Saturday, November 7, 2009

TORLET from the people who brought you Yeah-Nah in all it's 'Strine glory.

It goes like this: "Yew SAID yewer goin to the TORLET an yew just run off! Just run off! That's NORDY, real NORDY. Say yew just goin to to TORLET and then run off. Yew NEVA do that, that's real NORDY."

And then the boy says very quietly, "I wonder where this Torlet place is. Sounds exciting!"
"Yep. You know, I was just thinking about how to spell that in the interests of accurate pronunciation."
Or something along those lines, because it is a fine summer evening and we are basking in a glorious sunset, albeit on Frankston's finest particles of silicon.

I am constantly amazed by the multifarious ways people torture the English language. With us Aussies, it's not so much the devising of a new lexicon that bothers me as our enunciation. I understand that English grammar, in all its irregular glory (ah, not for nothing is it a pearl of a language) is a complex beast. However, that does not give us the right to genetically modify the poor creature at will, let alone call it all kinds of nasty names.

Yes, this is what I do instead of sleeping. I also teach in my sleep. I'm wondering whether there is a discernible difference between my awake-teaching and my asleep-teaching, and if I can maybe spin that into discount rates if you come for a lesson during my afternoon nap. This would give me the advantage of (a) an afternoon nap and (b) more teaching hours in the morning. (Surely I could get up earlier if there would be a nap. Oh, bliss indeed.)

Anyway, lucky hubs tells me I'm remarkably coherent. I don't know I could display the same level of physical co-ordination ... but I'm not all that graceful when awake, so maybe it's worth a shot. Seeing as my husband is now behaving like a two-year-old (waving hands between me and the screen, shoving one down my top... now THERE'S something you didn't need to know) I'm going to give up on blogging and go to bed. Ballet concert tomorrow and the curse of the leotards begins. How did summer arrive without me noticing?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Slow communication

We went out to dinner tonight with our besties and upon arriving home I've realised we had a night of slow communication. Not that the conversation was by any means slow, but that it was based on a shared history that's been nurtured over a period of time.

These are people who know our quirks and can tease us for a propensity to talk tech or music. I can start with some marvellously moronic statement and work in concentric circles around it until I finally stumble across an articulate summation of what I mean - which is not necessarily what I said in the first place.

One word can spark a reminisce or a foray into the future; a discussion can be just that without treading on toes or becoming unpleasantly spiky. In short, it's communication of a quality which is becoming increasingly rare - not just a reflection on our 'growing up' and the other calls on our time, but also upon the depth of sharing and connectedness with other people.

I'm very good at knowing other people 'a little bit'; what they do, who they like, what they read and sometimes even what might make them laugh. I do love to be struck by the novelty of some new fascinating person, and some of them I even pursue, wanting to stab them and stick them up on my wall to be endlessly amusing. Ok, I'm kidding about the stabbing part. And the sticking up on my wall. I don't have enough wall space, what with all the pictures my parents are busy moving from their (old) house to ours.

But my point is, we are connected endlessly (and very traceably, with the advent of the interwebs) but shallowly. The threads are tenuous, and often little mothy holes appear. (I could totally link this to the rise of fast fashion vs. couture and clothing designed to be worn a whole season, not just a week, but it's late and I think you all get my point.)

Is this just a point I'm arriving at? You know, the one where everyone pauses, and takes stock, and realises we spend our lives in fractional milliseconds at a constant and very, very fast rate, and perhaps it would be better to spend it in minutes, hours, even days... just better quality ones?

I'm not sure I've made it to the central circle yet (that's where you meet the pebble that's occasioned all these ripples), but I feel on the edge of something profound. Meditation and learning to live in the moment... I think I'm close. Share the pearls of wisdom, people.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

WTF with WWF?

O and I visit the playground today. This is nice. There's metal bars wrapped in soft padded rubbery stuff, a big slide and a little slide, some obstacle-course-y rubber foam blocks, and a small plastic car embedded in the ground. Logically. We should all be teaching our small children to climb into the driver's seat of random cars, dislodging extant occupant (or leaning on them until they fall out) and spin the whel joyfully and with abandon. Hm.

So we do the whole playground thing for a while. This is mostly children attempting to socialise by pushing each other off various piece of equipment before being intercepted by a helicopter parent who referees the debacle and then guiltily removes themselves and their shoes from the rubber-matted shoe-free area.

I am tempted to wonder how many of these kids see the World Wrestling Federation on their tv screens; they certainly seem to have the smothering lean, stiff arm-lock and full-body tackle well within their repertoire. Still, that's better than being the chubby, pasty-faced child sitting sandwiched between her (yep, insert the three-letter f-word here) mother and (remember that lovely five-letter word starting with o and ending in e?) grandmother staring myopically at the spawn of Satan Nintendo DS. 

I giggle inappropriately, because while I respect that it's not great for small people to (inadvertently) harm or alarm others, I wonder if this is actually where kids 'catch' their behaviour. You know, rushing over to two other littlies and getting in between their faces before pushing one of them away, or attempting to shove some other kid down the slide because five seconds ago their predecessor was dilly-dallying and that's what their mom did to clear the backlog.

Same with the demanding of behaviour; you've heard it all before: "Give him a turn! Don't push! Come here!" Of course, it's not always practical to preface every request with a "Would you please..." or even "Please..." but we can't fault children who expect to achieve results with demands: we do it every day.

I'm not sure what level of 'helicoptering' takes place in a creche and suspect it's much less... so maybe more kids engage in solo play and learn to use their imaginations instead of relying on the nearest grownup to solve their problems. Anywho, it's a fascinating microcosm to observe.

Days like this I wonder if I really want the parenting gig; if I'll try too hard (damn all that theoretical knowledge!) and maybe if it'd all go pear-shaped just to prove me wrong. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Me? Vindictive? Never!

So I'm driving down the road to work, gently stuck behind an old coot travelling ye olde five kilometers beneath ye speed limit, when a very angry man in a silver car begins to tailgate me. I'd like to tell you the model of the car, but he was far too intent on shoving the bonnet into my dinky little bumper, so I can't.

He wasn't a very happy man. He had a bald head and a big moustache, and some rather large sunglasses. Possibly he was still unhappy about the loss of his Harley (doubtless totalled into the back of some other law-abiding driver), because he felt the need to express his frustration in a myriad of ways.
At first I thought he was trying a game of rearview charades, but extending your middle finger heavenward and jerking it violently doesn't seem very PG. Or sportsmanlike.

Then he seemed to succumb to a violent gravitational force emanating from the centre of his steering wheel. Loudly. I'd like to tell you exactly what kind of car makes a noise like that, but the whole bonnet-bumper situation? Completely tailgated. So I decided it might be time for me to play a game. Like "Chelsea Stops!" It's a great way to test (a) just how lightning quick your reflexes are and (b) the health of your tyres.
Mine are fine, thank you for asking.

At the next set of lights, moron man overtook me on the left and drove in an imaginary lane for about a hundred metres, valiantly straining to overtake the old codger who was the source of all his fury. He failed. Massively. Because I now had the pleasure of staring directly at moron's license plate. Oops.
I'm not a naturally vindictive person, but if you REALLY want to tailgate me, scream abuse, wave your finger about and then very nearly run me off the road, expect retribution.

We have a very nice service called "The Hoon Hotline" - 1800-NO HOON. They liked receiving my telephone call very much. They especially liked the part where moron man cut through an intersection using a service road at twice the legal limit. I liked getting even.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What I did on my Sunday.

Sunday started very early in the morning with a showing of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" in honor of Halloween. Then there was some sleeping. And a cooked breakfast, because bacon, egg and hash brown sandwiches are vital to schlepping about at the races before ballet rehearsal. Great idea. The caramel popcorn the night before? Very important part of my never-ending carb/sugar/edible loading. There are just too many pale and shiny leotards in this world for me to cope. Therefore more eating is in order. Where was I? Oh, about ten a.m. on Sunday morning. OK.

We offed to the races in style; me in a 1920s black lace and silk chiffon dress (shoestring straps, fitted, dropped waist, floaty skirt), black headpiece, red sinner lipstick (Poppy King gets some things very, very right), the boy in charcoal pants, black french-cuffed shirt with tie, & snap-brimmed charcoal hat.
If anyone sends me photos I'll add one to this post.

Right now I'd like to send out a fervent thankyou to jp for the tickets. I'm sure a highlight of the whole 'going to the races' experience is queuing for two hours in the dusty carpark, listening to a segment of the population whining "Loz, crack meopen another can, wuldja, me feet are killen me!"
 -  "Loz" is their peroxided cohort with tatts snaking beneath her visible bra strap (NO country race meet is complete without strapless dresses worn with possibly-maternity-bras and DIY oompa-loompa tan)
 - "can" is premixed Bundaberg rum & coke or UDL, served from the esky in the dust and tossed aside when drained
 - "me feet" are encased in unsuitably strappy shoes, which are cast aside shortly after aerating the turf and causing their owner to fall over. Oh, hang on, that's the cans and shoes in cahoots. My mistake.

The other half of the population, being male, are
(a) ogling the girls trying to simultaneously pull their dresses down over their backside and up over their strapless bras (while I wonder just how many seconds will elapse before someone gets that very delicate balancing act VERY wrong)
(b) oscillating between a vantage point and one of the alcohol outlets while making copious use of the word "f%^k" as a noun, verb, and adjective
(c) being tools while dressed as tossers.

I've never seen so much badly applied fake tan in my life, and I've been to a lot of ballet/calesthenics/aerobics events. Really, it was just indomitable proof that there isn't enough love in the world. Because if you really loved your bestie (you know, last-piece-of-chocolate type of love), you wouldn't have driven the Barina out of the driveway. No.

Instead, you would have said "Sweetheart, your legs have funny orange streaks up them and that REALLY clashes with your red undies, which, by the way, you can see straight through that pillowcase masquerading as a dress. And the kilo of clanging brass bracelets is just going to give you a headache by the time you finish that slab of Cruisers in the esky, so why don't you pop back in and trade the indian-feather-headband for a REAL hat, find a dress that covers your nipples and your girly bits AT THE SAME TIME and... those shoes? If you REALLY want to walk on the balls of your feet all day, those shoes are PERFECT. Here's a nail brush so you can get started on all that nice fluorescent dead skin."

Next time I go to the races I'm going to take a belt sander. You have been warned.