the enemy that makes me feel respect for all soldiers. I used to wonder what would happen if there was a war – would my dad have to go? What if he died? Luckily he’s a bit too old for the fighting end of war now and his age places him nicely at the strategic end of things. (Sorry dad if you’re reading…)

But it IS reality – especially for many people in my home town of Darwin. The military makes up 15% of the population. Might not seem like much, but their presence here is undeniable – particularly on days like today. And I look at them with honour and pride and gratitude because they work and train hard. They sacrifice a lot.

Some might argue that they get paid well, and yes – it’s their CHOICE to be in the army or navy, or airforce…. But imagine if there weren’t young men or women making that choice. Conscription?

Many of the soldiers we are remembering today HAD NO CHOICE.  Mandatory military service was made Australian law from 1903 – 1929 and then again from 1939 – 1943 during the second world war.

Which leads me back to TODAY. In the dark dawn of this day in 1915 Australian troops made a landing on a hostile shore along the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey. They dared mightily and hundreds were slaughtered.

If you haven’t seen the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan – you should. I believe this is what war was like before the age of missiles and bombs and weapons of mass destruction.

If you have seen it – then think about it for a minute. Because I think it’s not too different from what the Anzacs experienced. So we should remember them how they would want to be remembered – for how they fought like lions for their country, stuck by their friends and did their duty but died mercilessly.

Now look back at that poster. Am I over reacting? Being too emotional?

Puh! It’s highly likely.

Pass the airbrush… pleeease?

This morning while many of you were arriving at work, switching on your computer and taking a few sips of your morning coffee, I was arriving at a photographers studio trying desperately to switch on my “I’m Having Fun“ face, while taking a few gulps of confidence. (Metaphorically speaking only:  I WAS NOT drinking any mood altering substances, although I wish I had been).

Now that I have my own… I guess you would call it a column – in a magazine, the editor asked if they could use the image of me above to accompany the article. Unfortunately the photo isn’t high enough resolution – which meant two scary words. Photo. Shoot.

Shoot me is about right. Will you? Because this could not have been scheduled on a worse day. To really explain why, I’d have to tell you about yesterday and that is so not interesting so I won’t bother.

Let’s just say: it’s ideal if before a photo shoot you can get more than 5 hours sleep, locate your concealer, have your re-growth fixed at the hairdressers and maybe schedule in some botox.

If this opportunity had presented itself to me twenty years ago – hell even ten years ago, I would have been dancing about on cloud – like 99. The prospect of a photo shoot would have excited me beyond belief. But that’s just who I was.

Age is funny like that. It changes you into your mother. “Get that camera out of my face.” Because we know we don’t look like we used to. Glory days – be gone, and take gravity with you!

So the editor apparently instructed the photographer to exactly replicate the shot of me above. Here is the whole photo – uncropped.  See? I actually do have 2 eyes.

 

Trying to recreate a photo that was taken at about 2.30am in the morning in the middle of a pumping nightclub on the dance floor is harder than it might sound. The above photo was taken just over 3 years ago. It was at my hen’s night at The Cargo Bar in Sydney.  I had been shaking it like a Polaroid picture, and was taking some time out to dry off near one of those big industrial metal fans, when my sister in law said, “Cindy – “ and… SNAP. 

When I was trying to find a blog template for Cyclone Cindy – with an image that depicted wind or cyclones, all I found was some floating autumn leaves or a winter landscape with snow. Hardly cyclone worthy.  So a few days later when I was sorting my old photos into folders on the hard drive, I came across the above image and thought – wind in my hair, cyclone – cindy!

Back to this morning… I realised I’d need my hair out to recreate the photo, which meant I should probably wash it. And I was told nothing with too much shine for my makeup. Thankfully (although also not thankfully) it was a close up – so attire was irrelevant. Jeans. Thongs.

So while I’m applying my low-shine makeup it occurred to me that a mono-brow might not be the best look. Same with the Maria hair resting faintly over my lip line. (Oh the joys of having wog-blood). Tweezers – fixed. Bleach – can’t find it. Oh well, Maria it is.

Concealer….. Concealer? Where are you?

Crap. Maria with 5 hours sleep it is.

When I arrived, I met the photographer who was playing some Pat Benatar. Just the right amount of retro and cool. We Belong to the Night. Oh yes I do – so what am I doing here so early!

So we moved through to the studio where there were lots of lights and 2 big fans….of course – to get that hair of mine blowing. So you can imagine my surprise when the photographer pulls out a blower (you know those out-door machines that you blow leaves off your driveway with..) and starts telling me to drop my shoulders, look at him and smile!

If you’re not laughing – let me tell you. It was funny ok?

So round 1 of photos, I looked like I was holding in 3 litres of water and about to burst.

Round 2 was better.  Less “Where’s the loo?” and more “Pass the dutch.”  The extreme wind from the fans was making my eyes water – so I had that glazed look across my eye balls that says, “I’ve been rolling joints all morning, where’s the pancakes at?”

I’m very happy, relieved and a little bit proud to say that round 3 was a success. MAJOR KUDOS to Shane Eecen the photographer.   He really is super talented and had his subject been less strung out on arrival, he probably would have had time to do some airbrushing. (Although Shane if you’re reading this you’re probably thinking:  Wow, she seemed so fine. I’ve just become a master at keeping sleep deprivation and chaos to myself).

Never mind. It’s me.  It’s what I look like NOW. The image above is not what I look like anymore. Apparently. (I’m blaming my 18 month old and her countless sleepless nights). Finally, a special thanks to my husband who called me a silver fox as I walked out the door!

True or False: If you can read, you can cook.

I’d like to answer this one in double time and say – FALSE.

I was considering leaving the answer until the end of the post, waiting until I’d discussed, dissected and then proven my argument. But I’d actually rather forget last night’s dinner, and how I actually came to this conclusion.   Let’s just say I thought I’d be creative and ad lentils, and it didn’t go down so well.

I once read that if you can read you can cook. I’m not sure where I read it, but I think it might have been at the preface of a really old cook book from my grandmother’s day, because it said something like: Follow the instructions and make sure you measure everything exactly. Check the temperatures are correct. If it still doesn’t taste right – you probably just need to add more fat!

No celebrity chef in their right mind would be dishing out that kind of advice in this day and age of The Obesity Epidemic.  Unless it’s Ian Hewittson. But he does a lot of things I don’t believe qualify him as an ‘actual’ chef. Like opening a can of pesto and adding that to the meat he had the butcher cut for him.

You would never catch Jamie Oliver pulling a slick move like that. Nooooo! First he goes to his garden where he’s growing it all – organically of course. Then he gets out the mortar and pestle… grinds that garlic and basil and parmesan and those pine nuts – and Hey-Pesto!  Just like that! And the meat? Oh Jamie’s practically out there killing the animal, and naturally – in the most humane and kindly way.

How the crap does he always make it look so easy?  And so quick?  Is it because he speaks a million miles an hour? You feel like things are moving faster than they really are? I mean have you ever tried to actually write down what Jamie Oliver is cooking? I did once. Lamb shanks where he used anchovies (pronounced ancha-vees), instead of salt. I’m sure I left out about 5 things. They were barely edible.

I should learn not to watch chefs like Jamie Oliver and then use their creations as a way to gauge my own skills in the kitchen. Like I don’t watch Michael Phelps to determine if I can swim.  And I don’t watch Beyonce on Video Hits and try to recreate those exact moves myself? Oh wait yes I do.

People who can cook don’t have to measure seasoning. People who can cook don’t have conniptions every time they have to cut fat off raw meat. People who can cook can cut up an onion and watch TV at the same time. People who can cook don’t measure the amount of olive oil or butter they first put in the pan. They just throw it in there with gay abandon… so smugly – knowing it’s the start of something brilliant and delicious.

I mean I have had the odd gamble on the “I’m Just Going To Throw It All In” game. I don’t usually win though.  The only time it’s ever worked for me is if I’m using pasta and mascarpone cheese. But you could add brussel sprouts and monkey feet to that – and it would still probably taste good.

I tend to have a bit of a repertoire. Mine includes a few varieties of pasts, risotto (but I need the recipe for that), Lennards chicken schnitzel with mashed potatoes and broccolini, the cous cous where you just ad water, and any of the El Paso Mexican meals. Which leads me to last night’s dinner, and why I thought using a Donna Hay recipe in conjunction with the instrcutions on the back of the box was a good idea…. but again – let’s not got there.

If my husband is not going to be home at dinner time, I usually make myself breakfast for dinner. The key ingredient (and you might want to grab a pen and jot this one down – because it is really good), is cornflakes. I usually add a low fat cow’s milk, but you can replace that with soy milk, or rice milk, or a full fat variety if you like.  If you’re a sweet tooth you can ad honey or sugar, but since this IS DINNER, I prefer to go without, and save the pack of Tim Tams for dessert.

Another favourite meal of mine is cheese on toast. Or peanut butter on toast. Both quick, and both excellent sources of protein. 

You know now that I think about it, I am very good at potato salad. And – thanks to my ex boyfriends Sicilian mother who instilled in me the importance of being able to prepare meals for my ‘fianzata’ my ‘salsa al pomodoro e polpette di carne’ aren’t too bad. (Meatballs and Tomato Sauce) Actually, I don’t pull them out of my chef’s hat very often – but when I do I get rave reviews.

And you know what else I just realised – I actually get requests for my chocolate brownies ….. Yes I know – Nigella Lawson – watch your back!

Truth? I’m probably not THAT bad a cook. But I can’t figure out why the dishes that require me to use a recipe are the one I stuff up big time.

I have attempted a million dishes ‘straight from the recipe’ that have been monumental disasters! Hang on…. maybe I actually can’t read.

Or maybe it’s because I find myself skimming over the recipe the same way I look at the instructions for assembling a bookshelf from Ikea.

Perhaps my earliest assumption was wrong. Maybe if you can read – you CAN cook.

Perhaps they should put this in the preface of every reputable cookbook instead: 

If you are impatient, think you know it all, and don’t intend to study each recipe carefully and make sure you have the right ingredients – you can’t cook – so don’t bother!

Some people think #2 : Tiger Woods – Back in the game.

Before starting today’s Some People Think – here is Nike’s new ad featuring the voice of Tiger’s father, Earl Woods.

  • Some people think Tiger’s new Nike ad is poignant but genius.
  • Some people think he must now be a mute.
  • Some people are glad to see Tiger back in action at the US Masters this week.
  • Some people think a Tiger never changes his stripes. Once a tiger, always a cheetah.
  • Some people think the marketing people over at Nike must be giving themselves high fives and doing air punches in Jerry McGuire style, because everyone’s talking about their new ad.
  • Some people think the press conference held in Georgia prior to the Masters tournament was too controlled.
  • Some people think Tiger’s continuous attempts at saying sorry are rehearsed and a little phony.
  • Some people think he behaved contrite, composed and polite at his press conference.
  • Some people think he should take up dancing after the number of questions he side-stepped around.
  • Some people think Tiger Woods must have some serious mojo in the sack.
  • Some people think you might as well just give Tiger his 5th Green Jacket right now.
  • Some people think that Nike and also Accenture, are cashing in on – and using a personal disaster and struggle at the expense of his family. (ad copy below reads: It’s not a setback. It’s a test.)

  • Some people think he is trying harder to win fans back than winning a game of golf.
  • Some people think Tiger is still a big fat liar and still has plenty of apologies to make (mainly his whores think this – but also his kindergarden teacher)
  • Some people (in Melbourne) think the taxpayers handing over 1.5 million to have him back in October this year is totally worth having the presence of a champion.
  • Some people (In Melbourne) think  it would be wrong to finance his Aussie comeback.
  • Some people think… DO THE MATH – a cost of 1.5 million = approximately $30 million to Victorian economy.
  • Some people think Tiger Woods brought new meaning to his sponsor, Nike’s catch phrase – Just Do It.
  • Some people think that 5 months is not enough leave of absence time, and that Tiger Woods should be rotting in a hole somewhere.
  • Some people think Tiger’s ‘hero’ status is tarnished forever now.
  • Some people think once a champ always a champ – regardless of where you put your penis.
  • Some people think Tiger has learned his lesson – and really just wants to get on and do what he loves – which is playing golf.
  • Some people saw Tiger with his phone out on the course the other day, and think that he should probably burn that thing.

  • Some people think in 5 years time we’ll all be watching this play back on Channel Nine’s “20 – 1, World’s Sexiest Sporting Scandals”  Oh wait… sorry, already been done!

 

I think Tiger is an amazing golf player. I think he and Elin must have shared some incredible moments together, for there to be enough love for her to not kick him to the curb. I also think Elin has a level of dignity that I aspire to. I think Tiger should be playing golf. I don’t think Tiger Woods is addicted to sex, or painkillers or sleeping tablets. I think he has been addicted to his own ego – addicted to himself.  The best thing to cure something like that is a large serving of humility and I think as he continues to gulp it down he will redeem himself to the world eventually, and more importantly his family.

What do YOU think?

Ever had a hideous boss?

In the book / movie The Devil Wears Prada, we watch a girl traumatised by her boss’s requests, and see her world unfold as a result. Lauren Weisberger, author of the book denies it was autobiographical. She wants us to believe it’s a coincidence that she once worked as an assistant for Anna Wintour at US VOGUE before turning her hand to fiction? So there’s her ‘loosely based on a true story’ there….

I’ll go out on a limb here and assume that most people could tell a story about The Boss From Hell That Did My Head In And Made Work Almost Unbearable.

Thankfully I’ve only ever really had one bad boss. He was a MONGREL. Anna Wintour, (ehem I mean Miranda Priestly) would be a saint to work for compared to this guy. I won’t say his name. I could get into some scorching hot trouble if I did. (Again). So I’ll just call him *J.

*J was the Director of his own business, a clever and inventive man who established a series of expo style events, and then branched into magazines. I was hired as the Group Marketing Manager. I had a sassy little business card, my own office and was getting nicely paid.

*J was a HUGE, ENORMOUSLY FAT man. Seriously morbidly obese, but because he’s nasty, it was just all over ugly. He has diabetes, is a smoker, and drinks. Not my business. UNTIL he calls me into his office, puffs smoke in my face, ask me to empty his office bin (full of Jim Beam & Coke bottles) and sends me to the shop to get him some lollies. (Imagine his poor PA’s who usually only lasted about 2 months) And I cannot tell you the number of people I would contact that would say to me, “Sorry Cindy, we don’t want to work with *J ever again.”

You know if this was the worst of it might even be funny. “What a character!” I would say… But it was so much worse! He screamed, he belittled, he lied, he expected me to lie, and he discriminated openly. He is to this day – the most unpleasant unhappiest human being I’ve ever met, which probably explains why I sometimes think of him.

Here’s an example of a typical banter.

*J: (Screaming down hallway) Cindeeeeee.
Cindy: (power walks to *J’s office) Hey *J.
*J: Have a seat. Mind if I smoke?
CINDY: Um, no.
*J: Good, because if you did then you can leave. And when I say leave, I mean forever.
CINDY: Um, no. That’s fine. (So not fine. So not fine).
*J: (pauses and looks me up and down) What’s the matter with you today?
Cindy: Nothing… Why.
*J: Are you tired. Am I keeping you awake?
CINDY: No, I’m just feeling a bit floppy.
(I realise how silly it was to say that – but he made me so nervous and I said stupid things like that all the time)
*J: (now looking directly at my chest) You don’t look floppy. In fact – if you don’t mind me saying, you’re looking nice and perky today!
CINDY: Oh…. (Eeuw, reminder to self to wear turtle necks every day).
*J: That was a compliment. You’re allowed to say thank you.
CINDY: Oh, well – you know, it’s just…. Um,
*J: It’s ok now listen (blows smoke) How you going with the sponsorship deal with ‘x’
CINDY: It’s still tentative at this stage. They’re taking it to head office before they’re 100% on board. They’ll probably come back with more questions, but I’m confident it will go ahead.
*J: Well if you were any good at your job you would have signed them up already.
CINDY: I know you think that, but I’m not a salesperson, I do marketing.
*J: (shouting) YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I KNOW! NOW GET OUT! AND DON’T COME BACK TIL THEY’VE SIGNED THE DEAL!

You know what? I just did a really long sigh from thinking about it. He perplexed me greatly.

I think deep down I stayed there for so long because there was a challenge to be had. No, not being awesome at my job – because I was. But getting him on side and making him be nice.

In the end, it proved too hard. He sent me an email one day (actually it was sent at 3.45am and I suspect it was Bourbon-fuelled) telling me he could do my job in a day, and that I had better watch out. That was it for me. I walked in the next morning with a resignation letter in my hand, marched (nervously but with much bravado) in to the General Manager’s office (who by the way, we all called Smithers), placed the envelopes on his desk, and said “There’s one for you and one for *J. Have a nice day. I know I will be.”

I walked out again shaking, and the receptionist and a couple of co-workers followed me down to say bye, and get details. I learnt that a staff meeting was called that afternoon and all staff were told I was mentally ill, and having psychological problems and needed to resign. He also gave this story to all my media contacts and the agents of celebrities I dealt with.

After a two week holiday in Thailand, I wrote this poem and sent it to everyone I ever worked with or spoke to as his employee. (Jamie Durie – are you reading this?) I even sent it to BMW where he had his car serviced and custom made seatbelts fitted. It was glorious, wonderful, cathartic and alleviating. I didn’t do it for revenge. I did it to heal. I didn’t want to bear the scars he gave me at my next job.

An Ode to *J

*J you miserable f****r. You don’t have a bloody clue.
Can’t believe I was such a sucker to work so long and hard for you.

You call yourself “Lord *J” I call that a delusion.
And we all call you dickhead with your creepy sly intrusion.

‘Company X’ called the cops when they had had enough.
Everyone calls you psycho, but I’d like to call your bluff.

For once I’d like to catch you amid all of your deceit,
Telling lies to stay in business cause the truth process you’re a cheat.

You’re a small pathetic male, but I know you have a heart.
I’ve sometimes seen it working when a new employee starts.

Which for you is fairly frequent, nearly every week or so.
Because someone’s been incompetent and that someone has to go!

Translation: Someone’s pissed you off because they haven’t been selling.
Either that, or they’ve stood up to you, and your temper, and your yelling.

You’re completely unprofessional, unhappy, un-respected.
It’s very clear in years gone by that *J, you’ve been rejected.

And that has made you angry, so you take it out on all.
You surround yourself with weak people who live in fear and crawl.

You sit there in your mighty throne, you bellow and you roar.
But your staff all roll their eyes, ‘cause they’ve heard it all before.

But it’s not the horrid atmosphere, or leadership you lack…
It’s the unhealthy conditions that would have Industrial Relations on your back.

You smoke inside the office, an act AGAINST THE LAW!
And the air-con is so freezing – we all go outside to thaw!

You just don’t really give a crap how your staff might feel.
You only care about your staff and the next signed deal.

If I didn’t know you better I’d think you were mentally sick.
But *J half Australia knows better… you’re just a nasty prick!

Yep, there’s something definitely wrong with the workings of your brain.
You have no concept of reality, no memory, no refrain.

You get in people’s heads. You cause them loss of sleep.
I wish I could just laugh it off with the knowledge you’re a creep.

But I’m a stupid fool for taking so much time.
You’ve affected me so much that I wrote this bloody rhyme.

And you’ll take this to your lawyers; try to sue for this or that.
And you might win. And you might lose. Either way you’ll still be fat.

But I will feel much better. It’s now all off my chest.
Maybe now I’ll get an appetite and have some decent rest.

And you know? One thing assures me with everything that’s passed….
Your fat arms are so short you can’t reach ‘round to wipe your arse.

What about you, got a good ‘shocker-of-a-boss’ story?