Sunday, November 30, 2008

Meme theft

emzeegee decided to use The Age's Good Weekend glimpse-at-a-famous-person-meme for her latest blog and I've decided to steal the idea.

Your Time Starts Now...

My earliest memory is... of the blue carpet squares in my bedroom when I was 3. And the tiled staircase in those apartments.

At school I... talked too much.

My first relationship was... with a red-haired boy called Gregory who I used to chase around for a kiss (I was 5).

I don't like talking about... politics.

My mother and father always told me... that I could do anything I set my mind to.

I wish I had... used my 20's productively, at least travelled some.

I wish I hadn't... wasted my 20's.

My most humiliating moment was... not worth reliving.

My happiest moments were... when I was getting to know my husband and when I was pregnant.

At home I cook... whatever I feel like, I dislike routine meals.

My last meal would be... Osso Bucco and chocolate pudding

I'm very bad at... art.

When I was a child I wanted to be... an obstetrician.

The book that changed my life is... Siddhartha.

It's not fashionable, but I love... the music to Calamity Jane.

The song I'd like played at my funeral is... I'll Fly Away

Friends say I am... confronting.

My greatest fear is... losing those I love.

If only I could... fly.

The hardest thing I've ever done was... Brain Chemistry.

The last big belly laugh I had was... watching this Bill Cosby routine.

What I don't find amusing is... The state of the world. Financial, environmental, energy use.

I'm always being asked... when I'll be finished studying.

Cat or dog... Dog. I love dogs best. But I prefer the smell of cats.

If I wasn't me I'd like to be... Angelina Jolie (is that dumb or what?).

At the moment I'm reading... Orson Scott Card's Keeper of Dreams  (short story collection). I love OSC.

My favourite work of art is... pretty much anything by John William Waterhouse.

My worst job was... cleaning houses. It's back-breaking work (though strangely satisfying).

I often wonder... whether society will founder and collapse. Will there be a bright and shining future?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008



I can hardly believe it and I find it quite disturbing.

We've had 11 bites at the trying to conceive apple and we've had no luck. Not so much as hopeful lateness. Probably the most distressing part of this is that infertility has been a secret fear of mine since I was a small girl.

When I was 8 I used to stick a pillow under my clothes and pretend to be pregnant and I wondered what it would feel like to have a baby growing inside me ... at 9 I used to hold newborns and pretend they were mine ... at 10 I was known as the baby-girl, take me to a gathering and hand over your small babies. At 11 I used to sneak into the non-fiction section at the library to read the birth books - I thought I was so naughty to be investigating birth. At 12 I waited impatiently for menstruation to begin and my boobs to grow and I worried about the possibility of not being able to have babies. By 14 I had started menstruating but the boobs and hips hadn't arrived (they still haven't) and I worried that my body was too boy-ish to bear children easily. I began to babysit other people's kids and I loved it. Just call me the baby whisperer. Mothers with fussy babies watched in awe as their little darlings settled and slept in my arms while I swayed and cooed. (I can still do that now, though it never worked particularly well with the Little Guy, something that surprised me no end. Apparently I am only fantasmogorical with other peoples babies.)

Anyhoo, I wanted and wished for and worried about not having babies for years and years and when I fell pregnant with the little guy I hadn't "tried" at all. He was what people politely refer to as a surprise baby. I dithered about the having of him as his father and I had a tumultuous, and ultimately unsuccessful, relationship but decided to go ahead. Entre the Little Guy.

So then I find the Big Guy. A man I really want to have children with. I want to have his baby almost desperately, I want to grow a part of him inside me and see what this little person who is a mix of us is like. But I'm 36 and I've not lived a terribly healthy life and my eggs are showing their age.

And my childhood and teenage anxieties seem to be coming true. Almost a year of trying and no pregnancy. If we'd managed to get pregnant the first month, our baby would be about to be born. But alas, we're off to the fertility specialist instead.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas shopping

We have a kazillion relatives (seriously) and for some time now the Big Guy's family have done a Kris Kringle list for his side so that we adults only buy one present and receive one present. It's a great idea and stops the harried "what on earth do I buy Aunt Hilda who I barely know and rarely see" present hunting. The Big Guy set up a webpage for the family where everyone can log in and write down what they'd like from their secret Kris Kringle.

This year I've listed "clean drinking water" as my preferred gift.

I've decided (as have the Big Guy and his Mum) that I have more than enough and I'd like my 'gift' to go to someone less fortunate. The button above takes you to the Smiles catalogue, operated by World Vision. You can make a donation and 'buy' water, or a goat, or a hen or even a school amongst other things.

So in the spirit of Christmas and what it truly represents, I am urging everyone to buy/request Smiles gifts this year.

Forgo consumerism and embrace charity. How about it?

Sunday, November 23, 2008


oh woe is me.

The Big Guy has two older sisters. They cause problems for me.

Most recently one of them wrote a private bitchy message to the other on Facebook but accidentally sent it to a group of people, myself included. She said I was being "precious" not to be drinking alcohol whilst trying to conceive and that I would be "an absolute pain in the butt" when pregnant.

Thanks sister-in-law. You suck and I hate your fake friendliness.

And I wasn't being precious nor will I be a pain in your rather large butt.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Animals and curry.

The Big Guy and I went to Thailand for our honeymoon and for part of the time we stayed in Kanchanaburi at the Rainbow Lodge. Great little backpackers on the River Kwai, a scooter's ride down the ride from the-Bridge-Over-the-River-Kwai-rebuilt.

That's the view from our little balcony over the river.

I petted tigers, rode an elephant...

... and fell in love with a little gibbon named Joy.

But one night we went and did a cooking course with a ladyboy named Mickey who taught us how to make Pad Thai, Tom Yum and the best Yellow curry in the universe. Seriously it is the absolute best and so simple too. I scribbled down the recipe as we went, promptly lost it and then found it again last week.

Yellow Curry Chicken (serves 2)
1 large potato
1 large carrot
1.5 tbsp tumeric powder
1.5 tsp red curry paste
3 cups coconut milk
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 chicken breast sliced (about 1.5cm thick)

1. Cube and boil potato and carrot until just cooked.

2. Put curry paste and tumeric into hot wok and add 1 cup of coconut milk. Bring to boil and cook, stirring constantly, until the milk is reduced and the mix is thick. (It'll be a nice yellow colour too.)

3. Add meat, carrot and potato, coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar. Stir. You can taste the sauce now and if you'd like it more salty then add more fish sauce, if you want it sweeter then add more sugar. (If you decide you want it hotter, then put in more red curry paste next time you cook it.)

4. Cook on medium heat until it is as thick as you'd like. Try not to stir it too much to keep the potato intact. Just keep it from sticking.

5. Enjoy with coconut rice or plain rice.

I tripled the spice and paste part of the recipe, doubled the coconut milk and chicken breast, and added red capsicum, sweet potato, sugar snap peas and zucchini as well and it kept all 5 of us happy. Our kids loved it!

Mickey was adamant that part of the joys of Thai cooking was playing around with the flavours to suit yourself, so I recommend you take her advice too and fool around with this.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Little Kyah died this morning.

It's been a long and drawn out battle for her and I am glad she's finally at peace. My thoughts are with her family at this terrible time.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mt Buller in the springtime

So we got back from Mt Buller this evening.

Every year the Big Guy's Mum organises a Family Getaway at the lodge on the mountain. We take over the whole place and have a weekend of fun and relaxation. The Middle Guy just had his birthday and so did a little cousin, so we have a joint birthday party for the kids too.

The Big Guy and I had a rip-roaring doozy of a fight on Thursday night, mostly because I was pissy about having to go up the mountain with his family and do things the M-I-L way. And as it turns out, I had a lovely time (except for sleeping on the horrid, hard mattresses that really need replacing). Sorry Big Guy.

Here's some pics ...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Magic slice ...

I think not.

Lessons I've learned today -

  1. Don't trust the recipes on the back of the condensed milk can. Condensed milk may be delicious but the magic slice was anything but.
  2. Dessicated coconut needs to be wet to stick to anything. Otherwise it's just sawdust filler.
  3. Dark chocolate is way better to cook with than milk chocolate.
  4. Don't try a new recipe the night before you need to have the thing you cooked ready to go away. Now I have nothing to take. Well, nothing tasty anyway.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Tabata squats have killed me.

I did this and two days later I can hardly walk. Hopefully it'll get better. I've gotta say though, 8 minutes of that did more to my thighs than two days of skiing ever did. Amazing!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Movies, parking, babies and cake

The Big Guy and I have had a movie-marathon weekend so far. We've been absolutely kidless and we've watched two hits, an ok and a miss.

Hit - Cloverfield - Great movie, totally unbelievable, loved the hand-held-ish camera work and the psychotic Clover.

Hit - Ira and Abby - also great. Funny, clever, sweet movie about relationships. Quite Woody Allen-esque.

Ok - Evan Almighty - we tried it out 'cause we liked Bruce Almighty and we like Steve Carell. Although we laughed some, we agreed that it wasn't as good as BA and that it was a bit too contrived.

Miss - Gabriel - OMG do NOT rent this movie. Unless you like movies featuring wooden acting, weirdly cut fight scenes, too much blood and a totally game-ish feel. We didn't even watch the whole thing but started skipping through it after about 20 minutes. Blech. That one left a bad taste in my mouth.

The other thing we did on Friday night and Saturday was hit the shopping centres in search of pale shoes for me, a 11th birthday present for the Medium Guy and the beginnings of Christmas shopping. All three goals achieved but only after fighting through some seriously awful shopping centre carparks. We hunted for ages for carparks and I have decided that (at least for the two major centres near us) that it is now perpetual Christmas-parking-traffic at these places. Admittedly they are enormous centres and feed a large catchment - but it is truly horrid to get parking. On another dark note I tried on swimsuits and was completely destroyed by the enormous mirrors, fluoro lights and my pasty, bumpy body. Why don't they put nice lighting and skinny mirrors in change rooms. Surely they'd sell more clothes!

Went to this kooky site the other day to find that we had a great chance of conceiving a healthy girl baby in the 24 hrs leading up to 7:22pm, Saturday 8th November. Yup, we've had a great weekend so far!

To top off Saturday night I made a cake for my Mum's birthday tomorrow. Must remember to post my yellow curry recipe.

And finally here's a pic of the Big Guy's eye - amazing eyes he has, little suns in the middle of the greeny blue sky.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Woohoo! Joss Whedon has shot a new series, Dollhouse. I miss Buffy and Angel and Firefly so it'll be wunderbar to get a Joss-hit again whenever it arrives here. I read that there'll be a webisode for every episode too - so if the Australian free-to-air networks aren't going to carry it, I'll still be able to get a fix.

Here's the trailer...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Work, patience and acid.

Went back to work today. Wow, doesn't 10 days away make a traffic jam of paperwork on the freeway that is my desk.

Though I've got a Bachelor of Behavioural Neuroscience and I'm on the psych-registration pathway, my research assistant job is in Health Economics. I've never had much to do with the economics of health except to say "it's too expensive at the dentist" on a semi-annual basis.

However, now I do have to do with it ... and it's a bit of a crock really. I can hardly believe there's a field of people out there trying to make a science of economic theory. It barely holds theories let alone transforming into a bona fide, ridgy-didge, empirically-based science. Almost as quirky as astrological science. Almost.

Read all about it here.

Are there mothers out there who are unfailingly patient with their small ones? If there are I take my hat off to them. I, on the other hand, am so snappy sometimes! Today I was Dame Snap with the Little Guy.

I blame it on the lurid green lollipop his best friend's grandma gave them both after kinder today. Though I loathe him eating foods coloured so that if they were in nature (like growing on a lollipop tree) they'd be screaming "I'm poisonous" I didn't feel as though I could deny him in the face of the Amazing-J and his assortment of carers. The Amazing-J is the Little Guy's hero. His absolute most bestest friend who he tries desperately to impress at any opportunity.

As I arrived to collect the Little Guy, the Amazing-J's family were opening the aforementioned oh-so-obviously poisonous pops. What joy for a deprived boy! He ran around like a maniac for the next hour then crashed and was whiny and whingy and annoying for the remainder of the day. I can remember being like that after taking some bad acid in my drug-addled twenties - all crazy happy 'til I started coming down whereupon I crashed and freaked out.

The Little Guy came down from his sugar high with a bang and after dealing with him patiently for ages I snapped. Beat me for my bad mothering puh-leeze.

Dame Snap - I think not!

So my Faraway Tree vent is this ...

In the newer versions of the books, Dame Slap has been changed to Dame Snap. She no longer slaps the naughty children, she snaps at them. What is she, a crocodile??? It's freakish for the PC publishing crowd to have changed this part of the story because the horror of Dame Slap's school was not just the terribly nonsensical questions, but also the fact that she slapped anyone and everyone with the slightest provocation. Twinkle's hair not brushed? Slap! Doodle's tunic is torn? Slap! Jo tells her (truthfully) about giving their aeroplane a rest? Slap! Everyone is noisy while she's out of the room? Everyone has to line up, walk past her and get ... you guessed it, slapped!

Dame Snap just doesn't have the same je ne sais quoi. Oh hang on, I do know what she used to have, it was sheer terror-making, shake in your boots-ed-ness. It now reads like this ...

"Twinkle, come here!" she said. A small pixie walked up to her. "Haven't I told you to brush your hair properly for meal-times? said Dame Snap. Twinkle burst into tears. "And there's Doodle over there with a torn tunic! said Dame Snap. "Come here, Doodle."
Doodle came. Bessie and Fanny felt nervous, and hoped their hair and hands and dresses were clean and tidy."

You see? You see? It's now meaningless.

Thanks heaps politically-correct-we-can't-possibly-have-a-story-where-kids-get-slapped-publishers.

Don't get me started on the name changes - my 5 yr old doesn't even know that Fanny is a word for genitals! It didn't need to be changed to FRannie, nor does he know/care about Dick (now Rick) or that Jo needs an E on the end to be the masculine, or that Bessie wasn't a good enough girl's name so now she's Beth.

WTF is going on in our crazy world when Enid Blyton gets PC-ified.

Vent over.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Good morning Sunshine!

Yes indeedy, it's a fine and dandy day and I am one happy woman :)

Though I woke up a little hungover from my private partay last night, I still woke in a better mood than I have for months. Oh Happy Happy Joy Joy.

The Little Guy and I were driving to creche today and I was trying to convince him to sing to me.
He said "Do you remember the time when I was 2 and I couldn't sing in front of everyone?".
Now I don't remember this, but the little elephant in the back seat assured me it happened and it was because he was "... what's the word Mama?"

"Shy?" says I, knowing full well that that he's had maybe 2 'shy' incidents in his life.

"No," says he, "I was nervous."

My nervous little sweetheart.

I asked him to sing for me and he guffawed and proclaimed his nervosity. I cajoled and eventually his piping little voice issued forth from the back seat. Now, he was always tone-deaf as a smaller toddler. At kinder when all the other kids were tunefully singing a blurry rendition of Twinkle Twinkle, there was my boy singing in his tuneless voice loudly and happily. But what do you know, the chld has gotten some tone. And his little voice was so sweet I almost cried, right there and then as I was driving. Even more adorable, this is what he tried to sing. His favorite bedtime song.

Which brings me to a question. He's 5.5 now ... when do you think he'll decide he's too old for a bedtime snuggle and song? I've managed to cut the playlist down from five songs to one or two, but he insists on at least one song. I really thought he would have grown out of it by now, but the old bath-story-song-bed routine that I established when he was tiny wee lad is still going strong.

On the plus side, daylight savings bothers us naught. I just move his night time routine around to suit me and he's so entrained to it he shifts without complaint. It's almost Pavlovian.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's over!!!

Thank F**k. The multiple choice questions were abominable. For those of you who have read the Faraway Tree, do you remember Dame Slap's school? (Which reminds me of a vent I'll have to have another time.) She asked questions like "If there are a hundred pages in a book, how many books would there be on the shelf?" Well, my multi-choice question were like that! Seriously ridiculous and impossible because of the ridiculosity. The essay questions were fine, so hopefully I'll have scored a B for it. I need a 80% average for first-class Honours and I need first-class Honours for a scholarship. Fingers crossed.

Anyway, I am so glad it's over for the year.


more animals

One down ...

(written on 3rd Nov 2008)

OK, one exam down, one more to go. Strangely, the ethics exam wasn't too bad after all. I really do have an awful habit of working myself into a fever of sweaty exam anxiety. Maybe I need to so I can do well? Who knows. In any case I wrote and wrote and wrote and I ought to have done fairly well on the rotten thing.

Psych assessment exam tomorrow. More essay-questions but at least there's some multiple-choice this time. And I have the advantage of loving psych assessment. I did the
(quite similar) 3rd year subject last year and blitzed it. I actually won the Mensa award for the highest score. Who knew one could get high marks and $500.00! Mind you, part of the prize was a chance to do their test and join their club but I'm too worried that I'm not clever enough and I'd get rejected.

Anyone reading this? If you are, click here

No Clean Feed - Stop Internet Censorship in Australia

to learn about the outrageous and silly plan Stephen Conroy and Kevin Rudd have to censor the internet. It's so embarrassing for the Labor Party to be acting so stupidly. So terribly costly too.

Back to the grindstone - I need to learn about intelligence ;)

Stud-ying ... Iz doin' it rong

(written 1st Nov 2008)

Today I abandoned the Man and the Children and scooted off to the library and clocked hours and hours of Ethics study. I loathe Ethics.

What's more, I loathe this new warped form of assessment my coordinators have decided to spring on us now we're in second semester of 4th year. All the way through undergrad Psych we have had multiple choice exams and they've rammed down our throats the fact that those types of exams are the most valid, the most easy to compare cohorts and the least subjective in terms of scoring. Blah blah blah.

What types of exams do I have in the coming days - long and short answer. I haven't done long/short answer exams since 1990. That is an eon ago. An eon I tell you. I can barely remember how to study for that type of madness.

So today I have read two ethics textbooks, summarised 7 lectures and the entire Code of Ethics and my brain is full-to-bursting. I am about ready to explode in a brain-mush kind of way. Messy.

And the Fibro is playing up so my elbows hurt. Yep, my elbows. Isn't that weird? (Almost as weird as when my toes hurt.) Anyway they hurt all the way deep in the joints, so the whole bended-arm-to-type thing is getting old fast. I haven't slept properly in a few days 'cause I'm a teensy bit anxious. And I'm getting a bit afraid of moving my head cause my shoulders and neck feel as though they're going to seize up too.

Lack of sleep + hideous study = poor sore me.

Have pity on me cruel world. Keep my head turning for the next few days - I really need to be able to look down at my horrible exam booklets.

(Nov 1st 2008)

FYI. Here's the Little Guy on the weirdest kiddy ride I've ever seen (and he's ever been on).

Me and why Halloween has proved freaky.

(written on the 31st October)

First, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about moi! In 10 easy pieces ...

Unpregnant (yeah I know it's not a word, but it sums up the situation nicely)
Research assistant
A loving though sometimes cranky wife/mother/daughter/step-mother/employee/student/friend
Neurotic (ha!)

There you all go, there's me summed by me.

Now, onto the freakiness of Halloween. Though I iterated my dislike of Halloween in a discussion yesterday and said I was not going to take part in it, I went and bought treaties in case other children came'a'visit'n tonight (they didn't). And when the Little Guy and I were driving home we passed two houses close to us that had Halloween balloons out and tons of small crazily dressed people.

So, after he asked, I told the excited Little Guy that yes - he could dress-up and we'd go a trick-or-treating.

Excited - yes! Planned - no!

Luckily the Little Guy is a full-on dress-up enthusiast and has at his disposal about 30 costumes at any one time. His choice de jour was Darth Vader. So he quickly donned his black top and cape, whipped on his Vader mask and grabbed his new LightSaver (sic) and off we went.

The Little Guy was impressed by house #1 - the lady was sweet and excited and gave out candy! He could hardly believe his luck, dressed in his fave dress-up he went to a random stranger's house, repeated a hastily learned phrase and she gave him candy!!!

House #2 revealed surprises for us both.

First there were 4 equally excited and dressed-up kids opening the door which freaked out the Little Guy somewhat. Though he likes to see himself in costumes and masks, other people in costumes and masks scare him. Even if they're small people.

Second - the mother was one of the mothers from the Mothers Group I had been in when the Little Guy was born. The mothers who had everything and got along so famously while scruffy old disintegrating me tried to play along and failed. So that freaked me out somewhat. We exchanged pleasantries and the Little Guy and I made a hurried escape.

When we returned to the car, I asked if he wanted to do any more - he said he wanted to go home.

So there was our first Halloween experience - it left both of us freaked out for different reasons.

Anyway, I am supposed to be studying for exams on Monday and Tuesday - I'd better go learn stuff.

The best laid plans of mice ... and women

(written on 30th Oct 2008)

So I'm not pregnant, yet again. Yes, I know I've only been trying for 10 cycles but I had a plan. A plan I tells ya!

I was going to have a baby with my wonderful husband next year. Then I could take a year off study and go back to finish the last year when bub was older than 6 months.

But now, after 10 tries I have one more chance to get up the duff before we have to stop trying for a few months so I can do the rest of Honours next year. I figure if we get pregnant in this cycle, then bub would be due in August so that's OK to take the year off and do my final year in 2010.

But the months after this (Dec & Jan) make a due date too close to the end of the year - if potential bub is due in September it's not worthwhile/sensible to take the year off - so I may as well try not to get pregnant and do the final Honours year next year. Then if I commit to that I can't be having a bub in Oct or Nov either due to handing in assessments. So we will have to stop trying until end Feb/March.

This idea distresses me for a few reasons:

1. I really wanted to be pregnant. And I'm not. And we've been trying long enough now that if we had managed to nail it on the first try, I'd be having a baby this month.

2. I really wanted to take a year off. I am so burnt out I am a crispy cinder. No, wait ... I am the ashes of a crispy cinder of my former self. This was my 7th year studying (1 more year to finish Honours) and I have had enough. More than enough. And I'm scared of writing a 6,000 word lit review and then a 5,000 word research report. That seems like too many words.

3. Stopping trying to conceive is a freaky idea given that it hasn't exactly happened easily. And given my advanced age. Alright, I'm only 36 but in egg-years that's ancient.

4. We have an appointment with a fertility specialist in early December - can I tell the truth and say that we don't want to get pregnant until after January's cycle? Or ought I be faking enthusiasm for December and January cycles?

5. Did I mention I really wanted a year off study (I'd still be working)? I really can't justify taking that year unless there's a small, screaming human involved. Otherwise it just seems wasteful given that I'm so close to finishing.