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Gisele

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  1. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from Bbqdad for a blog entry, Fiefdom   
    It has been a while
    I have been the best I have ever been, that’s why. Mostly, at least and the exceptions are ripples not waves. I really don’t know why that keeps me away because I like wellness and reading all about it. I just can’t seem to not be a hypocrite. Sharing wellness in a place that exists for the unwell is both the point and so not the point. And that makes sense. And it doesn’t.
    I wouldn’t after all show my friend, who survived breast cancer, film and (probably even the) trophies from a wet t-shirt competition but laughed my head off when she enthusiastically showed me how she used exactly that as a step in coping. What is giving, really? Taking? Or just the polite choreography that creates the illusion. Greek tragedy with parliamentary rules.
    On the subject of tragedy, we, as a nation endured one last week. We had an earthquake, apparently. It measured a whopping 5-point-something, which I assume is out of six (?) but I think anyone living in New Zealand or Japan would scoff at that much like we might when Europe has a bushfire. Yeah, that’s cute. Still, they tried to talk it up because 5 bricks fell of the façade of a bakery and nearly but not really hit a tradie who was already helpfully attired with work boots and a hard hat. Unlike the first time in Japan when a nice big one (even by their standards) struck while I was brushing my teeth and almost needed a team of surgeons to retrieve the toothbrush I did not know we even had an earthquake until the kids told me. No we didn’t, I assured them. Yes we did, they insisted.
    So I asked them when and they said what time it was and then it did make sense. The blind on the kitchen window shook a bit and I remember thinking it was odd that when I called out for our cat to get off the kitchen bench that he appeared almost instantaneously beside me. Alas, he had been unfairly accused, despite recent form in this area. For a creature that exists many, many planes above us loathsome humans, it never ceases to amaze me how quick they are to nonetheless demand a full and frank apology whenever they feel wronged. Two days later, there was an awkward little aftershock.
    I heard noises on the roof and thought, shit, maybe this is real. Nope. Lucy was up there retrieving a ball, which came with only the faint relief of not being a rocket. Otherwise, I nearly fell over with shock that she was up there at all and up there in bare feet. So I asked her, “Honey, what are you doing up there and whatttt are you doing with no shoes on.”
    “Shoes are a false sense of security, mum”.
    The ****? Didn’t say that but would have looked that. Surely I misheard. And no, I didn’t.
    “Shoes are what?’
    “False sense of security,” she said confidently, coming down the ladder and ******* me slightly less with every rung.
    “****” I did say that. “That’s Dad’s doing, isn’t it?” He would go barefoot to a wedding if it weren’t for my careful supervision.
    So I went and found him and told him our baby girl is outside wandering around on the roof. He got up to go outside and see and I thought great, he’s going to not be Bear Grylls and give actual careful, cautious, risk-management parenting a go. This I had to see with my own eyes so followed him out. He got to the spot, looked at Lucy, looked at the ladder and said “You have secured that properly, nice job honey.” And went back inside.
    I didn’t. I stayed outside and died a little bit
    I hadn’t quite let it go so bought it up at dinner. To no real avail. Desperate, I said something really rather naff, “What if there was an earthquake, what then?” Ruby nearly laughed herself off her chair.
    “Wouldn't you rather be on the roof than under it, mum?” replete with replica roof-surfing moves that delighted everybody but me
    At least I have a new favourite natural disaster, if that is all it does.
    For 18 months that had been the pandemic. I say that truthfully and without being the least bit oblivious to the damage it has done around the world. We fled what is now the most locked-down jurisdiction on planet earth and went to the second-most. And what I found has been the most astonishing freedom.
    Finally worked it out and all this shit helped me do it. Freedom is the property line and the sum of why I cross it to leave and cross again to come home. Freedom to fall off a roof, even.
    Going back in time, I think my first favourite natural disaster was democracy. Hasn’t that become that become one giant ****-up?
     
     
     
  2. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from jkd_sd for a blog entry, One Vigil and Another   
    It might be interesting, in years to come, to reflect on how we in Australia largely escaped the pandemic. That’s the good news. The less good news is school is to be going back and work is to be going back and, together, those two things mean our 10 week idyll will soon be dust. Things must return to normal, whatever the **** that means. I’m in no hurry.
    Return to normal is what they say. Re-open the economy is what they say louder still. They are of course less effusive about what that implies. But we know. It means they think an obscene death toll is a fair price to pay for your shit jobs in tourism and marketing and food service but don’t quite have the balls to say exactly that. Oh well, it will be over one-day and we will resume pretending getting other people to make shit and fighting each other to sell it is the hallmark of a fabulous and febrile civilisation. Oh the fun we collectively empower them to have.
    I would be being very dishonest if this didn’t all feel like the seven-second thrill of a super-nice dream. That is, if I can exclude the rest of the world and just reflect upon what it has meant to me and mine, which is easier than it might be because I mostly have. I’m more than just a little sad that the children are going back to school next week.
    They were meant to be going back to school this week but for one reason and another next Monday it will be. There will be staggered starts and probably regular drownings in the new holy water and twists and turns of anxiety to navigate, perhaps more than just my own but I will admit it is starting to feel something like the right time. They are certainly looking forward to it. Even Lucy, who is ever keen to remind me that learning everything, everywhere, except at her desk, has reasoned that her friends and after school things are worth gritting her teeth through school for. It’s part bluff anyway. Thanks to drones and live streaming, we watched the mass green turtle migration to the far north of the barrier reef and she was utterly enchanted and is turning that into a school project. She is also at her dad to build a fence around a large stand of natives near the house, to protect the impossibly cute possums that live in there and wants to turn that into her personal mission. I asked her if we might be inadvertently making them prisoners if we did that. Alas, I was not aware she had already applied her mind to this with some diligence.
    “Nooo, mum, there could be a wire to a tree outside the tree that no other animals can walk along,” she said, with quite some authority. Her dad watched all of this with a quiet pride and as much as that too was beautiful, it was also a tiny bit smug. I immediately thought better of asking how much fencing pocket money might buy because he has probably walked her through preparing a business case. Teach them everything, he says, and often. Can we just do it a little more slowly, I says.
    As it happens, I should have said something before her sister leapt in and filled the void. “Mum, there are fences around the horses and the sheep. Are they prisoners?” I think I nearly fainted at the coldness of her logic but managed to stay upright enough to surrender standing. Children never cease to amaze. They don’t hear anything but when they get half a sniff of the widening gulf between what they are wanting and what they are getting, they turn into the world’s best barristers. Because he fosters this, I whispered to my husband that many more fences and one in particular will be going up 😉
    I do love that my children will rarely argue with each other but will always argue for each other.  I find it utterly charming, as much as I might find myself on the wrong end of it. And it is hard not to be proud even if that inclines me to less than first-class parenting like the topical example of Ruby refusing to go back to school despite absolutely looking forward to it unless her sister was going to be going back too. That’s entirely fair, I thought, and let the school know there were no other demands 😉
     It is said all the time that a mother’s love is the strongest love of all and perhaps it is. The most rewarding love though, for me, is the love the girls have for each other. It might help me vicariously imagine what having a sister would have been like but that is only a tiny part of it. The bigger, better, delicate and precious part is that the burning light of it disarms doubt and tells me we’re doing something right.
    In the middle of that night I was thinking about this and asked him, not for the first time if he feels anything missing by not having a son. Or sons. I don’t know why I ask this when I know it isn’t a thing and when I probably deep-down know that all I am really doing is asking him to answer my own question for me, I think he knows and knows that I know so tends to make a joke of it. He must know because he has only ever been patient with that question.
    But he answered it differently this time, so differently that I can actually imagine that I might never ask again. He said that he had a moment of clarity in 2014, while he was waiting six days for me to wake up after crashing my car. He admitted it occurred to him that I might not be coming home and that meant he would be solely responsible for two daughters in what is lamentably still a man’s world. He went on to say that he decided then he wasn’t going to do what everyone else appeared to be doing and tell them they could be anything and do nothing but hope for the best, so he made sure he would give them the tools they needed to go and get whatever it is they ultimately want, for themselves, by themselves.
    It is a momentous thing when Neptune becomes Venus. It is a more momentous thing when a few short words wash the soap from your eyes and you see in brilliant focus what should have been apparent all along. I couldn’t tell if I was just utterly dim-witted or re-awakened with love. I wasn’t sure how well I would cope with either so I said to him “You’re not off the hook. When Lucy is 16 and 17 and leaves to go to Greenland or Timbuktu or ****ing Saturn just to see something or save something (because this is an outcome I can see more than any other) and when the last bits of my brain melt into my hands because of it, you are going to be handed the pain of that because you will be to blame” Or words to that effect.
    He said, “17? Oh well, there’s nothing wrong with being a late bloomer.”
    I won’t repeat what I said.
    Since everyone else is finding familiar shoes, it is probably time I find my own way back to work. I’m still not sure what shape that is going to take but it will be gradual. The justice system isn’t famously adaptable at the best times and adapting to the electronic makeover has possibly been even less organic a transition than giving a 90-year-old a smart phone. It isn’t the only reason. I think I’m struggling with leaving this home for our city home and struggling with struggling about it because it is all a bit silly. I mean, who goes home knowing they will be homesick.
    I will not miss video-conferencing. Whether it is shitty broadband or kids competing for air time or camera-shy clients and colleagues, there is nothing good about it. The only time it was in any way rewarding was Zooming with my sister-in-law and getting equally drunk. Beyond that, people are just a diminished presence and I think I just tended to find that both distracting and irritating. Presence is very important and especially to my job.
    It is important because quite a few people that come to me don’t necessarily recognise their own best interests and often barely able to resist cultivating a truth that is not the best truth for them. It’s like 9 in 10 of the blogs I write; I want and need to say something but tend to wander off into saying anything else but that something. I really do miss the visceral things that help me evaluate someone and ask better questions.
    I will miss having to be only professionally presented from the waist up though. It’s awesome. As much as I love clothes, I have always loved equally not having to wear them so who wouldn’t work in their underwear from one profession to the next. Other than the one time when I got up in haste to get a document and gave someone a nice flash, everyone else was none the wiser.
    And I have decided that for all the developmental haste, the best invention in the 21st century is snippy tool. They could come up with vaccines for everything and lipstick that lasts all day and all night and the next morning and ray guns that only vaporise vicious, hateful people and ovens that do not burn shit but it would still be snippy tool that would win the award. I. Love. It.
    *
    All this self-isolation did push me off one particular cliff. I think I may have hinted at it here a very long time ago but it isn’t anything I ever talk about. Close to never, really. It is my hair. That alone tends to be dissuasive as it is never going to be a headline: Girl Somewhat Touchy About Her Hair.
    I might even start yawning too, if my sensitivity about this had been less harmful. It isn’t that it has to be kept perfect because it doesn’t. I’m fussy about preparing it, sure, when going out or for work but it endures more than its fair share of sweat and sea-water and mud and I don’t mind a bit if it is roughed up in the bedroom. What I am is hyper-hyper-sensitive about the length of it and have been since the cusp of sixteen which was when I should have died and which I won’t recount because the moment itself isn’t the shadow it used to be.
    Keeping it that length keeps the shadow small and as much I can read over that and know, intellectually, that it is not sane, I know that it also is. Perhaps I’m more fortunate than I have ever appreciated to know that anyone here that might be reading this has the best chance of truly understanding what that means.
    It used to be a hell of a lot worse. If I lost the vigil then I would see the blood in it. If I got really bent out of shape, then I would smell the blood in it. The sick, cruel thing about that is I never saw it when it actually was drenched in my own blood because I was barely alive. But I saw it every day for over a year afterward. It happens occasionally even now. So I keep up the vigil.
    I remember once – I don’t think I had yet turned 20 – when I moved house and walked into an unfamiliar hairdresser after many aborted dress-rehearsals, pointed wordlessly at one who I didn’t trust but felt like I could mistrust the least and said the lady taking bookings that I would book her. I think I saw her the day after and more or less, or exactly, said that this and that and this had to be done without any room for interpretation and would pay her double but if she ****ed it up I would burn down her house. She told me much later that she actually thought I meant it but did it anyway. And was paid what was promised. She was the only one to cut my hair for the next seven years.
    So, when the pandemic loomed and hair salons were among the first things to be shut-down, I immediately felt anxious. Then I didn’t. Then I did again, and each time slightly worse. I knew I had to do something about it. I just didn’t know what. The only options were myself (yeah, nah), the shearing shed up the road (****, maybe) and Alex (no, I just couldn’t).
    Well, I couldn’t until I was pacing around the kitchen thinking about it and heard him coming down the hall. So I said as casually as could, which was never, ever going to sound casual “Honey, I need you to cut my hair today.” He did not even break stride and I don’t know if he intended to at least make some coffee first but bailed on that (itself a  minor miracle) and went to go out through the patio doors with that much haste he forgot to open them first.
    “****, who locked this?” he asked apparently no-one, clearly distressed.
    “You did”
    “Nuh uh. Not doing it”
    “It will be fun,” I insisted but absolutely not really. I thought a vein was going to burst in my head.
    “Get Ruby to do it. She will be very precise.”
    “Do what?” she wondered from out of nowhere.
    So she trimmed a tiny bit off my hair. And my head did not explode. It was genuinely therapeutic.
    The question I have now is how Lucy, when she caught wind of this, just gaped at the gravity of it all, which is impossible because I have never, ever, exposed them to this. Ever.I know that I will not be able to walk away from the vigil, not if I live to 100, but it feels like a stunning success to know it doesn’t always keep it’s foot on my throat.
    *
    So there we are. Back to normaL. Whatever the **** that looks like now.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  3. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from samadhiSheol for a blog entry, One Vigil and Another   
    It might be interesting, in years to come, to reflect on how we in Australia largely escaped the pandemic. That’s the good news. The less good news is school is to be going back and work is to be going back and, together, those two things mean our 10 week idyll will soon be dust. Things must return to normal, whatever the **** that means. I’m in no hurry.
    Return to normal is what they say. Re-open the economy is what they say louder still. They are of course less effusive about what that implies. But we know. It means they think an obscene death toll is a fair price to pay for your shit jobs in tourism and marketing and food service but don’t quite have the balls to say exactly that. Oh well, it will be over one-day and we will resume pretending getting other people to make shit and fighting each other to sell it is the hallmark of a fabulous and febrile civilisation. Oh the fun we collectively empower them to have.
    I would be being very dishonest if this didn’t all feel like the seven-second thrill of a super-nice dream. That is, if I can exclude the rest of the world and just reflect upon what it has meant to me and mine, which is easier than it might be because I mostly have. I’m more than just a little sad that the children are going back to school next week.
    They were meant to be going back to school this week but for one reason and another next Monday it will be. There will be staggered starts and probably regular drownings in the new holy water and twists and turns of anxiety to navigate, perhaps more than just my own but I will admit it is starting to feel something like the right time. They are certainly looking forward to it. Even Lucy, who is ever keen to remind me that learning everything, everywhere, except at her desk, has reasoned that her friends and after school things are worth gritting her teeth through school for. It’s part bluff anyway. Thanks to drones and live streaming, we watched the mass green turtle migration to the far north of the barrier reef and she was utterly enchanted and is turning that into a school project. She is also at her dad to build a fence around a large stand of natives near the house, to protect the impossibly cute possums that live in there and wants to turn that into her personal mission. I asked her if we might be inadvertently making them prisoners if we did that. Alas, I was not aware she had already applied her mind to this with some diligence.
    “Nooo, mum, there could be a wire to a tree outside the tree that no other animals can walk along,” she said, with quite some authority. Her dad watched all of this with a quiet pride and as much as that too was beautiful, it was also a tiny bit smug. I immediately thought better of asking how much fencing pocket money might buy because he has probably walked her through preparing a business case. Teach them everything, he says, and often. Can we just do it a little more slowly, I says.
    As it happens, I should have said something before her sister leapt in and filled the void. “Mum, there are fences around the horses and the sheep. Are they prisoners?” I think I nearly fainted at the coldness of her logic but managed to stay upright enough to surrender standing. Children never cease to amaze. They don’t hear anything but when they get half a sniff of the widening gulf between what they are wanting and what they are getting, they turn into the world’s best barristers. Because he fosters this, I whispered to my husband that many more fences and one in particular will be going up 😉
    I do love that my children will rarely argue with each other but will always argue for each other.  I find it utterly charming, as much as I might find myself on the wrong end of it. And it is hard not to be proud even if that inclines me to less than first-class parenting like the topical example of Ruby refusing to go back to school despite absolutely looking forward to it unless her sister was going to be going back too. That’s entirely fair, I thought, and let the school know there were no other demands 😉
     It is said all the time that a mother’s love is the strongest love of all and perhaps it is. The most rewarding love though, for me, is the love the girls have for each other. It might help me vicariously imagine what having a sister would have been like but that is only a tiny part of it. The bigger, better, delicate and precious part is that the burning light of it disarms doubt and tells me we’re doing something right.
    In the middle of that night I was thinking about this and asked him, not for the first time if he feels anything missing by not having a son. Or sons. I don’t know why I ask this when I know it isn’t a thing and when I probably deep-down know that all I am really doing is asking him to answer my own question for me, I think he knows and knows that I know so tends to make a joke of it. He must know because he has only ever been patient with that question.
    But he answered it differently this time, so differently that I can actually imagine that I might never ask again. He said that he had a moment of clarity in 2014, while he was waiting six days for me to wake up after crashing my car. He admitted it occurred to him that I might not be coming home and that meant he would be solely responsible for two daughters in what is lamentably still a man’s world. He went on to say that he decided then he wasn’t going to do what everyone else appeared to be doing and tell them they could be anything and do nothing but hope for the best, so he made sure he would give them the tools they needed to go and get whatever it is they ultimately want, for themselves, by themselves.
    It is a momentous thing when Neptune becomes Venus. It is a more momentous thing when a few short words wash the soap from your eyes and you see in brilliant focus what should have been apparent all along. I couldn’t tell if I was just utterly dim-witted or re-awakened with love. I wasn’t sure how well I would cope with either so I said to him “You’re not off the hook. When Lucy is 16 and 17 and leaves to go to Greenland or Timbuktu or ****ing Saturn just to see something or save something (because this is an outcome I can see more than any other) and when the last bits of my brain melt into my hands because of it, you are going to be handed the pain of that because you will be to blame” Or words to that effect.
    He said, “17? Oh well, there’s nothing wrong with being a late bloomer.”
    I won’t repeat what I said.
    Since everyone else is finding familiar shoes, it is probably time I find my own way back to work. I’m still not sure what shape that is going to take but it will be gradual. The justice system isn’t famously adaptable at the best times and adapting to the electronic makeover has possibly been even less organic a transition than giving a 90-year-old a smart phone. It isn’t the only reason. I think I’m struggling with leaving this home for our city home and struggling with struggling about it because it is all a bit silly. I mean, who goes home knowing they will be homesick.
    I will not miss video-conferencing. Whether it is shitty broadband or kids competing for air time or camera-shy clients and colleagues, there is nothing good about it. The only time it was in any way rewarding was Zooming with my sister-in-law and getting equally drunk. Beyond that, people are just a diminished presence and I think I just tended to find that both distracting and irritating. Presence is very important and especially to my job.
    It is important because quite a few people that come to me don’t necessarily recognise their own best interests and often barely able to resist cultivating a truth that is not the best truth for them. It’s like 9 in 10 of the blogs I write; I want and need to say something but tend to wander off into saying anything else but that something. I really do miss the visceral things that help me evaluate someone and ask better questions.
    I will miss having to be only professionally presented from the waist up though. It’s awesome. As much as I love clothes, I have always loved equally not having to wear them so who wouldn’t work in their underwear from one profession to the next. Other than the one time when I got up in haste to get a document and gave someone a nice flash, everyone else was none the wiser.
    And I have decided that for all the developmental haste, the best invention in the 21st century is snippy tool. They could come up with vaccines for everything and lipstick that lasts all day and all night and the next morning and ray guns that only vaporise vicious, hateful people and ovens that do not burn shit but it would still be snippy tool that would win the award. I. Love. It.
    *
    All this self-isolation did push me off one particular cliff. I think I may have hinted at it here a very long time ago but it isn’t anything I ever talk about. Close to never, really. It is my hair. That alone tends to be dissuasive as it is never going to be a headline: Girl Somewhat Touchy About Her Hair.
    I might even start yawning too, if my sensitivity about this had been less harmful. It isn’t that it has to be kept perfect because it doesn’t. I’m fussy about preparing it, sure, when going out or for work but it endures more than its fair share of sweat and sea-water and mud and I don’t mind a bit if it is roughed up in the bedroom. What I am is hyper-hyper-sensitive about the length of it and have been since the cusp of sixteen which was when I should have died and which I won’t recount because the moment itself isn’t the shadow it used to be.
    Keeping it that length keeps the shadow small and as much I can read over that and know, intellectually, that it is not sane, I know that it also is. Perhaps I’m more fortunate than I have ever appreciated to know that anyone here that might be reading this has the best chance of truly understanding what that means.
    It used to be a hell of a lot worse. If I lost the vigil then I would see the blood in it. If I got really bent out of shape, then I would smell the blood in it. The sick, cruel thing about that is I never saw it when it actually was drenched in my own blood because I was barely alive. But I saw it every day for over a year afterward. It happens occasionally even now. So I keep up the vigil.
    I remember once – I don’t think I had yet turned 20 – when I moved house and walked into an unfamiliar hairdresser after many aborted dress-rehearsals, pointed wordlessly at one who I didn’t trust but felt like I could mistrust the least and said the lady taking bookings that I would book her. I think I saw her the day after and more or less, or exactly, said that this and that and this had to be done without any room for interpretation and would pay her double but if she ****ed it up I would burn down her house. She told me much later that she actually thought I meant it but did it anyway. And was paid what was promised. She was the only one to cut my hair for the next seven years.
    So, when the pandemic loomed and hair salons were among the first things to be shut-down, I immediately felt anxious. Then I didn’t. Then I did again, and each time slightly worse. I knew I had to do something about it. I just didn’t know what. The only options were myself (yeah, nah), the shearing shed up the road (****, maybe) and Alex (no, I just couldn’t).
    Well, I couldn’t until I was pacing around the kitchen thinking about it and heard him coming down the hall. So I said as casually as could, which was never, ever going to sound casual “Honey, I need you to cut my hair today.” He did not even break stride and I don’t know if he intended to at least make some coffee first but bailed on that (itself a  minor miracle) and went to go out through the patio doors with that much haste he forgot to open them first.
    “****, who locked this?” he asked apparently no-one, clearly distressed.
    “You did”
    “Nuh uh. Not doing it”
    “It will be fun,” I insisted but absolutely not really. I thought a vein was going to burst in my head.
    “Get Ruby to do it. She will be very precise.”
    “Do what?” she wondered from out of nowhere.
    So she trimmed a tiny bit off my hair. And my head did not explode. It was genuinely therapeutic.
    The question I have now is how Lucy, when she caught wind of this, just gaped at the gravity of it all, which is impossible because I have never, ever, exposed them to this. Ever.I know that I will not be able to walk away from the vigil, not if I live to 100, but it feels like a stunning success to know it doesn’t always keep it’s foot on my throat.
    *
    So there we are. Back to normaL. Whatever the **** that looks like now.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  4. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from jkd_sd for a blog entry, Pandemic Suggestion Box   
    Dear World,
    To help us better manage the scourge, could we please,
    1. Get a touching elbows emoji. This is now urgent
    2. Notice how our children are coping and promote that as the working model. It's just adults that embarrass us all. 
    3. Enough already with war analogies. There is no glory. It is not the enemy. It is a virus. It  is especially odd and coolly ironic how the USA in particular loves these references, given how they have not won a war since 1945. We can only hope science is more successful
    4. Stop taking the credit for this new phenomenon of Social Distancing. The mental health community perfected this a zillion years ago
    5. If you're going to monkey, maybe marinate it in hand sanitizer for about ... I dunno, three years ... and get the pan proper hot
    6. Completely unrelated - Free Julian Assange. Then again, maybe it isn't unrelated. Truth has never been more fashonable
    7. Free Julian Assange
    8. Immediately
     
  5. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from samadhiSheol for a blog entry, Behind the Urals   
    I think the crack that mattered might have appeared when I was reading the Worksafe directions for preparing my office for pandemic prevention. My office is less than three months old, employs two people other than me and, since I still don't know how well I'm going to fare at making a working life out of sailing my own ship, and because I cannot help myself, I decided to put a premium on office style. No substance? We'll soon see.but in the meantime at least enjoy my impeccable surrounds. 
    So it with some distress that I imagined dueling soap dispensers every 10 paces and effectively crime scene tape stuck to the tiled floor a strict 1.5 metres from the reception desk. **** me, is it a vanity to think we're not saving lives, only livelihoods, when suddenly the demand is to also save lives. It didn't help that the first person to walk in after the tape was laid stepped straight over it and leaned on the counter. I dearly wish I could pretend I didn't ask if he was ****ing stupid but, alas, I cannot. Even falling angel-sympathisers like me need a sabbath 😉
    No need to worry for about that anymore, not for the foreseeable future at least. The old cliche that the wheels of justice turn slowly has become a new cliche - the wheels have fallen right off. So we're closed. And I'm all but cartwheeling about it. Nothing non-urgent will happen in our justice system until June at the earliest. The two staff I am responsible for won't have to be exposed and that makes me happy. So they continue to not be exposed by queueing up anywhere for work or welfare.or whatever, I told them they will continue to be paid. To their eternal credit, they squirmed at this but I can promise anyone that the relief to know I maybe aren't as world-weary as i have been feeling is worth every single penny, whatever that amounts to be. It's a bigger relief to not think about this shit anymore, or at least once i have finished typing this. They say everyone that gets it will give it to 2-and-a-half people. Why not go for the opposite and make sure 2-and-a-half people don't get it. 
    We're getting the **** out of here. Going to the farm. To begin new vocations as school teachers. 
    I agree with my husband. He said we might all eventually succumb to this and the real horror is falling prey to it when everyone else is.
    It isn't lost on me that we have the means and few are so lucky. But **** me if it isn't time to make the most of this.
    See you on the other side
     
     
     
  6. Thanks
    Gisele got a reaction from Natasha1 for a blog entry, Pandemic Suggestion Box   
    Dear World,
    To help us better manage the scourge, could we please,
    1. Get a touching elbows emoji. This is now urgent
    2. Notice how our children are coping and promote that as the working model. It's just adults that embarrass us all. 
    3. Enough already with war analogies. There is no glory. It is not the enemy. It is a virus. It  is especially odd and coolly ironic how the USA in particular loves these references, given how they have not won a war since 1945. We can only hope science is more successful
    4. Stop taking the credit for this new phenomenon of Social Distancing. The mental health community perfected this a zillion years ago
    5. If you're going to monkey, maybe marinate it in hand sanitizer for about ... I dunno, three years ... and get the pan proper hot
    6. Completely unrelated - Free Julian Assange. Then again, maybe it isn't unrelated. Truth has never been more fashonable
    7. Free Julian Assange
    8. Immediately
     
  7. Thanks
    Gisele got a reaction from samadhiSheol for a blog entry, The Lunar Eclipse of Perspective   
    Hmmm....we're all ****ed, apparently.
    Or we're not. Big congrats to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore for figuring this out. 
    As for me, everyone else can get all frothed up. I'm here in Positivity Land dwelling on the many, many, positive things. In no particular order then,
    1. There is a chance Peter Dutton  might die. I don't wish him ill but won't mind in the slightest if a virus has lined him up
    2. Possums, cats, horses, sheep and a goat can't get it. 
    3. I might die from it
    4. I might survive it
    5. We are reminded that ugly things, like toadfish and redback spiders and viruses are  deadly and not to eat them
    6. Just when we thought he had bottomed out, Trump looks even more of a d*ck. 
    7. If you're intolerant, the vote-winning likelihood of 6. will excite you
    8. Collingwood can't lose if they cannot play
    9. To avoid crowds and other abuses, democracy might begin to be practiced online, which would be so much more akin the sort of direct model the Greeks originally invented
    10. People could be buried like the pharaohs of old, entombed in ziggurats bricked with boxes of toilet paper and bonded with a makeshift poultice of flour and brown rice.
    11. The boil that is the gig economy will finally be lanced
    12. People who do useful things like save lives won't lose there jobs
    13. People that do useless things like manipulate search engines hopefully will
    14. Venus, Neptune and, dare i imagine it, Antarctica, will suddenly have more appeal as holiday destinations
    15. it is a timely reminder that when the kids are grown up, we can go live in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and be surrounded by no-one at all
    16. It means my family can eat better food, sourced by third parties, because I don;t have to just pretend there was nothing at the shops
    17. Like all crises, it has helped hone my sense of who I like and who i don't. 
    18. It reminds me that a world oblivious to the wasteland it is leaving its children but shits itself stupid over a cold really is full of *****
    19. It gives my youngest an opportunity to ponder actually missing school, in any sort of wistful sense if not the actual sense for the first time ever
    20. It gives my eldest an opportunity to do the opposite
    21. It gives me the opportunity to drench myself in a perfume that makes my husband sneeze in hopefully a restaurant
    22. And probably think that is funny
    23. And then reflect on how it probably wasn't
    As you were.
  8. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from JD4010 for a blog entry, Engineered Empathy   
    Since it never hurts to walk a mile in someone else's shoes, it might be high time others were given an opportunity to walk in mine. More exactly, since it is usually me that goes a bit or a lot too far, it would only be fair and, let's not pretend, amusing to me if others were given the same encouragement
    So I'm going to host a party
    I do like a raucous party
    It is also my last ever day at work before the new venture on Wednesday so that makes two things in it for me
    About time, really. Hasn't been the best year ever
    Friday night is going to be stupid hot so that rules out fancy dress and a little bit of Marie Antoinette. Oh well, still lot's of mischief at a pool party
    Merry Christmas to all. Can be a  horrible occasion between the teeth of all those emotional challenges but that can't stop me from wishing it is all it can be and a little more for all of us
     
  9. Thanks
    Gisele got a reaction from samadhiSheol for a blog entry, Engineered Empathy   
    Since it never hurts to walk a mile in someone else's shoes, it might be high time others were given an opportunity to walk in mine. More exactly, since it is usually me that goes a bit or a lot too far, it would only be fair and, let's not pretend, amusing to me if others were given the same encouragement
    So I'm going to host a party
    I do like a raucous party
    It is also my last ever day at work before the new venture on Wednesday so that makes two things in it for me
    About time, really. Hasn't been the best year ever
    Friday night is going to be stupid hot so that rules out fancy dress and a little bit of Marie Antoinette. Oh well, still lot's of mischief at a pool party
    Merry Christmas to all. Can be a  horrible occasion between the teeth of all those emotional challenges but that can't stop me from wishing it is all it can be and a little more for all of us
     
  10. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from JD4010 for a blog entry, Mercury   
    I’m not entirely sure but I think I was pregnant with my first when my husband unwittingly started a game that persists to this day. He sent me a text message. I can’t recall what it said or what it was even about but do recall that it was unusually incoherent, just not so incoherent to dissuade me from meandering along several tangents to the broader question: what the absolute **** did that even say!?
    After enough head scratching I think I called him with that very question. And he said something along the lines of “Ah yeah, that, well, predictive text strangled it and I know you’re smart enough to work it out.” I could have replied in any number of ways but since we’re here in Honesty Land I would be quite certain it wasn’t to thank him warmly for his faith in me. Still haven’t mastered that.
    My love and gratitude tends to be more oblique. Something along the lines of “If you can’t be bothered, then neither can I’ wouldn’t just be his recollection. So it endures, we get what we are given and Mercury, patron of all text messaging, is a cruel god. I type betterer and gooder than he so it is me that pays the heavier price, sometimes literally as asking for more attracts a …umm, penalty of sorts, let’s say. Still, it amuses us. It could amuse me more. While he is a bottomless cup of true love in all the meaningful places he has absolutely no mercy in the lighter places. None. And I won’t yield. Not to him. I might love it but that doesn’t mean I’m never neck deep in hating it. You couldn’t even call it an impasse.
    For all that though, something may have to give. Lucy was on the wrong end of it and while that outcome happened to be benign enough for me to be sitting here writing about it, I still haven’t escaped a baleful ride into the worst of my imagination. I sent him a message, to pick her up from her friend’s house, at 2:15, and to go by somewhere on the way home to pick up a something and there was a third thing. As usual, type, be free to talk to whoever else with my spare hand and send because he, for all his cleverness is merely a tourist to written English and I am its servant. He could tell you what the quantum of whatever at room temperature or some shit is, in a second, and has a really, really annoying ability to see through Christmas wrap but … you get it.
    Might be my fault though, if we’re being fair. What he saw (and what a jury would see if it ever got to that) is to pick up Lucy from 215 Whatever St and blah, blah, etc. All is well that ends well though. As much as that is an easier path the three of 4 people in this house that aren’t me. Lucy herself saw to that.
    She didn’t appear to be at all put out, unlike myself. I’m afraid her sister might have had a hand in acquainting her with the specifics of why her dad was an hour late and half a city off course. So later in the day, she strode purposefully but not entirely convincingly in her furry slippers into the lounge where her dad was mopping up the last of my fretfulness and …
    Had. Her. Say.
    It was really rather impressive; part soliloquy, part loaded question, part wail of abandonment, and perhaps more besides until I think a lack of breath made her a bit dizzy. She steadied herself and laboured a frustrated air like children do and found her crescendo. She had kicked her slippers off mid-rant so was barefoot for the kick after the siren. She took a step forward … leant out on her right foot, like a Roman Consul, waggled her finger airily without pointing it and announced in the most intellectually indifferent tone I have ever heard from someone under 21 that he and me “need to do rather better’. And sauntered right off.
    I don’t know if it was pure relief. I don’t know if it was the extraordinary floorshow. I don’t know if it was suddenly because 7 just became the new 30 right in front of our eyes, I don’t know anything really. I just know it took all that I could not to burst out with laughter.  The best sort of laughter I mean. Proud laughter. I couldn’t have that misconstrued so I hid my face in my husband’s lap and erupted silently. Which made my face hurt. Suddenly I had an awareness that there were still tradesmen in the yard and probably had a real good line of site through the window and , if they just happened to, the scene that confronted them would look really quite x-rated so I grabbed a cushion and stuffed my face into that instead,
    [Forensically minded husbands must love lipstick. It’s like blood on snow.]
    When I thought I had control, I swear I saw some colour had drained from his face, like he had just seen his own mother standing right there before him in a seven year old body. And it’s so true. It was frighteningly and beautifully reminiscent  
    I suppose now, after the what-ifs are done, I just feel utterly enchanted by my baby girl’s … I don’t even know what to call it. Just one of those moments I suppose.
    On an intellectual level, it appeals to me a great deal too. In the interminable war between. Nature and Nurture, I have always been a loyal foot-soldier in the proud but beleaguered Nature army. I had to be because Nurture was never there. Nurture was a singular ****.
    But Nature was. Right there, Across generations that never got to meet.
    You would think motherhood would change my mind. Nurture is all I can do. All I do do. All I would want to do.
    Holy hell, my kids are raising me good
  11. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from Bulgakov for a blog entry, Kids   
    I feel sorry for the kids today that are working in retail. The world that you and I are part of does not treat them well. All they really want to do is their sh*t job with sh*t hours and sh*t pay is get through school and onto to the job they might actually want. And it seems the world that was once these kids conveniently forgets that. 
    It used to be easy. Do you have this cut in something OTHER than lemon or chartreuse? And the girl would say either "Yes we do" or "I wish" or ...you get it. Now they have to background it or talk you into another bullsh*t loyalty scheme or get your postcode or have some freak from middle-management hovering over them or whatever. It isn't because they want to. It is because they probably just want to keep their sh*t job. 
    I shudder to think of what a minefield "Does my bum look big in this?" has become. There were only ever two answers: "God no" and "I wish I had your bum". Easy-peezy. Now there's probably a five-point plan from HR to combat this evil Byzantine scourge. 
    So a special mention to the young boy called Nathan whose name I know this because I asked him. Once upon a time, it might have been written brightly across a name tag. That was until some pretentious flog decided these things should be part of an accreditation stored in  microfiche on a tiny laminated square dangling from a lanyard not even be of interest to MI5 at a bomb-making workshop. Nathan so,d me a new phone. And was very helpful. I told him I wanted an XS, that it be black and that whatever plan it was on was going to be paid in full in advance. Equally importantly, I told him this must come with a new number because I always change both at the same time and same time every year and that's probably because I'm strange like that. Being young, flexible and not hung up on much, he did not flinch. And was otherwise money-savingly insightful. 
    Which is where Fred Astaire comes in. I will call him that because a. I did not ask him his name and b. Because he shuffled over creepily on two-left feet and so much so that I think his bigger, better lanyard might actually be a strangulation hazard. He was not helpful. He was a pain in the arse and took my specific, cogent, totally lucid request to be an interest in a Samsung. I said I'd rather eat sh*t and also said Nathan and I were doing just fine thank you very much. 
    It is my civic responsibility. 
    Leave the kids alone. Let them give just enough of a **** to keep their jobs. 
    I admit I did not have to do this but I confided to Nathan that Fred Astaire looked like a serial killer with a zero body count. He laughed his head off. Hope he doesn't get into trouble. 
  12. Thanks
    Gisele got a reaction from Bulgakov for a blog entry, Escape   
    Spring has not yet sprung so I had little choice but to hurry things up a smidge. Like all virtuous people, I get sick of ****ing waiting and as August was …. hmmm … emotionally sub-optimal we ….I mean me … or it might not matter since we and me amount to much the same thing in peak me-season … decided to fly to Queensland for a sun-drenched, surf-soaked do-nothing-athon.
    It had to be now. Any later in the year and you cannot swim up there without having a good amount of vinegar handy, to mute the howling agony of jellyfish stings, It isn’t hyperbole to say these are way worse than childbirth. That’s not the only peril though. I think I have learned that Far North Queensland is simply wall to wall with nature’s most vicious ****. Cassowaries and coral snakes and truck drivers and sharks and crocodiles and, of course, box jellyfish, all want you dead  Melbourne could not be any less like this as the only predators here drive taxis.
    Despite this, it was mostly fun.
    The kids enthusiasm was matched by the experience and that is always nice. I really don’t know why a 10 minute trip to school can test both them and then me so much at times but there never seems to ever the same issues on a long flight. Then again, what’s not to like. It isn’t like planes crash all the time and who doesn’t like aircraft now that they have wi-fi. I think I used to like flying more but now I’m far less certain with my kids at stake. It is all I can do to not ask either of them or Alex to look at the window and make sure the wings and things are still attached.
    They enjoyed the reef too. So did I as it was palpably less deadly than everywhere else it seems, if you don’t count the dive operators that have a storied history of not necessarily taking as many tourists back to the mainland as they leave with. 1 … 2 … 3 … pffft … yeah, we’re good.
    I can’t say the danger elsewhere was apparent until afterward. In fact, I saw the most big-arse stingray you would ever want to see and wondered, aloud as it happens, if Steve Irwin might have been a bit of a hypochondriac. This one wore a big, beaming smile and said “Welcome to Queensland!” It might have been painted on a window across from where my husband was waiting for his coffee but let’s not split hairs. Just as an aside, I wonder if he will ever not need one coffee to wake up and another to achieve any sort of meaningful coherence. Even the cats don’t bother him until they are satisfied until he has found the bottom of at least the first one. I guess I will never know because I don’t imagine he’ll ever try find out if he can function sans espresso. Oh well, it isn’t that I wasn’t like that once with a different commodity. I guess the difference is Richard Nixon and the whole litany of pointy-headed thought police since have liked coffee.
    “Who is Steve Irwin, mum?” Ruby wondered. Now I must say I have, with unerring dedication, taught my babies to take people as they find them and see the unseen and I only ever deviate from this path when spitting venom at and about some of the mothers of their classmates. Entirely reasonably, of course, So I wasn’t quite myself when I said “Just a dead bogan, honey.” For intercontinental visitors to this blog, a bogan is a flannel-clad devotee of cheap beer and the most likely of all archetypes to a. get into a fist-fight at a boat ramp and b. run over a hapless surfer with a jet ski. If I’m honest, I should have felt a bit more ashamed than I did.
    Karma had other ideas though. Just as Lucy wanted to know “What’s a bogan, mum?” I noticed two of their very finest standing right behind us. One of them muttered something, probably not entirely inaccurately, about some spoilt _______-________ ____ raising the next generation of blah, blah. And, holy hell, I honestly paused right there wondered if I was going to go on with this, in front of my kids and how I have a tonne of ****ing work to do if that is suddenly a good idea. Ever. I really must have.
    Thankfully, that’s just a worry and not a reality as my husband (who I will love until the day I die for being so effortlessly hyperaware and the most unfussed human being I have and will ever know, rejoined us) all happy and armed with his caffeine. I don’t know how he does it but he sense enough of something to answer Lucy’s question for me. “What’s a bogan? A Collingwood supporter, like Mum” he said brightly steering us toward the beach. There you go kids, proud parents Right and Wrong.
    When we got home I felt instantly frostbitten but did notice my beloved roses have been busy with new growth even in the four days we were gone. I kinda like it that they put all their energy into sharpening their claws well before investing in bloom. Maybe they really are my spirit flower?
     
     
  13. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from Bulgakov for a blog entry, August   
    I know stacks about probability and likelihood. Or perhaps not really. But I should. I should because I have be schooled in it for years and years and … alright … maybe only in the context of thoroughbred racing from a husband who was then my boyfriend and not my boyfriend and then not anything until later when he was something again and then the most special something and still even now I hear all about likelihoods and how this can’t win and that one won’t ever and the one alongside is just an expensive paperweight and we dance through this time and again and I still find it more appealing to follow a number I might like or a silk or whatever because I can’t help it. Or just won’t help it.
    So my husband, who in an earlier iteration of himself made a very handsome living out of all that is married to me, who spent her 20’s frittering away large parts of her handsome living on the exact same thing. Science meets Guilt, you might say. Bless his heart, he still tries to appeal to my still forlorn logical side but not with any great earnest. And, let’s be honest, a lot of track wisdom is shit you can read anywhere and more so than ever in the internet age but I thank him without ever saying so openly that he has never pretended that he didn’t know more about certain outcomes than anyone could possibly have known without being intimate with darker truths and that’s probably all I’m ever going to be saying about that. The better thing I will say about my husband is that he understood my motives before I did. 
    See, when you apply yourself vigorously and the desired outcome indeed happens, you don’t exactly get all heady and delirious when it does. You might go for a shallow high five and a knowing nod with your equally shifty mates. Polished examples of this type might even make a half-hearted effort to look merely and mildly satisfied and not at all smug.
    When, alternatively, you hear it all and at some length and still prefer the last four digits of your phone number to find the first four over the line and this miraculously does happen then this is no small, subdued and quiet excitement. The frisson goes nova . You might just cartwheel the length of the Flemington straight and not necessarily remember that you may have forgone underwear that day. Oh well. Just more fodder for years of conversation since.
    Time to straighten up because I was talking about probability before all that and no amount of education in this area could possibly explain that almost every meaningful day on my calendar happens in August. Mercifully that is now over and I think I’m about over it. For life.
    Let’s see … my mum (who I have tried to believe and may have come close to it and even said it here a few times that I no longer hate but have lately come to accept that I still do) was born in  August. She died in August. So did my very, very dear friend and spiritual sister. Two of my sisters in law are born in August. My late and treasured mother in law was born in August. I was engaged in August and I prefer that to my wedding anniversary. A litany of bad stuff happened in August. To me and others.And so on and et cetera and it doesn;'t really end from the 1st to the 31st  As important as anything, my eldest was born in August and, after a month of thinking about it, that may be part of why it seems to all feel worse in recent Augusts. She and her sister are growing up at a zillion miles an hour and I can't say I'm coping with the wash of all that haste.. in the dark solitude of quiet nights spent on the couch with my knees tucked up and ignoring the pull of a warm bed overthinking, I hiss at myself for having two children instead of an even dozen. It took so long to have one because I felt convinced I should not have any and don’t always have the wisdom to not blame a certain someone for that.
    One of those nights I crawled into to bed and woke my husband just so … latently, I suppose … he could talk me out of jumping into my car and driving a long way to piss on her grave and had a bit of an emotional breakdown mid-sentence and while I was sobbing even managed to apologise for not being either very imaginative and even less ladylike.
    How times change.
    In so, so many ways
  14. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from JD4010 for a blog entry, Kids   
    I feel sorry for the kids today that are working in retail. The world that you and I are part of does not treat them well. All they really want to do is their sh*t job with sh*t hours and sh*t pay is get through school and onto to the job they might actually want. And it seems the world that was once these kids conveniently forgets that. 
    It used to be easy. Do you have this cut in something OTHER than lemon or chartreuse? And the girl would say either "Yes we do" or "I wish" or ...you get it. Now they have to background it or talk you into another bullsh*t loyalty scheme or get your postcode or have some freak from middle-management hovering over them or whatever. It isn't because they want to. It is because they probably just want to keep their sh*t job. 
    I shudder to think of what a minefield "Does my bum look big in this?" has become. There were only ever two answers: "God no" and "I wish I had your bum". Easy-peezy. Now there's probably a five-point plan from HR to combat this evil Byzantine scourge. 
    So a special mention to the young boy called Nathan whose name I know this because I asked him. Once upon a time, it might have been written brightly across a name tag. That was until some pretentious flog decided these things should be part of an accreditation stored in  microfiche on a tiny laminated square dangling from a lanyard not even be of interest to MI5 at a bomb-making workshop. Nathan so,d me a new phone. And was very helpful. I told him I wanted an XS, that it be black and that whatever plan it was on was going to be paid in full in advance. Equally importantly, I told him this must come with a new number because I always change both at the same time and same time every year and that's probably because I'm strange like that. Being young, flexible and not hung up on much, he did not flinch. And was otherwise money-savingly insightful. 
    Which is where Fred Astaire comes in. I will call him that because a. I did not ask him his name and b. Because he shuffled over creepily on two-left feet and so much so that I think his bigger, better lanyard might actually be a strangulation hazard. He was not helpful. He was a pain in the arse and took my specific, cogent, totally lucid request to be an interest in a Samsung. I said I'd rather eat sh*t and also said Nathan and I were doing just fine thank you very much. 
    It is my civic responsibility. 
    Leave the kids alone. Let them give just enough of a **** to keep their jobs. 
    I admit I did not have to do this but I confided to Nathan that Fred Astaire looked like a serial killer with a zero body count. He laughed his head off. Hope he doesn't get into trouble. 
  15. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from Floor2017 for a blog entry, Fare thee well   
    After electrocuting me half to death on New Year's Day, my husbands best friend came over. I imagined he was here to make amends but alas the subject never came up. Probably for the best, really. 
    Instead he invited us onto his yacht for the day. Alex and the children had already made arrangements to go ice skating and I only saw two problems with that: it is the middle of gorgeous summer and I have broken enough bones. So I'm not brimming with curiosity to know what falling face first onto an ice rink would be like. 
    I was therefore free and said I would love to.
    He said they were going to be sailing in a race so I then said best I don't go. 
    He asked why not.
    I said because it seemed like to much hard work doing boaty things and I couldn't be counted in doing anything in the nick of time, which seems like there is a lot of in a boat race. 
    He said I needn't worry because there are buttons for everything.
    That was more or less a giant lie. 
    I said, great, I'll go if I can sit at one end like a mermaid and offer occasional words of polite encouragement, I also offered to sledge other competitors or maybe get my top off or whatever to lull them onto a reef or whatever and he said that wouldn't be necessary. Actually, he might have made me promise not to do any of that but, perhaps unfortunately, he has known me for a long time. 
    It was more fun than I imagined. It was also affluent people getting the ruler out but one can't be too critical when one is married to one. Oh well. 
    He asked me later if I enjoyed the day and of course I did. I also said this sailing lark makes a fine metaphor. I said for 'life'. I meant 'mental disease and emotional turmoil' but thought better of lowering the tone. And it does. Looking for wind, tacking to find it, putting the big, balloony thing out to make the most of it, etc, etc It's all like life. 
    He said two things. Firstly, it's called a spinnaker and the rest is all fine, but if you want to get serious, then people just need to change the boat. 
    I warned him to not encourage my beloved to think like that.
    He laughed and said I had homework if I was at all worried about that.
    I think it's time to change a boat or two myself though. Like this one and all the other one's bobbing around, like corks, on the sea of self-reflection. I think not only have I had enough of that, it's usefulness does not feel as tangible as it once did. Therapy is down to three-monthly catch-ups so I ain't the only one seeing this. That's encouraging.
    So...have yourselves a ripper 2019. I won't be here and not even once. Will see what 2020 brings.
    Never say never
     
     
     
  16. Sad
    Gisele got a reaction from JD4010 for a blog entry, Japan   
    A while ago now, I lived in Japan for nearly four years. I suppose I was overdue for this to bite me one more time.
    That's bad enough. It's worse that I primed it by doing nothing other than opening my mouth. 
    Let's not pretend. I went there to sell my body. Despite this, Japan had an effect which is would be visible if you ever took a look at my home. Or my psyche. Much to remember and more to forget. Nevermind, where's the fun in therapy if the things you would change aren't the mirror same of the things you wouldn't. 
    And it probably doesn't help that the children learn Japanese at school. It certainly doesn't help the the eldest of samesaid children , who takes these things seriously, learns the language after hours because she wants to be perfect. The younger is enthusiastic for different reasons. She just likes to be naughty in a language her dad doesn't understand. 
    And he din't help when he idly asked what we're doing for New Year's Eve. Why wouldn't he when he hasn't been here for three months. And why wouldn't he when ... ah. nevermind. 
    I just wish I wasn't sufficiently pissed off enough to say, more or less, "we're going overseas without you to see how you ****ing like it." Come to think of it, it would have been much better to perhaps not say exactly this in front of the children. Bit forgive me, both came with a built-in irony detector that I'm quite sure did not come from me. 
    Both said Japan. The eldest, because she  wanted to believe it and, the youngest, because the only other country she is aware is is Narnia,. 
    My husband then just looked at me. Not sheepishly. Not coldly. Just a look that said good luck with that. 
    And the reason he looked at me like that is because my time in Japan did not end well. Avoiding the less edifying detail, I was escorted to the airport, put on a plane, and told in no uncertain terms to never come back. Now Japanese justice is opaque at the best of times and, if we're being entirely fair,  pointedly and deliberately murkier for westerners  but none of that absolves me. I ****ed up. But since I was never charged with anything and since no one official met me when the plane landed, I have never really known how formal this has ever been. I do know I never had had the appetite to find out the hard way. I'm also reluctant to write to ask because of what might do to sleeping dogs. 
    The one thing I would like to know is how to tell two small children they can't go where they would like to because their mother has a lifetime travel ban.
    If you know, please, by all means
     
     
  17. Haha
    Gisele got a reaction from Bulgakov for a blog entry, Sweat and Sublimation   
    So after god only knows how many days (alright, exactly 17), I finally got to speak to my beloved. 
    Now you would think a highly intelligent man who, when pressed about his precise whereabouts by a reasonably anxious wife, would know much, much better than to say "Not sure, somewhere in Mongolia." No, not the best start I wouldn't have thought. That alone warrants marital punishment. And I'm sad to say or I'm not that I am not above committing this to long and patient memory. 
    Fortunately though they were a day's ride from the capital it made for a nice week knowing his is soon to be coming home. The kids are getting a bit frayed also, so not a minute too soon.
    Am worried though I haven't heard anything since. He did warn me but I took that to just be polite understatement really said only to modulate a headcase. He could have ****ing told me he meant it . I mean, MEANT it instead of just meaning it. Rude by him. 
    The upside is I can remember what works for me: sweat and sublimation. I swim and ride and workout and remind myself that I can't be a headcase because I am a mother and cannot be both. And I don't give a **** what anyone say, these two things work better than anything else. 
    Then I forget. 
    Those two things do really work and have for a long time. So how is it I keep forgetting. It's embarrassing.
    I thought I might take up kendo. Might be wrong,of course but I suddenly find the idea of getting bashed around with a big stick very appealing. Will see. 
     
     
  18. Haha
    Gisele got a reaction from Bulgakov for a blog entry, Ask a Man   
    I work with five women. One is sharp witted old crone but I'll leave her out of it. The crone thing is part obligation, part artifice and I get the feeling she hides behind it because she may very well have things worth hiding. And I like her.
    The other four, bless their hearts, are young and varying degrees of callow. Each of them is an administrative assistant. One of them is my administrative assistant; that is, if I can ever find her. She is usually off doing things for other staff despite being counselled about this (see crone above) but it isn’t that I mind terribly much. Not usually, at least.
    What she writes is very good and very useful. What she says is another matter, mostly because it is in the realm of shit I don’t want to know about. It is also suffused with all the worldliness of a bright kid that has seen very little of anything off the ribbon that wends its way from work to the family home. The other three are the same and what provokes them is frighteningly ordinary and conflated and just a little cringeworthy. Perhaps I can even be grateful for been thrown into a wide-eyed wilderness when still a teenager. It spared me the drowning these kids do despite never getting wet.
    No, not many problems are only problems.
    So, the proto-feminist problem on an otherwise level-playing field is I’m the only other chick there. So I get to hear it and hear it and hear it all again, And I tell them. When it comes to their crises, real and imagined, they are weekend cyclists and I am a car door.
    My friends count on this. Stangers and workmates (and fellow blogkeepers, for that matter) don’t need to be wandering aimlessly into the world of what I really think.
    But if I may be so bold, if it is about a man, why not ask a different man. I don’t mean directly, because that would be futile. I mean indirectly. Carefully. Purposefully. Men, bless this gorgeous species, are at their giving best when they think the drawbridge is up. Ask one properly and they will never remember the question.
    It’s not even science.
    Speaking of men, my own is now home. Flew in on Sunday quite a bit worse for wear and its odd how he can look five years older and ten years younger all in the same glance.
    All he has really done since is sleep. And sleep. I don’t mind. He can sleep until Christmas if that’s what he needs. But if he wants to be the lion of the house, he can wake up and have sex, then go back to sleep.
  19. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from JD4010 for a blog entry, Frocking in the Free World   
    So I thought if I cannot make myself happy, despite half-hearted recent attempts at exactly this, then why not make others happy. And why not do this with American money. 
    So I hatched a bold and brilliantly simple plan to relieve, I dunno, Whomever Inc. of their zillion, billion, squllion dollar lottery and donate .... let's see.... absolutely all of it to the People's Revolutionary Army of Puerto Rico. 
    It's a glitch that such an organisation doesn't quite yet exist but one never knows. They might want fun things like ballot boxes or at least the imprimatur of their own sovereignty to confirm  or deny and respond to natural disasters.
    Now this will disappoint subscribers to the theory that happiness is strictly the purview of cheap, Canadian meds but Hope is only hopeful. Empathy, however, leaves no stone unturned, 
    The other glitch is that I didn't buy a ticket. This could be my fault. I think I'm a bit squeamish about gambling when it doesn't involve a. thoroughbreds and b. large chunks of my absent husband's money. Not everything is unrestrained, you know.
    Speaking of both those things, the mightiest and supreme-est and bestest  ever thoroughbred in all the universes will win her 4th straight Cox Plate on Saturday. It was very kind of Alex to present me with a shimmering cherry red frock to celebrate this awesome occasion. 
    Must acquaint him with the true extent of his largesse when he finally, ****ing gets home.
    Oh well, it was better than listing his most beloved and highly prized car on Ebay just for a laugh. That would not be leaving him alone to do what he needs to do and come home and etc.
  20. Sad
    Gisele got a reaction from JD4010 for a blog entry, Kublai Khan   
    I think me, myself and I need to spend some quality time locked together in grim reflection. Oh well, it's been a few days. If nothing else and if history is a guide  that also makes us a few days overdue. Seated together at the dresser, we can do some really fun shit like looking into the Mirror of Madness and peer, plaintively, once again at the yawning, foggy chasm the divides what we want to say from what we do say. Oh, us. 
    Maybe it was just growing anxiety. Maybe I could have just said that. 
    Instead, I told him that if he dies I am going to come over there and revive him for just long enough to do it myself. And that is the (only) forum-friendly bit. Holy hell, I even asked Ruby, out loud, if pandas could eat people. 
    Not his fault. I encouraged him to go because I saw how willing he was and how much it took to re-organise his ... interests, let's say ... so I could live my vocational dream. I saw with rare clarity that he needed to get a century or two away from the phone and the very demanding world he lived in and everything else and  just clear his head. And come home cleansed. Because that is what he does for me. Everyday.
    So when he and his ________, ________,  _______ mates decided to spend seven weeks on a slighly skewed, reverse Mongol horde type tour from Moscow to Cambodia or Burma or some ****ing where I was genuinely all in. He can't comprehend half of what I love either so why should I complain. I even wriggled the promise of a jade bracelet out of him if he promised to not go stepping on any landmines.
    Just as an aside, his uber-ethical, paleolithic mate with the beard to prove it questioned my willingness to exploit cheap overseas labour and I told him not to judge me in his cheap Chinese t-shirt. Thus, they were all satisfied I was cool with it.
    Until they left. 
    Now I ain't.
    I want him to come home.
    "My name is Ted and one day I'll dead dead. Yo, Yo" he sang down the phone. That would ordinarily put me in a good place, not least because I love-love-love that song. And he knows it. 
    Not today.
    And I can't call him back
     
     
     
  21. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from samadhiSheol for a blog entry, Mt. Tax   
    This week, I airily flitted and fluttered my way up a foreign mountain and took in the view.
    Because mountains are cold, angry, troublesome things, I only did this figuratively. Of course.
    The view was nice.
    It was almost exciting.
    It certainly appealed to my left-leaning right-brain.
    Because ... for the very first time in my less than model life I climbed the angry mountain and paid some personal income tax. 
    Yay.
    It feels like I ticked off something I never thought to add to a bucket list until after the fact. Weird.
    I hope to do this at least three more times before the novelty wears off and makes me angry and wants sh*t to be great again that never was really except in the tiny, light-starved recesses of right wing, taxpaying imagination. Or something.
    If that happened to me, then would I huffily demand my taxes buy me a big, juicy overdose and a nice funeral.
  22. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from Qua for a blog entry, Stand still said no living antelope   
    Every now and again, someone, somewhere will want to insist (plaintively, usually) that this mental illness is different from that mental illness. A just like a particular addict will sniff haughtily at lesser addicts )well, I did and that makes it universal)  this insistence is probably at the shallow end of useful.
    Not all leopards are lions it seems but you don't see either of those two crying about it. 
    Not that I'm feeling smug. I have done my share of pitiful, plaintive, but-but-but-bipolar-is-diff-errr-ENT meandering myself. At least I know PTSD is not a useful ally in this regard.
    I think I have come full circle.
    All these ****** illnesses are the same if you put a premium on the essential thing they have in common.They always mean dwelling excessively long in the same spot. There isn't one that doesn't.
    Burn it at both ends I say.
     
  23. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from samadhiSheol for a blog entry, Stand still said no living antelope   
    Every now and again, someone, somewhere will want to insist (plaintively, usually) that this mental illness is different from that mental illness. A just like a particular addict will sniff haughtily at lesser addicts )well, I did and that makes it universal)  this insistence is probably at the shallow end of useful.
    Not all leopards are lions it seems but you don't see either of those two crying about it. 
    Not that I'm feeling smug. I have done my share of pitiful, plaintive, but-but-but-bipolar-is-diff-errr-ENT meandering myself. At least I know PTSD is not a useful ally in this regard.
    I think I have come full circle.
    All these ****** illnesses are the same if you put a premium on the essential thing they have in common.They always mean dwelling excessively long in the same spot. There isn't one that doesn't.
    Burn it at both ends I say.
     
  24. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from NHZ for a blog entry, Nuthin   
    It's been a while.
    I'm not sure why really. Maybe I just couldn't keep over-dosing on so many success stories!?
    Oops, wrong website. Madness comes with everything other than a cure, apparently.
    And i do know why, so I shouldn't pretend. Have had my head up my bum. Which is right where I left it. Oh well. 
    So wha'd I miss? Anything exciting? Pointlessly controversial? 
    Is America great again?
  25. Like
    Gisele got a reaction from Lunachick for a blog entry, Nuthin   
    It's been a while.
    I'm not sure why really. Maybe I just couldn't keep over-dosing on so many success stories!?
    Oops, wrong website. Madness comes with everything other than a cure, apparently.
    And i do know why, so I shouldn't pretend. Have had my head up my bum. Which is right where I left it. Oh well. 
    So wha'd I miss? Anything exciting? Pointlessly controversial? 
    Is America great again?
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